Egypt's head coach Bob Bradley of the U.S. Looks on during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Guinea at El-Gouna stadium in Hurghada

Bob Bradley’s wish granted – Egypt to play in Cairo with 30,000 fans


The Egyptian National Team was handed a boost for their World Cup hopes after the Egyptian Football Association granted Bob Bradley’s request to play their playoff match against Ghana in Cairo and in front of fans.

The match is set for November 19th and will be the second leg of the competition after the October 15th opener in Ghana.

Following last week’s draw for the African World Cup playoffs, Bradley requested the home leg be played in nation’s capital and that fans be allowed to attend.

“We would love to play in Cairo,” Bradley said after the draw. “That is the dream of the team.”

MORE: Bob Bradley’s Egypt draw Ghana in the CAF playoffs

That dream will now be realized as the EFA slated the match to be played in Cairo’s ’30 June Stadium’. It’s been two years since the Pharaohs last played in the capital where they defeated Niger 3-0. That victory, in October 2011, came four months before the infamous Port Said league match that left more than 70 fans dead.

Since that match Cairo has come undone through political uproar and violence. The unrest prompted the EFA to schedule the national team’s matches outside of the capital city, in places like Alexandria and the seaside resort of El Gouna.

Egypt not only held an unbeaten record at those locations but throughout the entire African qualifying process, winning all six of their group stage games. Now, faced with a playoff against one of the best teams on the continent, Bradley’s squad will return home to the 30,000 capacity seat stadium, which the EFA promises will be full.

During his time in charge of the US Men’s National Team, Bradley’s squad were knocked out of the 2010 World Cup by Ghana in the last 16 in South Africa.

The first legs of the Confederation of African Football World Cup playoffs will take place on October 11th-15th with the second legs taking place from November 15th-19th. Below is the entire playoff fixture list:

Ivory Coast vs. Senegal

Ethiopia vs. Nigeria

Tunisia vs. Cameroon

Ghana vs. Egypt

Burkina Faso vs. Algeria

Klinsmann blames Costa Rica loss on Mexico hangover

Jurgen Klinsmann

The United States lost their third straight match on home soil tonight, the first such losing streak since 1997.

Following an extra-time loss to Mexico on Saturday, the U.S. failed to compete in a friendly against Costa Rica, putting in another poor performance as the side continues to struggle.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

In his post match press conference, Jurgen Klinsmann said his team was still shaking off the loss against Mexico, and couldn’t recover in time for tonight’s game.

Yes, the United States’ match against Mexico went 120 minutes. Yes, it was a very tough game both physically and mentally. However, it’s time for Klinsmann to stop making excuses.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from the USMNT’s loss to Costa Rica ]

Of the starting XI against Costa Rica, only four started against Mexico. Of the six substitutes Klinsmann brought in today, only Bobby Wood played in the Mexico match, and for less than 25 minutes.

The problem isn’t that the U.S. lost tonight; it’s that they didn’t even show up. What Klinsmann needed to do was walk into his press conference and say, “We didn’t come to play tonight. We stunk. That can’t happen and we need to be better. It starts with me.”

[ PLAYER RATINGS: Howard’s return highlights poor performances from USMNT ]

Top teams don’t dwell on past results. Top teams rebound quickly and back up poor performances with strong performances. When a top team would have bounced back, the United States fell flat.

Clearly the argument is, well, the United States isn’t a top team. But isn’t that what Klinsmann was brought in to do? To help develop the USMNT into a top team? The least they could do is act like one, and that starts with the manager.

College Soccer Update: Tragedy strikes USC Upstate with horrible car accident

USC Upstate
USC Upstate
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No interviews today. No star players and programs. Just mourning.

USC Upstate lost four students earlier this week, two of them men’s soccer players, in an early morning car accident this weekend. A fifth was injured when the car they were driving in ran off the road, hit a tree, and caught fire.

James Campbell and Mills Sproul are the soccer players who’ve left the pitch for the final time.

[ MORE: College soccer news ]

USC Upstate’s athletic department held a candelight vigil on Monday, and honored both players with online memorials.

From Campbell’s, entitled “James Campbell Was an Intense Player Whose Competitiveness Made Those Around Him Play Harder”:

While Kyle Juell and James attended different high schools, they played club soccer together. “James was intense and passionate on the field,” Juell said. “He was the kind of aggressive player you wanted as a teammate. He was fun and warm and full of life and he cared so much about his teammates.”

From Sproul’s, entitled “Mills Sproul Put the Needs of Others Before His Own and Was Accepting of All”:

Mills’ teammate Deon Rose said that Mills was like the brother he never had.

“The first time I met him, I knew that he was special,” Rose said. “Not because he asked me if we had beaches in Canada or how Canadians survived without Chick-fil-A, but because he had an unconditional love for everyone and everything.”

Our thoughts are with the USC Upstate team, and entire community. Rest in peace.

Three stars of the week

1. University of California Santa Barbara — The Gauchos leapt from “receiving votes” to No. 14 in the nation. The Gauchos have won five-straight, all in-state, by a combined score of 13-3.

2. Joey Piatczyc, West Virginia — The midfielder leads the nation in assists with 12, one coming in Tuesday’s upset of Penn State, a match in which he also scored his first of the year. The Mountaineers shocked PSU with a 3-0 home win in Morgantown.

3. Francis Atuahene and Colin McAtee, Michigan — The Ghanaian freshman is a lightning bolt, and keeps producing goals along with the redshirt senior McAtee, who hails from San Diego. The Wolverines beat Duquesne 3-0 on Tuesday.

Other notes

— Creighton dropped two of its 24 first place votes, one each to North Carolina and Stanford, but remains the No.1 men’s team in the nation.

— Wake Forest hasn’t allowed a goal in three matches, against quality competition in NC State, South Carolina and Boston College. There were stretches in the 2-0 win over South Carolina where they looked unbeatable.

— Speaking of the Demon Deacons, they’ll face dangerous UNC on Saturday in what will be a cracker.

— Also No. 1:Florida State (Women’s D-1), Gannon (Women’s D-2), Trinity of Texas (Women’s D-3), Pfeiffer (Men’s D-2), Franklin & Marshall (Men’s D-3).