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USSF approached about national team friendly vs. Bafana Bafana in Cape Town in November

The U.S. Soccer Federation has been approached about the national team playing South Africa in November in Cape Town in a charity match benefiting the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Insider has learned.

Several issues, however, stand in the way of the proposed Nov. 17 friendly between the Americans and Bafana Bafana. One contact said the chances of it happening are "50-50, at best." USSF officials declined comment.

For more details.....

Although the match would fall on a FIFA international fixture date, European-based players would have to travel long distances in the middle of the league schedule for a single mid-week event, then report back to their clubs right away. The friendly also falls between the MLS conference finals and championship game, limiting player availability. And candidates from MLS clubs already eliminated from postseason won't be in top form after up to three weeks of inactivity and fatigue at the end of a long campaign.

The South African federation has been trying for some time to arrange a friendly for Bafana Bafana at the oceanside stadium, which hosted eight World Cup matches this summer, including the Germany-Argentina quarterfinal and Netherlands-Uruguay semifinal. The facility is now home to Ajax Cape Town, from South Africa's Premier Soccer League.

The United States has played 11 times in South Africa the past three years: the Nelson Mandela Challenge vs. Bafana Bafana in Johannesburg (2007), five Confederations Cup matches (2009), a World Cup tune-up against Australia and four Cup appearances (2010).

The Americans began their post-Cup schedule with a 2-0 loss to Brazil last month at the New Meadowlands Stadium. They have lined up friendlies against Poland in Chicago and Colombia in Chester, Pa., on Oct. 9 and 12, respectively. Besides the South Africa proposal, the USSF is actively exploring the possibility of a friendly overseas, presumably in Europe, on Nov. 17. Matches already set on that date include Brazil-Argentina, England-France, Netherlands-Turkey, Portugal-Spain, Denmark-Czech Republic, Sweden-Germany, Switzerland-Ukraine and Peru-Chile.

By Steve Goff  |  September 8, 2010; 9:13 AM ET
Categories:  South Africa , U.S. men's national team , USSF  | Tags: South Africa, U.S. national team  
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Next: D.C. United news & notes


Jamie Carragher scores an own goal PK.

Posted by: Reignking | September 8, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Let SA play one of their African darlings, such as Ghana. A USMNT friendly in SA has ZERO upside for the US, and plenty of downside for both MLS and Europe-based players who would get called up. US Soccer Fed should tell SA to blow it out their vuvuzelas.

Posted by: Ron16 | September 8, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

actually pretty much agree with Ron on this one for once, then again could this be Bob Bradley's chance to call up Najar? ;)

Posted by: DadRyan | September 8, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

This is a smart move by South Africa to try to get the U.S. feeling the pressure of playing nice to make the FIFA ExCo like them and award them a future World Cup (in December). While South Africa does not have a seat on the ExCo, they do have Danny Jordaan on the inspection team in the U.S. this week, so he's rather influential. So I give this a chance of happening. But given the travel and timing, I'd prefer we play a European or north African team, such as Italy, Serbia or Egypt. If we're going to play in South Africa, perhaps that late-January friendly window (when we usually play a home game with nearly all MLS players, in front of a so-so crowd against a CONCACAF opponent or a Scandinavian domestic-league b-squad) would make sense. I'd be all for that.

With regards to Najar, calling him up for a friendly doesn't prevent him from later fleeing for another senior national team. Playing him in next summer's Gold Cup would tie him to the U.S. the rest of his career.

Posted by: csh2000 | September 8, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

With regards to my joke about calling up Najar, I get how cap tying works... Thanks though.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 8, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Is that Carragher video for real? If so, any background on why he did that? Was it a testimonial game or something? Can't find an explanation anywhere.

Posted by: hacksaw | September 8, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the Carragher PK:


In the modern game it is a rarity that a player will remain loyal to a club for 16 years. In the case of Jamie Carragher however that is just what he has done at Liverpool, which is made all the more impressive since he had grown up as an Everton fan. Such a feat meant that on 4th September a testimonial match was held in his honour. The match was played between a Liverpool XI and an Everton XI with all proceeds going to local charities.

Jamie Carragher however was the star of the show as he scored for both sides in the game. The defender scored a penalty for Liverpool in the first half to increase his sides lead but then also converted a penalty ‘own goal’ to put Everton on the scoresheet. The long serving Liverpool player appeared to relish every minute of the match.

Posted by: dathompson1 | September 8, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

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