Who can doubt the importance of the United States’ friendly coming up against Ukraine in two weeks?
The March 5 friendly in Kharkiv represents the last chance for U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann to get his best team together prior to the May training camp, when the final push for World Cup 2014 begins. (You didn’t really think a bunch of Yanks abroad would come over for the April match against Mexico, did you? It’s on a non-FIFA date, which means clubs are under no obligation to release players.)
Plus, Klinsmann tells us the roster for that March match will closely resemble his final 23 selections for Brazil – so that means every journalist and U.S. superfan out here cannot wait to jump to outrageously premature conclusions based on that roster for one friendly – never mind that there are still numerous moving parts in play. Hey, it’s what we do. It’s a World Cup!
But, obviously, security is always tantamount.
So it’s worth a heads-up here that the U.S.-Ukraine match may be in jeopardy. Some good reporting from Washington Post veteran Steven Goff says federation officials are in touch with the U.S. State Department, monitoring the dicey security situation seems to be getting worse instead of better.