Coach Stephen Hart recognizes that Ukraine is a very difficult team to play. Ukraine is currently ranked 26th on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. Ukraine is unbeaten in its last three matches, including a 2:1 victory over Chile at home on 7 September 2010. In two years time, Ukraine will co-host the UEFA EURO 2012 with Poland.
The 8 October match will be Canada’s sixth international match this 2010 season. Canada won its most recent match 2:1 over CONCACAF rival Honduras on 7 September in Montréal.
Coach Hart’s lineup features Paul Stalteri, who recently became Canada’s all-time leader with 83 career appearances. Also in the squad is 2009 Canadian Player of the Year Simeon Jackson, who now suits up for Norwich City FC in England. Veteran midfielder Atiba Hutchinson has 49 career appearances and could reach 50 on Friday night. Defender David Edgar and forwards Marcus Haber and Julian Uccello are all hoping to make their first appearance with the national team.
As for the host, Ukraine has 22 players in its lineup for the Friday match, 18 of whom play professional soccer in their home country. All 22 players have experience with the national team, including experienced stars Andriy Shevchenko of FC Dynamo Kyiv (99 career appearances) and Anatoliy Tymoschuk of FC Bayern München (97 career appearances).