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“I talked to Tim and I was like, ‘Is this a joke? Are you guys busting with me?’” said Agudelo, who turns 18 on Nov. 23.

A year ago, Ream was playing college soccer for Saint Louis University. He was selected with the 18th overall pick in January’s MLS draft, and wound up as one of only two players to play every league minute for their team this year.

On Friday, he’ll be flying to Cape Town.

“I’d like to consider it a circus,” Ream said. “It’s not all going to set in until after I get back in from this trip and think about everything that’s gone on this year, the success and failures that I’ve had.”

Ream lost out to D.C. United’s Andy Najar for Major League Soccer’s rookie of the year.

“I didn’t expect to be called in,” Ream said. “I was thinking maybe the January camp.”

Defender Eric Lichaj, who made his English Premier League debut Wednesday, also was selected along with goalkeeper Brad Guzan, his Aston Villa teammate. But most regulars will be missing from the match, among them Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Tim Howard.

Left back Jonathan Bornstein, who is leaving Chivas USA for Mexico’s Tigres, is the most experienced player with 35 international appearances. He’s joined by just four other players from the World Cup roster: Guzan, forward Robbie Findley and defenders Jonathan Spector and Clarence Goodson, whose club season in Norway is over.

Just six players have more than 10 international appearances, and Bornstein is the only one who appeared in the World Cup-ending loss to Ghana.

“This game is a good opportunity to look at some different players and assess their place in the pool as we continue to build for the next cycle,” Bradley said.

Following the World Cup, Bradley gave Los Angeles defender Omar Gonzalez his debut in August against Brazil and used Lichaj and Dallas midfielder Brek Shea for the first time last month against Colombia.

The roster against South Africa:

Goalkeepers: Dominic Cervi (Glasgow Celtic, Scotland), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England)

Defenders: Gale Agbossoumonde (Estoril Praia, Portugal), Nat Borchers (Salt Lake), Jonathan Bornstein (Tigres, Mexico), Clarence Goodson (Brondby, Denmark), Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa, England), Tim Ream (New York), Jonathan Spector (West Ham, England)

Midfielders: Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro, Sweden), Brian Carroll (Columbus), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabaek, Norway), Eddie Gaven (Columbus), Logan Pause (Chicago), Robbie Rogers (Columbus)

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