U.S. Men's National Team

USMNT-Ukraine friendly moved to Cyprus

Jurgen Klinsmann


The friendly between the U.S. Men’s National Team and Ukraine will go on. It just won’t be played in Ukraine.

The Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) announced on Tuesday that the March 5 friendly has been moved from the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv to the tiny island nation of Cyprus.

The FFU said on its website that the decision was made after U.S. Soccer Federation requested the match be moved for safety reasons given the political unrest and violence that is currently going on in Ukraine.

U.S. Soccer confirmed the change on Tuesday afternoon.

The host venue in Cyprus will be confirmed at a later date, according to FFU. Located south of Turkey, on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is a small island, but does have a variety of hosting options for the match.

What do you make of this development? Think it was always bound to happen?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Ryan

    Hopefully Ukraine can get a handle on things without anymore bloodshed. As a huge soccer fan I am glad the game is on AND moved. There are bigger things happening in Ukraine right now!


    • Josh D

      I agree. While I don’t think the players would have been targeted specially, the event would have acted as a great platform for the two sides to globally make their voices heard.

      Unfortunately, one of the most important reasons we wanted to play Ukraine away was the atmosphere. In Cyprus, we wont get that intensity the players need to prepare for the World Cup.

      But better safe than sorry. I’m just glad they are still playing.


      • Eurosnob

        The away atmosphere would lessen quite a bit, but weather wise it would be closer to Brazil than playing in cold weather in Ukraine. I am happy the game is ON!


      • divers suck

        Ukraine is not the type of atmosphere we need. I disagree that Cyprus won’t give an ample away atmosphere. Few, if any, of them have been there and there certainly won’t be many USA supporters there….Cool place, Cyprus, though.


    • BrianK

      This is definately an upgarde from the U.S. with the soccer ball flying through it. However, I would prefer something that incorporates a bald eagle. I cannot understand why our crest does not have our nations offical emblem?


      • BrianK

        Yes, very serious. Are you American? Do you have any idea why the bald eagle is the official emblem of the United States? It is the only eagle unique to North America. It was selected as the national emblem because of its “long life, great strength and majestic looks, and also because it was then believed to exist only on this continent.”


      • Josh D

        Benjamin Franklin also hated the idea of the bald eagle, which doesn’t kill its own pray, but prefers to steal from others. He thought it was an embarrassment.

        He wanted the official bird to be the turkey.


      • ComoParker

        Disagree with Franklin’s assessment. We live in Minnesota so we see bald eagles regularly. I’ve watched them fish. It is majestic.


      • Travis in Miami by way of MN

        +1 Watching a bald eagle fishing while attempting to fish myself is right up there with seeing the Grand Canyon as amazing things in nature I’ve witnessed.


      • Increase

        France once invaded Mexico. I bet they wanted to steal their Eagle so they could have a cooler bird.


      • Ian

        Please choose one of the following so that I know how to take this:

        a. You’re joking.

        b. You’re 12 years old.

        c. You’re a caricature of the ugly American.

        d. All of the above; in which case, kudos.


      • Anthony

        Technically, the US does not have an official language (or languages). De facto, it’s English. However, Congress has never mandated an offical language.


      • Rory Miller

        Pretty sure we couldn’t copyright that plain badge so the federation would take a massive hit financially. Maybe we could jazz it up a bit.


    • William the Terror

      Maybe, if you are suggesting that the situation might have simulated the pressure of a World Cup game. And it’s always nice to beat a European team on their soil, even in a friendly.

      But, I like the move. Two national teams playing on neutral soil also simulates a World Cup setting. It removes the home field advantage, the partisan fans, and brings it down to the players, the coaching and the tactics.


    • Travis in Miami

      The World Cup in Brasil in likely to have it’s share of protests. I think the only question is how big.


  • wood chip zip

    Electrical utility workers are protesting in Cyprus and causing power outages. Let’s hope they have lights.


  • Jake

    Will the venue hurt our FIFA ranking? Mostly a joke here, but a serious question as well for informational purposes… not because it would actually affect it much.

    As a citizen of the world though, I hope things start to settle down in the Ukraine. It looks a bit bleak right now. Quite a power vacuum.


    • SilverRey

      That brings up another good question, is the World Cup considered as home games for Brazil and away games for everyone else?


      • Mason

        Nope. It’s counted as a neutral venue for everyone except Brazil and anyone playing against Brazil.


  • Ryan

    I bought a plane ticket to Ukraine and game tickets, and now don’t know how I am to be refunded…But at least US Soccer has yet to make a comment and leave a few thousand of us traveling in the dark


  • Pingback: Ukraine names 26-man roster for upcoming USMNT friendly | Soccer By Ives

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