World Cup tune-ups in Washington, D.C. United at FedEx Field, U.S. national team updates

(Soccer Insider)
(Soccer Insider)

Nothing official yet but hearing these events are are on the brink of being finalized:

Honduras vs. Turkey friendly in late May at RFK Stadium.

Spain vs. El Salvador friendly and D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew, both on June 7 at FedEx Field. The MLS match had been scheduled for that night for RFK, but with Spain training in Washington ahead of the World Cup and aiming to play at FedEx on the 7th, United has apparently agreed to the doubleheader.

Soccer United Marketing, a branch of MLS, is arranging several pre-Cup friendlies at U.S. venues.

The U.S. national team is close to learning its World Cup send-off matches: three home games in late May and early June. The finale is reportedly against Nigeria in Jacksonville on June 7. The tour will begin on the West Coast and then move to Red Bull Arena.

Meantime, because of unrest in Ukraine, the Americans are expected to play next Wednesday’s friendly against the Ukrainians in Cyprus. The USSF issued this statement Tuesday:

“After discussions with the Ukrainian Football Federation, we have decided not to play in Ukraine on March 5 and are planning to move the match to a city in Cyprus. We are in the final stages of discussions with Ukraine and the Cyprus Football Association to determine the location and kickoff time. We hope to have confirmation on all the match details by Wednesday.”

Juergen Klinsmann is about to finalize his 23-man roster, mostly from European clubs. With MLS season openers March 8-9, domestic clubs are hoping their U.S. candidates are not summoned. One who seems sure to receive a call-up is midfielder Michael Bradley as Toronto FC has a bye on MLS’s opening weekend. Another player expected to report is Fabian Johnson, who this week finalized a deal to move to Moenchengladbach from Hoffenheim after the World Cup.

Those on the World Cup roster bubble who may receive a call: Tim Ream, Oguchi Onyewu, John Brooks, Eric Lichaj, Daniel Williams, Sacha Kljestan, Brek Shea and Terrence Boyd.

Julian Green, the 18-year-old German-American forward for Bayern Munich, will train with the U.S. squad and might travel with the delegation to Cyprus but won’t suit up because he is not yet eligible. Klinsmann will open camp Sunday evening in Frankfurt. The team will charter to Cyprus on Tuesday.  The U.S. team will wear its new-look jerseys, which Nike will unveil soon.

Ukraine has announced a 26-man preliminary roster:

Goalkeepers: Denis Boiko (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Rustam Khudzhamov (Illichivets Mariupol), Andriy Pyatov (Shakhtar Donetsk).

Defenders: Artem Fedetsky (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Yevgen Khacheridi (Dynamo Kiev), Oleksandr Kucher (Shakhtar Donetsk), Evgeny Makarenko (Dynamo Kiev), Andriy Pìlavskij (Maccabi Haifa), Yaroslav Rakitskiy (Shakhtar Donetsk), Vyacheslav Shevchuk (Shakhtar Donetsk).

Midfielders: Roman Bezus (Dynamo Kiev), Denis Dedechko (Vorskla Poltava), Mikhail Galovskij (Metalist Kharkiv), Denys Garmash (Dynamo Kiev), Oleg Gusev (Dynamo Kiev), Dmytro Homcenovskij (Zorya Lugansk), Yevhen Konoplyanka (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Mykola Morozyuk (Metalurh Donetsk), Ruslan Rotan (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Taras Stepanenko (Shakhtar Donetsk), Sergiy Sydorchuk (Dynamo Kiev), Anatoliy Tymoschuk (Zenit St. Petersburg), Andriy Yarmolenko (Dynamo Kiev).

Forwards: Marko Devic (Metalist Kharkiv), Yevgen Seleznyov (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Roman Zozulya (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk).

*The U.S. women’s national team roster for the Algarve Cup in Portugal, March 5-12:

Goalkeepers: Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign).

Defenders: Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign), Whitney Engen (Tyreso), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyreso), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns).

Midfielders: Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-Germain), Sarah Killion (UCLA), Carli Lloyd (Western New York Flash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign).

Forwards: Sarah Hagen (Bayern Munich), Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign), Christen Press (Tyreso), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (Western New York Flash).

The Americans will face Japan, Sweden and Denmark in the group stage.

Forward Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns) continues to rehab an ankle injury. Midfielder Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City) will miss the tournament because of a family commitment. Defender Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit) is out with an ankle ailment.

 

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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Steven Goff · February 25