U.S. Faces Egypt on Sunday with Slim Chance to Advance to Confederations Cup Semifinals
U.S. PREPARES FOR EGYPT WITH SLIM CHANCE TO ADVANCE: Hoping that Sunday’s match against Egypt will not be their final match of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, the U.S. is facing the reality that it may be after a pair of losses to top five teams in the world to open the tournament. The U.S. kicks off against Egypt at 2:25 p.m. ET live on ESPN2 and Telefutura. The U.S. traveled on Friday to Rustenberg to set up camp for the Group B finale. The U.S. is currently in fourth place in Group B behind Brazil, Italy and Egypt, but mathematically still has a chance to advance to the semifinals as the second-place team to Brazil. To have a chance to advance, the U.S. must defeat Egypt by at least three goals and get help from Brazil in their match against Italy. The U.S. either needs Italy to score three fewer goals than the U.S. in a loss to Brazil, or for the sum of the U.S. and Brazil's margin of victory to be seven goals or greater. Brazil and Italy will be shown live on ESPN and Univision concurrent with the U.S. match. For score updates from both games fans can follow ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker as well as at twitter.com/ussoccer.
FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP STANDINGS & RESULTS
- Midfielder Sacha Kljestan is suspended for Sunday’s match against Egypt following his 57th-minute red card against Brazil.
- The U.S. has played 90 of 180 minutes to start the FIFA Confederations Cup down a man due to red cards.
- The last time the U.S. earned red cards in consecutive matches came when Matt McKeon was sent off on Aug. 3, 1999, against Saudi Arabia and Ante Razov was sent off on Sept. 8, 1999, against Jamaica. McKeon was sent off for consecutive yellow cards and Razov was sent off for dissent.
- Jonathan Bornstein and Oguchi Onyewu are carrying yellow cards into the Egypt match. If either is cautioned against Egypt, they would miss the semifinal should the U.S. advance. Yellow cards do not carry over into July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup; however, if a player receives a red card in the final Confederations Cup match for the U.S., he will be suspended for the Gold Cup opener.
- U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra missed the first two games game with a hamstring strain. His status for Sunday is questionable. The U.S. is already without several regulars at the FIFA Confederations Cup due to injury including Steve Cherundolo, Frankie Hejduk, Maurice Edu and Brian Ching.
- In addition to Bocanegra, Heath Pearce, Marvell Wynne, Danny Califf, Freddy Adu, José Francisco Torres and the reserve goalkeepers – Brad Guzan and Luis Robles – are yet to appear at the Confederations Cup. All except Califf, who played in the 2003 edition, would make their debut in FIFA the Confederations Cup.
- For the second time under Bob Bradley the U.S. faced teams ranked in the top five in the world consecutively while going winless against Italy and Brazil. The U.S. was 0-1-1 against Spain and Argentina in 2008. The U.S. has a 0-5-1 record against top five teams under Bradley, and a 7-18-1 record against the top five teams since the FIFA World Rankings began in August 1993. At neutral sites, the U.S. is 2-8-0 against top-five teams. The two wins came against Germany (1999 FIFA Confederations Cup) and Portugal (2002 FIFA World Cup).
- The shutout by Brazil ended the second longest streak of consecutive games with a goal for the U.S. at 15 games. The U.S. was shut out for the first time since a 0-0 draw against Argentina in 2008.The record for consecutive games scoring for the U.S. is 23, from May 13, 2004, until July 9, 2005.
- The Brazil match was just the sixth time in 40 games under Bradley that the U.S. has surrendered three or more goals, with top-five teams accounting for four occurrences (Argentina, Italy and Brazil twice).
- The U.S. and Egypt have only faced each other once, with that meeting coming more than 22 years ago on June 8, 1987, in Seoul, South Korea. The U.S. was defeated 3-1 in that match.
- Under Bradley, the U.S. is 1-0-0 against teams from Africa, with the lone match part of the 2007 Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup against South Africa in Johannesburg.
- In history, the U.S. has only faced African opponents 11 times, with a 4-5-2 overall record. The U.S. has posted the four wins against South Africa (twice), Nigeria and Cote d'Ivoire. Since 2001, the U.S. is 1-2-1 against teams from CAF – including a 0-0 tie with Cameroon at the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup.
