U.S. to Play 12th Match in South Africa in Last Three Years on Nov. 17 in Cape Town
CLOSING THE LOOP ON SOUTH AFRICAN JOURNEY: Three years to the day after the USAâ€™s first match on South African soil that began a three-year journey and now includes some of the most memorable moments in U.S. Soccer history, the U.S. will once again face South Africa in the Nelson Mandela Challenge on Wednesday, Nov. 17, at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town. The USAâ€™s final match of 2010 kicks off at 2:30 p.m. ET live on ESPN2 and Galavision. ESPN2â€™s coverage will begin with a 2 p.m. pregame show, and fans can follow the match live via ussoccer.comâ€™s MatchTracker and at twitter.com/ussoccer.
- The U.S. is playing in the Nelson Mandela Challenge for the second time. Exactly three years ago to the day, a Steve Cherundolo goal lifted the U.S. to a 1-0 victory against South Africa at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. The lineup that day: Tim Howard (Brad Guzan, 46); Steve Cherundolo (Jonathan Spector, 46), Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (Danny Califf, 46), Heath Pearce; Benny Feilhaber (Jonathan Bornstein, 46), Maurice Edu, Michael Bradley, DaMarcus Beasley; Freddy Adu (Sacha Kljestan, 73), Clint Dempsey (Jozy Altidore, 65).
- Like the current edition of the U.S. team, that squad was young and featured 10 players with 15 or fewer caps. Altidore debuted for the U.S. in that match, 11 days after his 18th birthday.
- U.S. head coach Bob Bradley will be able to make up to six substitutions in the match.
- The teams have met twice in their history, both resulting in U.S. victories. Prior to the Nelson Mandela Challenge in 2007, the sides met on June 3, 2000, in Washington, D.C., a 4-0 win with a pair of goals from Cobi Jones and tallies by Claudio Reyna and Earnie Stewart.
- Previous visits to the African continent were rare. Prior to the 2007 visit, the U.S. had only played twice on African soil. Their last visit came nine years to the day before the first Nelson Mandela Challenge, a 2-1 loss to Morocco on Nov. 17, 1998 in Marrakech. The only other trip was also against Morocco in 1992, when the U.S. suffered a 3-1 loss in Casablanca.
- Five players from the 2010 FIFA World Cup roster return to South Africa. Robbie Findley started three of four matches, missing the Algeria game due to yellow card suspension. Jonathan Bornstein started at left back in the 1-0 victory against Algeria and the Round of 16 defeat to Ghana. Clarence Goodson, Guzan and Spector were on the 23-man roster.
- Bornstein is the leading cap winner on the roster with 35 international appearances. After five years with Chivas USA, the defender begins play with Tigres UANL of the Mexican Primera Division in January.
- Goodson has played his last match with IK Start in Norway and moves to Brondby in Denmark.
- Guzan has recorded five shutouts in 15 appearances for the U.S., including three clean sheets in five World Cup qualifiers. Overall he has posted a 7-4-1 record.
- Alejandro Bedoya and Robbie Rogers were part of the 30-man preliminary World Cup roster that trained in Princeton prior to the teamâ€™s departure for South Africa. Bedoya just completed his season with Ã–rebro in Sweden, whose third-place finish in the league guarantees a spot in Europa League qualifying next year.
- Goodson and Rogers were part of the U.S. squad that reached the finals of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Goodson tallied in the 2-0 semifinal victory against Honduras, while Rogers recorded his first goal with the full team in the 4-0 win against Grenada in the opening game of group play.
- Gale Agbossoumonde (IMG Academy) and Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls) are the first U.S. Soccer Development Academy alumni to be named to a full national team roster. They are also still eligible for the U.S. Under-20 MNT.
- Five players on the roster are joining a full team camp for the first time: Agbossoumonde, Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, Mikkel Diskerud and Tim Ream.
- Agbossoumonde and Diskerud are the second and third players to be called up by Bob Bradley from the U.S. 2009 Under-20 FIFA World Cup team that competed in Egypt. Brek Shea was the first, earning his first cap against Colombia on Oct. 12.
