Team USA to meet Russia in soccer battle

Oct. 18, 2012 at 11:48 PM
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CHICAGO, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- USA Soccer announced Thursday the American national team would play for the last time this year in an exhibition against Russia on Nov. 14.

Earlier this week the U.S. squad reached the final round of North American qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The November match will take place in Krasnodar, Russia. The Americans have not defeated the Russians in their four previous meetings with two of the matches having wound up in a tie.

Russia is ranked 12th in the world and the United States has slipped to 32nd.

Team USA will compete with Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico and Panama during 2013 for spots in the World Cup. At the end of a 10-match, round-robin tournament the top three in the standings will advance to Brazil. The fourth-place team will play the winner of the Oceania region qualifying for another berth in the World Cup.

Russia is halfway through its World Cup group qualifying tournament and holds a five-point lead over Israel and Portugal. The Russians have not allowed a goal in their four qualifying games to date and their next group contest will be in March against Northern Ireland.

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