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USA draws Brazil, Italy and Egypt in 2009 Confederations Cup

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When the U.S. national team won the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup U.S. coach Bob Bradley stated how important it was for the U.S. team to play in the 2009 Confederations Cup and face top competition in the same nation where the 2010 World Cup will be.

Well, competition is exactly what the U.S. national team will get.

The USA has been drawn into a loaded Confederations Cup group that includes Brazil, Italy and defending African champions Egypt. The draw, held early on Saturday, also put together a significantly weaker group including Spain, New Zealand, Iraq and host South Africa.

The Confederations Cup takes place from June 14-24 in South Africa. Start saving up for that trip because it should be a good one.

Ultimately, the U.S. national team has gotten exactly what it wanted, a truly tough test a year ahead of the 2010 World Cup. You can't put a value on the experience the team will get playing in what is essentially a test run in a World Cup format. If the U.S. team can perform well in a group that strong, it will bode well for the team's chances in 2010.

There are so many story lines that could emerge from the tournament, among them the possible first meeting between American-born Italian national team striker Giuseppe Rossi and the national team he passed on playing for in a re-match of the thrilling 2006 World Cup qualifying match (which ended in a 1-1 tie). You also have a chance to be matched up vs. Brazil again after a very competitive 4-2 loss to the Brazilians in Chicago in September of 2007. Then there is Egypt, an exciting attack-minded team that will give the strong U.S. defense all it can handle.

What do you think of the draw. Excited to see such a tough group? Does the group make it more likely that you might make it to South Africa? Do you see the U.S. national team advancing out of that loaded group?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Well for those who thinking about the USA not give a chance to the Gold Cup don’t worried, USA have plenty of talend to go around, so they can get another team to play the Gold Cup remember that Nat. Team B beat Guatemala and I think they can perform good against other Concacaf Teams for Example we have Robbie Rogers, Casey O’conner, Marshall, Lets make sure we take a very strong team to the Confediration and built a nice strong B-team to play the GoldCup…

  2. “I’m disappointed we didn’t get spain instead of Egypt that would’ve been a lot more fun.”

    Posted by: Tim | November 22, 2008 at 04:12 PM

    “Brazil, Italy…sick, we got this one in the bag”

    Posted by: chris | November 22, 2008 at 03:52 PM

    HAHA, I like both of your attitudes. 🙂


  3. Right now, logically I would bet against U.S. making it out of the group. However in reality and in my heart, I would bet for them. Even with the odds, you always have to play the game before a winner is established. I will be hoping for us to prove to be the better team on every match day. Though on paper we are no where close to Italy or Brazil, and I don’t know enough about Egypt to make a decision there. But top two out of group, logically brazil and Italy. Do I think we will make it out????………………………….Yes, nervously, I do. I am American!

  4. However, very excited about this draw. I feel that even if we beat these teams, it won’t matter because the world cup is always about peaking performances. I would hope we don’t get too over confident. However, I really hope we win, that would be a good confidence booster, but we mustn’t forget that this is not the world cup. Brazil and Italy are the 2 historically best teams in the world, and the top teams in Africa always perform very strong. I think our team is better than it was in 2002 or 2006. I really think we have the strongest, most in depth, with best attacking abilities, of any U.S. team EVER. So I think we really stand a chance with these teams if we ever have. I am so excited about 2010 that I can’t stand it. I love this long build up watching our team gel and BB building our depth and letting players fight for spots and getting strong back up players. Its so much fun.

  5. If I am able to go to South Africa for soccer, it will have to be for the World Cup. No way I would spend the money to get there and it not be a world cup. I started saving for 2010, but I’m not sure if I will have enough, or if when it comes down to it, I will want to spend that much right now in my life when I can watch every match on TV right here at home with my friends and stay in school or keep a job.

  6. Wow I’m very excited that we get to play Two World cup winners and show that we are capable of competing with the best, egypt is playing a good football lately after been twice the Champ of Africa. Ummm I can’t wait for the USA vs. Italy and give them all that we have and beat them. Revange and get to play against G. Rossi so he can see that USA would not been a bad choice. WOW this will the year for USA to put the name on the Top and rank as one of the Top Nationals team team in the world.. Can You imagine the USA as Confederation Champion. If Mexico did before why not USA.

  7. Good points Thomas. This is going to be some extraordinary scheduling for BB. A few points here:

    1. Not complaining about the tough draw. I think BB will field a team with mostly players we’ll expect to see in 2010, and they’ll get some great experience against three of the top teams in the world.

    2. If the US can get a win/good showing in the CC – it could be the tiebreak we’ll need if we tie atop the CONCACAF qualifying group with Mexico for our draw slot in the WC (if we got Mexico’s slot for the last WC draw – we’d have been in the 2nd round – and I think Mex had that slot in part to their showing at the CC).

