Feb. 1, Chris Wondolowski scored two goals to lead the U.S. Men's National Team to a 2-0 win over Korea Republic for a sold-out crowd of 27,000 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Wondolowski's two goals virtually guaranteed the San Jose Earthquakes striker a spot on the USA's World Cup roster.
Wondolowski, assisted by Brad Davis, scored in just the fourth minute from a sequence started by Landon Donovan, who wore the captain's armband for the first time since 2011. Wondolowski scored again, unassisted, in the middle of the second half. The striker now has eight goals in his new National Team career after scoring six in 2013.
“My mind frame doesn’t change," said Wondolowski. "Any time I get this wonderful opportunity to represent my country, I’m going to try to make the most of it. That’s always been my mind frame since day one and that’s how it’s going to be till the last.”
No. 3 goalkeeper Nick Rimando made five saves and improved to 10-0-0 in his international career. Rimando is now tied for fifth for all-time victories with No. 2 goalkeeper Brad Guzan, and also collected the fourth shutout.
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi was a strong presence on the field and after the game explained the strategy to the press.
“A lot of work we put into this camp was that first decisive ball or bypassing some of their midfielders, getting our midfielders beyond their midfielders then playing the ball wide and attacking from the flanks," said Zusi. "A big part of this camp was not the side-to-side build-up, it was that penetrating ball, which leads to a quick attack. Both our goals came from just that.”
Unfortunately, much-anticipated Mike Magee did not dress for the game due to food poisoning, but the squad still had a strong MLS influence. Klinsmann's started right back Brad Evans, center backs Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler and left back Michael Parkhurst. In the midfield was Kyle Beckerman and Mix Diskerud, the trio of Graham Zusi, Landon Donovan and Brad Davis, and Chris Wondolowski up front in the 4-2-3-1 formation.
In the 62nd minute, Klinsmann subbed in Eddie Johnson for Wondolowski, Benny Feilhaber for Diskerud and Clarence Goodson took over for Besler. Two members from the USA's 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team made their senior team debuts. Defender DeAndre Yedlin replaced Evans in the 74th minute and midfielder Luis Gil entered for Davis in the 75th minute.
The U.S. National Team only has one match scheduled before World Cup, where they'll face the Group of Death - Ghana, Portugal and Germany. The USA will next battle Ukraine on March 5, at Stadium Metallist in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN and Univision.
Although the USA's chances of advancing from the Group of Death are slim, the U.S. Men's National Team has moved to 28-10-7 under German head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
USA - Chris Wondolowski (Brad Davis) 4th minute
USA - Chris Wondolowski (unassisted) 60
USA: 1-Nick Rimando; 2-Brad Evans (14-DeAndre Yedlin, 74), 5-Matt Besler (21-Clarence Goodson, 60), 4-Omar Gonzalez, 3-Michael Parkhurst; 6-Kyle Beckerman, 8-Mix Diskerud (15-Benny Feilhaber, 60), 10-Landon Donovan (capt.), 7-Graham Zusi (20-Eric Alexander, 82), 11-Brad Davis (16-Luis Gil, 75), 9-Chris Wondolowski (18-Eddie Johnson, 60)
Subs Not Used: 12-Sean Johnson, 17-Dax McCarty
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
KOR: 1-Sung-Ryong Jung; 20-Jin-Su Kim (19-Taehwan Kim, 79), 6-Ju-Young Kim, 16-Kee-Hee Kim, 14-Yong Lee; 8-Ho Lee (13-Myung-Joo Lee, 70), 22-Jong-Woo Park, 15-Min-Woo Kim, 17-Yohan Go; 11-Keun-Ho Lee (18-Seunggi Lee, 70), 9-Shin-Wook Kim
Subs Not Used: 21-Seunggyu Kim, 23-Bumyoung Lee, 3-Dae-Ho Kim, 4-Min-soo Kang, 5-Ji-Nam Lee, 2-Jinpo Park, 12-Jinhyung Song, 7-Kihun Yeom
Head Coach: Hong Myung-Bo
Stats Summary: USA / KOR
Shots: 9 / 16
Shots on Goal: 5 / 6
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 1 / 6
Fouls: 12 / 11
Offside: 1 / 0
Referee: Hugo Cruz (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavio Jara (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Warner Castro (CRC)
Fourth Official: Henry Bejarano (CRC)
Budweiser Man of the Match: