CHICAGO (Thursday, October 11, 2001) - The United States Men’s National Team will play an international friendly against 2002 World Cup co-host South Korea on the resort island of Jeju on Sunday, December 9, at 3 p.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). The match will be played at Jeju Stadium in Seogwipo, Jeju Province, and will help open the final newly constructed venue in Korea for the upcoming World Cup finals in the summer of 2002.
"With the task of qualifying for the World Cup finals now complete, we can begin to focus on getting our team ready to participate in the world’s most prestigious sporting event,” said U.S. Head Coach Bruce Arena. “To have the chance to face a quality opponent in South Korea and familiarize ourselves with the conditions will certainly help in our preparations. We are grateful to the Korean Federation for providing us with this opportunity.”
The United States is coming off its record-setting performance, in which the team qualified for its fourth consecutive World Cup finals. By virtue of defeating Jamaica 2-1 at Foxboro Stadium on October 7 and both Honduras and Mexico failing to win the same day, the U.S. earned the second of three CONCACAF qualifying berths for 2002 Korea/Japan. The United States will play its remaining match of the final round hexagonal away to Trinidad and Tobago on November 11 (live on ABC at 2 p.m. ET).
The United States has never defeated South Korea, holding a 0-2-1 lifetime record in three previous meetings. The teams last met in a prelude to World Cup USA ’94, drawing 1-1 in Fullerton, Calif., in March of that year. South Korea will be making its fifth straight appearance in the Finals, having qualified for every tournament since 1986 and receiving a berth in next year’s tournament as a host country.
The friendly will follow on the heels of the 2002 World Cup Draw, which will be held in Busan, Korea, on December 1 at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center.