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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

U.S. to open 2009 schedule against Sweden

CHICAGO -- The U.S. soccer team will open its 2009 schedule with an exhibition game against Sweden on Jan. 24 at Carson, Calif.

Coach Bob Bradley will run a training camp beginning in the first week of January, the U.S. Soccer Federation said Friday.

Most of the U.S. schedule for the year will be determined Saturday, when the draw is held in South Africa for both the final round of World Cup qualifying in the North and Central American and Caribbean region and the Confederations Cup.

In qualifying, the U.S. is grouped with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago. The top three teams in the double round-robin, which runs from Feb. 11-Oct. 14, advance to the 2010 World Cup. The No. 4 team meets South America's fifth-place nation in a home-and-home playoff for another berth.

At the Confederations Cup, to be held from June 14-28 in South Africa, the U.S. team will be joined by the hosts and Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, Italy, New Zealand and Spain.

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