USA to Play Socceroos in South Africa


USA will play Australia on June 5 in Roodepoort, South Africa, one week before playing their first match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Kickoff at Ruimsig Stadium in suburban Johannesburg is set for 5.30am PT. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2.

“The match against Australia gives us a great opportunity challenge the team a week before our opening match of the World Cup,” said U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley. “Australia demonstrated in 2006 that they are a team capable of competing at the World Cup, and a match against a quality opponent on South African soil at that point in our preparations will help our readiness for game against England.”

The match in Roodepoort will come after the USA concludes domestic preparations for the FIFA World Cup with Send-Off Series matches against the Czech Republic on May 25 and Turkey on May 29. The USA will meet the Czechs at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., before traveling to Philadelphia to face Turkey at Lincoln Financial Field.

Australia, currently ranked No. 23 in the world, have qualified for their second consecutive FIFA World Cup. After making the second round in Germany as a side from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), the Socceroos switched to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and qualified just as impressively. Australia posted a record of six wins and two draws conceding only one goal in the final stage of that qualification.

USA have never beaten the Aussies. The teams last met on Nov. 6, 1998, in San Jose, Calif., playing out a scoreless draw at Spartan Stadium. Six years earlier the teams contested a match in Orlando, Fla., with Australia securing a narrow 1-0 victory.

Australia have been placed in Group D of the 2010 FIFA World Cup along with Germany, Serbia and Ghana. The Aussies open play against Germany on June 13 in Durban and face Ghana in Rustenburg on June 19. Australia rounds out the group play with a match against Serbia on June 23 in Nelspruit. A rematch could be in order should the U.S. and Australia advance from their groups: Group C and Group D cross over to meet each other in the second round.


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