The 32-team draw for next year's football World Cup in South Africa was held Friday in Cape Town. The U.S. Soccer Team is pleased with the teams it will face in the first round.
The United States has had what were described as difficult draws for the past few World Cups, but no one is saying that this time.
While the U.S. Soccer team will open Group C play against England, which is ranked ninth in the world, it will then play Slovenia, ranked 33rd, and Algeria, ranked 28th. Both Slovania and Algeria needed to win playoffs to reach the World Cup finals. Algeria defeated Egypt and Slovenia beat Russia.
Of course the big focus will be on the Americans' opening match against England, and U.S. coach Bob Bradley had these comments for reporters in a telephone conference call from Cape Town. "Opening the World Cup with that type of game, a game that I think will just bring tremendous interest in the United States. It'll be special for our fans. The little that I've heard from our players, text messages (on his cell phone) and that kind of thing, you can really tell already that this is a match that has them very, very excited," he said.
Coach Bradley added that while Slovenia and Algeria are not big names, they have good teams.
With the match-up against England, U.S. star midfielder Landon Donovan is likely to face his superstar English teammate on Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy, David Beckham. "I don't know how many players from our league will actually be participating in the World Cup, so to play against one of them would be pretty special in its own right. And to play against your own teammate is obviously pretty incredible. And I don't know how many other opponents will be able to say that against each other. It'd be a lot of fun," he said.
The U.S. will open its World Cup campaign on June 12 against England in Rustenburg. The Americans will face Slovenia in Johannesburg on June 18 and play Algeria June 23 in Pretoria.