- The roster includes two players nominated for end of the season awards in Major League Soccer. Real Salt lake defender Nat Borchers was a finalist for Defender of the Year, while Red Bulls center back Ream was in the final three for Rookie of the Year. Ream is one of only two players in MLS to play every minute of every game during the regular season.
- The Columbus Crew sends the most players to Cape Town. Along with Rogers, Brian Carroll and Eddie Gaven form part of the Crew midfield triumvirate. Carroll last appeared for the U.S. in the 3-2 win against Sweden on Jan. 24, 2009, at The Home Depot Center, while Gaven played 45 in the 2-1 against El Salvador on Feb. 24 in Tampa earlier this year.
- Eric Lichaj made his competitive debut for the United States in the 0-0 draw against Colombia on Oct. 12 in Chester, Pa., playing the final 45 minutes. The Aston Villa back earned his first EPL minutes when he entered as a sub Nov. 11 against Blackpool and also appeared on Nov. 13 against Manchester United.
- The U.S. will be playing its fourth match since the end of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the most post-World Cup games in the same year since 1994 when the USA played five matches after hosting the tournament.
Average Age: 23.9
Average Caps: 8.1
Most Caps: 35 (Jonathan Bornstein)
Fewest Caps: 0 (Gale Agbossoumonde, Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, Dominic Cervi, Mikkel Diskerud, Tim Ream)
Oldest: 29 (Brian Carroll, Logan Pause)
Youngest: 17 (Juan Agudelo)
Play professionally in: United States (9), England (3), Denmark (1), Mexico (1), Norway (1), Portugal (1), Scotland (1), Sweden (1)
Hometown in: Illinois (3), California (2), New York (2), Virginia (2), Arizona (1), Florida (1), Georgia (1), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), North Carolina (1), Oklahoma (1)
DUAL NATIONALS: Two players on the roster are in the unusual circumstance of not only having passports from two countries but also the possibility of having represented both should they play Wednesday. Born to an American mother and Norwegian father, Mikkel Diskerud made two appearances for the U.S. at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. Having debuted with the U.S. U-20 MNT at the Campos Verde International tournament in April 2008 where he recorded three assists against Northern Ireland, he then played against the U.S. for Norway at a U-18 event the following month). Meantime, Teal Bunbury also has a mother from the United States, and his father is a former Canadian international. Alex Bunbury played for Canada from 1986-1997.
Lest we forget, Eric Lichaj holds two passports, and one of them is Polish. Both of Eric's parents were born in Poland and moved to the United States when they were kids. He has dual citizenship, and his Polish passport allows him to play in England without a work permit. The Polish FA had made inquiries to Aston Villa about Lichaj, but he had long since decided that he wanted to represent the United States. Agudelo (Colombia) and Agbossoumonde (Togo) would also be eligible to play for another national team.
TWELVE IN THREE: Combined with the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup - in which the United States reached its first final of a major FIFA competition after defeating No. 1-ranked and current FIFA World Cup Champion Spain in the semifinal - the U.S. will play its 12th game on South African soil in three years. Remarkably, the U.S. hadnâ€™t played a single match there prior to the 2007 Nelson Mandela Challenge. During the three-year span, the U.S. holds a 5-4-2 record. Of course, the highlight was the 2010 FIFA World Cup, in which the U.S.:
- Won their group for the first time in 80 years
- Collected five points in group play for the first time ever
- Won their final group game for the first time ever
- Kept a clean sheet for the first time in 18 group matches
AGBOSSOUMONDEâ€™S JOURNEY: Gale Agbossoumonde had a long road to becoming the U.S. U-20â€™s current leader in appearances in this cycle. Born in Togo, his family fled to Benin right after he was born and then to Syracuse, N.Y. at age eight. He joined the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program for three semesters (Spring and Fall 2007, Spring 2008) and later joined the U-20s at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. His trip there marked the first time he had returned to Africa since his family fled the continent. On the books with G.D. Estoril Praia in Portugal, he is eligible for the 2011 U-20 World Cup as well. Earlier this year, he captained the team during the Milk Cup championship run and scored the game winner in the final. U-20 head coach Thomas Rongen has called him into training camp starting immediately after the South Africa trip prior to friendlies against Colombia and Mexico in Kennesaw, Ga.
