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Looking ahead to USA friendly at South Africa

Three weeks from tomorrow, the U.S. national team will play the final match on its 2010 calendar with a friendly against South Africa in Cape Town (2 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Galavision). Although the match falls on an international FIFA date, thus requiring clubs to release players, U.S. Coach Bob Bradley faces unusual challenges in assembling his roster.

The biggest issue is distance and time constraints for European-based players who will have played a league match the previous weekend and are scheduled to play again the approaching weekend.

So from the American foreign legion, few if any of the players who commonly start for European clubs will join the U.S. team. That probably means no Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Stuart Holden, Tim Howard, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Maurice Edu and Jermaine Jones. Meantime, Sacha Kljestan has been in and out of the Anderlecht lineup.

For more.....

Benny Feilhaber is a regular for Aarhus, but because he plays in the low-level Danish second division, he could end up in the U.S. squad. With the Swedish and Norwegian leagues on winter break, both Alejandro Bedoya and Clarence Goodson are viable candidates.

Euro-based reserves in the mix are Brad Guzan, Oguchi Onyewu, Eric Lichaj, Ricardo Clark, Eddie Johnson, Jonathan Spector and Jozy Altidore.

As for the domestic pool, players employed by MLS Cup participants will not be available, as the title game is Nov. 21, four days after the South Africa match. Players from the club that loses in a conference final the weekend prior to the friendly won't be considered either because of the quick turnaround.

Players from the losing team that played in a conference final on Thu., Nov. 11 would be available but might have fitness/fatigue issues. And obviously any player from an MLS club that didn't qualify for the playoffs, such as Jonathan Bornstein, or was eliminated in the first round -- a total of 12 inactive teams -- would be considered for selection. If San Jose is ousted by New York, would we see Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski and teammate Bobby Convey? How about New England's Kevin Alston (if healthy) and Houston's Geoff Cameron?

It's unclear whether Mexican-based Jose Torres and Herculez Gomez would be willing and able to travel.

By Steve Goff  | October 26, 2010; 9:27 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad, MLS, South Africa, U.S. men's national team  | Tags:  U.S. national team  
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Comments

Yuck, I'm predicting one ugly looking lineup.

Posted by: PEddy | October 26, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

We have other players with experience playing in Africa, like Andrew Shue and Ethan Zohn. And troy6 is close enough.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 26, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Freddy Adu!

Posted by: Reignking | October 26, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I've heard random good things about troy6, and he bounces around foreign nations a lot, meaning the the only conclusion one came come to is...

CAP HIM NOW!!!

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | October 26, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

In all seriousness, Brek Shea.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | October 26, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

With Norway on winter break, I would think Mix is in the mix.

Posted by: PeteO1 | October 26, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

In all seriousness, Brek Shea.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | October 26, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Do we finally get to see Adu and Wondolowski paired together up top? Dream come true.

Posted by: PeteO1 | October 26, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Jay DeMerit has got some free time.

Posted by: csd1 | October 26, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Will it be a FIFA sanctioned match if Michael Bradley doesn't play the full 90? I am thinking Dad will figure out a way to pick him up in route.

Posted by: csd1 | October 26, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Convey?! Wow, who knew.

Did someone say "Africa"?!

"I hear the drums echoing tonight
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
She's coming in, 12:30 flight
The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation
I stopped an old man along the way,
Hoping to find some old forgotten words or ancient melodies
He turned to me as if to say, Hurry boy, It's waiting there for you..."

Toto, "Africa"

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | October 26, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Let's just send the ACC Best XI

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | October 26, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Saw a quote from Convey not two weeks ago saying he'd gladly try out left back in order to get back in the NT picture. Frankly, he can't be much worse than what we've got there (although I'm not a Bornstein hater), and it's not like he'll be playing on the wing any time soon, now that Dempsey and Donovan are there pretty much permanently.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | October 26, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Saw a quote from Convey not two weeks ago saying he'd gladly try out left back in order to get back in the NT picture. Frankly, he can't be much worse than what we've got there (although I'm not a Bornstein hater), and it's not like he'll be playing on the wing any time soon, now that Dempsey and Donovan are there pretty much permanently.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | October 26, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Saw a quote from Convey not two weeks ago saying he'd gladly try out left back in order to get back in the NT picture. Frankly, he can't be much worse than what we've got there (although I'm not a Bornstein hater), and it's not like he'll be playing on the wing any time soon, now that Dempsey and Donovan are there pretty much permanently.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | October 26, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Sure, I actually get to my computer, and one "submit" click plus having to reconnect to the wireless twice makes for a triple post.


Sorry guys, apparently Me:Posting::DC United: Scoring This Season.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | October 26, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Interesting about Convey.

I actually had a similar thought about Holden. Why not give him a shot at left back? In his case, not to get in the picture but to get in the 11? Very solid left-sided player, obviously can attack.

Is that a demented thought?

Posted by: OWNTF | October 26, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Might want to check out the Koblenz-Hertha BSC DFB Pokal highlights when the game is finished. My team, Hertha, just gave up a ridiculous beyond the halfway line goal to go down 1-0 in the 60th minute.

Posted by: rademaar | October 26, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I love a good Pokal. Better than a waltz.

Posted by: Reignking | October 26, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Blackburn is chicken!

Blackburn is set to become the first English Premier League side to come under Indian ownership, the club confirmed Tuesday.

Blackburn chairman John Williams told the club's website that a deal with poultry giants Venkys would likely be completed in November.

Posted by: Reignking | October 26, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Jeff Maurer goes Dutch.

@RK: Black, burned chicken? Sounds like my wife's cooking.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 26, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Good job Real Madrid! You didn't lose this year!

Posted by: Reignking | October 26, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Jacob,

As you probably know, Bobby Convey is convinced there is a conspiracy at the USSF to keep him off the national team. He has given interviews complaining about the "politics" surrounding the national team pool. If he is called up, it will make for some awkward interactions, I suspect ...

Posted by: jofij | October 26, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes, by all means bring in Ricardo Clark. We all remember how well it worked out the last time he played for the Nats in South Africa. ;)

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | October 26, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

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