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Saturday’s U.S.-South Korea friendly is sold out

Jan 30, 2014, 10:32 PM EDT

Landon Donovan

Saturday’s national team friendly outside Los Angeles is officially sold out, according to U.S. Soccer. That means a crowd of 27,000 will see Jurgen Klinsmann’s team open its huge 2014 calendar year; the United States meets fellow World Cup qualifier South Korea.

The sellout likely reflects a little amped up interest in a World Cup year, because these early friendlies aren’t always big sellers. The last time the United States closed the January camp with a game at the StubHub Center (then the Home Depot Center, of course) a crowd of 18,580 showed up to see the U.S. meet Chile.

A year before that, there were 18,626 in the house as the United States met Honduras.

Then again, there are just a few more men in camp this time who are probably bound for the World Cup, so maybe that’s part of the brisk sales. Landon Donovan (pictured) and Clint Dempsey, neither of whom were around during the previous January camp, add significant “marquee value” to this one.

What might we get from the game? If you remember, a few of these same players opened up last year against Canada, and the team was pretty dull around the edges. Perhaps this being a World Cup year and all, a few more players will be inspired to take some chances and carpe the doggone diem and such.

Courtesy of the latest U.S. Soccer generated Q&A, here is what Klinsmann says he wants to see Saturday against Korea (a team that took it to Costa Rica recently, but then fell meekly on Wednesday to Mexico, 4-0, down in San Antonio.)

It’s a game at the end of January camp where you want to see the players implement the things we worked on in these three-and-a-half weeks. You want to see the progress they made throughout the camp to get an idea of where they are individually. It helps to finish [the camp] off with a game or maybe two because it’s something they are looking forward to. Otherwise, they train, train, train but can’t prove it in a game.”

  1. hildezero - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    That just goes to show that the US team is very interesting now since Klinsy’s arrival.

  2. takethelongview - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:59 AM

    An alternative reason the match is sold-out: LA has a substantial Korean population. Doubtless, many of them bought tickets.

    At the first World Baseball Classic, Korean fans packed the baseball stadia of southern California with a boisterous, ebuliient, buzz. Don’t be surprised even if a small contingent of South Korean fans makes a noticeable impression on Saturday’s event.

  3. bostonredsoccer - Jan 31, 2014 at 6:35 AM

    But Clint Dempsey isn’t playing in this game. He’s in England…

    • Sgc - Feb 1, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      True, and Donovan is usually in these camps, isn’t he?

      That said, with guys like Gonzalez and Besler and Zusi, I think it is known that there are more “real National Teamers” than usual in this lineup.

  4. takethelongview - Jan 31, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    An alternative theory for why this game sold out: LA has a substantial Korean population.

    During the World Baseball Classic, Korean fans packed into So Cal’s baseball stadia, and they made a lot of noise doing it. So don’t be surprised tomorrow if the Koreans not only have a large supporters’ section but that they are also quite audible in the television broadcast.

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