Building the World Cup Roster 2

With the Russia and Switzerland friendlies done with, it seems like it’s time to take another look at any possible changes to Hong’s possible 23 man squad for next summer.

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

Kim Seung-Kyu edges ahead in the starter category, but Jung Sung-Ryong’s experience will keep him firmly in the squad. Three keepers need to be taken, and Lee Bum-Young still seems the most likely to fill out the roster. Probably worth keeping an eye on this one, as the K League (which all three play in) is about to go into it’s offseason. It’ll restart next spring, and how the players come out of that break and start next season will be important.

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

I suspect two will go. Despite a poor showing against Switzerland, Lee Yong is still the best choice. Kim Chang-Soo will likely go if he recovers well from his injury. If not Shin Kwang-Hoon seems the only other option.

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

Two left backs will also likely go. Kim Jin-Su is the standout right now. If Yoon Suk-Young recovers from his injury well and secures more playing time (like he was getting at Doncaster), he’ll likely make the trip as well. Park Joo-Ho may be the odd man out, and his lackluster showing against Russia didn’t help his cause, also his shift in position back to left midfield with Mainz may go against him.

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

Perhaps the only section that looks fairly set. Hong Jeong-Ho and Kim Young-Gwon are definites barring injury. Hwang Seok-Ho and Kwak Tae-Hwi seem to be in line for back up roles. Jang Hyun-Soo is a distant shout, but he doesn’t seem to be in Hong’s mind for CB.

Center Midfielders
In: Ki Sung-Yueng
Likely: Han Kook-Young, Park Jong-Woo
On the Fringes: Ha Dae-Sung, Ko Myeong-Jin, Lee Myeong-Joo, Jang Hyun-Soo

Other than Ki Sung-Yueng, central midfield suddenly seems a bit of a battle. Han Kook-Young should go pending his recovery. Park Jong-Woo’s potential versatility should earn him a spot, plus he seems to be one of Hong’s boys. The fourth spot would seem to go to Ha Dae-Sung (based on past performances), but he hasn’t featured for Hong lately. Ko Myeong-Jin didn’t show much against Russia. Lee Myeong-Joo has gone AWOL since Hong took over. Jang Hyun-Soo could be a surprise inclusion since he can also play in defense.

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: Nam Tae-Hee

Fairly set, with Lee Chung-Yong, Koo Ja-Cheol, Son Heung-Min, and Kim Bo-Kyung firmly set to make the trip to Brazil. I feel that Hong will bring at least one more, and I’m not entirely positive who. Yoon Il-Rok seems ever-present in Hong’s call ups, but he hasn’t actually played much. Go Yo-Han also has been called plenty, but hasn’t played. Nam Tae-Hee was a surprise inclusion this past round of matches, but didn’t show that he’s someone who can make a big impact yet.

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

I don’t know if anyone has really stamped their passport for Brazil yet in the forward line. Lee Keun-Ho and Kim Shin-Wook are almost there. Ji Dong-Won’s versatility could get him there as well. The wild card here is Park Chu-Young. If he gets any semblance of playing time, he’ll jump the list.

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, Yoon Suk-Young, Hong Jeong-Ho, Kim Young-Gwon, Hwang Seok-Ho, Kwak Tae-Hwi

Midfielders (9) – Ki Sung-Yueng, 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 (3) – Lee Keun-Ho, Kim Shin-Wook, Ji Dong-Won

Best XI (my opinion of course)

football formations

I think it’s fairly set, in my mind, with the exception of forward and number 10. I feel that the Kim’s would be better against stronger teams, while Lee/Koo are better against weaker/teams on our level. Kim Shin-Wook and Kim Bo-Kyung are both quite strong and potentially physical players, who I think are probably a bit more useful in transitions and counters. Lee Keun-Ho and Koo Ja-Cheol are probably better when the team can control possession and make attacking runs to help break down defense teams. If I had to guess who Hong would pick, it’d probably be Kim Shin-Wook and Koo Ja-Cheol.

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


  1. Brilliant post, much appreciated.

    Do you think there is any chance of Ki & Koo dropping back a position, meaning KimBo could start instead of Han in the midfield?

    Arguably that means that the better indiviual players play but does it affect Ki’s impact on the game as a whole as he would move a lot deeper.

    • I don’t think so. As far as positions go, Kimbo is pretty much a number 10 or wide midfielder (his original position) and Hong seems to see him only there. Koo has a bit more flexibility, and Hong has tried him as a false 9, deeper midfielder, and number 10. Attacking mid is far and away his best position, but depending on where he plays with Wolfsburg that could change. Wolfsburg has tried him a lot as a deeper midfielder (due to the presence of Diego), but it hasn’t worked too well. Koo doesn’t seem to know how to move off the ball, and become involved when deeper. The false 9 experiment was just so-so in terms of his results. Kim Shin-Wook and Lee Keun-Ho are much more natural options. So, if Hong wants both on the pitch, Koo would be the more likely one to drop deeper. And yes, as you said, doing so would affect Ki’s game as it renders him a very defensive midfielder which is not his strongest suit.

  2. Year in and year out, always same problems: shoddy defense, unreliable goalkeeper, and lack of true striker… Only exception was 2002. I think we’ll be lucky to get out of group stages. Pathetic how we have fallen so behind Japan. HMB can only do so much with the talent. We need Park Ji Sung!

    • I couldn’t agree more. Things are a bit depressing right now. At this stage I just hope we don’t get humilliated, but with our defense and Jung Sung Ryong at goal it’s looking like a real possibility. Maybe I’m being too pessimistic here, but I’m having flashbacks to 1998. Former super star as coach, uneven team, and we all know how that turned out…

Join in the Tavern's conversations -Leave a comment...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.