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.
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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.
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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