U.S. friendly against Catalonia canceled

September 21, 2007

CHICAGO -- The U.S. soccer team's exhibition game against Catalonia on Oct. 14 in Barcelona was canceled Friday after the Royal Spanish Football Federation failed to approve the match.

"We are disappointed that the match will not be played, since we believe playing Catalonia would be an excellent experience for our players," U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said. "Nonetheless, we respect the decision of the Spanish federation."

Catalonia is not a FIFA member and the Spanish federation's permission was needed for the game.

The Americans have two remaining games this year: on Oct. 17 against Switzerland in Basel and on Nov. 17 against South Africa in Johannesburg. The U.S. team has lost five straight games, its longest skid since 1994, following a 10-0-1 start under new coach Bob Bradley.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press