Five Things to Know About Bosnia and HerzegovinaThe U.S. Men’s National Team faces Bosnia and Herzegovina in on Saturday, December 18 at 8pm ET on FS1, UniMás and TUDN
The U.S. Men's National Team and Bosnia and Herzegovina will meet for only the third time in their history when they face off in a year-end friendly at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. ET (FS1, UniMas, TUDN).
This will be the final match for the USMNT in 2021 as FIFA World Cup Qualifying starts up again in January.
Here are Five Things to Know about Bosnia and Herzegovina:
BOSNIA’S FOOTBALLING HISTORY
The Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina was formed after the breakup of Yugoslavia. Until 1992, Bosnian players competed for Yugoslavia.
Bosnia has qualified for the FIFA World Cup once, as it won UEFA Group G for the 2014 tournament in Brazil. The team (8-1-1, 25 points) won out over Greece, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Liechtenstein.
The Dragons finished third in Group with a 1-2-0 record. They dropped a 2-1 decision to Argentina in its opener, and a 1-0 result to Nigeria in its second game before rebounding with a 3-1 victory over Iran in its final match. Bosnia finished 20th out of 32 teams.
It failed to reach the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and has never qualified for the European Championship in six tries.
Edin Džeko, who captained the team during 2022 WCQ, is the team's all-time appearance leader (118) and goal-scorer (60) but is not on the roster for this match.
Ivaylo Petev, a former Bulgaria professional player and national team coach, took over the reins of the squad on Jan. 21, 2021, just over two months before qualifying began. In his coaching debut on March 24, Bosnia played Finland to a 2-2 draw.
The 46-year-old Petev performed for several Bulgarian clubs, including Litex Lovech, Spartak Varna, Rodopa Smolyan and Marek Dupnitsa.
He also has coached many teams in his native country before directing the Bulgarian National Team from 2014-16.
Bosnia failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar as it finished in fourth place out of five teams in Group D with a 1-3-4 mark and six points.
Its lone win was a 2-0 win at Kazakhstan on Oct. 9 as Smail Prevljak scored on either side of halftime in the 25th and 66th minutes.
The Dragons, however, went winless in their last three qualifiers with a 0-2-1 record. They played host Ukraine to a 1-1 draw on Oct. 12 but lost twice at home. Bosnia dropped a 3-1 decision to Finland on Nov. 13 and a 2-0 result to the Ukraine on Nov. 16.
The team will now put its focus to the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League B which begins in June.
The 19 players on Bosnia’s roster all compete in the domestic league which has just entered its winter break. With an average age of 23 years, 310 days, the youthful team is relatively new to the international stage, with a combined eight caps between them. Saturday’s friendly
Defenders Josip Ćorluka and Ajdin Nukić and midfielder Marijan Ćavar have competed in two international matches apiece and defender Selmir Pidro and Andrej Đokanović have played one game each.
FK Borac and FK Sarajevo have four players apiece represented on the squad. Goalkeeper Nikola Ćetković, defender Aleksandar Vojnović, midfielder Amar Begić and forward Jovo Lukić play for Borac. Goalkeeper Belmin Dizdarević, defenders Selmir Pidro and Numan Kurdić and midfielder Andrej Đokanović perform for Sarajevo.
Forward Sulejman Krpić is second in the Bosnian league’s scoring race, tallying 11 goals in 18 matches for Tuzia City, while Lukić has eight in 17 contests for Borac Banja Luka.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nikola Ćetković (FK Borac; 0/0), Belmin Dizdarević (FK Sarajevo; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Hrvoje Barišić (HSK Zrinjski; 0/0), Josip Ćorluka (HSK Zrinjski; 2/0), Numan Kurdić (FK Sarajevo; 0/0), Ajdin Nukić (Tuzla City; 2/0), Selmir Pidro (FK Sarajevo; 1/0), Aleksandar Vojnović (FK Borac; 0/0), Vedran Vrhovac (FK Željezničar; 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Amar Begić (FK Borac; 0/0), Marljan Ćavar (NK Siroki Brijeg; 2/0), Mehmed Ćosić (FK Velež; 0/0), Andrej Dokanović (FK Sarajevo; 1/0), Saša Maksimović (FK Sloboda; 0/0), Haris Ovčina (FK Velež; 0/0), Igor Savić (HSK Zrinjski; 0/0), Almedin Ziljkić (NK Olimpija; 2/0)
FORWARDS (2): Sulejman Krpić (Tuzla City; 0/0), Jovo Lukić (FK Borac; 0/0)