September 17, 2010
BACK TO AFRICA
USA will play in Mandela Cup
CHICAGO — The U.S. Men’s National Team will travel to South Africa to take on 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts South Africa on Nov. 17 at the magnificent Green Point Stadium in Cape Town as part of the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup.
The U.S. will be returning to South Africa for the first time since the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where they finished in first place in Group C ahead of England, Slovenia and Algeria before going out in the Round of 16.
“We are honored to once again be invited to participate in the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. “The experiences in South Africa the past three years were a critical component of our team preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and we will use this opportunity as part of the process of building for the next four year cycle. We are excited to have the chance to see so many of the great friends we made during our visits there.”
The teams have met twice in their history, the United States collecting victories in both encounters. The USA will be competing in its second Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup, the first appearance coming three years ago to the day. In the team’s inaugural visit to South Africa, Steve Cherundolo scored the game’s only goal and Jozy Altidore made his full team debut in the 1-0 victory. In their only other meeting, 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.
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 11th game on South African soil in three years.
Located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Green Point Stadium hosted eight matches during the World Cup, including Germany’s 4-0 rout of Argentina in the quarterfinals and Netherland’s 3-2 thriller against Uruguay in the semifinals. The venue also served as the site of England’s 0-0 draw with Algeria in the second group match, setting the stage for the dramatic results on June 23 that saw the U.S. through to the knockout phase.
The U.S. Men’s National Team has a pair of friendlies slated for October, beginning with a match against Poland on Oct. 9 in Chicago. Kickoff at Soldier Field is set for 7 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision. Three days later, the team will host South American rivals Colombia on Oct. 12 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Kickoff for the USA’s first match on the Chester waterfront is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision.