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USA vs. Russia - More than Meets the Eye

While the United States and Russia will both be looking forward when they take the field Nov. 14 in Krasnodar, there’s plenty to look back on the series between the U.S. and these three nations.

Three you ask? Read on.

The all-time series stands at 2-0-2 in favor of the hosts dating back to 1993 and 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 only meeting on Russian soil came April 26, 2000, a 2-0 victory in Moscow. Here’s a look at the U.S. lineup that day:

Keller, Hejduk (West 88), Berhalter, Fraser, Regis, Lewis (Kreis 73), Reyna, Jones, Armas (Deering 45), Sanneh, McBride

And those other countries? The U.S. played against the former Soviet Union four times, going 0-3-1 dating back to 1979.

Here’s the New York Times story from the game in 1990 before the teams went to the World Cup in Italy. Yes, the New York Times covered the MNT even back then! And not for nothing, more than 61,000 fans showed up at Stanford for what was at the time the largest non-Olympic crowd to watch the USA play.
The U.S. also got two games in against the Commonwealth of Independent States in 1992, splitting a share of the spoils of games in Miami and Pontiac, Mich.

Russia, currently ranked No. 12 in the world, is in first place of Group F of UEFA qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Under Fabio Capello (who last faced the U.S. in the 2010 FIFA World Cup as head coach of England), the Russians are a perfect 4-0-0, with all four victories coming by shutout.

The Zenit Saint 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 MNT has already notched two historic road wins in 2012, beating Italy in February and Mexico in August. On Wednesday they’ll go for a third, as Jurgen Klinsmann’s side looks for a first victory against Russia.