    3. I think that BB will make the qualifying draw the top priority followed with CC and lastly the Gold Cup. There is a chance that some of our MLS contingent who are WC players could stay home to be part of the Gold Cup draw depending on MLS scheduling. I”m expecting most of our “Yanks Abroad” competing for WC spots will be playing in the CC.

    4. I’m not saying we’re gonna win or lose the CC, but I think we’ll be competetive in the tournament, and I really hope we get a quality win which could give us any tie-break advantage for a better draw in 2010!

  8. The big question is who will go. The U.S. plays Costa Rica away the 3rd and then Honduras home the 6th. Then the CC starts on the other side of the world on the 15th. The US players will likely be camp for the WCQ starting Sunday the 31st of May through Sunday the 7th of May. It’s likely they leave by at the latest Friday the 11th for SA. So if players are called for all the games they will be gone a minimum of from the 31st of May to the 22nd of June. A minimum of three MLS weekends. Hopefully the big boys in NY do teams a favor and don’t schedule any extra midweek games.

    I’m sure the full squad will be at the WCQs. It will be interesting to see who goes to SA…

  9. In my opinion, we need to win some games in this tourney. I remember most American fans saying after Beijing that they want results, not playing well but falling short. We want to treat this as a tuneup, even a replication for the WC. From your comments, I feel you’re saying that advancing doesn’t matter.

    If that’s the case, maybe another team should take our place. If we aren’t there in SA for this tourney to win it, our motives need to be questioned. If we are there to just get experience, we need to ask ourselves why we dare will take the pitch at all. In my humble opinion, Brazil, Italy, and undoubtedly Spain we be there to win it. If these world powers are there to win it, and if we want to be successful, we need to be there to WIN, not just get experience.

  10. lol for every one don’t no any thing about egypt ( africa champion ) i will tell him that egypt have best players in this group like amro zaki and mido and zidan and abo trika and shawkey all this players can beat any team just search about egypt team and you will get all information

  11. Egypt can make a miracle and qualify to finals. When Egyptians concern to do something, They do what ever the difficulties they face.

    Of course it’ll be a hard mission, but at the same time, these matches will be very interesting and no one can predict the results when 4 great champions play together.

    Thanks, Mido Egypt,

  12. It would be so sick if Egypt And the US beat both Italy and Brazil, which cant be all that unbelievable. This past year, the underdogs have been shinning.

    But yes, i do agree… group of death.

    I really dont think obvious conclusions can be brought this early to the table.

  13. Chase,

    Show me where there is some clear definition of what a “group of death” is and I’ll give your “more idiot comments” an ounce of consideration. In my mind, a group of death consists of a mix of 4 world powers and top level second tier teams – teams that would all be expected to advance to the knock-out stage in a World Cup given an average group. Calling the US either is a bit of a stretch at this point. And Egypt hasn’t even been able to qualify for the last few World Cups, so don’t tell me they’re a world power, or top 16-level team.

    Now, if “group of death” is some quaint term that must be applied to one group in every tournament, then sure, this group is tougher than the other one so I guess it qualifies. Now if you can’t show me such an official definition, keep your non-sensical “idiotic comments” comments to yourself.

  14. LOVE the draw. This isn’t necessarily about developing young players, but getting tested against the best teams the world has to offer. Playing teams like Venezuela and Norway in the run-in hurt us in 2006, and even thought the Confed Cup is a year earlier, a lot of the same players will be on the 2010 team. Three games against quality opponents, what more could you ask for?

  15. Egypt played the US before and Egypt won 3-1. The Egyptian team has good players but they are unpredictable. Egypt was not expected to win the African championship in Ghana, but they surprised everyone, including themselves. It’s a long shot, but they could do what seems to be impossible.

  16. you know who cares about the gold cup seriously, if you dont wnat to tire players are use to many mls players send an u 10 squad it is pointless next year. also you guys we tied italy on an own goal, you know how many goals were scored from the run of play vs. italy in 7 wc games 2. one was an own goal. i think people underestimate how good italy is defensively they can let you have all the possesion when they get that one goal lead but they defend like maesteros. Their positioning is impecable.If matterazzi doesnt mishit that ball chances are we never score. brazil beat us last year by two goals at home without an in form ronaldinho without adraino, and without luis fabiano. after this week I think its safe to say brazil is back and we are in trouble. with that being said the new vicotoria secret is from south africa and really hot. just give me a room with her and 30 minutes… thats what I want for christmas.