- The FIFA Confederations Cup is the 47th FIFA men’s competition in which the U.S. has participated. Only Brazil (60) has participated in more.
- Donovan is the leading capwinner on the roster with 112 international appearances. The USA’s all-time leader in goals (40) and assists (36) notched two goals in World Cup qualifying in June while setting the mark for most career goals in qualifying history for the team (11).
- The U.S. team has been together in part since training camp opened on May 26 before two World Cup qualifiers, at Costa Rica and home against Honduras. The team departed from Chicago on June 8 for South Africa, arriving on June 9 into Pretoria.
- South Africa marks the U.S. team’s fourth appearance at the FIFA Confederations Cup. The U.S. also appeared in Saudi Arabia (1992), Mexico (1999) and France (2003).
- Five players on the 2009 U.S. Confederations Cup roster appeared in France 2003: Howard, Beasley, Bocanegra, Califf and Donovan. Coincidentally, there were only five players who carried over for the U.S. from Mexico 1999 to France 2003.
- Beasley scored the lone U.S. goal of France 2003 against Turkey on June 19, 2003, but the U.S. fell 2-1 in the team’s opening match.
- Of the 23 players on the roster, 16 are plying their trade in Europe – in nine different countries. Six play in Major League Soccer in the U.S., and José Francisco Torres plays for Pachuca in Mexico.
- In 2003, 15 of the 23 players on the U.S. roster were Major League Soccer-based, although several U.S. regulars were given the 2003 tournament off in the year following the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
- South Africa 2009 is the eighth edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup. The tournament began as the Intercontinental Championship (King Fahd Cup) in 1992 and 1995, before becoming an eight-team tournament in 1997.
- The U.S. has twice finished third at the FIFA Confederations Cup. In 1992, the U.S. was third out of four teams, and it 1999 they were third of eight teams.
- Bruce Murray and Brian McBride lead the U.S. with two goals each in Confederations Cup play. Overall, Mexico’s Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Brazil’s Ronaldinho hold the record with nine career goals in the tournament.
- Following the conclusion of the Confederations Cup, the U.S. returns to home soil to defend the CONCACAF Gold Cup title from July 3-26 in 13 venues across the United States.
Average Age: 24.8
Average Caps: 28
Most Caps: 112 (Landon Donovan)
Least Caps: 0 (Luis Robles)
Oldest: 30 (Tim Howard, Carlos Bocanegra)
Youngest: 19 (Jozy Altidore)
Play professionally in: USA (6), England (5), Germany (3), France (2), Denmark (2), Spain (1), Sweden (1), Belgium (1), Mexico (1), Scotland (1)
GROUP A UPDATE: As expected, the world’s No. 1-ranked team, Spain, was the first team to book a place in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup, earning two wins against New Zealand (5-0) and Iraq (1-0) through two Group A games. South Africa currently sits second in the group with a draw and a win giving them four points ahead of its matchup with the European champions on Saturday. Iraq needs a win against New Zealand and a South Africa loss to have a shot at advancement, with its only point so far coming against the hosts in the opener. New Zealand, who took two losses to open its campaign, has been mathematically eliminated, but could play the role of spoiler against Iraq.
ussoccer.com COVERAGE FROM SOUTH AFRICA: The Studio 90 crew is on hand in South Africa and capturing all the sights and sounds from the FIFA Confederations Cup. Coverage will continue throughout the tournament. For all of the latest news, podcasts, and blog updates, log onto ussoccer.com
IN FOCUS: EGYPT
Egyptian Football Association
Founded: 1921 (Joined FIFA in 1923)
Head Coach: Hassan Shehata
Best FIFA World Cup Finish: First Round (1934, 1990)
Best FIFA Confederations Cup Finish: First Round (1999)
Caps Leader: Hossam Hassan (169)
Top Scorer: Hossam Hassan (69)
U.S. HISTORY AGAINST EGYPT: The U.S. Men's National Team has met Egypt just once before in its history. The two sides played a match as part of the President’s Cup in Seoul, South Korea, in 1987, with Egypt earning a 3-1 victory. Ted Hantak, whose only three career appearances came at the tournament, scored the lone U.S. goal. Former U.S. midfielder and ESPN commentator John Harkes made his first appearance with the full national team in that game.
