Building the World Cup Roster (10-18)

So, with most of the matches done with, I think we can start to get an idea of who is in and who is out of Hong’s potential World Cup squad. Rules for the squad are: 23 players, 3 of which must be goalkeepers.

In: Jung Sung-Ryong
Likely: Kim Seung-Gyu, Lee Bum-Young
On The Fringes: Kim Young-Kwang

The goalkeeping situation, I think, is almost set. Despite some thoughts of contenders coming in over the summer, it seems like Jung Sung-Ryong has held onto his number 1 shirt. I think that’ll change after the World Cup, but until then our “good, but never great” Suwon stopper will be it. The other two that will likely make the trip are Kim Seung-Gyu and Lee Bum-Young. I think Kim Seung-Gyu is almost a lock after a good EAFF Cup showing. Lee Bum-Young looked to be the heir to Jung earlier, but he seems to have been passed up. If it’s not Lee, than Hong could recall Kim Young-Kwang back into the squad for a more experienced option.

Right Backs
In: Lee Yong, Kim Chang-Soo
Likely: None
On the Fringes: Shin Kwang-Hoon

Right back is another position that is almost locked up. I think Lee Yong has been chosen as the starter, and it’s his place to lose. Kim Chang-Soo should provide reliable back up. Pohang’s Shin Kwang-Hoon is a distant third option should one of the other two get injured or experience a dramatic drop in form.

Left Backs
In: Kim Jin-Su
Likely: Park Joo-Ho
On the Fringes: Yoon Suk-Young, Kim Chi-Woo

I think two good outings have seen Kim Jin-Su promoted to starting left back, which is quite impressive considering he’s only 21. Park Joo-Ho has been playing regularly for Mainz, but has had difficulty working his way into Hong’s starting XI. Yoon Suk-Young should tag along IF he can start playing again in some capacity for QPR (cup matches). If Yoon remains firmly rooted in the stands, then there may be a chance for qualifying mini-hero Kim Chi-Woo to get back in.

Center Backs
In: Hong Jeong-Ho, Kim Young-Gwon
Likely: Hwang Seok-Ho
On the Fringes: Kwak Tae-Hwi, Jang Hyun-Soo

Hong Jeong-Ho and Kim Young-Gwon are locks for the starting berths. Hwang Seok-Ho seems to be highly rated by Hong, so he should be one of the back ups. I think Hong will take one more center back, and that would seem to be between Kwak Tae-Hwi and maybe Jang Hyun-Soo. Kwak seems to have worked his way back in as an experienced option and good dressing room player for the young players, while Jang was a mainstay in the U23 team. Jang hasn’t been called up lately though, so that’s a slight concern for him (is he injured? anyone know?). So, right now I’d say Kwak has a slight edge over Jang.

Center Midfielders (passing)
In: Ki Sung-Yueng, Lee Myeong-Joo
Likely: None
On the Fringes: None

A locked up spot just because of lack of options. Ki Sung-Yueng seems the starter with Lee Myeong-Joo backing him up.

Center Midfielders (holding)
In: Ha Dae-Sung, Han Kook-Young
Likely: Park Jong-Woo
On the Fringes: None

The next three games will likely be a final audition for Ha Dae-Sung and Han Kook-Young to make their cases for the other starting spot. The other will likely be the back up option. Park Jong-Woo should make the trip as a filler for either spot if it’s necessary.

Attacking Midfielders
In: Lee Chung-Yong, Koo Ja-Cheol, Kim Bo-Kyung, Son Heung-Min
Likely: Go Yo-Han, Yoon Il-Rok
On the Fringes: Lee Seung-Gi

Lee Chung-Yong, Koo Ja-Cheol, Kim Bo-Kyung, and Son Heung-Min should all make their travel plans for Brazil barring an injury. Go Yo-Han or Yoon Il-Rok will likely make the trip as back ups. Lee Seung-Gi probably won’t get the call unless there’s some problem with the other six.

