They’re finally here. Hong’s long awaited list of call-ups for the high profile match against Brazil and the slightly less high profile match against Mali. Let’s not waste time. Onto the list!
Goalkeepers: Jung Sung-Ryong, Lee Bum-Young, Kim Seung-Gyu
Defenders: Kim Chang-Soo, Lee Yong, Kwak Tae-Hwi, Hong Jeong-Ho, Kim Young-Gwon, Hwang Seok-Ho, Yoon Suk-Young, Kim Jin-Su, Park Joo-Ho
Midfielders: Park Jong-Woo, Han Kook-Young, Lee Myeong-Joo, Ki Sung-Yeung, Lee Chung-Yong, Kim Bo-Kyung, Son Heung-Min, Yoon Il-Rok, Go Yo-Han, Kim Tae-Hwan
Forwards: Ji Dong-Won, Koo Ja-Cheol, Lee Keun-Ho
Ki Sung-Yeung has returned to the squad. To the frustration of many (but not this particular writer) Park Chu-Young has not. Interestingly, Ji Dong-Won, Koo Ja-Cheol, and Lee Keun-Ho are all labeled as forwards by the KFA (previously all were listed as midfielders). A sign of intent as to how Hong views them? The most interesting is Koo, who had shifted deeper at Wolfsburg, and who Hong had tried out in central midfield last time out (to relatively poor effect). The only new player is Seongnam’s Kim Tae-Hwan. The surprising omission is Ha Dae-Sung of FC Seoul, who had captained the side under Hong a few times, and was impressive on a few occasions. Seoul’s AFC Champions League quest seems to be the reason (Ha is tired).
The match is still a couple weeks away, but for now, I’ll guess this starting XI:
I think Lee Yong’s more defensive nature will be needed on the right (he’ll go up against Neymar), but of course Kim Chang-Soo’s experience might be preferred. Hong Jeong-Ho and Kim Young-Gwon should make their normal CB pairing. Kwak’s lack of pace would be disastrous against the pacey Brazilian attack, but he may be decent against the likes of Jo or Fred. Park Joo-Ho’s experience will likely be preferred ahead of the more inexperience Kim Jin-Su and out of form Yoon Suk-Young (who shouldn’t have been called IMO).
I’m really not sure about the midfield pair. If Ki starts I don’t particularly like the Lee Myeong-Joo partnership. I just feel like between the two of them, they won’t be enough to stop Brazil’s midfield from overrunning them. So, if Ki starts, despite his relative inexperience, I think Han Kook-Young could be the best partner due to his pure defensive tendencies. If Lee Myeong-Joo starts, I think maybe you see Park Jong-Woo next to him. Of course, we could see a Ki-Lee partnership.
The attacking three are obvious. The forward would seem to be between Koo Ja-Cheol and Lee Keun-Ho. I think Hong will tend towards his defensive mindset and figure that Brazil will have the ball more. With that thinking, I think he’ll go with Lee Keun-Ho who will stretch the defense more with his vertical running. I don’t think we’ll see Ji Dong-Won start due to his poor form with Sunderland.
Remember, you can check out the call-ups for the Brazil team here.
As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments. Anyone called who shouldn’t? Anyone not called who should’ve? Who should start?