Latvia prepares to face U.S. football team

Latvia’s national football (soccer) team has arrived in the United States and is preparing for its May 28 friendly match against the U.S. Men’s National Team, the Latvian Football Federation has announced.

The teams are scheduled to play at 7 p.m. ET May 28 in Rentschler Field, 615 Silver Lane, East Hartford, Conn.

The game also is to be broadcast live on the cable television channel ESPN2, meaning it will be viewable at 2 a.m. May 29 in Latvia.

The U.S. team will be coming off a last-second loss May 23 against Morocco and a game scheduled May 26 against Venezuela. The Latvian team is scheduled to practice May 26 and 27.

The Latvian players challenging the U.S. team include Vitālijs Astafjevs, Kristaps Blanks, Aleksandrs Isakovs, Deniss Ivanovs, Gatis Kalniņš, Ģirts Karlsons, Oskars Kļava, Aleksandrs Koļinko, Juris Laizāns, Viktors Morozs, Andrejs Piedels, Andrejs Prohorenkovs, Andrejs Rubins, Māris Smirnovs, Genādijs Soloņicins, Māris Verpakovskis, Aleksejs Višņakovs, Artūrs Zakreševskis and Dzintars Zirnis. The team is coached by Jurijs Andrejevs.

The Latvian team traces its roots to 1922, when a national football team was organized in newly independent Latvia. Football, however, was first mentioned in Latvian media in 1906, according to the Latvian Football Federation. Latvia’s national team most recently got wide notice when it qualified for the finals of the Euro 2004 championship in Portugal. In addition to friendly games, Latvia is preparing for its 2006 and 2007 qualifying matches for the Euro 2008 championship.

The Latvian Football Federation has arranged with U.S. Soccer to reserve section 117 of Rentschler Field for Latvian fans. For tickets and directions to Rentschler Field, visit

Latvijas futbola izlase

The Latvian National Team is scheduled to face the U.S. Men’s National Team in a May 28 football (soccer) friendly match in Connecticut. (Photo courtesy of the Latvian Football Federation)

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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