A LOOK A THE PHARAOHS: Egypt has never made an impact on the FIFA World Cup stage, having only qualified for the competition twice. However, the Pharaohs are one of the continental powers in Africa and have lifted the African Cup of Nations a record six times. Most recently, Hassan Shehata's side completed back-to-back championships in the continent’s biggest tournament, dispatching better-known sides like Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire and Cameroon en route to two titles. Shehata's side eased through Round Two of CAF World Cup qualifying in 2008, winning five out of six games to earn passage into the final round this year. Africa's World Cup qualifying process is notoriously difficult to navigate, and only the winners from five four-team groups advance to the World Cup. While Egypt is the undoubted favorite in Group C, nothing can be taken for granted and Algeria, Rwanda and Zambia will be itching to send the champions home packing. Egypt debuted in the FIFA Confederations Cup 10 years ago, playing in Group A of the tournament in Mexico. The Pharaohs tied their first two games, against Bolivia and Mexico, before falling to Saudi Arabia at the final hurdle in the group stage. The 2009 Confederations Cup will mark the first intercontinental tournament for Egypt since then.
EGYPT TOURNAMENT RECAP: Egypt opened its Confederations Cup with a strong showing against Brazil, coming from two goals behind only to fall short on a stoppage-time penalty kick conversion from Kaka. Mohamed Zidan leads the way on the attack for the Pharaohs, having scored twice against Brazil and causing problems for Italy’s defense, but suffered a hamstring injury that forced him to come off the field against Italy. Mohamed Homos, who scored the game-winner, and goalkeeper Essam El Hadary were the heroes against Italy on Thursday. El Hadary was called on to make highlight reel saves throughout the game to hold on to the shutout against the reigning World Cup champions.
EXPERIENCE FACING EGYPT: Though the Men’s National Teams of the United States and Egypt have met only once, a handful of players on the U.S. have experience against the Pharaohs at the U-20 level. At the 2001 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Oguchi Onyewu, DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan all lined up against Egypt in the second round, where they fell 2-0 and were knocked out of the tournament. In the 2005 edition of the tournament, Benny Feilhaber, Sacha Kljestan and Freddy Adu took on Egypt in group play where Adu provided the assist on the game’s only goal as the U.S. won its group.
GETTING HERE: The U.S. qualified for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup by virtue of a 2-1 come-from-behind win against regional rival Mexico on June 24, 2007, in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final. After falling behind in the 34th minute, Landon Donovan tied the game with a 62nd-minute penalty kick and 11 minutes later Benny Feilhaber hit a one-time, full-volley blast out of the air and into the upper left corner from the top of the penalty area to clinch the U.S. win. Nine of the 11 U.S. starters from that game are on Bob Bradley’s Confederations Cup roster: Tim Howard, Jonathan Spector, Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra, Jonathan Bornstein, Clint Dempsey, Feilhaber, DaMarcus Beasley and Donovan. Ricardo Clark appeared in the final as a halftime substitution and is also in South Africa.
AT THE CONFEDERATIONS CUP – U.S. HISTORY: South Africa 2009 is the fourth U.S. appearance at the FIFA Confederations Cup. The U.S. played the first-ever game in the tournament, a 3-0 loss to hosts Saudi Arabia in 1992 when the tournament was then known as the King Fahd Cup. The U.S. went on to finish third in that event with a 5-2 victory against Ivory Coast, but would not return until the 1999 edition came just south of the U.S. border in Mexico. There, the U.S. would repeat the success of 1992, albeit with a field doubling in size from four to eight. The U.S. posted victories against New Zealand and Germany in group play, but fell to hosts Mexico at Estadio Azteca in the semifinals. Against Saudi Arabia in the third-place match, the U.S. earned the bronze with a 2-0 victory. In 2003, the U.S. again qualified as CONCACAF Gold Cup winners, and were set to face-off against Turkey, Brazil and Cameroon in group play. A pair of one-goal losses to Turkey and Brazil in the first two games saw an inexperienced U.S. team packing its bags before managing a 0-0 draw in the group finale to eventual runner-up Cameroon.