  17. Yes, definitly this is the group of death..

    I guess all in agreement about brazil, italy, and spain..

    however, here is what most soccer fan don’t realize…EGYPT…this is a a team that one 6 african cups. the last 2 cups in a row. 2006 was won in Cairo, and some soccer fans attributed the win over teams like Ivory coast, cameron, nigeria, Ghana for home advantage. In 2008 , Egypt won the cup for the second time in a row in Ghana(6th time, more than any other african team ever)..Egypt didn’t just win, by getting lucky in games , or group draw, if any of you have watched the games of the last african cup and seen how Egypt pumled teams like Cameron 4 – 2 and kicked the crap out OF Cotedivore 4 – 1 in the semi final..then beating cameron again in the finals..

    Egypt Cotedivore 4 – 1 a simple indciation of what Egypt can and will do.. Cotedivore until they met Egypt in the semifinals, they have won every game in the tornument, the 3 group games and the quarter final..they beat teams, 5 – 0 , 4-0 they Ivorians elephants were stomping in every team..until they got Crushed by Egypt 4 -1 ….

    Egypt, currently has a crazy excess of A+ players.. Egyptian Soccer has always been the leader in the area (africa, middleast) African Soccer and african players are being traded for 100, 200 million euros, Egypt will become a World soccer power (winning the confedration cup, going to the semi finals in the world cup)…

    I am sorry to break out the news for you guys..when you compare the amount “Donavans” Egypt has and the USA. or compare the MLS to the Egyptian Soccer league . The amount of experience the Egyptian teams go through every year against International teams is far more intense than with the North american teams..

    Truly, Egypt has the mojo… I sure hope Egypt play their game and score the 7 second goals they are capable of doing..Beating Brazil is not that far fetch..

    USA, is always fifa ranked above Egypt , currently I believe USA is 20 and Egypt is 21. If geographical situation was to change all of a suden I seriously doubt that ranking will hold..

    Ok, USA team has what no other team has…they are the USA…even in Soccer…USA may not win the world cup soon..but you can count on them matching the best of the world..simply because they apply the american mentality in each game (They look at that team in front of them as team they can beat no matter who they are)

    Also, Iraq historically was always a good game..and as soon as they were able to formulate a team they won the asian cup..that is no easy task,with CHina, S korea, Saudi arabia…etc

    S. Africa play good soccer..New Zeland (what continent exactly?

    As an Egyptian/American, I am thrilled for the way the groups were split..there is no point of playing teams like Iraq and New zeland, at least its better to be the under dog and have less expectation and gain very valuable experience..and maybe cause a huge upset..rather than be upset by a lower soccer team..I just hope for Egypt and USA teams to avoid one scenario (the Brazilains Pounding of over 2 goal differential!!…)

    Good Luck Egypt, Good Luck USA

    An Egyptian – American Soccer Fan

  18. The U.S. has a solid chance to advance, unless Bradley brings the taxi squad. Brazil is not the same Brazil, and the Italians are playing like a plate of left over spaghetti.

  19. Here is where the teams are ranked according to FIFA (ELO rankings in parentheses):

    Group A

    South Africa – 80 (84)

    Iraq – 75 (59)

    New Zealand – 60 (62)

    Spain – 1 (1)

    Group B

    USA – 24 (18)

    Italy – 3 (4)

    Brazil – 5 (3)

    Egypt – 21 (24)

    The difference in strength of the two groups is clear. The three sides that are by far the lowest ranked are all in the other group.

  20. USA has to bring its best team. Even though advancing really doesm’t matter, we can’t go 3 and out. 3 and out just adds to our embarrasments on a world stage. Hopefully, we can beat Italy or Brazil. Egypt’s no cupcake, but a win against either of the two world powers is quite respectable. I just hope US doesn’t miss a grand opportunity.

  21. You better believe the U.S> A+++ team will be there. It’s just a matter if they will play that way.

    And why do I get the feeling that this is just a precursor to what the US’s WC 2010 group be like?

  22. “Italy and Brazil are historically the best nations ever (you could include Germany), BUT THEY ARE NOT PLAYING THAT GREAT right now.”


    Umm, Brazil just beat Portugal 6-2 and Italy are unbeaten in the last 31 matches under Lippi.

    Let’s get the excuses ready for Dad, just like after the Copa (0-3), such as it was our “C” team (love that one), etc.

    That being said, next summer we have WC qualifiers, the 2009 Gold Cup and the Confed Cup, not to mention the heart of the MLS season and the US Open Cup and all thoses Superligas whatever. Crazy. Who will play all these matches?

  23. Damn! Hell of a draw. But like you said Ives, it’ll be a great test for our boys. If Spain doesn’t come out of their group with 9 points it will be a HUGE disappointment.

