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U.S. to meet Ukraine in March 5 soccer friendly

January 16, 2014|By Kevin Baxter
  • "Ukraine is a very talented team and was very unfortunate not to qualify," U.S. men's soccer Coach Juergen Klinsmann says of an upcoming opponent.
"Ukraine is a very talented team and was very unfortunate not to qualify,"… (Victor R. Caivano / Associated…)

The U.S. will make its first visit to the Ukraine for a March 5 friendly, the team's final international match before World Cup rosters are due.

Ranked 18th in the world in the latest FIFA rankings, Ukraine has the unfortunate distinction of being the highest-ranked team not to qualify for this summer's World Cup in Brazil. Ukraine was eliminated by France in a UEFA qualifying playoff decided by an own goal.

"Ukraine is a very talented team and was very unfortunate not to qualify," U.S. Coach Juergen Klinsmann said. "We want to continue to make statements that we can get results in games like these. Since this is our only chance to bring in all the players before the pre-World Cup training camp, this is a huge opportunity for them to make their case to be included on the 23-man roster for Brazil."

The U.S. and Ukraine have met three times previously, all on U.S. soil, with the Ukraine winning twice and playing to a draw in the other match. The last of those three matches came in October 1993.

The U.S. national team is currently training in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It will return to the StubHub Center in Carson later this month in advance of a Feb. 1 friendly with South Korea.

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