The Tom Sermanni reign has brought the United States with a sparkling 2013 campaign. The U.S. are unbeaten in nine games, two of which were draws against Sweden in the Algarve Cup and Germany in an early April international friendly.
Alex Morgan and Christen Press are both tied for the team lead with six goals each this year. Earlier this month, the U.S. traveled to Toronto to rehash the epic Olympic semi-final against Canada. The U.S. walked away with a 3-0 victory thanks to two second half goals from Morgan. Canada managed to keep the U.S. offense at bay for the first half, but couldn't contain Tobin Heath in the midfield and she managed to link up with Morgan up top.
The U.S. may encounter some difficulty early on against South Korea because the visitors are a technical team that are skilled in defending. They may not maintain possession for lengthy stretches of time, but they will work overtime cutting down the U.S. ability at moving the ball forward.
South Korea's leading scorer is Ji So Yeon, who has 24 goals. She plays for INAC Kobe Leonessa, Japan's top Division 1 football team. She brings a wealth of experience to the field and if the U.S. did their homework, they will work to mark her and fellow forward Park Hee Young. Young trails Yeon in goals with 23 goals.
To counter Korea's technical abilities on the ball, the U.S. needs a creative midfield lineup. Megan Rapinoe returns to the national team after missing the Toronto match on June 2nd. Rapinoe is strong and creative on the ball and her partnership with Heath works wonders for the U.S. If Rapinoe can find space 20 yards from the net with enough space, she might be able to find the back of the net.
Rapinoe has a knack for finding pockets in the box and she will be joined in the midfield by Lauren Cheney. If Morgan and Abby Wambach are heavily guarded by the Korean defense, then Rapinoe's best option would be to find Cheney.
The U.S. has many attacking options available, but their strength also lies in the defense. If the visitors aim to play an aggressive style of football, then the back four will immediately devise a set of clean tackles to dispossess them and restart a counter attack. The strongest elements of the back line are Ali Krieger and Kelley O'Hara. Their overlapping runs make the difference in the scoreline for the national team. They are skills at clean tackles and rarely commit fouls or gift the opposition with free kicks.
According to U.S. Soccer, the two-game match-up against the Koreans will be the last international friendlies the U.S. will play for the summer. The next leg against South Korea will be on June 20th at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
Match Date/Time: Saturday June 15; 7:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts