[WCQ] Stielike announces callups; Kwon Changhoon, Suk Hyunjun called!

Uli Stielike has announced his roster for the September World Cup Qualifying friendlies. It is a squad that will please many, but still has a couple noteworthy omissions. Also, Vitoria de Setubal striker Suk Hyunjun is returning to the national team for the first time in… forever, while Kwon Changhoon and Kim Seungdae are called after impressive EAFF Cups. All that and more after the jump.


Let’s go from position to position. I’ll give my thoughts, and other Tavern writers are free to chime into this post by editing it and adding their thoughts.

Goalkeepers: in light of the injuries to Kim Jinhyeon (Cerezo Osaka) and Jung Sungryong (Suwon Samsung), only Kim Seunggyu was the locked goalkeeping option. The other two keepers called up are Kwoun Suntae (Jeonbuk Hyundai) and Kim Dongjun (Yonsei Uni.). In all likelihood Stielike wanted to see the two in training after he called up Lee Bumyoung (Busan I’Park) and Gu Sungyun (Sanfrecce Hiroshima) for the EAFF Cup, but not playing either in either game. I suspect that is what will happen here.

Defense: Nothing fairly out of the ordinary. The four centrebacks that we had expected to get the call were indeed selected. It’s likely that Kim Younggwon (Guangzhou Evergrande) and Hong Jeongho (Augsburg) will get another look together, but Kim Kihee (Jeonbuk Hyundai) and Kwak Taehwi (Al-Hilal) can make a case for their different attributes. Jang Hyunsoo (Guangzhou R&F) may also drop into CB, something that Jinseok has been advocating for quite a while now. Essentially, the starting CB pairing is far from decided. Leftback looks like it will be a battle between Kim Jinsu (Hoffenheim) and Hong Chul (Suwon Samsung), as Park Jooho (Mainz 05), to the dismay of some, is listed as a defensive mid. Rightback looks like will be all to Im Changwoo (Ulsan Hyundai) unless Stielike tries something unorthodox and moves a centreback (like Kim Kihee?) out wide.

Midfield: The first question marks were if the bulk of the foreign players would get the nod. And indeed, captain Ki Sungyueng, as well as wingers Son Heungmin (Bayer Leverkusen), Lee Chungyong (Crystal Palace), and Mainz’s Koo Jacheol were all selected. Lee Jaesung (Jeonbuk Hyundai) is of course picked for his catalystic playmaking ability, while Kwon Changhoon and Kim Seungdae are both picked after excellent showings at the EAFF Cup. Kwon offers an injection of energy and speed that has few parallels in the Korean talent pool, excellent for a super sub or a DM making runs from deep. Kim Seungdae is the midfield option. Unfortunately, Lee Jongho (Jeonnam Dragons) fails to make the cut, which I’m quite astonished and disappointed with. But I suppose some people would be losing their minds if we didn’t cater to the J.League every now and then so Jung Wooyoung is welcomed back after having shown literally nothing. (Come at me, Takeuchi :D)

On the bright side, Hwang Uijo is selected, after an incredible run of goals for Seongnam, though I’m slightly surprised at his listing in midfield, though I do suppose he can play a second striker/midfield role. The forwards as listed by the KFA are Lee Junghyub (we can get used to this, I guess…) and Suk Hyunjun (Vitoria de Setubal, Portugal). The latter is a fairly interesting selection, and I know little about Suk to be totally honest. But apparently he’s doing well and in form. At the end of the day, if we’re not getting Joo Minkyu, anyone is better than Wookie. Why the hell not give him a go. Unlike KSW, we don’t know what we’re going to get (in KSW’s case – mediocrity).

All in all, no real complaints except for Lee Jongho (I’m sure he’ll get his other chances with the team, but I do question the judgement of Stielike to select JWY ahead of him… anyhow.) and perhaps Joo Minkyu. Let’s go get the 6 points against Laos and Lebanon!

What do you think of the callups? Leave a comment below.

About Tim Lee 321 Articles
The maple syrup guzzling kimchijjigae craving Korean-Canadian, eh?


  1. Am I the only one who quite fancy Kwon ST starting vs Laos?

    As for DFs, I have a vague memory of Kwak TH as emergency RB – wasn’t it quite recently under Stielike? Maybe am just clutching at straws here, but I just refuse to believe Kim KH would be the 3rd RCB in Stielike’s pecking order. Although… yeah, not so impossible.

    Lee JH’s absence is simply inexcusable. Kim SD was fine at the EAC, but he’s a dumb-ish asset going forward, albeit one that knows how to behave in front of the goal (which probably decided here) and not exactly someone I’d like to see KNT betting on for the future (as opposed to LJH, who’s a good teamplayer for a forward).

    • Yeah, I do agree. Obviously Jung Wooyoung and Lee Jongho aren’t in direct competition, but if we do need to keep the compulsory J.League player (and Jae mentioned on twitter that he does also go two deep in each position, which is a great observation) it would have made more sense to call-up Lee Jongho rather than Kim Seungdae.