AGUDELOâ€™S OPPORTUNITY: Another three-semester alumnus of the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program (Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009), Juan Agudelo played 15 matches for the U-17 MNT including two appearances at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria. He has now made six appearances for the U-20s during this cycle, scoring in the Milk Cup win against Denmark and has been called in for U-20 friendlies against Colombia and Mexico later this month. Born in Colombia, he played for Red Bulls Academy and became a Homegrown Player signing for the first team earlier this year. After just two appearances in the regular season, he was deputized into duty for both of the Red Bulls playoff matches against San Jose in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
GIVING BACK TO SOUTH AFRICA: In accepting the invitation to play the Nelson Mandela Challenge, the U.S. Soccer Federation wanted an opportunity to say thank you to the people of South Africa for the fantastic experience of the last three years and to contribute to the lasting legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup at a local and national level.
Irene Middle School: U.S. Soccer donated $20,000 to renovate the soccer field at Irene Middle School, which is located about two miles from the team base camp during the World Cup and educates many of the children of the workers at Irene Country Lodge and the Irene Dairy Farm where the team stayed. U.S. coach Bob Bradley visited the school for the field dedication.
Football For Hope: On Sunday, the team made a special trip to the Football for Hope Center in Khayelitsha to visit the Grassroots Soccer program. Dedicated to educating and raising awareness about HIV/AIDS throughout Africa, Grassroots Soccer will graduate more than 50,000 participants in South Africa this year alone. The U.S. players and staff visited the facility and learned about the groupâ€™s efforts and spent time going through exercises with the children that use soccer as a means of learning about the disease.
Nelson Mandela Childrenâ€™s Fund: In conjunction with the South African Football Association, U.S. Soccer is donating $125,000 to the Nelson Mandela Childrenâ€™s Fund. A longtime partner with SAFA, the organization has been in existence since 1995 and is dedicated to improving the lives of children in South Africa and helping to create a better future.
DECISION DAY ON DEC. 2 LOOMING: FIFA is now less than one month away from announcing which countries have won the right to host the FIFA World Cups in 2018 and 2022. Support for United States' bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 has picked up some serious steam since the launch of http://gousabid.com. Twelve other nations are bidding to host at least one of the tournaments and if we're going to win the honor of hosting the FIFA World Cupâ„¢, it'll be because of the overwhelming grassroots support of soccer fans who believe in our bid's official theme, The Game Is In US. Please take a moment to sign the petition to officially show your support for the US bid to bring the World Cupâ„¢ back to America.
THE BOB BRADLEY FACTFILE: In the four year cycle culminating the in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the United States:
- Won its group at the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1930, and for the first time ever in a four-team group.Â
- Earned the first point and win for the U.S. in the third group game at the World Cup in eight tries by defeating Algeria.
- Went unbeaten in group play during a World Cup for the first time ever, earning a 1-0-2 record.
- Produced the best finish ever at a FIFA tournament, finishing second at the FIFA Confederations Cup.
- Posted 1-1-1 record against No. 1-ranked teams, including a semifinal upset of Spain at the FIFA Confederations Cup, ending a 35 match unbeaten run for the Spaniards.
- Only one of two teams to beat Spain since November of 2006.
- Won the CONCACAF Gold Cup title in 2007 to qualify for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
- Finished in first place in CONCACAF qualifying, collecting the most road wins of any team in the region during the campaign while going unbeaten at home in nine matches.
- Scored the most goals (42) of any team in the world in 2010 World Cup qualifying.
- Posted the teamâ€™s best scoring and defending marks in a year with more than 10 games, scoring a record 2.14 goals per 90 minutes while allowing just .57 goals per 90 minutes in 2008.
- 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 seven matches against four teams ranked in the top five in the world at the time they stepped on the field against them (Argentina, Brazil-3, Italy, Spain-2).
