CNNSI.com CNNSI.com's complete coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2002 World Cup


 

Destination Daegu

U.S. ponders changes for South Korea match

Posted: Thursday June 06, 2002 12:50 PM
Updated: Thursday June 06, 2002 1:01 PM

  • Subscribe to Soccer America Magazine, the biweekly bible of soccer fans!
  • Get hot news, scores and fan-chat at SoccerAmerica.com

  • By Paul Kennedy, Soccer America

    SEOUL -- Daegu suddenly becomes the place to be Monday afternoon: South Korea-U.S., the meeting of the surprise leaders of Group D.

    The U.S. players and coaching staff tried to put Wednesday's big win over Portugal quickly behind them. Coach Bruce Arena said he was in bed by 11 p.m.

    "You've got to look forward," said Arena. "You can't live on that day."

    The United States will face several big challenges.

    South Korea has the home-field advantage. The support of the Red Devils, Korea's supporters, has been one of the big stories of the World Cup.

    Arena said his players were not intimidated by playing in such an atmosphere. "Playing in Mexico City at Azteca Stadium with 110,000 fans is like you're [being swarmed by] bumble bees," said striker Brian McBride.

     
    From Sports Illustrated
    • Grant Wahl: An "unbelievable" result
    • World Cup Preview: Viva Italia
    • Covers Gallery: Through the years
    Features
    • 91st Minute: France in peril
    • Pedro Pinto: Portugal repeats its mistakes
    • Terry Baddoo: Quite a night
    • Cup of Joe: Korea swathed in red
    • World Cup Hall of Fame: Top 100
    Scores | Schedules and Standings
    From Soccer America
    • Mahoney: It was in the tactics
    • Archive: Coverage from Korea
    From CNN.com
    • Demaria: Temples open to football
    • Special Coverage: CNN.com Europe
    From Time.com
    World Cup Weblog
    • Full Coverage: Insight from Korea/Japan

    South Korea will have an extra day of rest, and the match will be played in the afternoon in Daegu, one of Korea's hottest cities. Arena dismissed the effect the conditions will have on the team, but he said that the game would not played at the same pace as the U.S.-Portugal.

    "The game is not going to be played at a frantic pace, regardless of the fitness level of the players," Arena said. Still, the Korean pressing game is expected to test the United States, especially in the back.

    Besides changes in the U.S. lineup based on fitness questions -- Claudio Reyna possibly returning and Earnie Stewart possibly being out with a groin injury -- Arena may make some changes to keep his players fresh.

    The key game may not turn out to be against South Korea. It could be the Poland game the following Friday in Daejeon. If the U.S. needs a win in the final group game, Arena will need enough players with something left to challenge the physical Poles, who lost 2-0 to South Korea on Tuesday.

    Paul Kennedy is managing editor at Soccer America magazine.

     
    Related information
    Stories
    U.S. holds on to upset Portugal 3-2 at World Cup
    Soccer America: U.S. rides tactics, commitment
    SI's Grant Wahl: Opening statement
    Stewart doubtful for U.S.-South Korea game
    Group D World Cup Home Page
    Multimedia
    Visit Video Plus for the latest audio and video

    Copyright © 2003 Berling Communications dba Soccer America. All rights reserved.
     


     
    CNNSI