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USA vs. South Africa: The Pre-Game Tailgate

The U.S. men's national team is ready to play its final game of 2010 today when it takes on South Africa in the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup today (2pm, ESPN2).

Bob Bradley has brought a young squad to Cape Town for today's match, meaning American fans will be able to get their first glimpses of several top young prospects in the U.S. national team pool.

Juan Agudelo, Mikkel Diskerud, Teal Bunbury and Tim Ream are just some of the new faces who could make their USA debuts today, while more established players like Brad Guzan, Clarence Goodson and Alejandro Bedoya will lead the squad against a tough South African squad led by Steven Pienaar.

SBI will be providing commentary on today's match later today. For now, please feel free to share your pre-game thoughts here.

Which young player are you hoping to see start? What lineup would you like to see the USA trot out today? Who do you see scoring today for the United States?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. After reading that ESPN article on Boss, it sounds like maybe Bob called him up because he realized Boss is mentally in a bad place right now and likely needs something to boost his spirits.

  2. would still rather him get a look in such an inconsequential game that say….Gaven or Carrol. It just kills me that Pause and Carrol will get the start, and we will see what our line up would look like w/ mediocre MLS talent. God forbid we bring people who can connect a pass or see if we can play with speed or finesse.

  3. I don’t see Boss being able to go the full 90 would like to see 30-45 minutes from him, with Mix, Agudelo, and Lichaj going the full 90, and then everyone else subbing in and out, with Probably Ream starting next to Goodson and then Boss subbing in for one of those two. Starting XI, Guzan, Lichaj, Goodson, Ream, Bornstein, Bedoya, Pause, Mix, Rogers, Agudelo and Bunbury.

  4. The U.S. has the highest “immigrant” population in the world. For example, my Grandmother is directly from Switzerland, my Dad was born in Switzerland (on a trip back there, kind of a surprise haha) so technically I could play for Switzerland if I got a Swiss passport. The reason we have so many people with dual citizenship is because alot of people immigrate here and their kids get passports from those specific countries.

  5. except he doesnt have a US passport, so no he isn’t eligible. Check out Bob’s comments from his presser on Monday and you’ll see. Seems like Mr. Somma has some sour grapes

  6. his agent is part of Wasserman’s group that represents a considerable number of US and international players including: Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane, Jamie Carragher, Michael Owen, Tim Cahill, Jonathan Woodgate, Wes Brown, Scott Parker, Park Ji-Sung, Shay Given, Tim Howard and Emile Heskey. His agency is certainly not worthless. His deal with traffic is going to guarantee his pay for 4 years. I agree it was a bad decision but I think there’s more than meets the eye with this deal.

  7. This Brazil/Argentina match is incredibly boring, as odd as that sounds.

    Brazil is all but a shell of their Samba days. The team has been decimated by the new coaches.

  8. I am having the same problem with U-Verse. Trying to setup the recording remotely. Guess I’ll have to record the 4 sports talk shows it says will be in that slot, and hope for the best…

  9. I read on US Soccer USMNT blog that 8 players on this team in South Africa have two passports making them eligible to two national teams–two of which (Spector and Bornstein) are tied to the US now. Do other countries have lots of players with dual citizenship?

  10. It’s a horrible soccer situatuion, but we don’t know the money he’s making. It was obviously about the money (yes, it is for me too, I’m just saying), and the agent may have secured the best financial deal for him. I hope that’s the case, but based on everthing else that could certainly not be the case.

    That being said, Traffic (lol, really? traffic?) sounds like a scourge that USSF should wipe off the face of our little country, at least. Didn’t the FA say no 3rd party ownership?

  11. As long as you understand that he was eligilbe for the U.S. chose not to play for us. I will go w/ you though for guys like Andy Najar and Yura Movsysian.

  12. Read the article on Gale B. What Traffic is doing is aweful. I hope he plays some today and in the U-20’s. Hopefully he can get with a club in Jan.

  13. thanks, that was interesting. sounds like boss’ agent is worthless. his attorney too. how is the agent justifying his existence and involvement if he ends up signing up for some crap like this. unless he was just headstrong and thought he knew better. at least the contract appears to be only for another 2 years, and the situation can improve. he’s learning a hard lesson early in his career…in any profession, the highest paycheck does not equal the best situation. in case you’re wondering… i did sleep at a holiday inn last night.

  14. if davide somma scores for south africa, there is going to be a riot.

    hell, I will march to washington and add a special provision in the citizenship rules for soccer players….

  15. Surely, then, you also understand an 18 year old refugee trying to max out his money in order to provide for his family. I’m betting he did not get good advice and lacked the legal representation that other leagues in the US almost mandate; though he didn’t sign with MLS, the point is more about the protection young athletes need when making these important decisions.