Center Forwards
In: none
Likely: Lee Keun-Ho, Ji Dong-Won
On the Fringes: Park Chu-Young, Kim Dong-Seob, Kim Shin-Wook

I’m hesitant to say that any forward has really locked up a spot for Brazil. I think the closest is Lee Keun-Ho after a good showing against Mali. I think he’ll get another run out next month to see, and then Hong will decide on him. Ji Dong-Won may make it if he can work his way back into the Sunderland team or secure a January move. Park Chu-Young will go IF he moves in January or sooner, but if he stays at Arsenal he has no chance. Kim Dong-Seob and Kim Shin-Wook seem long shots, but if no one steps up or if Lee or Ji experience a drop, then one of them could make it.

So, as of now, I view Hong’s 23 man squad as this:

Goalkeepers (3) – Jung Sung-Ryong, Kim Seung-Gyu, Lee Bum-Young

Defenders (8) – Lee Yong, Kim Chang-Soo, Kim Jin-Su, Park Joo-Ho, Hong Jeong-Ho, Kim Young-Gwon, Hwang Seok-Ho, Kwak Tae-Hwi

Midfielders (10) – Ki Sung-Yueng, Lee Myeong-Joo, Park Jong-Woo, Han Kook-Young, Ha Dae-Sung, Lee Chung-Yong, Son Heung-Min, Kim Bo-Kyung, Koo Ja-Cheol, Yoon Il-Rok

Forwards (2) – Lee Keun-Ho, Ji Dong-Won

And my current starting XI would look like this:
football formations

About Jae Chee 339 Articles
A football fan who got bit by the writing bug.


  1. I hate Ji. Anybody saw him ruining like 5000000 chances in Brazil matchup?
    Also Lee Keun Ho lost his touch by being in stupid army.
    i think Son should be our ONE TOP


    • I think Son is better when he can drift in off the wing. When he plays as the one top, I think he gets marked out too easily (if teams are playing deeper). I think he could work there, if we’re playing a team that plays a higher line where he can sprint in behind defenders.

  2. With that starting 11 I don’t know how Korea will do well at World Cup Brazil 2014. I would take out Lee Keun Ho and replace him with Park CY or maybe even lee dong gook. I would also replace Han kook young with koo ja cheol. And then I would put in yoon suk young and Kwak tae hwi and Kim chang soo ( I think Kim Chang soo was on the recent Olympic squad?). I would also put in the guy who caused controversy after winning against Japan for bronze by holding that sign (the guy seems to have a fearlessness and aggressiveness to him as shown also by the way he took the penalty kick). I’m thinking we need players with experience.

  3. I highly doubt that all four of Lee Myeong-Joo, Park Jong-Woo, Han Kook-Young, Ha Dae-Sung will be included in the roster; after all they’re literally fighting for one spot because barring injury or a massive drop in form to KSY, KSY will play in the 2 central midfielders. Also it doesn’t make sense to call up 5 players for only 2 spots.

    Where we really need options are forwards; after all, strikers and wingers are the most frequently substituted in/out players in a given game. Therefore I am almost certain PJY will be at the very least called up (also because he’s undisputably our most reliable striker…)

    • Yeah, on second thought I think Hong will probably take four “deeper” midfielders, so one will probably drop out (probably Park Jong-Woo). I maintain that Park Chu-Young’s call up will be conditional on him getting a move away from Arsenal. If he ‘s move and appears at least once as a starter, I think Hong can use that as a reason to call him.

    • I believe the last he played was in the EAFF Cup. He was decent. I don’t think he’d start, and he may be the fourth CB, but I think as of right now he makes the cut.

  4. I think it is too early to say Kim Jin-Su is shoo-in for LB. He is only 21 with very little international experience. Consistent starter in J-league but his form does fluctuate. For me, majority of the players you listed for RB/LB position should be in “Likely” situation. Toss-up til we get closer to World Cup 2014…

  5. From a personal standpoint, I think Lee Keun Ho deserves a trip to Brazil. I was a bit sad for him when he was left out of 2010 world cup roster. I also want Park Chu Young to Korea squad. He’s the only striker in our national team that has very good scoring ratio.

    I wonder what happened to Lee Jung Soo? I know he’s past thirties, but he had an excellent 2010 world cup.

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