US coach happy with World Cup draw

JOHANNESBURG - U.S. coach Bob Bradley was happy after the fixtures for the final phase of the CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup were decided on Saturday. "Certainly when you look at the schedule and see we start at home to Mexico (on February 11) and our last game is home to Costa Rica (on October 14), then things have fallen quite nicely," Bradley told Reuters. "It's clearly a good outcome for us." The U.S. also visit El Salvador on March 28, host Trinidad Tobago on April 1 and travel to Costa Rica on June 3. On June 6, Bradley's team entertain Honduras before they visit Mexico on August 12. They finish off with games against El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras and Costa Rica. The top three qualify for the finals in South Africa and the fourth team playoff against the fifth-placed finisher in South America. Bradley said the Americans faced a tough schedule next year, with the World Cup qualifiers, the Confederations Cup in South Africa in June and the Gold Cup in the U.S. soon after. The Confederations Cup draw is due to be held later in the day in Johannesburg. Asked about the growing pressure on former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson after an unconvincing start to his tenure in charge of Mexico, Bradley said it was proof of how competitive qualifying had become in the CONCACAF region. "There is little that can be taken for granted," he said. The Americans have competed in every World Cup finals since 1990 and reached the last eight in 2002.