RETURN TO AFRICA FOR U.S.: The U.S. returns to South Africa less than two years after an extremely unique visit on Nov. 17, 2007, to face the Bafana Bafana in the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup. The U.S., along with Brazil and Egypt, are the only countries that played on South African soil prior to arriving for the Confederations Cup. The U.S. traveled and played 17 players, and 15 of those 17 are on the Confederations Cup roster. Steve Cherundolo, who scored the winner for the U.S., and Maurice Edu, who earned his first career point with the assist, are absent this time around due to aforementioned injuries.
DEBUTANT IN 2007, SCORING LEADER IN 2009: Forward Jozy Altidore earned his first career cap on Nov. 17, 2007, as the U.S. faced South Africa in the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup. Since then, Altidore has gone on to lead the U.S. in scoring in the 2010 qualifying campaign with five goals – three of which came in a hat trick performance against Trinidad & Tobago on April 1, 2009. Amazingly, Altidore was the 61st player to earn a cap in 2007 under Bob Bradley across 18 games. The 61 players were the most-ever to appear in a calendar year for the U.S. as Bradley scoured the player pool for his core group of players that would take part in the 2010 qualifying campaign.
BIG MEN IN MLS: Conor Casey, the MLS Player of the Month for May, was tied for the league lead with eight goals when he left to join the U.S. team. Casey replaced Ching on the U.S. roster, and made his first start since 2005 on June 6, 2009, against Honduras. Casey has excelled with the Colorado Rapids, scoring 19 goals in 31 games across the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Also having a successful campaign in the U.S. domestic league, Landon Donovan has picked up where he left off after his 20-goal season in 2008. Donovan is tied for third in MLS with six goals this season.
THE 'ALL WHITES'? In a strange coincidence - and not to be confused with New Zealand in Group A of the tournament - the U.S. team will be wearing an all-white strip throughout the group matches. FIFA determines the uniform colors for each match based on which team is designated the 'home' team and how best to make the kit colors of each team the most easily distinguishable for the referee, fans and television.
HOPING FOR A THIRD TRIP TO SOUTH AFRICA: After five of 10 games, the U.S. sits in second place in CONCACAF region’s FIFA World Cup qualifying, two points behind Costa Rica. The difference between the top two teams in the standings is the result of a 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica suffered by the U.S. on June 3 on the artificial surface of San Jose’s Saprissa Stadium. Following the loss in Costa Rica, the U.S. defeated Honduras on June 6, in Chicago to continue an undefeated run in home qualifiers that dates to 2001. The road to South Africa started for the U.S. with a 9-0 aggregate win in a two-game series against Barbados, and continued in the fall as the U.S. posted a 5-1-0 record in the CONCACAF semifinal round in a group with Trinidad & Tobago, Guatemala and Cuba.
CONCACAF FINAL ROUND QUALIFYING UPDATE: The fourth and fifth match days of CONCACAF qualifying wrapped up, with the majority of games taking place on Saturday, June 6, and Wednesday, June 10. To get a head start on their departure to South Africa, FIFA granted the U.S. permission to move up their qualifier at Costa Rica to June 3. The top three teams in the hexagonal table automatically earn berths to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, while the fourth-place team will face a two-leg playoff against the fifth-place finisher in South America. The next set of games is slated for Aug. 12, when the U.S. travels in an attempt to earn their first victory against Mexico at the famed Estadio Azteca – the host venue for the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup final.
