U.S. MNT Blanks Korea Republic 2-0 in 2014 Opener in Front of Sell-Out Crowd of 27,000 at StubHub Center
- Chris Wondolowski Scores Two Goals for Eight Career International Goals
- Goalkeeper Nick Rimando Improves to 10-0-0 in Career, Tying for Fifth on All-Time Wins List
- USA Heads to Ukraine on March 5 at Stadium Metallist; Kickoff Time to be Announced at Later Date, with Broadcast on ESPN and Univision Networks and ESPN Deportes Radio
CARSON, Calif. (Feb. 1, 2014) – Led by two goals from forward Chris Wondolowski, the U.S. Men’s National Team opened the 2014 campaign in stellar fashion with a 2-0 victory against the Korea Republic in front of a sell-out crowd of 27,000 at StubHub Center.
Wondolowski tallied once in each half in support of USA goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who made five saves and improved to 10-0-0 in his international career. Rimando is now tied for fifth on the all-time goalkeeper victories list with Brad Guzan, and also collected the fourth shutout of his career. Wondolowski now has eight goals in his career after scoring six in 2013 – five during the USA’s run to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup title.
The U.S. improved to 2-3-2 all-time against the Korea Republic, with the other victory coming in the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Next up for the U.S. MNT will be an international friendly against Ukraine on March 5 at Stadium Metallist in Kharkiv, Ukraine. The kickoff time will be announced at a later date, and the match will be broadcast on ESPN and Univision networks and on ESPN Deportes Radio. Fans can also follow the MNT on Twitter @ussoccer.
The USA wasted no time attacking the net against Korea Republic. In the fourth minute, Landon Donovan, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time since 2011, started the sequence finding Graham Zusi on the right flank. Zusi crossed in to Brad Davis, whose left-footed shot was deflected by goalkeeper Sung-Ryong Jung, but Wondolwoski converged on the rebound to take a 1-0 lead.
The USA midfield and defense maintained a strong recovery prowess when Korea Republic’s offense tried to counter attack, but Korea Republic did find some close moments by virtue of several corner kick opportunities.
The visitors nearly found an equalizer in the eighth minute when Jong-Woo Park’s corner kick was deflected in at the near right side and Rimando made a clutch stop at the edge of the goal line.
In the run of play, one of Korea Republic’s near chances in the 35th minute included Min-Woo Kim’s attack from the left as he got past outside back Brad Evans and crossed the ball into the box. U.S. defender Matt Besler made one of the key defensive interceptions of the first half as Shin-Wook Kim would have had a clear shot on goal.
The U.S. was inches away from potentially going into the break with a two-goal lead. In the 43rd minute, center back Omar Gonzalez played a perfect long ball to Wondolowski on the right side. He dished across the six-yard box in search of Donovan, but Donovan’s lunging effort was just short of connecting with the ball.
Korea Republic asserted itself in the second half, forcing Rimando into a pair of saves in the first 15 minutes. Min-Woo Kim’s free kick in the 53rd minute got past the USA’s three-man wall, and Rimando bobbled the save at the near right post, but had ample time to collect without allowing a rebound. Then in the 58th minute, Shin-Wook Kim found a seam in the USA defense to head the ball directly to Rimando.
After those scares, however, the USA gained a two-goal cushion in the 60th minute. Immediately off of Evans’ throw-in on the right side, Zusi crossed in toward Donovan making a run to the near right post. The ball took a deflection back to Wondolowski who was once again in the right place at the right time, slotting the ball home for his second goal.
- The U.S. has now posted a 12-2-8 record in calendar openers since 1993. Prior to 1993, the USA had lost its previous six straight calendar-opening games from 1987-92.
- The USA moved to 28-10-7 under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
- Klinsmann’s starting lineup featured Nick Rimando in the goal behind the back line of right back Brad Evans, center backs Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler and left back Michael Parkhurst.
- In the midfield was Kyle Beckerman and Mix Diskerud, the trio of Graham Zusi, Landon Donovan and Brad Davis, and Chris Wondolowski up front in the 4-2-3-1 formation.
- In the 62nd minute, Klinsmann made three subs for the USA. Eddie Johnson replaced Wondolowski, Benny Feilhaber entered for Diskerud and Clarence Goodson took over for Besler.
- Two members from the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team made their U.S. MNT debuts. Defender DeAndre Yedlin replaced Evans in the 74th minute and midfielder Luis Gil entered for Davis in the 75th minute.
- New York Red Bulls midfielder Eric Alexander earned his second-career cap as he entered the game in the 82nd minute for Zusi.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -
U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Korea Republic
Date: Feb. 1, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 2 p.m. PT
Attendance: 27,000 (so)
Weather: 69 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
KOR 0 0 0
USA – Chris Wondolowski (Brad Davis) 4th minute
USA – Chris Wondolowski (Landon Donovan) 60
USA: 1-Nick Rimando; 2-Brad Evans (14-DeAndre Yedlin, 74), 5-Matt Besler (21-Clarence Goodson, 60), 4-Omar Gonzalez, 3-Michael Parkhurst; 6-Kyle Beckerman, 8-Mix Diskerud (15-Benny Feilhaber, 60), 10-Landon Donovan (capt.), 7-Graham Zusi (20-Eric Alexander, 82), 11-Brad Davis (16-Luis Gil, 75), 9-Chris Wondolowski (18-Eddie Johnson, 60)
Subs Not Used: 12-Sean Johnson, 17-Dax McCarty
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
1-Sung-Ryong Jung; 20-Jin-Su Kim (19-Taehwan Kim, 79), 6-Ju-Young Kim, 16-Kee-Hee Kim, 14-Yong Lee; 8-Ho Lee (13-Myung-Joo Lee, 70), 22-Jong-Woo Park,
15-Min-Woo Kim, 17-Yohan Go; 11-Keun-Ho Lee (18-Seunggi Lee, 70), 9-Shin-Wook Kim
Subs Not Used: 21-Seunggyu Kim, 23-Bumyoung Lee, 3-Dae-Ho Kim, 4-Min-soo Kang, 5-Ji-Nam Lee, 2-Jinpo Park, 12-Jinhyung Song, 7-Kihun Yeom
Head Coach: Hong Myung-Bo
Stats Summary: USA / KOR
Shots: 9 / 16
Shots on Goal: 5 / 6
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 1 / 6
Fouls: 12 / 11
Offside: 1 / 0
Referee: Hugo Cruz (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavio Jara (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Warner Castro (CRC)
Fourth Official: Henry Bejarano (CRC)
Budweiser Man of the Match: