The last U.S. national team match of the year will take place in the same country where so many of the year's most memorable matches took place, and chances are the return to South Africa could feature several new faces that didn't make the trip south last summer.
When the United States takes on South Africa on Nov. 17th in Cape Town, Bob Bradley will be calling in a team minus most of his top European players, as well as without the national team players still involved in the MLS playoffs. While we won't see the likes of Landon Donovan or Clint Dempsey, we could potentially see the likes of Tim Howard or Michael Bradley in order to prevent the fielding of a complete B team for a match commemorated as the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup.
So what will a team without most of the team's starters look like? Here's a potential lineup:
PROJECTED USA LINEUP vs. SOUTH AFRICA
Tim Howard and Michael Bradley are in the middle of their club seasons, where both are regular starters, but if Bob Bradley wants to field a team that isn't a flat-out B team, I could see these two players being called in for this match. If Howard is left home, then Brad Guzan would get the nod. If Michael Bradley is left behind, we could see Kyle Beckerman in the starting lineup.
Jozy Altidore is seeing playing time at Villarreal, particularly, but given his lack of minutes in La Liga, a call-up for this friendly makes sense.
Something else to consider is the status of Mexican club Pachuca, which is still battling for a place in the Apertura playoffs. If Pachuca is eliminated this weekend you have to wonder whether Bob Bradley would consider calling in Jose Francisco Torres, Herculez Gomez and even Marco Vidal.
If you are looking for some brand new faces, like a Mikkel Diskerud, there is no guarantee that Bob Bradley will call in brand new players into this camp. Diskerud seems destined to take part in the January training camp.
What do you think of the projected lineup? What players would you like to see called in for the match?
Share your thoughts below.