On the heels of the confirmation of the Russia friendly, Hong Myeong-Bo has announced his call-ups for the matches against Switzerland and the aforementioned Russians. There are a few surprises in terms of who’s in, and also, who’s out.
Goalkeepers: Jung Sung-Ryong, Kim Seung-Gyu, Lee Beom-Young
Defenders: Hwang Seok-Ho, Kwak Tae-Hwi, Shin Kwang-Hoon, Lee Yong, Kim Jin-Su, Hong Jeong-Ho, Kim Young-Gwon, Yoon Suk-Young
Midfielders: Lee Chung-Yong, Son Heung-Min, Ji Dong-Won, Han Kook-Young, Go Myeong-Jin, Nam Tae-Hee, Park Jong-Woo, Ki Sung-Yueng
Forwards: Kim Shin-Wook, Yoon Il-Rok, Kim Bo-Kyung, Lee Keun-Ho
*Note – All positions are based on the release from the KFA, they are not my personal opinions
Some notable re-calls have been handed out to Kim Shin-Wook, Go Myeong-Jin, and Shin Kwang-Hoon. None have featured for the national team since Hong took over last summer. Kim Shin-Wook, most notably, seemed on the outs with Hong saying that he thought it made the team too predictable. In his press conference, Hong maintained this belief, but said that he thought that Kim could still be useful.
Go Myeong-Jin has only played once for the national team, almost a year ago, in a friendly against Australia. He was decent in that match, but was never recalled. His form with FC Seoul has apparently gotten him another look. Shin Kwang-Hoon last appeared, I believe in that 4-0 loss to Croatia. The Pohang rightback seems to be here on trial, as Hong doesn’t seem to have much faith in Kim Chang-Soo.
Also returning, is youngster Nam Tae-Hee. Many have been hoping for Nam’s inclusion given his pace and and ball skill, but he hasn’t been called since Hong took over. Will he play? Seems a bit unlikely, but he could add some dazzle as a player off the bench, and is versatile enough to play either as a support striker or the wing.
There are a few notable omissions as well. The one that got the most press is Ha Dae-Sung. The FC Seoul captain shone at the East Asian Cup, but has not really featured since. Hong once again said that Seoul’s schedule is the reason for leaving him off, apparently concerned that playing all these extra friendlies (and extra travel) will wear on the midfielder. Also missing is fellow midfielder Lee Myeong-Joo. Despite some solid shifts when Ki Sung-Yueng was absent, Lee has been completely frozen out since the now-Sunderland man has returned. The final notable absence is Park Joo-Ho. Despite being a mainstay for Mainz, Park doesn’t seem to make the cut in Hong’s book. Rarely used, and now not called. A bit strange considering the two leftbacks Hong has called are Kim Jin-Su, who is very young, and Yoon Suk-Young, who is just starting to get his form back after moving to Doncaster Rovers on loan.
The rest of Hong’s conference centered around a certain Park Chu-Young and the curious listing of Kim Bo-Kyung as a forward. Hong said that he did not call Park up because he is not 100% fit, and still not a regular. Kim is listed as a forward because of his versatility. I’m not sure if Hong will try Kim in the false 9 role that Koo Ja-Cheol was tried in a couple times, but we’ll see.