International Friendly Preview: USA - South Korea

Keith Hickey
International Friendly Preview: USA - South Korea

The United States men's national team will look to ease into its preparations against a weakened South Korean side on Saturday.

Korean coach Hong Myung-Bo returns to the StubHub Center for the first time since he retired as an LA Galaxy player in 2004, but he brings a side made up almost exclusively of players from the South Korean K-League, with just three players -- Kim Jin-Su and Kim Min-Woo of Albirex Nigata and Sagan Tosu of the J-League and Ha Dae-Sun from Chinese club Beijing Guoan -- not drawn from domestic clubs.

The Taeguk Warriors have had a mixed time on their winter tour of North America. A 1-0 win over Costa Rica was followed up with Tuesday's 4-0 loss against Mexico in which El Tri debutant Alan Pulido walked away with a hat trick.

The Yanks have also largely drawn their squad from domestic clubs, and midfielder Mix Diskerud of Norwegian team Rosenborg is the only American player not employed by Major League Soccer.

Four different players would earn their first U.S. caps if selected by Jurgen Klinsmann: fullbacks Michael Harrington and DeAndre Yedlin of the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders, midfielder and U-20 captain Luis Gil and Chicago Fire striker and reigning MLS MVP Mike Magee.

This match is the first meeting between the United States and South Korea since a 1-1 draw in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Clint Mathis scored in the first half for the Yanks, but the Koreans equalized through Jung-Hwan Ahn. Landon Donovan is the only player to have played in that game from either side with a chance to play in this match.