source: u.s. soccer

U.S. Will Open World Cup Against England on June 12 in Rustenburg
Other Two Group Matches Will be First-Ever Meetings Against Slovenia on June 18 in Johannesburg and Algeria on June 23 in Tshwane/Pretoria
USA’s Group Games will be Shown Live on ESPN Networks and Univision

The U.S. Men’s National Team has been drawn into Group C with England, Slovenia and Algeria for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The groups and schedule were determined during the Final Draw at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa.

The U.S. will open its sixth consecutive World Cup finals tournament against England on June 12 in Rustenburg, and will follow that game with matches against Slovenia on June 18 in Johannesburg and Algeria on June 23 in Tshwane/Pretoria.

“It’s a big challenge but when you come to the World Cup and you have a chance to kick it off against an opponent like England, it gives it a real special start,” said U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley. “It gives us a great opportunity to challenge ourselves in the first game.”

“We know that Algeria and Slovenia are very good teams and we have respect for what they accomplished. We’ll do our preparation and prepare our team. It’s a four year period of growing, and we’ve played very tough teams along the way.” [More Coaches’ Quotes | Player Quotes]

The U.S. commences its World Cup by facing England in a rematch of the famed 1950 game in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. In that match nearly 60 years ago, an unfancied USA team defeated heavily favored England 1-0 to cause one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history. Joe Gaetjens’ goal proved a memorable winner in the only World Cup meeting between the two teams.

The USA has faced England, ranked ninth in the FIFA World Rankings, on nine prior occasions and holds a 2-7-0 record against the 1966 World Cup champions. Most recently the two sides met in a friendly on May 28, 2008 at Wembley Stadium, where Fabio Capello’s side earned a 2-0 victory. England qualified for its 13th World Cup, setting aside the disappointment of missing out on the 2008 European Championship by marching imperiously to a 9-1-0 record in Group 6 of UEFA qualifying.

Slovenia (ranked 33rd) and Algeria (28th) have never faced the United States and the games in South Africa will mark the first meetings between the countries in any competition.

Slovenia earned a ticket to South Africa by defeating Russia in a tense two-legged UEFA playoff. After earning a priceless away goal in Moscow, Matjaž Kek’s team stood firm on home turf in Maribor to seize a priceless 1-0 victory and a trip to the World Cup. The European nation of just more than two million will be participating in its second World Cup after debuting eight years ago at Korea/Japan in 2002.

Algeria, going to the World cup for the first time since 1986, were participants in one of the most dramatic final days in World Cup qualifying history, when bitter rivals Egypt scored a vital goal in stoppage time in Cairo on Nov. 14, 2009. Algeria’s 2-0 loss meant the teams finished tied on points and all tie-breakers in Group C of CAF qualifying, forcing an improbable one-game playoff at a neutral site. Played on Nov. 18 in Sudan, Algeria prevailed 1-0 to make the World Cup for the first time in 24 years. Before going to the World Cup, Algeria will contest the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in January of next year, having been drawn in Group A with hosts Angola, Mali and Malawi.

Rustenburg will play host to the USA’s opening game with England, in a stadium which holds fond memories for Bradley’s team. It was at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium where the USA defeated Egypt 3-0 on June 21, 2009, to improbably advance to the semifinals of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, where they subsequently defeated Spain to reach the final. The 42,000 seat stadium is the smallest venue in next year’s World Cup.

The Confederations Cup final, which the USA lost to Brazil on June 28, was held in Johannesburg’s Ellis Park, which will also play host to the USA’s June 18 game against Slovenia. The USA also played at the same venue in South Africa’s largest city on Nov. 17, 2007 during the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup against South Africa, which the Americans won 1-0. The historic ground was built as a rugby stadium in 1928 and also played host to the Rugby World Cup final in 1995, won by South Africa.

The U.S. concludes group play in a stadium which also held Confederations Cup matches this past summer, facing Algeria in Tshwane/Pretoria. Loftus Versfeld was the site of the USA’s games against Italy on June 15 and Brazil on June 18 during Group B play in the Confederations Cup. The stadium, built in 1906, is one of the oldest in South Africa and the oldest of eight venues used for World Cup games.

Should the U.S. advance to the second round, they would a team from Group D (Germany, Australia, Ghana, Serbia) in either Rustenburg on June 26 on Mangaung/Bloemfontein on June 27.

For a complete recap of today’s Final Draw, which includes more interesting facts on some of the other group pairings, media and fans can log on to ussoccer.com’s DrawTracker. The DrawTracker includes up-to-date and detailed information on each of the 32 tournament finalists, and a complete 2010 World Cup schedule.

