Korea National Team: March Call Ups

KFA poster for March matches against Thailand

Interim boss Hwang Sun-hong has released his call ups for the two World Cup qualifying 2nd round matches against Thailand to be played on March 21 in Seoul and March 26 in Bangkok.

The Roster

Goalkeepers: Jo Hyeon-woo (Ulsan HD), Song Bum-keun (Shonan Bellmare), Lee Chang-geun (Daejeon Citizen)

Defenders: Kim Young-gwon (Ulsan HD), Kim Jin-su (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), Kwon Kyung-won (Suwon FC), Kim Moon-hwan (Al-Duhail), Seol Young-woo (Ulsan HD), Cho Yu-min (Sharjah), Lee Myung-jae (Ulsan HD)

Midfielders: Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Lee Jae-sung (Mainz 05), Hwang In-beom (Red Star Belgrade), Lee Kang-in (PSG), Jeong Woo-yeong (VfB Stuttgart), Paik Seung-ho (Birmingham City), Hong Hyun-seok (Gent), Um Won-sang (Ulsan HD), Park Jin-seop (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Jeong Ho-yeon (Gwangju FC)

Forwards: Cho Gue-sung (Midtjylland), Joo Min-kyu (Ulsan HD)

Lee Kang-in

Much of the build up to the roster announcement was whether Lee Kang-in, following Ping-Pong Gate, would be included in the call ups. Polls were conducted with a fairly even split of respondents going for him being included or excluded. The KFA’s official poster (see above) for tickets for the match in Seoul further fueled speculation as it did not feature Lee Kang-in in it. However, in the end the PSG midfielder was included in Hwang Sun-hong’s squad.

Hwang Sun-hong said he had spoken with both Lee Kang-in and Son Heung-min before deciding. Hwang stated that Son expressed that he thought that the situation would improve if they were together, and that Lee wanted to sincerely apologize to the fans and his teammates. Hopefully, the two – and the fans – can put the messy and ugly situation that was the Asian Cup behind them.

Lee Seung-woo

Many wondered if fallen wonderkid, Lee Seung-woo, would make a return to the senior side. Lee Seung-woo had gotten off to a solid start with Suwon FC in the K League, and Hwang Sun-hong had attended Suwon’s match on the weekend to watch Lee Seung-woo in-person. However, in the end, Hwang Sun-hong said that for various reasons Lee Seung-woo did not make the final cut. He did say that the door remains open to Lee Seung-woo (and all other K Leaguers).

Other notable call ups

Three players are making their senior national team debuts. Ulsan HD forward Joo Min-kyu, long one that many have clamored for due to his K League scoring feats, finally gets an inclusion in the squad (here’s hoping he gets some decent minutes as well). He is joined by fellow Ulsan HD defender Lee Myung-jae and Gwangju midfielder Jeong Ho-yeon.

Non-call ups

Former number one, Kim Seung-gyu misses out due to injury as does Wolverhampton forward Hwang Hee-chan. Park Yong-woo and Jung Seung-hyun, who both featured during the Asian Cup (and struggled) were both dropped from the squad.

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

1 Comment

  1. as far as I can remember, maybe 2014? i remember Joo Min Kyu being mentioned by the Tavern. And it wasn’t just once or twice over the years, I recall this name being mentioned quite a bit.

    It still surprises me that with our lack of strikers and central forwards back then and now, he has 0 apps for South Korea. Cho Gue Sung is a great forward, and so is Oh Hyeon Gyu but man… at 33 he’s finally getting the call up lol.

    After years of Kim Shin Wook (he was initially good), lol seeing Joo Min Kyu on the roster made me happy and excited.

    A small side note…
    Kinda sad that Suk Hyun Jun never became as good as I thought he was destined to be. Or that Park Chu Young going to Arsenal was a huge mistake, Lee Keun Ho missing the 2018 World Cup to injury (we could’ve benefitted from him), Ji Dong Won not making as much impact as i thought he would.

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