Korea’s 23-Man Asian Cup Squad

Uli Stielike officially announced his squad for next month’s Asian Cup in Australia.

Kim Jin-hyeon, Cerezo Osaka
Kim Seung-gyu, Ulsan Hyundai
Jung Sung-ryong, Suwon Samsung

Kim Jin-su, Hoffenheim
Park Joo-ho, Mainz
Kim Young-gwon, Guangzhou Evergrande
Jang Hyun-soo, Guangzhou R&F
Kwak Tae-hwi, Al Hilal
Kim Ju-young, FC Seoul
Kim Chang-soo, Kashiwa Reysol
Cha Du-ri, FC Seoul

Ki Sung-yueng, Swansea City
Han Kook-young, Qatar SC
Lee Myeong-joo, Al Ain
Koo Ja-cheol, Mainz
Son Heung-min, Bayer Leverkusen
Kim Min-woo, Sagan Tosu
Nam Tae-hee, Lekhwiya
Lee Chung-yong, Bolton Wanderers
Han Kyo-won, Jeonbuk Hyundai

Cho Young-cheol, Qatar SC
Lee Keun-ho, El Jaish
Lee Jung-hyub, Sangju Sangmu

More thoughts/reaction to come later . . .

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


  1. I really don’t get what KNT managers/coaches see in Kim Chang-Soo. Excluding him, no opposition/argument from me.

    oh, and that FW depth… just.. speechless.

  2. Kim Chang soo always gets called up for no reason. Park chu young must not be doing well in the Middle East. Still a brave call from stielike.

    No idea why lee junghyub is getting a callup. All I know about him is what Jae told me. young 23 y.o., modest career, drafted by busan,but called up to stielike’s camp.

    Surprised no Yun.

    • He’s playing regularly, but he hasn’t scored since his debut goal. I haven’t watched so I don’t know how well he’s been playing. But Korean media is starting to needle him a bit (imo) as they have started to report each game he hasn’t scored (in a ‘6 straight games, no goals’ kind of way).

  3. I am happy we are playing other Asians with this team. Hopefully LCY plays his club role for the Nats. Seems necessary given that vacuum up top.

  4. I’ve been surprised that Kim Seung Dae wasn’t called up to the pre-AC training camp, because he would’ve been a solid pick for this squad. I’d prefer him to Lee Keun-Ho. Sometimes you need a fresh, emerging player and KSD has been that this fall, with the Asian Games and some int’l friendlies under his belt now

    • My humble amateur opinion: I think SHM up top would be ineffective because he is at his best when making fast runs behind high backlines. Most teams will probably deploy deep backlines against us, except maybe Japan.

      At the same time it’s hard to see Cho Yong Chul or Lee Keun Ho be more effective than Son. I predict that Lee Jung Hyub will get a lot of minutes this AC

  5. Hmm, so we have Chinese defense (JHS, KJY, KYG) and Middle-East offense (LKH, CYC). I’m expecting very little from upcoming Asian Cup…..

    • But we have European midfield (although I’m not expecting much from this Asian Cup either).

      Also, question for the tavern writers: are Middle Eastern/Chinese clubs really that much worse than Korean clubs? China and the Middle East have a number of good foreign players and coaches and their attendances are much better than Korean attendances. Could someone rank Asian leagues in order of their quality?

      • If you use the point system used by the AFC and International Federation of Football History and Statistics, Korea usually comes out on top of the AFC members (it’s worth mentioning that the IFFHS hasn’t updated their rankings since last May though).

        IFFHS (by nation)
        1. (23) Korea – 571.5
        2. (24) Saudi Arabia – 519
        3. (30) Japan – 469.5
        4. (34) China – 430.5
        5. (37) Iran – 419

        AFC by club points
        1. Korea – 319.64 (Seoul[2], Jeonbuk[5], Ulsan[11], Pohang[12])
        2. Saudi Arabia – 268 (Al Hilal[1], Al Ittihad[3], Al Ahli[10])
        3. Iran – 166.82 (Esteghlal[6], Sepahan[7])

        However, it’s important to note how these numbers are calculated. Most are based on the AFC Champions League, which explains why Korea and Saudi Arabia have such high points as both tend to dominate their regions (east and west Asia). It also explains Japan’s relatively low rank as the J League clubs traditionally underperform in the AFC CL. Even subjectively, I would still say that Korea is a notch better than the Middle East and China. While those clubs can attract a higher quality of foreign player and coach, the ‘good’ ones are still relatively few. All of those leagues also have restrictions on the number of foreign players they can have, so the bulk of the team are domestic players who are still a touch below Korea.

        • Thanks for the response, Jae.

          While I would agree that the quality of the league in Korea is better than many of the other leagues nearby, most of the good Korean players are only signed by the top clubs in their respective leagues. I would argue that because the players and managers at these clubs are usually very good, it’s not a bad thing for Koreans to move there.

          For example, Lee Myeong Joo gets to play with Asamoah Gyan, Kim Ju Young is going to be managed by Eriksson, Kim Young Gwon was managed by Lippi, Nam Tae Hee plays under Laudrup. So basically what I am trying to say that even though the leagues are bad, the clubs that Korean players go to are good and so it could even be beneficial for the players themselves. One negative impact though is that the K-League weakens when our best players are taken to other leagues.

          • I understand your point, but I’m not sure if I totally agree with it. Basically it’s a case of, ‘can one player/manager compensate for a lower overall quality?’ My opinion is no.

            The important thing about the rankings to note is that they are historically based (similar to FIFA’s world rankings). If you look forward the picture isn’t that rosy for Korea’s domestic scene, and it’s easier to see growth in the west Asian leagues as well as China.

          • Yeah, your opinion makes sense. Hopefully things will improve for the KLeague. It looks like there will be many exciting managers next season.

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