Stars and Stripes jet in today


Players, 11 of whom are Europe-based, are expected to report to camp today in Johannesburg.

“This match is a great way to cap off a very productive year,” Bradley, whose record for 2007 was 11wins five losses and one draw, announced on the Stars’ and Stripes’ website yesterday.

“Once again we have the opportunity to draw on a group of players who will certainly play a large role in our attempt to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, and the game against South Africa will be a good first taste of what this environment will be like,” he said.

The US team includes nine players from the squad that captured the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and qualified the United States for the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup in South Africa.

Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan led the US with four goals in the tournament, now having amassed nine goals in 12 matches this year. With 34 career international goals, the 25-year-old is one goal away from becoming the USA’s all-time leader in scoring.

Eleven of the 17 players ply their trade in seven different countries in Europe (Belgium, Denmark, England, Germany, Holland, Portugal and Scotland).

Fulham FC send the duo of Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey, with Dempsey scoring three goals and two assists in 12 appearances for the US this year.

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, who minded the nets in the Gold Cup final, has already posted 10 clean sheets in 25 games for the United States.

Glasgow Rangers midfielder DaMarcus Beasley has three goals and three assists in 2007 and was the USA’s second leading scorer in the Gold Cup.

SC Heerenveen’s 20-year-old midfielder Michael Bradley is the only player to have appeared in both the 2007 Gold Cup for the full team and then the 2007 Fifa U-20 World Cup in Canada.

Bradley scored the winner in the USA’s 1-0 victory against Switzerland on October 17 in Basel, the same day Bafana lost to Italy.

While Donovan has the most caps with 96, there are five players heading to South Africa with five caps or less, including two 2007 MLS season award winners.

Brad Guzan was voted Goalkeeper of the Year in only his second season with Chivas USA, while Maurice Edu – who earned his first cap in the win against Switzerland – has been honored as the Rookie of the Year.

Fellow U-20 World Cup teammates Freddy Adu and Josmer Altidore will be reunited for the first time since Canada this summer, with the New York Red Bulls striker seeking his first-ever cap with the full team.

The United States will make a rare trip to Africa, playing on the continent for just the third time in their history. Their last visit came nine years to the day before the November match, a 2-1 loss to Morocco on November 17, 1998 in Marrakech.

The only other trip to Africa was also against Morocco in 1992, when the U.S. suffered a 3-1 loss in Casablanca.

As the 2007 Gold Cup Champions, the U.S. will represent CONCACAF in the 2009 Confederations Cup to be held in South Africa one year prior the World Cup.

In the only prior meeting between the two sides, the US beat South Africa, 4-0, on June 3, 2000 in Washington, DC.

The US team comprises:

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Tim Howard (Everton FC)

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Dan Califf (Aalborg BK), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege)

Midfielders: Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Eddie Lewis (Derby County)

Forwards: Josmer Altidore (New York Red Bulls), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy).