CHICAGO (November 9, 2007) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named a 17-man initial roster that will travel to face 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts South Africa on Nov. 17 in Johannesburg. Kickoff for the 2007 Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup is set for 4 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision. Fans can also follow the match live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
The complete roster will be finalized following this weekend’s matches. Players will report to camp on Nov. 12 in Johannesburg. The match falls on the first of two international fixture dates scheduled for the week of Nov. 17, and Bradley has chosen to take advantage of the break by selecting 11 players based in Europe.
"This match is a great way to cap off a very productive year,” said Bradley, who is 11-5-1 in 2007 and making his first trip to Africa with the team. ”Once again we have the opportunity to draw on a group of players who will certainly play a large role in our attempt to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, and the game against South Africa will be a good first taste of what this environment will be like.”
The U.S. roster includes nine players from the squad that captured the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and qualified the United States for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan led the U.S. with four goals in the tournament, now having amassed nine goals in 12 matches this year. With 34 career international goals, the 25-year-old is one goal away from becoming the USA’s all-time leader in scoring.
Eleven of the 17 players on the roster ply their trade in seven different countries in Europe (Belgium, Denmark, England, Germany, Holland, Portugal and Scotland). Fulham FC send the duo of Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey, with Dempsey tallying three goals and two assists in 12 appearances for the U.S. this year. Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, who minded the nets in the Gold Cup final, has already posted ten shutouts in 25 games for the United States. Glasgow Rangers midfielder DaMarcus Beasley has three goals and three assists in 2007 and was the USA’s second leading scorer in the Gold Cup. SC Heerenveen midfielder Michael Bradley, 20, is the only player to have appeared in both the 2007 Gold Cup for the full team and then the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada. Bradley tallied the game-winner in the USA’s 1-0 victory against Switzerland on Oct. 17 in Basel.
While Donovan leads all capwinners on the roster with 96 total, there are five players heading to South Africa with five caps or less, including two 2007 MLS season award winners. Brad Guzan was voted Goalkeeper of the Year in only his second season with Chivas USA, while Maurice Edu – who earned his first cap in the win against Switzerland – has been honored as the Rookie of the Year. Fellow U-20 World Cup teammates Freddy Adu and Josmer Altidore will be reunited for the first time since Canada this summer, with the New York Red Bulls striker seeking his first-ever cap with the full team.
The Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup, an annual one-off event typically hosted in South Africa, began in 1994 and has seen South Africa face opponents like Brazil, Argentina, Holland, Nigeria and a host of others.
The United States will make a rare trip to Africa, playing on the continent for just the third time in their history. Their last visit came nine years to the day before the November match, a 2-1 loss to Morocco on Nov. 17, 1998 in Marrakech. The only other trip to Africa was also against Morocco in 1992, when the U.S. suffered a 3-1 loss in Casablanca. As the 2007 Gold Cup Champions, the U.S. will represent CONCACAF in the 2009 Confederations Cup to be held in South Africa one year prior the World Cup.
In the only prior meeting between the two sides, the U.S. beat South Africa, 4-0, on June 3, 2000 in Washington, D.C. Cobi Jones tallied twice that day, with Earnie Stewart and Claudio Reyna rounding out the scoring as Kasey Keller earned the shutout.
Led by Brazilian national Carlos Alberto Parreira, who coached Brazil to the 1994 World Cup championship in the United States, the Bafana Bafana will call upon a full strength side for the U.S. match. Blackburn Rovers striker Benni McCarthy is South Africa’s all-time leading scorer, having posted 24 goals in 50 international appearances. South Africa are the current holders of the COSAFA Cup, having defeated Zambia on penalties in the 2007 edition of the tournament.
South Africa Roster vs. USA
GOALKEEPERS (2): Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld), Moeneeb Josephs (Wits University)
DEFENDERS (7): Bradley Carnell (Karlsruhe), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa), Vuyo Mere (Mamelodi Sundowns), Benson Mhlongo (Mamelodi Sundowns), Aaron Mokoena (Blackburn Rovers), Bryce Moon (Ajax Cape Town), Nasief Morris (Panathinaikos)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Delron Buckley (Borussia Dortmund), Brent Carelse (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lance Davids (Djurgardens), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates), Siyabonga Nkosi (Arminia Bielefeld), Steven Pienaar (Everton), Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs)
FORWARDS (4): Lerato Chabangu (Mameodi Sundowns), Thembinkosi Fanteni (Ajax Cape Town), Benedict McCarthy (Blackburn Rovers), Sibusiso Zuma (Arminia Bielefeld)
Eight days after the Nov. 17 match, South Africa will host the Preliminary Draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The event, held in Durban, will determine the qualifying schedule for 156 countries spanning five confederations. The South American qualifying competition began Oct. 13 with all ten teams in action.
ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2) – Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Tim Howard (Everton FC)
DEFENDERS (7) –Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Dan Califf (Aalborg BK), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Jonathon Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS (6) – Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA),
FORWARDS (2) – Josmer Altidore (New York Red Bulls), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC)
U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM STAFF
Head Coach: Bob Bradley (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Peter Nowak (Naples, Fla.)
Assistant Coach: Mike Sorber (St. Louis)
Assitant Coach: John Hackworth (Bradenton, Fla.)
Goalkeeper Coach: Zak Abdelbaaset (Los Angeles)
Fitness Coach: Anthony Slater (Los Angeles)
General Manager: Pam Perkins (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
Trainers: Jim Hashimoto (Wilmington, Del.)
Bruce Snell (Gig Harbor, Wash.)
Doctor: George Chiampas (Chicago)
Chiropractor: George Billauer (Los Angeles)
U.S. MNT 2007 Schedule
Date Match Venue Result / Kickoff / TV
Jan. 20 USA vs. Denmark Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) 3-1 W
Feb. 7 USA vs. Mexico Univ.of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, Ariz.) 2-0 W
March 25 USA vs. Ecuador Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Fla.) 3-1 W
March 28 USA vs. Guatemala Pizza Hut Park (Frisco, Texas) 0-0 T
June 2 USA vs. China Spartan Stadium (San Jose, Calif.) 4-1 W
June 7 USA vs. Guatemala ^ Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) 1-0 W
June 9 USA vs. T&T ^ Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) 2-0 W
June 12 USA vs. El Salvador^ Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.) 4-0 W
June 16 USA vs. Panama ^ Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.) 2-1 W
June 21 USA vs. Canada ^ Soldier Field (Chicago) 2-1 W
June 24 USA vs. Mexico ^ Soldier Field (Chicago) 2-1 W
June 28 USA vs. Argentina # Estadio Jose Romero (Maracaibo) 1-4 L
July 2 USA vs. Paraguay # Estadio Agustin Tovar (Barinas) 1-3 L
July 5 USA vs. Colombia # Estadio Metropolitano FdL (Barquisimeto) 0-1 L
Aug. 22 USA vs. Sweden Ullevi Stadium (Goteborg, Sweden) 0-1 L
Sept. 9 USA vs. Brazil Soldier Field (Chicago) 2-4 L
Oct. 17 USA vs. Switzerland St. Jakob-Park (Basel, Switzterland) 1-0 W
Nov. 17 USA vs. South Africa Ellis Park (Johannesburg, South Africa) 9 a.m. ET / FSC / Galavision
^ CONCACAF Gold Cup
# Copa America