THE BRADLEY BREAKDOWN
Gold Cup: 10-1-1
Goals For: 122
Goals Against: 84
Record vs. â€¦
CONCACAF: 25-5-5, 74 GF, 33 GA
CONMEBOL: 1-7-2, 9 GF, 21 GA
UEFA: 7-8-3, 26 GF, 26 GA
AFC: 2-0-0, 7 GF, 2 GA
CAF: 3-1-0, 6 GF, 2 GA
Record when â€¦
Leading at half: 21-3-2
Losing at half: 3-9-3
Tied at half: 13-9-5
By year â€¦
JANUARY AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER: The U.S. Menâ€™s National Team will play its first match of 2011 when it faces Chile on Saturday, Jan. 22, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff for the match is set for 6 p.m. PT, and broadcast information will be announced in the near future. Fans can also follow the match live via ussoccer.comâ€™s MatchTracker and at twitter.com/ussoccer. The U.S. Men's National Team has a nearly unblemished record at The Home Depot Center, compiling an 8-1-1 record since playing its first game in Carson in 2004 and will open the year in its regular match that acts as the conclusion to the January training camp. Full ticket information is available at ussoccer.com.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: Keep up with all U.S. Menâ€™s National Team news (in short form, of course) by following at twitter.com/ussoccer.
BE OFFICIAL WHEN YOUâ€™RE WATCHING: Wrap up the 2010 MNT calendar with another trip to an Official U.S. Soccer Bar. Bars across the U.S. became destination spots to gather and watch U.S. teams this year in an awesome atmosphere surrounded by screaming fans. Take a long lunch on Wednesday to watch the USA in the Nelson Mandela Challenge from Cape Town. A full list of Official U.S. Soccer Bars is available at ussoccer.com.
U.S. SOCCER ON FACEBOOK: Stay connected with everything involving the national teams on the â€œOfficial U.S. Soccer Pageâ€ on Facebook. Close to 400,000 are following the page where you can post videos, interact with other fans and discuss the latest news from all U.S. Soccer teams. The Official U.S. Soccer Page on Facebook is the best place to keep with your favorite teams and make your voice heard in the U.S. Soccer community.
IN FOCUS: SOUTH AFRICA
South African Football Association
Founded: 1991 (Joined FIFA in 1992)
Head Coach: Pitso Mosimane
Best FIFA World Cup Finish: First Round (1998, 2002, 2010)
Best Africa Cup of Nations Finish: Champions (1996)
Caps Leader: Aaron Mokoena (104)
Top Scorer: Benni McCarthy (31)
Key Players: Steven Pienaar, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Bernard Parker
WRAPPED UP THE CUP: After hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup with indisputable success, South Africa move forward with qualifying for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations well underway. Pitso Mosimane, assistant to Carlos Alberto Parreira at the World Cup, has taken over at the helm of Bafana Bafana with the immediate goal of leading the team to the next edition of the continental championship, which will be held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Mosimane has yet to lose, beating Ghana in a friendly before earning a win against Niger and a draw on the road against Sierra Leone in South Africaâ€™s first two ACN qualifiers.
BIG MATCHUP: Two ACN qualifiers loom large on the horizon for Bafana Bafana: they face reigning continental champions Egypt in March and June of 2011. Those matches will have a large say in whether South Africa will qualify for their first ACN tournament since 2008. In their four team group that also includes Niger and Sierra Leone, the first place finisher will automatically qualify for the tournament.
Mosimane has named a squad that includes some experienced heads as well as new faces. Eleven members of the 2010 FIFA World Cup team feature in the squad that will play at Green Point Stadium. On the experience end of the spectrum, they are led by midfielders Steven Pienaar and Siphiwe Tshabalala (scorer of that wonderful opening goal against Mexico to begin the World Cup). Bafana Bafana have left out a few veterans, including captain Aaron Moekena, and have included 11 players with 10 caps or less. Five players could be making their debut, including former San Jose Earthquakes striker Davide Somma.
South Africa Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates).
DEFENDERS (8): Morgan Gould (SuperSport), Siboniso Gaxa (Lierse), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa), Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows), Anele Ngcongca (Genk), Bevan Fransman (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Siyanda Xulu (Mamelodi Sundowns), Keegan Ritchie (Moroka Swallows).
MIDFIELDERS (9): Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates), Andile Jali (Orlando Pirates), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Steven Pienaar (Everton), Thanduyise Khuboni (Golden Arrows), Daylon Claasen (Lierse), Matthew Pattison (Sundowns), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham).
