March Friendlies Call-Ups

Like Tim I also have not had the chance to post often, but I am back to announce that the callups for Northern Ireland and Poland have been announced. And this time no one has any major complaints – this is probably very close to the actual World Cup squad

GK: Kim Seunggyu, Kim Jinhyeon, Cho Hyeonwoo

CB: Hong Jeongho, Jang Hyungsoo, Kim Minjae, Yoon Youngsun
LB: Kim Jinsu, Kim Minwoo
RB: Choi Chulsoon, Lee Yong

MF: Ki Sungyong, Jung Wooyeong, Park Jooho, Lee Changmin, Kwon Changhoon, Koo Jacheol, Lee Jaesung, Yeom Kihun

FW: Kim Shinwook, Son Heungmin, Hwang Heechan, Lee Keunho


Notable omissions:

Kim Youngkwon – with 0 apps in the CSL, KYK is unlikely to get called up anytime soon as he passed up his opportunity to transfer out of China.

Suk Hyunjun – Suk may not have been called up this time, but he’s just getting back on his feet with Troyes and it’s probably for the better he didn’t get called for national team duty (as to focus on getting back into shape). He will probably get called up in May (if he gets his starting position back) – seems we’ll wait till May/June to see STY’s choice between KSW vs. SHJ


Notable inclusions

Jang Hyunsoo – we like to hate on this guy but on the bright side, he’s playing full time now that he’s back with FC Tokyo. Also the new Jeonbuk duo is (in my biased opinion) likely going to start anyway. Speaking of which…

Hong Jeongho – the man who took pain meds to play at the WC 2014 is back with Jeonbuk and has been regularly starting alongside Kim Minjae. The duo have been disappointingly leaky (losing 3-2 to Incheon United this week) but ideally they will improve as they develop more chemistry. Let me remind you that with Kim Jinsu slightly favored over Kim Minwoo and Choi Chulsoon slightly favored over Lee Yong (not saying much in either case but still), if we have KMJ and HJH start in CB, we would have an all Jeonbuk defense.

Park Jooho – back with Ulsan after not getting any time at Dortmund, PJH’s last K League app was in the 2-0 loss to Jeonbuk where he played in MF. TBH I expect STY to stick with a MF duo of KSY – JWY, but perhaps PJH can surprise us like he did back in 2015.


What to watch out for:

Son’s contribution: the man’s in the form of his life, and in the past he could never convert it with the KNT – maybe now he can?

Son’s FW partner: Every other forward is making a great case for themselves to partner SHM. Hwang has put in some amazing performances for Salzburg recently, Lee Keunho made a great case a while back when he played alongside SHM, and KSW somehow keeps scoring for the KNT, albeit against weak opposition. My personal favorite is for HHC to start but Korean managers tend to lean conservative so maybe that won’t happen in the end. But between the two friendlies we’ll probably see all three play next to SHM – look out for who works well with him.

The midfield line: KSY is a lock, but his CM partner sure isn’t, and neither are the wing positions. All four of the called up attacking midfielders, of Lee Jaesung, Koo Jacheol, Kwon Changhoon, and Yeom Kihun are playing for their clubs and playing well (I think Kwon would be an automatic starter had the injury not slowed him down, and he still needs to get back into shape).

All Jeonbuk DF? I am weirdly excited about this for some reason (more so than the other Tavern writers), even though I realize it probably won’t make a huge difference (and we’ll get shredded by Lewandowski anyway).

GK favoritism: Cho HW started against Japan, NK, Serbia, and Moldova, but some fans are still calling for Kim Seunggyu to start. I think the GK to play in these two friendlies will likely be our #1 when the WC comes around (unless STY is still undecided and rotates them)


About Jinseok 259 Articles
Diehard Korean football fan.


  1. Like Son said himself, a large part of his production at Tottenham comes from his surrounding cast. Kane gets most of the attention as he should, and the rest of his teammates provide excellent passing, ball control, and spacing. If KNT’s strategy is to just let Son be himself and watch, he’s not going to produce similar results.

  2. So much for the LSW dream of having him do well at Verona, thus meriting a call up. Wishful thinking.

    Even though Son is in the form of his life, none of this will matter if we have a leaky defense or if we can’t control the ball in the midfield. Let’s see how these friendlies play out.

    Also, can we expect an announcement from Nike soon with Korea’s 2018 WC jerseys? I think I read somewhere that they would be unveiled in March. Looks like early March was the timing for 2014.

    • Hoping for a little change here! I’m sick of the lack of creativity that has basically been the standard of KNT jerseys since 02. Look to the future Korea!!

  3. I wish STY called up Joo Min Kyu. He’s a real beast in offense, that no one seems to recognize. I get that he hasn’t been tested in A-matches throughout qualification. However, his performance throughout the last two years should’ve warranted a call up.

    As for our defenders, I would’ve wanted Kwon Kyung Won. Personally, I thought he played well in defense. I think he had minor slip ups in his last call up, but it was his first time with the national side. But our good old STY loves his ‘sons’.

    I’m getting too old, watching and praying our side does well. But I can’t help it. I’m curious what these upcoming friendlies have to tell us about the national team as a whole. Will we, Koreans, blow up the internet once more, calling *-insert a player’s name here- a giant turd? We shall see.

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