For the first time since the invasion by Russia, the Ukraine National Team will return to action when they step onto the field at Borussia Park in Germany on Wednesday night to take on Joe Scally and Borussia Monchengladbach in a friendly game.

The Ukraine side last played back in November against Bosnia and Herzegovina in a World Cup 2022 qualifier and won by a 2-0 score line. The win qualified them for a play-off spot that could see them compete in Qatar in November in the same group as the USMNT.

The Ukrainians were originally due to travel to Scotland in March for a qualification playoff, however the game was postponed. It has been rescheduled for June 1 at Hampden Park, so the team is in need of game time in order to fulfill the aspirations of the nation and the world, to see them compete on the biggest soccer stage. 

The Scottish team was in action last month however when they played Poland in a friendly match, where money raised was donated to the United Nations Children’s Fund to assist those caught in the Ukraine refugee crisis.

World Cup qualification will not be an easy road for the Blue and Yellows when they face a tough Scottish side in June. Victory in Glasgow will still mean that they will have to travel to Cardiff four days later and beat a Gareth Bale-led Wales team in the final of the playoff. 

Nevertheless, the prize is a big one for all teams involved. The victors will enter World Cup Group B and take on England, Iran and Gregg Berhalter’s USA in Qatar.

Although the price of tickets is quite reasonable, Ukrainian passport holders will be allowed free entry into Borussia Park for the game. Money raised will go towards helping those affected by the Russian invasion. Donations can be made by bank transfer to this account: IBAN DE11 4401 0046 0190 0134 68, with the reference “borussiahilft Ukraine.”

Gladbach sits in tenth place in the Bundesliga and will finish their 2021-22 campaign on Saturday afternoon when they host Hoffenheim.

For those located in Germany (or handy with a VPN connection), the game will also be streamed by German broadcaster ProSieben, although registration is required to view the free web broadcast.

The game kicks off at 8:45pm local time in Germany, or 2:45pm East Coast in the US.

By Michael Adubato

The old man of Yanks-Abroad, having been around since the very beginning in 2004, Known as the resident Belgian expert since that’s where he has lived for a couple of decades. Over the years he has interviewed Nats such as Kasey Keller, Brian McBride, Oguchi Onyewu, Jozy Altidore and Tim Weah, to name a few. When not working the day job, he can often be found in stadiums around Europe, watching games from the top flight to the lower leagues. To prove that he is not just a pretty face, Mike received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland and a Masters from the University of Oklahoma. Boomer Sooner! On a non-soccer note, Adubato has just released a book of poetry from his travels, Missing the Exit, published by Broken Keys Publishing in Ottawa, Canada. So that must make him the YA poet laureate! You can grab your copy on Amazon.com, order online and pick it up and Barnes & Noble or get an e-copy at various outlets.

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