words_Nick Engvall

Saturday morning in South Africa, the US Men’s National Team will take on Australia in their last warm up match before this year’s World Cup gets underway. It will be the first time they get to compete with the adidas Jabulani Official World Cup Match Ball, and a chance for them to actually gain some much needed support from American fans just in time for the World Cup soccer.

With striker Jozy Altidore now listed as day-to-day after a mild ankle sprain Wednesday, the United States’ star Landon Donovan and team captain Carlos Bocanegra to carry the heavier than normal responsibility of leading the team should Jozy not be able to go. However, with the host of injuries that has plagued the US team leading up to the World Cup, Jozy sitting this one out might be the best thing for their match against England in the opening round of the 2010 World Cup.

For Donovan, the added pressure won’t faze him. As the US Men’s National Team all time leading goal scorer and all time leader in assists, he’s carried the team before. Saturday’s friendly will be no different, but finding the right combination and attack on offense will need to be worked out Saturday, if the US team has a chance at beating England in their opening match.

For Australia, they’ll be using Saturday’s match as a warm up for what many would consider a much tougher Group D, which will include matches with Germany, Ghana, and Serbia. If things go well for both squads in their first round match-ups, they could meet each other again in the round of 16.

So as much as this match is “friendly” you can bet that both team’s will be playing all-out.

You can catch the action bright and early at 8:30am EST on ESPN2.

image via yahoo

2010 World Cup adidas Official Match Ball