Official call-ups have been announced for Korea’s two September friendlies against Venezuela and Uruguay.
Goalkeepers: Lee Bum-Young (Busan IPark), Kim Jin-Hyeong (Cerezo Osaka, Japan)
Defenders: Park Jong-Woo (Guangzhou R&F, China), Cha Du-Ri (FC Seoul), Lee Yong (Ulsan Hyundai), Kim Joo-Young (FC Seoul), Lim Chae-Min (Seongnam FC), Kwak Tae-Hwi (Al Hilal, Saudi Arabia), Kim Young-Gwon (Guangzhou Evergrande, China), Kim Chang-Soo (Kashiwa Reysol, Japan)
Midfielders: Koo Ja-Cheol (Mainz 05, Germany), Han Kyo-Won (Jeonbuk Motors), Kim Min-Woo (Sagan Tosu, Japan), Lee Myeong-Joo (Al Ain, Qatar), Nam Tae-Hee (Lekhwiya, Qatar), Han Kook-Young (Qatar SC, Qatar), Son Heung-Min (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany), Lee Chung-Yong (Bolton, England), Ki Sung-Yueng (Swansea City, Wales)
Forwards: Lee Dong-Gook (Jeonbuk Motors), Lee Keun-Ho (Sangju Sangmu), Cho Young-Cheol (Qatar SC, Qatar)
First off, it appears that no Asian Games players have been called. Thus explaining the absences of players like Kim Shin-Wook, Kim Seung-Gyu, and Park Joo-Ho. It also partially explains why a player like Lee Dong-Gook, who really has no future with the senior squad, is included.
There are though, a few curiousities. One of which is the fact that only two keepers got called up. Two is the minimum of course, but usually three are called. So, in that sense the decision to drop Jung Sung-Ryong completely is interesting. Does this mean he has no future role with the team, or is the Technical Committee just sparing him any possible abuse that may come his way? Park Chu-Young was not called – unsurprisingly I might add – but given that there is no Kim Shin-Wook, and that they recalled Lee Dong-Gook, Park may be another player with no future with the national team.
The defense is largely known to us, with the exception of Seongnam’s Lim Chae-Min. Lim is a relatively young centerback (23), and has featured heavily for Seongnam this season. Left back also remains an issue. There are three recognized right backs (Cha DR, Lee Y, and Kim CS), but no recognizable left back. I wonder if the committee is considering an experiment with a back-three?
Forward remains an issue as well. Without Park Chu-Young and Kim Shin-Wook, the committee seems to be just searching for someone to put there. With that thought in mind, Lee Dong-Gook makes sense (despite his many detractors). Lee has been excellent domestically the past several years, and while the K League is not the toughest of leagues, he remains the best option based on performance. In essence, it’s a high-reward/low-risk call. Perform well and they can crow about the K League. Perform poorly and it’s as expected. Lee Keun-Ho also returns, as does Cho Young-Cheol.
The midfield is also largely a familiar group. Lee Myeong-Joo has earned his recall, and Nam Tae-Hee has also returned. Jeonbuk’s Han Kyo-Won gets a call as well as Sagan Tosu’s Kim Min-Woo.
More on these friendlies in the future as the dates come nearer.