  24. WOW!!! I like this group alot. We need to play the best in order to become better and this is the perfect group for us. Egypt will not be an easy match for us but the flip side is that we will not be an easy opponent for any of the teams we play. Bresil and Italia have alot more respect for the US than many of my fellow Americans will credit. We will play our “A” side. This is an official FIFA event and if we weren’t to field our best team, we would pay dearly for it. I can’t wait to see the matches and see where we’re at. This tournament is the perfect event for participating teams to try things and learn alot.

  25. Bradley won’t bring our A roster to this Gold Cup. Canada, Jamaica, Guatemala and Panama all eliminated from World Cup contention will all take the Gold Cup seriously, but nobody else will. If the USSF wanted to play nice with MLS in solving its fixture congestion problems they would simply decline to participate in the 2009 Gold Cup at all. Its a tournament that really has no good reason to even take place.

  26. I would have preferred to be in the other group, but at least this way we won’t need to advance to the knockout round for true tests. Every game in the group stage is going to be brutal.

    Still not interested in going to Africa for the Confederations Cup, saving up for a 2010 trip. (Hopefully)

  27. Wow.

    If this was the World Cup, I’d be crying. FOr this, I’m jumping for joy.

    Everyone who dissed Bradley for emphasizing the Gold CUp over Copa America (and thus earned us this spot)…well the line to apologize forms to the right.

  28. As long as the US brings a 1st class roster, I’m okay with whatever happens.

    Italy is hot & cold, they didn’t make it out of Euro 2004 with Sweden & Denmark in their group, and won the 2006 WC, so, you never know; maybe they won’t be up for it. Or, maybe they’ll win the whole thing.

    Just bring out best guys and try to do our best, and if we get rolled 0-3, hey, schlit happens. Just don’t wuss out and send 11 scrubs out there.

  29. As for the draw, the seeded teams were Sth Africa(host) brazil, spain, italy. The 2nd group were nz usa iraq egypt.

    As no two teams from the same confederation could play each other, it meant italy and spain would be in different groups as well as Sth africa and egypt. So i guess the USA were a bit unlucky with the draw but….

    I think its much better to come up against the two most powerful MNT in history, than play NZ, South Africa or Iraq (although the game against iraq would have been interesting politically to say the least ).

    The US MNT must play more competitive games against the worlds best if they want to develop into a world leading team themselves.

  30. milkshake – Garber said accomidating the FIFA friendly dates would lose them $5 million per season.

    Most of our players are Euro based, so it shouldn’t be too bad. Just sucks for MLS teams who have members of smaller NTs getting calls.

    I would like to see it happen, but MLS can’t be losing a lot of money, it isn’t even in the black yet.

  31. I bet we will get decent TV coverage on this. After the last WC and Euro’s ratings, ESPN sees the beautiful game in a whole new way, and it should be a way to prime the general public for the next World Cup.

    I wouldn’t dare call it a rivalry, but I love building history with teams like Italy. If we can pull another result, it would make them think about us heading in to ’10…

  32. P.S I hope these games are on TV, Does ESPN have the rights or FSC?

    I hope it’s on ESPN and I hope they put the games on the channels (espn, espn 2, abc) people have

    If they have any brain they should know that putting a Brazil vs Italy or USA vs Brazil/Italy will get good ratings for ABC

  33. Bob Bradley can F this up with the team selection …. I wanna see the the right mixture of Youth + Experience that Means Freddy, Jozy, Cooper!

  34. I still think we’ll see some brilliant attacking football in our games against Brazil and Italy. I can only hope it comes from us ,too.

  35. Justin O,

    That is one of the more idiotic comments I’ve seen in here…of course the US and Egypt can comprise a group of death, especially seeing how the group also contains the defending world champions and the most successful nation ever in the World Cup history.

    I also think you are selling Egypt short, they were magnificent in the ACN earlier this year and have a very good team. People making blanket statements that we will easily defeat them, are probably the same people that thought Ghana was a certain victory in ’06.

  36. mohamed,

    Most of the people posting here are aware of what a strong team Egypt will field–you are only the easy opponent because Brazil and Italy are in the group. That said, I like your attitude. Let’s take on the big boys. I always support the underdogs and I will cheer for Egypt until the last game of the group 🙂

  37. hi guys

    i am ahmed from egypt

    i think our group is a chance for both of Egypt and America to perpare for the more important games for us the second Leg of the world cup Qualifier

    for you the world cup itself because i think you may qualified to it by then

    Egypt team right now in their best shape ever we are depending on player playing in europe like elhadry- Amr Zaki-mohamed Zidan – Mido – Mohamed Shawky + players playing in the African clubs Champion ElAhly who is playing for the third time in fifa world club cup next month in Japan

    so we are hoping to actually Qualified to the next round but it isn’t a main goal

    playing teams like Brazil – Italy -America in real competitive games is the real penfit from this championship


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