December 2, 2013
PREPARATION STARTS IN LA
U.S. to open 2014 with South Korea
CHICAGO - The U.S. Men's National Team will face fellow FIFA World Cup finalist Korea Republic on Feb. 1 in Carson, Calif., in the team's first World Cup preparation match of 2014. Kickoff at StubHub Center is set for 2 p.m. PT (5 p.m. ET).
The USA and Korea Republic meet for the first time since the group phase of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where the United States played the host to a 1-1 draw.
Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, Dec. 6, at 10 a.m. PT through ussoccer.com, by calling 1-888-929-7849, and at the StubHub Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
"As a team that has qualified for Brazil, the Korea Republic will be another great benchmark for us," said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "They bring a different style of play than we have seen in the last two years, and that gives us a chance to grow. With only two or three games left before May, this will be an important opportunity for the players who will be finishing off the January camp. The message will be the same one we start with every time we get together: we are here to win."
Overall, the U.S. has a 1-3-2 record against Korea Republic, which has qualified for its eighth World Cup tournament. Prior to the 2002 World Cup, the teams played their opening group match of the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup in which Korea was an invited participant. A young DaMarcus Beasley scored his first career international goal in the 2-1 win. Six months later, a wonder strike from Clint Mathis and a penalty kick save from Brad Friedel helped the U.S. earn a share of the points on June 10, 2002, in Daegu.
StubHub Center will be the site of the USA's first match of the year for the seventh time since 2004, the U.S. posting a 3-1-2 record in those games. The occasion holds special significance for U.S. forward Landon Donovan, who set the USA's all-time scoring record during the 3-2 win against Sweden in the opening game of the 2008 campaign.
The U.S. has concluded a record-setting campaign in 2013 with both the most victories (16) and best winning percentage (.761) in team history. Having reached the World Cup final competition for the seventh-consecutive time, the USA finished in first place in qualifying in the CONCACAF region for the third straight cycle. After completing a team-record 12-game winning streak, the U.S. also finished the year with a plus-28 goal differential.