The U.S. Women’s National Team will complete its five-game Victory Tour, presented by Allstate, when it takes on Korea Republic on Thursday, Oct. 3, at Bank of American Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. (7:30 p.m. ET; FS1, the FOX Sports App & TUDN) and Sunday, Oct. 6 at Soldier Field in Chicago (1 p.m. CT on ESPN & the ESPN App). Here are five things to know about Korea Republic:
USA vs. Korea RepublicThe USA is 9-0-2 all-time against Korea Republic, which is ranked 20th in the world. The most recent matches between the teams came in the fall of 2017 as the USA downed South Korea, 3-1, in New Orleans on goals from Julie Ertz, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, and 6-0 in Cary, N.C. as Samantha Mewis scored twice in her club’s home stadium, to combine with goals from Christen Press, Ertz, Allie Long and Lynn Williams, who also scored on her home pitch. All 11 games between the teams have taken place on U.S. soil.
Rising Power in Asia
Korea Republic played the first international match in its history in 1990, against AFC rival Japan. While its rise to prominence in the women’s game has been a bit slow-going, since the turn of the century, Korea has made significant strides, qualifying for the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where it was eliminated after the group stage, the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where it advanced to the Round of 16 – its best performance to date – and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where it went out after group play.
South Korea at France 2019
The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup did not go very well for Korea Republic, but it was drawn into perhaps the most difficult group. Korea was the opponent for host France in the electric opening match of the tournament and gave up three goals in the first half on the way to a 4-0 loss. Korea then dropped its second group match to Nigeria, 2-0, before falling 2-1 to a strong Norway team and exited the tournament. Forward Yeo Minji, who was originally named to the roster but did not travel to the USA, scored her country’s only goal of the tournament, tallying the 78th minute against the Norwegians.
A Night to Remember
South Korea was the opponent on one of the most memorable nights in U.S. history, which came in 2013, a 5-0 U.S. victory at Red Bull Arena. That was the historic night that forward Abby Wambach became the greatest goal scorer in international soccer as she scored four goals – all in the first half. It was the third strike in the 29th minute that gave her 159 in her career and moved her past former teammate Mia Hamm to become the all-time leader in international goals. Lauren Holiday scored the fifth and final goal in that match.
Looking towards the 2020 Olympics
Next year, South Korea will try to qualify for the Olympics for the first time when it hosts a four-team third round group in early February. South Korea must finish in the top two in that group to advance to the final round, which will feature a two-leg series on March 6 and 11 with the winners of the two final round series’ advancing to the Olympics to join host Japan from the AFC.