United States kick off the year with 2-0 win over South Korea
United States picked up a 2-0 win over South Korea with goals coming in both halves of the game, thanks to Chris Wondolowski, who stepped up to perform when his side were missing several key players from the squad.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has found impressive and useful replacements in his squad. Wondolowski hasn’t been included in the squad, but after his strong performance for United States there is a very good chance that Klinsmann will hand him over a jersey for the coveted summer tournament.
It was a 13th straight victory at home for United States and the full house at StubHub Center was proof of the great anticipation from the Yanks at the World Cup. Klinsmann has certainly turned around the fate of the team. Victory in 16 games along with the Gold Cup title made 2013 the most successful year for the United States soccer team.
Starting off the New Year with another victory is certainly a great morale boost for Klinsmann’s side. With a two-and-a-half-week training camp planned in Brazil, Klinsmann was keenly looking onto to the pitch to pick new names and drop the undeserving. At the end of the game, Klinsmann was happy with everyone.
“The guys showed a lot of quality, a lot of effort,” Klinsmann said after the game.
Klinsmann was missing the services of several key players, most of whom were busy with the schedule of their European clubs. United States captain Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, Geoff Cameron, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and goalkeeper Tim Howard were all on leave.
Apart from a few defensive lapses, most of them in the first half of the game, United States put on a good show. There was massive improvement, especially in the attack, from United States in the second half of the game.
“We wanted to take this opportunity in a friendly to be confident and try to play up,” United States forward Landon Donovan said after the game. “We could go to Brazil and sit back three games for 90 minutes and pray for results, but that's not how we're going to progress as a soccer nation, so we're going to go with confidence.”
Klinsmann will now wait for his full roster to arrive before another friendly game against Ukraine on March 5. A friendly with Brazil has also been planned for March. It has still not been confirmed whether Mexico and Unite States will meet for a friendly in April, but it appears to be on the list.