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Posted at 10:21 AM ET, 01/28/2011

USSF monitoring situation in Egypt ahead of U.S. national team's friendly on Feb. 9 in Cairo

By Steve Goff

The U.S. Soccer Federation is monitoring civil unrest in Egypt, but at this time, still plans to send the men's national team to Cairo for a Feb. 9 friendly.

Federation officials discussed the situation last night, spokesman Neil Buethe told the Insider on Friday, and they are in regular communication with the Department of State -- as they always are before an international trip -- and the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

"As of now, we are still planning to play the match," Buethe said. "We will continue to monitor the situation closely. We are receiving daily updates."

The U.S. roster, with players based primarily with European clubs, is scheduled to be unveiled in the middle to late next week. Players would begin arriving in Cairo on Feb. 6.

The last time the USSF was confronted with such a situation was in October 2009 ahead of a World Cup qualifier in Honduras, where political and civil instability jeopardized the trip. However, the match was played as scheduled and there were no incidents related to the team's visit.

By Steve Goff  | January 28, 2011; 10:21 AM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team, USSF  
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This seems like the politic thing to say, but unless tensions cool off dramatically -- and it's hard to imagine why that would happen, unless Mubarak leaves the country -- it's really flirting with disaster to actually bring the US team there for a game. In fact, even if the regime collapses quickly, I still think it's a fool's errand.

It's hard to imagine a big crowd of Egyptians peaceably assembling to watch their national team play the USA, which gives billions of dollars to maintain the military and police that are resisting this uprising. I wouldn't even want to predict the team's safety in hotels and buses.

Posted by: fischy | January 28, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Wikileaks is trying to undermine the USMNT.

Posted by: Reignking | January 28, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I say punt on this meaningless friendly.

This would be a ready-made political statement by the restless Egyptians. To have the US team exposed would be too risky.

Posted by: dayface | January 28, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

EGood background on our relationship with Egypt in the last two administrations. It is an opinion piece, but it gives us a context.

Posted by: Reignking | January 28, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Seems like maybe they could move it to Europe or another neutral venue.

Posted by: edgeonyou | January 28, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

OT: The internets seem to believe that Bradley to Galatasaray is a done deal.

YA reporting that Conor Doyle has accepted a call-up to Ireland's U21s.

Posted by: BooThisMan | January 28, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Hand it to Liverpool -- they've officially signed Suarez.

Posted by: Reignking | January 28, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Mubarak is in denial.

Really? Three hours into this item an no-one posted that yet?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 28, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

And Mubarak's whole administration strikes me as a pyramid scheme.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | January 28, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I hope the game goes on. It will be a real feather in the cap of Bob Bradley to go into Egypt and beat down a good Egyptian side! I wonder if any Sam's Army will be there??? ;)

Posted by: alan19 | January 28, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Egyptair has suspended flights to Cairo, and now there are protesters in Jordan.

Yes, that's news about EgyptAir Jordan.

Posted by: Reignking | January 28, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse


We yield to the master...and are not disappointed.

Posted by: BaltoFan | January 28, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Enough of the congratulatory Ra Ra Ra for I-270...

Posted by: Reignking | January 28, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't cotton to all these Egypt jokes at a time of crisis.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | January 28, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Not many posts -- it's like the internet is being banned in Alexandria.

Posted by: Reignking | January 28, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Honduras isn't the Middle East. Don't go. Friendly isn't the term I'd use to describe the reception any US presence will recieve. We've been sending suspected terrorists to Egypt for torture for years, I'm sure even an unimaginative US hater will see this as opportunity.

Posted by: damjammer | January 28, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Now, if only the Qatari's can save their anger until the winter of 2018 . . .

Posted by: delantero | January 28, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"... I'm sure even an unimaginative US hater will see this as opportunity."

Posted by: damjammer | January 28, 2011 2:41 PM

Leave Keith Olbermann out of this.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | January 28, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"Mubarak? Egypt-US out of a perfectly good match."

Posted by: SportzNut21 | January 28, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Tut - tut, that'll be enough of that...

Play on!

Posted by: JkR- | January 28, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Yikes! A verbal warning... I'm lying low to maintain a clean sheet for the rest of the match.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | January 28, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey ref, your hair looks good today... nice ref kit. Are you losing weight?

Huh? What's that? That verbal was for SportzNut? Sweet!

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | January 28, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Mesphinx the ref doth protest too much! :)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | January 28, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

That's a yellow to Sportznut21, and an icy glare....

Posted by: JkR- | January 28, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say Egyptian?

Foreign types with the hookah pipes say
(Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh)
Walk like an Egyptian

Posted by: delantero | January 28, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

The rightwing "wit" in this thread is drier than the Sahara.

Mubarak has been a useful US ally in many ways but has never been anything more than an enlightened despot (at best) who in his 30 years of emergency rule has refused to be accountable to the people he rules.

Democracy is not a panacea that fixes all the problems but at least it gives folks a voice in their governance. If a potentially anti-American group wins a democratic election then they should be allowed to assume power as long as they recognize they must relinquish that power when they lose an election.

I'd like to see the US play soccer in Egypt in 2 weeks but the only way the situation could become peaceful and stable that quickly might be if Mubarak uses his police state to crush his own people's aspirations.

Power to the people.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 28, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JkR- | January 28, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

eriF karabuM!

