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World Cup '94 : WORLD CUP USA '94 / GROUP B PREVIEW : Russia at a Glance

June 12, 1994|Grahame L. Jones

* COACH: Pavel Sadyrin.

* KEY PLAYERS: Viktor Onopko, Igor Lediakhov, Sergei Yuran.

* STRENGTHS: A pair of capable, if unspectacular goalkeepers in Stanislav Cherchessov and Dmitri Kharine. A promising defender/midfielder in Onopko. An equally solid, if unimaginative midfield, anchored by Dmitri Kuznetsov and Lediakhov. Striker Yuran is talented, temperamental and totally unpredictable.

* WEAKNESSES: Despite all claims to the contrary, team morale was badly hurt by the refusal of 14 players to play for Sadyrin. Even though more than half relented when faced with the possibility of missing the World Cup, the team will sorely miss those who continued the boycott, including such stars as Andrei Kanchelskis, Sergei Kiriakov and Igor Dobrovolsky.

* WORLD CUP HISTORY: First appearance.

* LITTLE-KNOWN FACT: Russia's first international goal was scored by forward Valeri Karpin, against Mexico in 1992.

* OUTLOOK: Brazil is the World Cup favorite. Sweden finished third in the 1992 European Championship. Cameroon was a World Cup quarterfinalist four years ago. Where does that leave the Russians? Probably in third place, since pride will be worth a victory somewhere along the line, possibly over Cameroon.

* PREDICTED FIRST-ROUND FINISH: Third.

ROSTER

No. Name Position 1 Stanislav Cherchessov Goalkeeper 16 Dmitri Kharine Goalkeeper 3 Sergei Gorlukovitch Defender 4 Dmitri Galiamin Defender 5 Yuri Nikiforov Defender 6 Vladislav Ternavsky Defender 18 Viktor Onopko Defender 21 Dmitri Klehstov Defender 2 Dmitri Kuznetsov Midfielder 7 Andrei Piatnitsky Midfielder 8 Dmitri Popov Midfielder 12 Omari Tetradze Midfielder 17 Ilya Tsimbalar Midfielder 13 Alexander Borodiuk Midfielder 14 Igor Korneev Midfielder 20 Igor Lediakhov Midfielder 9 Oleg Salenko Forward 10 Valery Karpin Forward 11 Vladimir Bestchatnykh Forward 15 Dmitri Radchenko Forward 19 Alexander Mostovoi Forward 22 Sergei Yuran Forward

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