The United States kicks off their preparation for the World Cup on Wednesday, but it's anyone's guess what kind of game they're going to get. Their opponent, Ukraine, was close to calling off the game due to the current turmoil in their country, but they've agreed to play. Who knows if they're exhausted and unfocused, extra motivated or generally unaffected by the country's current situation.
While the restart of the Ukranian Premier League has been delayed, many of the nation's best players have played since the winter, with Dynamo Kiev and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk participating in Europa League. However, players at Shakhtar Donetsk and Metalist Kharkiv have not had the same benefit.
The United States team is a half-and-half team of first choice players from the qualifying cycle and fringe players in Europe trying to make their way onto the initial 30-man World Cup squad. Clint Dempsey is in Wednesday's team, but all other MLS players have been left at home. Brek Shea and Oguchi Onyewu have been given one last chance to prove they deserve a shot, while newcomers Cody Cropper, Alfredo Morales and Will Packwood are only fringe contenders for World Cup spots that are likely to be looking ahead to Gold Cup 2015 shortly.
Because of the ongoing issues in Ukraine, the game is being played at a neutral site, in Cyprus, which was also the location of Dynamo Kiev's home game in the Europa League.
Match date/time: Wednesday, March 5, 2 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. local
Venue: Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium, Larnaca, Cyprus
TV: ESPN2 (U.S. - English), Univision Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), Inter (Ukraine)
Online: Watch ESPN