USMNT Drops First Game of Series Against South Korea

April 18, 2019, 8:58 a.m. (ET)

SEOUL, South Korea – April 18, 2019 - After traveling half way around the world and followed by two intense days of training, the U.S. Men’s National Team was eager to take on No. 17 South Korea, who has had a lot of recent international success. The first of four test series games at the Korea National Training Center saw No. 25 USA unable to capitalize as the hosts went on to earn a 4-0 victory.

“It has been a while since we played an opposition of this quality, so it is great to be here again,” said Rutger Wiese, USMNT Head Coach. “We played well for three quarters but obviously can’t be content with our performance the fourth quarter. We are looking forward to showing improvements in game two in the areas that we recognized we need some work in today.”

The first quarter was pretty even with Korea having a bit more ball possession while USA did have two great scoring opportunities that they were unable to capitalize on. Korea earned a penalty corner early and scored with a low bullet into the right corner of the goal to take a 1-0 lead. USA stabilized and started to move the ball with more intent as the first quarter came to a close.

A quick pep talk at the first break saw USA progress and start to play with more consistency in the second and third quarters. Korea’s second goal came from a poor substitution where USA was caught by a fast counter attack down the right side, allowing a circle entry with the defense scrambling. This resulted in the hosts tallying their second goal of the game to extend their lead to 2-0. USA didn’t let up on their offensive pressure and connected with the forward line a few times to threaten and produce a couple of good shots, and Korea’s goalkeeper even made a great save off a USA penalty corner.

The fourth quarter saw USA run into penalty trouble after earning a few cards forcing them to play an athlete down for 9 minutes. Korea added two more goals to their lead as USA goalkeeper Daan Wisselink (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) fought bravely with quite a few valiant saves. The final score stood in favor of Korea 4-0.

The U.S. Men’s National Team returns to the pitch in less than 24 hours for the second game of the four-match series. For more information regarding the USMNT vs. South Korea test series including the schedule, results, rosters and more, check out the official event page by clicking here.