US to face Egypt in Cairo in Feb. 9 friendly date

Bradley hails Pharaohs as key opponent in readying for Gold Cup

The US national team will travel to Cairo to face African champions Egypt in a friendly on Feb. 9, the US Soccer Federation announced on Monday.

The match against the No. 10-ranked Pharaohs marks the second game for the US in 2011 as they prepare for next summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup. The No. 24-ranked Americans also take on Chile at the Home Depot Center on Jan. 22.

“Egypt is an extremely talented and competitive team,” US head coach Bob Bradley said in a statement. “Their performances in the Confederations Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations have demonstrated their ability to challenge the top teams in the world. To play against the champions of Africa in what will be a fantastic environment in Cairo is a great opportunity as we get ready for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.”

The match will mark the third meeting between the two countries. The US won the first fixture 3-1 in South Korea in 1987, and prevailed 3-0 during the 2009 Confederations Cup. That victory helped the American squad advance to the semifinals of the tournament, where they shocked No. 1 Spain before falling to Brazil in the final.

February's contest marks an opportunity for Bradley to evaluate talent before next summer's CONCACAF championship. It falls on an official fixture date, so he will have access to the entire roster. The midweek date, however, will create difficulties for in-season players.

While the trip to Egypt isn't as laborious as the one to South Africa, it's a long way to go for a friendly. As a result, the roster should consist of some players from the January camp as well as those who are struggling to find time with their European clubs.

Noah Davis covers the United States national team for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter at @noahedavis.

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