Breaking News: World Cup Squad Finalized

Photo Credit: The KFA

After a shambolic display on Friday night in Jeonju, Shin Tae-yong wasted no time finalizing his 23-man roster for the World Cup in Russia by releasing the three dropped players on Saturday morning in Korea. Our friend Steve Han broke the news. Brace yourselves!

In my opinion, this makes absolutely no sense for many reasons. However, I think it will be much more interesting to have that discussion in the comments. For now, I will share an updated look at the current depth chart available to Shin Tae-yong to emphasize why this move makes little sense, if any.


Kim Seung-gyu (his spot could be in danger after that display in Jeonju)

Cho Hyun-woo

Kim Jin-hyeon


Hong Chul

Kim Min-woo


Kim Young-gwon

Jung Seung-hyun

Jang Hyun-soo

Yoon Young-sun

Oh Ban-suk


Lee Yong

Ko Yohan


Ki Sung-yeung

Jung Woo-young

Ju Se-jong (Although I am on the Ju SJ hype train and want him at #2)

Ko Yo-han

Park Joo-ho


Lee Jae-sung

Koo Ja-cheol


Lee Seung-woo

Moon Seon-min


Son Heung-min

Hwang Hee-chan

Kim Shin-wook

That is the squad we take to Russia. Shin Tae-yong has made his bed. Now he will be forced to lie in it. Discuss in the comments below. We’ll be right down there with you! Courage!

About Michael Welch 89 Articles
That Halfie Korean-American who loves football (I mean, soccer).


  1. Kim Shin Wook?

    I personally think Shin Tae Young was given this job way too soon.

    We should have hired a veteran Euro coach, but I guess that is a dream of mine.

    • Well, doing something like this has proven your opinion to be absolutely right. When we got Stielike we were in the market for van Marwijk (correct me if I’m wrong everyone) but he wouldn’t relocate to Korea. Van Marwijk just led Australia to a 4-0 win. You are absolutely right Lionel!

  2. 5 CB’s? Does this mean he hasn’t given up on the back three? …smh. Especially with Lee Keun Ho and Kwon Chang Hoon out, Lee CY not making the squad is really surprising. Even though he’s very rusty, he still has the ability to make a positive impact on the team. Is he injured?

    • Your guess is as good as ours on the back 3. So the reason given according to Jae was his rustiness from lack of playing time with Crystal Palace. However, he also picked up a hip injury on Monday that probably also factored into the decision.

    • No, I just plugged Ko Yo-han into 2 positions on the depth chart because he can play as a CDM as well as a RB. He is usually better as a RB because he has attacking capabilities down the flank. However, he is also pretty good at man-marking as a CDM and can be quite a pest on defense. A very solid player!

    • Let’s look to the future!! Asian Games in September, gold medal there! Asian Cup in January, let’s bring it back to Korea. And let’s all enjoy the World Cup, no matter what happens!

  3. I’m really surprised… You’re telling me that Lee CY’s steely veteran presence wouldn’t help in Russia? That’s a shame. He’s one of my favorite KNT players. That’s probably the end of his WC career; I’ll always remember his 2010 tournament. I guess his fate was sealed when he stayed with Palace in January. Hopefully he can get his situation sorted out so we can see him in January for the Asian Cup.

    And it looks like Jang Hyun-soo is healthy enough. Great, the panacea to fix our defensive woes. Shin TY has jumped the shark.

  4. See, I feel you on Lee CY but I kind of agree that he sealed his fate by not moving from Palace (or getting blocked from moving by the club). I do agree that the Asian Cup would be a fitting send-off for him. In terms of these friendlies, he didn’t look sharp Monday and then picked up a knock in that match that kept him out against Bosnia. Shin clearly felt he wasn’t worth a spot. Was that right? Probably not. However, the real argument I want to make is this. Why was Lee CY even on the roster in the first place if you were just going to cut him for not being sharp? Surely Shin could’ve figured that out before naming the roster! If he wanted match sharpness he should have picked Ji Dongwon (who only made the reserve list). Ji offers something different from Lee CY but could certainly provide veteran presence and an eye for clutch goals (not to mention work rate).

    In terms of Jang Hyun-soo being healthy enough, no one at the Tavern wants to see him step on the pitch in Russia. With the defensive shambles this morning, Shin has jumped the shark. He has to fix this quick.

  5. I don’t understand ANY coach that takes wookie… I’m not one with unrealistic expectations. SK is thoroughly mediocre relative to World Cup squads, but is it too much to ask for (as clinched as it sounds) “positive football”? Sigh. And yes, I’m ok with making a sweeping generalization that by virtue of adding wookie that it’s negative football. Haha

    • It is not too much to ask for positive football. We at the Tavern endorse your opinion of the Wookie. I want to see him sitting on the bench in Russia and staying there.

    • I’ll provide a dissenting opinion and say I’m not that angry he’s going. I would have rather seen Suk, but I’d much rather our plan B be long balls to Wookie than the 3-5-2.

  6. my heart goes out for lee chung yong… injury cut him down when he was building up momentum and suffered from poor choices contractually and now this.

    • Chungy deserves much better than this. Crystal Palace totally blocked his move to Bolton just to put him on the bench all the time. I sincerely hope he gets picked for the Asian Cup in January to get a send-off tournament. Also, I would love to see him involved in coaching after he hangs up his boots.

  7. I wish lee kang in was a couple years older, man what another solid performance with that free kick goal! Him as our number 10 attacking player would be so awesome in 2022, and he’ll only be 21! Bright future.

    • We here at the Tavern are salivating over the strength of the 2022 roster. Also, look out for Lee KI later this summer at the Asian Games where we go for a repeat gold medal and military exemption for the entire squad!

    • Yeah, if Lee Chung-yong was called up to this roster for veteran leadership, he should’ve kept his spot on the plane to Russia. With the roster set, now time to get ready for the World Cup and hope for the best! Stay tuned, we’ll have a lot of previews and stories coming out soon!

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