U.S. MNT kicks off 2014 against Korea Republic at sold-out Stubhub Center

The U.S. is 1-3-2 all-time against the Korea Republic. The teams meet for the first time since the group phase of the 2002 World Cup.

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup on the horizon, the U.S. Men’s National Team will kick off this important year in front of a sell-out crowd for the first time in team history. The U.S. hosts the Korea Republic at 2 p.m. PT on Saturday, Feb. 1, at StubHub Center before a capacity crowd of 27,000 spectators. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes Radio and UniMas. Fans can also follow the match live on Twitter @ussoccer.

The U.S. MNT is coming off a record-setting 2013 that included 16 victories and a .761 winning percentage (16-4-3 record). The team captured its fifth Gold Cup title and finished in first place in CONCACAF qualifying for the World Cup for the third-consecutive cycle. The USA also enters 2014 with a record 12-game home winning streak.

The year-opening January camp began with 26 players on Jan. 6 at the National Training Center and moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil, as the team conducted a “dry run” for the World Cup by using the same hotel and training site it will utilize this summer. Five players returned to their clubs following the return to Los Angeles, while Columbus Crew defender Michael Parkhurst was added to the roster.

The game against Korea is one of only two scheduled matches for the USA prior to the start of World Cup training camp in May. The U.S. will next face Ukraine on March 5 in Kharkiv, with that match falling on an international fixture date and thus allowing U.S. head coach the opportunity to select any player from the pool.

The squad is packed with veterans of the World Cup qualifying campaign, as a total of 10 players helped the United States advance to the finals for the seventh-consecutive time. With roster spots still up for grabs and precious few opportunities left to impress, this game against another team that has qualified for Brazil provides a big chance for players to give Klinsmann a reason to pencil their name in to the final 23-man roster.

U.S. Men’s National Team By Position – Detailed Roster

GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (7): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Harrington (Portland Timbers), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Eric Alexander (New York Red Bulls), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS (4): Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

The U.S. is 1-3-2 all-time against the Korea Republic.

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 on June 10 in Daegu. The Clint Mathis delivered a wonder strike and Brad Friedel turned away a penalty kick to earn the U.S. a critical point.

Before 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 international goal in the 2-1 victory on Jan. 19 in Pasadena, Calif.

The USA drew 1-1 against South Korea on March 12, 1994, in Fullerton, Calif., with Marcelo Balboa scoring for the U.S.

Korea Republic’s three victories included the following: a 1-0 victory on June 12, 1987, in Busan, Korea Republic; a 2-1 win on Aug. 13, 1989, in Los Angeles; and a 1-0 win on Dec. 9, 2001, in Seogwipo, Korea Republic.

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