US set for friendly away to Slovenia on Nov. 15
The USA-Slovenia group-stage match at the 2010 World Cup was one of the most memorable — and frustrating — in US national team history. Coulibaly, anyone?
Time for the rematch.
US Soccer announced on Tuesday that the US national team will square off once again with Slovenia, on Nov. 15, in Ljubljana. The match, the first-ever for the US in Slovenia, will follow the already-announced Nov. 11 game against France in Paris, completing a double international fixture date.
"Slovenia is a small nation that has achieved big results," Klinsmann said in a press release. "For them to have qualified for two World Cups in such a short time is an incredible achievement. I have seen them play in qualifying and the last World Cup, and I was very impressed. This game is another good opportunity for our players to build on what we have been working on for the last few months."
The US' only other meeting with Slovenia, on June 18, 2010, in Johannesburg, was a pulsating and controversial clash that ended in a 2-2 draw. The US were behind 2-0 at the break before storming back in the second half. Goals from Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley tied the game up, before controversy clouded the affair as Maurice Edu looked to have scored what seemed to be a perfectly legitimate winning goal. Only for Malian referee Koman Coulibaly to disallow the effort.
Slovenia are ranked No. 33 in the world in the latest FIFA rankings and are sure to provide a stern test. The tiny nation of 2 million, sandwiched in between Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Italy, boast stars such as Udinese keeper Samir Handanovic and PSV Eindhoven young striker Tim Matavz.
The US have compiled a 1-3-1 record under Klinsmann so far, their latest result a 1-0 loss to Ecuador at Red Bull Arena on Oct.11. Meanwhile, Slovenia just missed out on qualification to the 2012 European Championship after finishing fourth in their group behind Italy, Serbia and Estonia. However Slovenia do have an impressive pedigree on the international soccer scene, qualifying for Euro 2000 and World Cups in 2002 and 2010, after only being formed as a nation in 1992.