|Trinidad & Tobago||5||0||3||2||5||10||-5||2|
BOB ON THE JOB: Since January of 2007 it has been the charge of U.S. head coach Bob Bradley to achieve the most important goal of any soccer playing nation: qualification for the FIFA World Cup. With 40 games under his belt, seeing more than 70 different players at least once and the process of reaching South Africa in 2010 in full swing, a review of the body of work during the past two years points to the U.S. clearly heading in the right direction. Since the start of the four-year cycle, the U.S. has:
- won six straight FIFA World Cup qualifiers in a row in 2008, a new team record (June 15-Oct. 15)
- defended the CONCACAF Gold Cup title and qualified for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
- won by the largest margin of victory in U.S. World Cup qualifying history (8-0 vs. Barbados on 6/15/08)
- won back-to-back games in Europe for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007, @ Switzerland and March 26, 2008, @ Poland)
- won three straight matches on the road for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007, @ Switzerland, Nov. 17, 2007 @ South Africa and March 26, 2008, @ Poland)
- played five matches against four teams ranked in the top five in the world at the time they stepped on the field against them (Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Spain)
- played matches on four continents and the FIFA Confederations Cup will be his third major tournament
THE BRADLEY BREAKDOWN
Record Record vs. … Record when …
All-Time: 25-11-4 CONCACAF: 16-2-3, 44 GF, 14 GA Leading at half: 16-1-1
Qualifying: 10-2-1 CONMEBOL: 1-5-1, 7 GF, 16 GA Losing at half: 1-4-1
Goals For: 75 UEFA: 5-4-0, 13 GF, 10 GA Tied at half: 8-6-2
Goals Against: 42 AFC: 1-0-0, 4 GF, 1 GA
Shutouts: 16 CAF: 1-0-0, 1 GF, 0 GA
On the field for the USA
June 18, 2009 — Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Tshwane/Pretoria, South Africa – Confederations Cup Group B
Brazil 3 Felipe Melo 7; Robinho 20; Maicon 62
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 21-Jonathan Spector, 15-Jay DeMerit, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 2-Jonathan Bornstein; 12-Michael Bradley, 16-Sacha Kljestan, 10-Landon Donovan, 8-Clint Dempsey, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (4-Conor Casey, 46); 17-Jozy Altidore (22-Benny Feilhaber, 60)
Subs not used:3-Carlos Bocanegra, 6-Heath Pearce, 9-Charlie Davies, 11-Marvell Wynne, 14-Danny Califf, 18-Brad Guzan, 19-Freddy Adu, 20-Jose Francisco Torres, 23-Luis Robles
Not eligible: 13-Ricardo Clark (suspension)
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
BRA: 1-Julio Cesar; 2-Maicon, 3-Lucio (14-Luisao, 70), 15-Miranda, 16-Andre Santos; 18-Ramires, 8-Gilberto Silva, 10-Kaka (19-Julio Baptista, 69), 5-Felipe Melo; 11-Robinho, 9-Luis Fabiano (22-Nilmar, 69)
Subs not used: 12-Victor, 23-Gomes, 6-Kleber, 7-Elano, 13-Daniel Alves, 17-Josue, 20-Kleberson, 21-Alexandre Pato
Not eligible: 4-Juan (injury)
Head Coach: Dunga
On the field For Egypt
June 18, 2009 – Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa – Confederations Cup Group B
Egypt 1 Mohamed Homos 40
EGY: 1-Essam El Hadary; 7-Ahmed Fathi (17-Ahmed Hassan, 80), 4-Ahmed Said, 6-Hani Said, 20-Wael Gomaa, 14-Sayed Moawad (15-Ahmed Farag, 69); 22-Mohamed Aboutrika, 11-Mohamed Shawky, 8-Hosni Abd Rabbou, 12-Mohamed Homos; 9-Mohamed Zidan (10-Ahmed Eid, 57)
Subs Not Used: 16-Wahid, 23-Mohamed Sobhi, 2-Mahmoud Fathalla, 5-Ahmed Khairy, 13-Abdelaziz Tawfik,18-Ahmed Abdelghani, 19-Mohamed Abougrisha, 21-Ahmed Raouf
Not eligible: 3-Ahmed Al Muhamadi (suspension)
Head Coach: Hassan Shehata
ITA: 1-Gianluigi Buffon; 19-Gianluca Zambrotta, 5-Fabio Cannavaro, 4-Girogio Chiellini, 3-Fabio Grosso; 8-Gennaro Gattuso (20-Riccardo Montolivo, 58), 10-Daniele De Rossi, 21-Andrea Pirlo, 17-Giuseppe Rossi (9-Luca Toni, 58), 23-Fabio Quagliarella (7-Simone Pepe, 64); 15-Vincenzo Iaquinta
Subs not used: 12-Morgan De Sanctis, 14-Marco Amelia, 2-Davide Santon, 6-Nicola Legrottaglie, 11-Alberto Gilardino, 13-Alessandro Gamberini, 16-Mauro Camoranesi, 18-Angelo Palombo, 22-Andrea Dossena
Head Coach: Marcello Lippi