MNT Sep 21, 2007
CHICAGO (September 21, 2007) – The U.S. Men’s National Team’s friendly against Catalonia has been cancelled after the Royal Spanish Football Federation voted not to approve the application to play the match. The teams were to have met on Oct. 14 in Barcelona. No replacement match will be scheduled, and the U.S. will face 2008 European Championship co-host Switzerland on Oct. 17 in Basel. Kickoff at St. Jakob Park is set for 8:30 p.m. local time (2:30 p.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision.
U.S. Soccer spent two weeks negotiating with the Catalonian Federation and the RFEF trying to reach a positive resolution. The Spanish Federation, who has authority for sanctioning any match played in Spain, ultimately chose not to allow the match to take place.
"We are disappointed that the match will not be played, since we believe playing Catalonia would be an excellent experience for our players,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “Nonetheless, we respect the decision of the Spanish Federation.”
With the limited time frame, no replacement match will be scheduled and the U.S. will now focus on playing Switzerland on Oct. 17 in Basel. Switzerland finished in first place in Group G of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, ahead of eventual runners up France. Falling to Ukraine in the Round of 16 in penalties after a 0-0 draw in regulation time, the Swiss became the first team in World Cup history to be eliminated from the tournament without surrendering a single goal. As co-hosts, Switzerland is automatically entered into Euro 2008, which will take place from June 7-29 across eight venues in Austria and Switzerland.
In November, the U.S. Men’s National Team will make their first-ever trip to South Africa when they take on the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts on Nov. 17 in Johannesburg as part of the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup. Kick off at Ellis Park Stadium, which will host one World Cup semifinal match in 2010, is set for 4 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET). Fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.