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Global Oct 18, 2012

U.S. Men’s National Team confirms Nov. 14 friendly match vs. Russia

The U.S. Men’s National Team will travel to Russia for an international friendly on Wednesday, Nov. 14, the team’s final match of the 2012 campaign.

Kickoff at Kuban Stadium in the southern Russia city of Krasnodar is set for 7 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET, broadcast live on ESPN2, ESPN3 and Univision Deportes).  The clash marks the USMNT’s first match against Russia in 12 years.

Fresh off its Group A victory in the semifinal round of CONCACAF 2014 World Cup qualifying, the United States heads into the game with the best winning percentage in the modern era. The U.S. is 9-2-2 this year with a winning percentage (.769) that currently ranks as the top performance in recent years. The next best performance came in 2008 when the team earned a 9-3-2 record (.750).

The U.S. are looking for their first victory against Russia, who hold a 2-0-2 advantage in the series that dates back to a 1-0 Russia win on Feb. 13, 1993, in Orlando, Fla. The United States garnered a scoreless draw on Feb. 21, 1993, in Palo Alto, Calif., and a 1-1 draw on Jan. 29, 1994, in Seattle. The most recent meeting was the USA’s first trip to Russia, which resulted in a 2-0 loss on April 26, 2000, in Moscow.

Russia, currently ranked No. 12 in the world, are in first place of Group F of UEFA qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The Russians are a perfect 4-0-0, with all four victories coming by shutout.

The Zenit St. Petersburg trio of Aleksandr Kerzhakov, Victor Faizulin and Roman Shirokov have accounted for seven of Russia’s eight goals in the current cycle. Kerzhakov has increased his career international total to 22 goals in 67 appearances.

The U.S. advanced to CONCACAF’s final round of qualifying with a 3-1 victory against Guatemala on Oct. 16 at a sold-out Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. The win gave the United States first place in Group A and advancement to the “hexagonal,” which will feature Group A runner-up Jamaica, Mexico and Costa Rica from Group B and Honduras and Panama from Group C.

The hexagonal qualifying stage will be played from Feb. 6 through Oct. 15, 2013. The U.S. has a combined 58-49-31 all-time record against the other five teams in the hexagonal.

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