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USMNT-Ukraine friendly moved to Cyprus

Jurgen Klinsmann

By FRANCO PANIZO

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.

Comments

  1. 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

    Reply
  2. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  3. 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!

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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!

      • 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.

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