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Several players with connections to Southern California received the phone call early Wednesday -- they're going to South Africa.
The players were selected to the 23-man U.S. men's World Cup team heading to South Africa on Sunday. The final roster, announced Wednesday in Connecticut, includes Los Angeles native and former Los Angeles Galaxy forward Herculez Gomez and current Galaxy forward and Major League Soccer-leading scorer Edson Buddle.
Also on the final list is defender Jonathan Bornstein of Los Alamitos and Carson-based Chivas USA.
Other Southland players on the U.S. squad include Landon Donovan of Redlands, Maurice Edu of Fontana, Steve Cherundolo of San Diego, Carlos Bocanegra of Alta Loma, Michael Bradley of Manhattan Beach, and Benny Feilhaber of Irvine.
The U.S. men's team has a send-off match Saturday against Turkey in Philadelphia before flying to South Africa on Sunday.
At the World Cup, the U.S. opens group play June 12 against England in Rustenburg. They then face Slovenia on June 18 in Johannesburg and Algeria on June 23 in Pretoria.
This summer's World Cup is the 19th edition of the tournament. The first one was staged in 1930 in Uruguay.
No team from North America has ever won the World Cup. There have been seven different champions, all from South America and Europe.