FORWARDS (4): Sthembiso Ngcobo (Kaizer Chiefs), Kermit Erasmus (SuperSport), Davide Somma (Leeds United), Bernard Parker (Twente).
On the field for USA
Oct. 12, 2010 â€“ PPL Park â€“ Chester, Pa. â€“ International Friendly
USAÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 0
ColombiaÂ Â 0
USA: 18-Brad Guzan; 2-Jonathan Spector (13-Eric Lichaj, 46), 5-Oguchi Onyewu (capt.) (16-Michael Parkhurst, 46), 21-Clarence Goodson, 14-Heath Pearce; 19-Maurice Edu (9-Eddie Johnson, 46), 15-Jermaine Jones, 4-Michael Bradley; 11-Stuart Holden (22-Benny Feilhaber, 59), 17-Jozy Altidore, 23-Brek Shea (8-Clint Dempsey, 46)
Subs not used: 1-Tim Howard, 7-Alejandro Bedoya
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
COL: 22-Faryd Mondragon; 18-Juan Camilo Zuniga, 2-Aquivaldo Mosquera, 3-Mario Yepes (capt.), 6-Juan David Valencia; 8-Victor Ibarbo (4-Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, 63), 15-Jhon Viarfara (19-Jhon Valencia, 63), 21-John Restrepo, 20-Adrian Ramos (11-Teofilo Gutierrez, 73); 10-Giovanni Moreno (7-Pablo Armero, 81), 9-Falcao Garcia (17-Darwin Quintero, 56)
Subs not used: 1-David Opsina, 12-Breiner Castillo, 14-Luis Amaranto Perea
Head Coach: HernÃ¡n DarÃo GÃ³mez
On the field for South Africa
Oct 10, 2010 â€“ Free State Stadium â€“ Free State Stadium -Mangaung/Bloemfontein â€“ African Cup of Nations Qualifier
South AfricaÂ Â Â Â 0
Sierra LeoneÂ Â Â 0
RSA: Itumeleng Khune, Anele Ngcongca, Tsepo Masilela, Aaron Mokoena (C), Bongani Khumalo,
Macbeth Sibaya, Thanduyise Khuboni, Siphiwe Tshabalala (Sthembiso Ngcobo), Teko Modise, Bernard
Parker (Morgan Gould) and Katlego Mphela (Reneilwe Letsholonyane)
SLE: Christian Caulker, Ibrahim Kargbo (capt), David Simbo, Sheriff Suma, Umaru Bangura, Rodney
Strasser, Julius Wobay, Samuel Barlay, Mohamed Bangura, Mustapha Bangura, Alfred Sanko
vs. South Africa
Nov. 17, 2007 â€“ Ellis Park â€“ Johannesburg, South Africa â€“ Nelson Mandela Challenge
USAÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 1Â Â Â Â Â Â Steve Cherundolo 27
South AricaÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â 0
USA: 1-Tim Howard (18-Brad Guzan, 46); 6-Steve Cherundolo (21-Jonathan Spector, 46), 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (Capt.) (2-Dan Califf, 46), 14-Heath Pearce; 5-Benny Feilhaber (13-Jonathan Bornstein, 86), 13-Maurice Edu, 4-Michael Bradley,7-DaMarcus Beasley; 25-Freddy Adu (26-Sacha Kljestan, 73) , 8-Clint Dempsey (17-Jozy Altidore, 65)
Subs not used: none.
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
RSA: 1-Rowen Fernandez; 2-Vuyo Mere, 4-Aaron Mokeona (capt.), 5-Nasief Morris, 3-Ricardo Katza (8-Siphiwe Tshabalala, 71); 10-Steven Pienaar, 12-Teko Modise, 6-MacBeth Sibaya, 18-Delron Buckley; 15-Subusiso Zuma, 17-Benni McCarthy
Subs not used: 16-Itumeleng Khune, 13-Benson Mhlongo, 20-Bryce Moon, 11-Lance Davids, 14-Lerato Chebangu, 9-Thembinkosi Fanteni
Head Coach: Carlos Alberto Parreira