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | January 28, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't know - I have seen stuff like this happen before.

I think it will all passover.

Posted by: IamAM | January 28, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

50 days until United's first 2011 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | January 28, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

My gawd, I feel like Howard Webb reffing a dutch match.

Although even he has better hair...

Posted by: JkR- | January 28, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

It's a trap!

“It has blown up in Egypt,” read the front page of Al Akhbar, a leftist daily newspaper in Beirut. “Today, all eyes are focused on the mosques in the land of Egypt.”

Posted by: Reignking | January 28, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

That's a yellow to Sportznut21, and an icy glare....

Posted by: JkR- | January 28, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse


Holy Great Pyramid Batman, this ref's bustin' my Cheops today...

Posted by: SportzNut21 | January 28, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Aswan who often initiates punnery, I will cease suez not to provoke the ref.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 28, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Been workin' on that one for hours, heh? Those puns were pharaoh.

Posted by: Reignking | January 28, 2011 5:21 PM | Report abuse


Mubarak speaking...doesn't sound like he is going to step down...doesn't sound good...

Posted by: Reignking | January 28, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: benonthehill | January 28, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Don't fret yet ben, would it not be out of the question for United to re-sign Moreno when this whole search for another striker peters out?

Posted by: DadRyan | January 28, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

@Dad -- Hopefully. it is out of the question. But, speaking of guys who score every blue moon -- DCU seems to have a new trialist. A Costa Rican winger, Paolo Jimenez Coto. Apparently, he's moving from one small first division team to another (Brujas to Cartagines), but has come to DC for a look-see. Haven't found his career stats, but it seems he doesn't score much. On the other hand, he's got some caps for the national side, while the European-based players aren't available. He scored once in recent UNCAF tourney.

Frakly, I'm pretty bummed out by the lack of any reports of activity by the front office. I keep reading stories about all these players coming in to the other teams or on trial with the other clubs. Then, I look at what DC did in this offseason. NIce trade for Dax, but otherwise? THey signed a player out of their academy. Other teams are doing that, and then some. NYRB has added real talent from their academy (Kassel and Sacir Hot), LA added Jack McBean from theirs, Houston (now part of the Eastern Conference) added talented Academy players. too, These teams area also bringing in players with decent international pedigrees. -- NYRB adds Rdgers and Solli (many Norway caps), Houston is after a Brazilian that Kinnear's personally scouted, KC is trialing Cesar Santos, a CB who's played at clubs from Real Madrid to Olympiacos to Tigres and Maraton, etc...

I'm trying to understand what's going on at RFK. THe team got the highest allocation money. Though they sent some to Portland for Dax, they got some back with Perkins. We don't know where the team sits cap-wise, but they've shed every salary >$200k, except Boskovic. True, they still have to play part of Perkins' salary, but they must have gobs of room under the salary budget.

Plus, the league announced new rules today -- that $2.67 million budget/cap will only cover 18-20 players. EvEn assuming Perkins fits in here, the team still has over $2.2 million cap room for the 18 non-DP players. Jakovic, Simms, Pontius, Quaranta and McCarty are the only ones earning over $100k. We can't know exactly how much cap-rom DCU still has, but it's got to be several hundred thousand, at least. So, there's plenty of room to bring in some decent foreign talent.

Why are other teams, most or all of which have less cap flexibility able to bring in interesting new players? DC had the worst team last year, and it seems to me they may be falling farther behind, instead of closing the gap. That might work out in terms of getting another top GA cap-exempt player in next year's draft, but it makes me question the efforts and the effort of the front office.

Posted by: fischy | January 28, 2011 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I would say that since United attempts to get Central and South American talent to help attract the local hispanic fanbase, they are likely having the same issues with player brokers like Traffic that other teams are. They have basically taken the wide net approach that MLB takes when harvesting talent, thus players who would be a great boon to United and MLS in general are being priced out of the MLS market.
The Portland Timbers are pursuing a midfield player from South America, Columbia to be more precise, but nothing has been announced and you never know what kind of ludicrous number these talent brokers are gonna throw out there once they know you are interested.
Kitchen was a great draft pick, and Ben will be a fine coach. I'm with you fischy, I hope they pull in some great talent, but the United organizations has seemed to be mailing it in since stadium hopes have been dashed so many times.

Posted by: damjammer | January 29, 2011 3:53 AM | Report abuse

ESPN soccernet reports Bradley loaned to Aston Villa.

Posted by: cray | January 29, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse


I think you're spot on. There's no question in my mind that United's a better team now than a year ago, but whether they're better relative to the rest of the league is a very open question. I don't know squat about most of the rest of the league's international acquisitions, and big names obviously flop with regularity. But as I look at the team right now, if United is anything above mediocre it will be because Bennie wills them to compete, not because management has assembled superior talent.

And it's hard to project how simply not losing any meaningful pieces in a two-team expansion year that also saw some key players leave for Europe (well, Buddle, at least) may shore up DCU relative to everyone else.

I suppose it's too late to hold out for a surprise last-minute return announcement from Namoff.

Posted by: benonthehill | January 29, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

The internets have failed me again.

Posted by: BooThisMan | January 29, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

So, as we knew, the third jersey isred and has a black section that looks like an open-end wrench coming up from the hip to the armpit. That's either the meshy part for ventilation or a design feature to conceal that embarrassing armpit sweat.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 29, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

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