OleOle is offering ticket and travel packages to the World Cup in South Africa. Fans have a variety of options through OleOle, including travel packages which include tickets and travel-only packages for fans who have already acquired tickets. In addition to packages focused on the U.S. Men’s National Team, OleOle offers tickets to other matches for fans looking to experience other games as well.

OleOle is one of a select few travel providers to be appointed by Match Services as a Participating Tour Operator to distribute ticket-inclusive travel packages for the 2010 World Cup South Africa and is the only provider to combine the Match appointment with U.S. Soccer’s Official Supplier designation. Read more about the available packages.

– U.S. All-Time Record vs. Group C World Cup Opponents –

England 9 2 7 0 8 35
Algeria 0 0 0 0 0 0
Slovenia 0 0 0 0 0 0
– U.S. 2010 World Cup Schedule –

Date Match Time (Local/ET) Venue
June 12 England vs. United States 8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m. Rustenberg
June 18 Slovenia vs. United States 4 p.m. / 10 a.m. Ellis Park Stadium; Johannesburg
June 23 United States vs. Algeria 4 p.m. / 10 a.m. Tshwane/Pretoria
– Opponent Profiles –


Current FIFA World Ranking: 9th
FIFA Trigram: ENG
2010 World Cup Qualifying: Finished 1st in UEFA Group 6 (9-1-0; 34 GF, 6 GA)
World Cup Finals Appearances: 13 – 1950 (8th), 1954 (6th), 1958 (11th), 1962 (8th), 1966 (1st), 1970 (8th), 1982 (6th), 1986 (8th), 1990 (4th), 1998 (9th), 2002 (6th), 2006 (7th), 2010
Record vs. USA: 7-2-0
Head Coach: Fabio Capello (Italy)
Championship Honors: FIFA World Cup (1966)
Leading World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Wayne Rooney (9)
Key Players: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), John Terry (Chelsea)
Language: English

Fast Facts: Under the stewardship of scholarly Italian Fabio Capello, England set aside the disappointment of Euro 2008’s failed qualifying campaign to progess to South Africa with ease … Averaged 3.4 goals a game during World Cup qualifying, the best in the world … Wayne Rooney, England’s number 10, contributed nine goals to the 334 goals scored by number 10’s around the world during World Cup qualifying. Only number 9’s, with 348, scored more goals … Lost 1-0 to the USA during the 1950 FIFA World Cup to mark one of the greatest upsets in the history of the tournament


Current FIFA World Ranking: Current FIFA World Ranking: 28th
FIFA Trigram: ALG
2010 World Cup Qualifying: Finished 1st in CAF Group C (5-1-1; 10 GF, 4 GA); Defeated Egypt in one-match tiebreaker for 1st place in group C.
World Cup Finals Appearances: 3 – 1982 (13th), 1986 (22nd), 2010
Record vs. USA: 0-0-0
Head Coach: Rabah Saâdane
Championship Honors: African Cup of Nations (1990)
Leading World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Rafik Saifi, Antar Yahia, Karim Ziani (3)
Key Players: Nadir Belhadj (Portsmouth), Lounes Gaouaoui (ASO Chlef), Yazid Mansouri (Lorient), Karim Ziani (Wolfsburg)
Language: Arabic

Fast Facts: Algeria secured qualification for South Africa in dramatic circumstances, beating fierce rivals Egypt 1-0 in Sudan in a one game playoff on Nov. 18 … A former continental powerhouse in the 1980’s, Algeria fell into obscurity during the 1990s though Algerian football was kept on the map by none other than Zinidine Zidane, whose parents hailed from the North African country … The USA has never faced Algeria


Current FIFA World Ranking: 33rd
FIFA Trigram: SVN
2010 World Cup Qualifying: Finished 2nd in UEFA Group 3 (6-2-2; 18 GF, 4 GA); Defeated Russia 2-2 on away goal aggregate in UEFA playoff
World Cup Finals Appearances: 2 – 2002 (30th), 2010
Record vs. USA: 0-0-0
Head Coach: Matjaž Kek
Championship Honors: None
Leading World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Milivoje Novakovic (5)
Key Players: Zlatko Dedic (VFL Bochum), Samir Handanovic (Udinese), Robert Koren (West Bromich Albion), Milivoje Novakovic (FC Köln)
Language: Slovenian

Fast Facts: Following a second place finish in Group 3, Slovenia defied the long odds to eliminate Russia in a two-legged UEFA playoff … The nation of just over two million will attend its second World Cup in 2010, having qualified for Korea/Japan in 2002 … Slovenia has never faced the United States

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