  16. I empathize with the bad situation he’s in, but he’s largely responsible for the situation. He had offers in Spain he turned down to come to the MLS. Then when the MLS offered him a six-figure GA contract, he turned it down. Direct quote from article: “Maybe it was a lot to them. But it wasn’t the contract that I wanted, a financial kind of thing,” Agbossoumonde said. He came from an African refugee camp to the U.S., had a chance at a six-figure contract as an 18 year old, and passed it up. It’s a shame he squandered the opportunity to be a young star in MLS.

  17. I don’t see us winning either, but I will not a problem with it at all. A game to blood some young guys, get a look at them, and see how they hold up. Also, with our regulars playing starting regularly for clubs in Europe, okay so not, say, Gooch, good on Bradley for not making them travel for a trivial friendly.

  18. Not based on anything that I have read recently, but it seems that players who shred both their knees before 16 are probably not going to be able to make it as professionals. Also, Renken is still only, what? 17? He hasn’t even been playing for the U-20s, so the full call up seems a hope beyond anything realistic.

  19. Ives,

    A little off topic, but I thought that this might have been the first call up for Renken. Whats the word on his status? I have not been able to find any info on him. Is he still going to be a factor?

  20. Please, god, let us hope that we may not see a Pause Carroll tandem in the middle to start the game! Furthermore, can Bunbury and Agudelo not make fools of themselves and show something we can look forward to, if not a goal.

  21. Interesting article about Boss on espn. In a way, it is really disturbing, and certainly explains why a player with so much promise is so little heard from. After that read, Im not so sure we will be seeing Boss today. Hopefully, he can keep it together. Please, future players, do not sign with third party sources!

  22. Agree with AJ. We could field the best possible line up we brought, probably still lose a boring game, and learn very little about fringe players. Or we could realize this game means very little and let some of our young guns test the waters against a mediocre SA team, w/ a good road atmosphere. Mix, Ream, Lichaj, and Bedoya should get a full 90. Lets see what the 2 new strikers can do.

    I bleed Red, White and blue, but dont see us winning this one….2-0. 2-1 if we are lucky.

  23. Would like someone to tell my Verizon DVR that there is a USA game on ESPN2 today. It seems to think that there is a Sportscenter or something on at 2.

  24. As Ives discussed in his latest video corner, this USMNT squad should have a relatively solid back line, which will allow Bradley to experiment with the midfield and forwards without being demolished by SA.

  25. I know Bob brought a young squad with the idea to use them. However, I would like to see Bedoya get the full 90. He is a player who could provide legitimate bench presence in ’14, and a player who has shown progression in his game recently. Aside from him, I would like to see extended time for Ream and Lichaj, and for Agueldo and Bunbury. Back line and strikers/attacking mids is where we are making the most significant changes, and where spots are up for grabs. Those players deserve extended time on their resume for being in the mix for next summer’s Gold Cup.

  26. tough call there. generally, when they throw all the kids in together, it becomes meaningless because they play awfully, with no sense of proper shape or strategy. You’re right, though, AJ. Very few of the “vets” are truly seasoned mnters. You’d really like to mix in three younguns at a time with Jozy, Landon, Deuce, etc.

    As crazy as it is, Findley will probably start because, though he has proven that he can’t score internationally, he does combine well and knows the system. I’d like to see Agudelo for 45 and Teal for the other 45.

    Put Boss next to Goodson – that could actually be a tandem in ’14. Split his 90 with Ream. Bornstein, much as I can’t stand him, knows the system and should start opposite Lichaj, who showed nice flashes last game. Sub Spector in for Bornstein at 45.

    Diskerud and Bedoya should go 90. None of the other midfielders has much of a chance of making a ’14 impact, nor do they have any real experience.

  27. i’d expect to see the majority of subs at the half, particularly on the back line. either case i’d like to see agudelo and lichaj go the full 90. give fidley and bunbury 45 each, or bunbury 60… guzan and cervi should split time. diskerud the full 90.

  28. Im excited to see Ream, we desperately need a CB who can link forward with the midfield. I hope Bunbury and Agudelo play but I am more curious how Mix handles the CM role because he will be under a lot of pressure playing against a good South African midfield and playing alongside a stranger in Pause or Carroll.

  29. Just play all of the kids. Its not like the other guys are that much more experienced. Start Teal and Agudelo up front, put Mix in the midfield, Boss in the back and roll with you. You brought the kids, let them play.

  30. I want to see teal and aquedelo the most, mix for me needs to hit the weights he needs to add strength to his game, but I want to see Jim too.

  31. I miss South Africa! That’s my thought. It’d be nice to be eating at Willoughby & Co at the V&A Waterfront, then heading to the stadium. It’s gorgeous. Don’t miss the vuvus. Definitely miss the shebeens and the people.

    Hope this young lineup comes through and gets us excited about the upcoming 2014 cycle. It’d be great Agudelo to play well up top.

  32. I’d like to see Adu start in a withdrawn striker role, Convey supplying crosses from out wide, Eddie Johnson running wild up top, and John Agoos holding down the backline.

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