  2. I am guessing Coach Stelieke is tinkering to find the right combination. I trust our coach and I think he is still looking to find a few diamonds in the rough.

    Hopefully these games will be nothing more than warm up matches.

    If we do not beat these teams, we deserve to lose.

    • I think we do need to be a bit cautious of Lebanon. Obviously can’t disrespect Laos but I would be astonished if we pull a Saitama and draw a SEA minnow (shout out to Japan). Apparently some Lebanese do feel optimistic about salvaging a draw against us. We shouldn’t underestimate. Plus we’ll have had to travel to Lebanon from Korea, which isn’t easy flight, while Lebanon have bye day when we play Laos. Factors aren’t favorable for us. I rate this as trickier than warm up match given early KPA form.

  3. Isn’t Lee Jong Ho an attacking mid while Jung Woo Young is a defensive mid? I would think that having a decent back up to an injured Ki is more important than another winger.

    I’m happy to see Suk Hyun Jun called up and I hope to see him and Lee Chung Yong on the field together, as I believe LCY is the best at giving those killer passes that Suk needs besides maybe Ki. I also want to see Ki and Kwon Chang Hoon play together bc I think they could work together in a similar manner as Arteta – Ramsey.

    • Good point about Ki-Kwon, it should work against weaker opponents.

      As for killer passes, dont forget Lee JS who plays them too, only without any hint beforehand, so I’d say his killer passes automatically require high mutual understanding (just look at how it worked for him and Edu this year…).

    • Yeah, except Jang Hyunsoo can just as easily play defensive midfield. That’s 4. Kim Kihee can play fullback or centreback so we aren’t deprived anywhere in defense that way.

      That being said, what Jae said on Twitter (And I see he’s just posted it here, timely lol) is accurate. He likes going 2-deep everywhere. Also facilitates like-for-like changes that he tends towards doing as well. Uli is cautiously conservative in such a way. Perhaps not such a bad thing, even if Lee Jongho deserved callup. Like I said, in stielike’s system, he would have to beat KSD on the pecking order. As I suspect might happen in the future.

      We have a unique situation at right mid with two fairly creative players (LCY and LJS) although like Tomas said, Lee Jaesung is the more deadly of the two and perhaps the most intelligent passer of the entire selection pool because of the sharpness and unpredictability (in the sense that, as Tomas said, it comes without warning or indication) of his passes.

      I’ve basically just reiterated what Jae and Tom said lol. But I wholeheartedly agree with both is my opinion/point.

  4. YES FINALLY! SUK HYUN JUN has been callled. No Joo Min Kyu and Lee Jongho did disappoint me a little but these call ups arent that bad. I know this is rather unpopular of a topic but dont you think Park Chu Young should get a shot at some at some point? Lol no hate. Just a question. He seems to be scoring. Glad Kim Jin Su, Son, Lee CY and Ki are back.

    • We had a debate about this in the latest Tavern podcast. Refer yourself to about midway through the second part. But TLDR (or TLDL? in any case), Park Chuyoung acting as more involved striker in the buildup is better for his attributes, and while Tom was advocating for his return, I’m a touch skeptical.

      Also, it seems to me that at this point in his career, Park is more effective with a strike partner as what Adriano/Yun Jutae offer at FC Seoul. Stielike’s only real formation variants are the 4-2-3-1/4-4-2 in defense and a 4-1-4-1 of sorts (if one DM stays higher). He doesn’t seem to be sold on two front, which I think would be better and create a situation in which Park Chuyoung can thrive based off of recent performances. Honestly it’s a waste to have him as the highest player up the pitch right now. In that light call-up for 4-2-3-1 Stielike KNT is perhaps a bit wasteful unless he is given instructions to be much more involved in buildup and play as false 9 of sorts.

      • I was actually skeptical as well O:-) it was Jinseok, who was advocating for his return the most of us, I’d say.

        My reservation was that I can’t imagine him as the lone striker in Stielike’s system, because it most definitely would look exactly like it did under HMB. I could imagine him as a second striker (perhaps in place of Son HM), but that ain’t going to happen anytime soon, am afraid.

        So yes, I’d love to see him in the national team again and I would surely give him another chance, but I just don’t see how/where he fits within the current setup…

  5. I put it on Twitter, but I’ll repeat it here too. Stielike, whether people agree with the need or not, virtually always picks a two-deep roster at each outfield position. So when people say, why Jung Woo-young ahead of Lee Jong-ho, it doesn’t go with the way Stielike picks. It would be more accurate to say why Kim Seung-dae/Hwang Eui-jo ahead of Lee Jong-ho.

    RB: Lim Chang-woo/Kim Ki-hee
    CB: Hong Jeong-ho/Jang Hyun-su
    CB: Kim Young-gwon/Kwak Tae-hwi
    LB: Kim Jin-su/Hong Chul
    CM: Ki Sung-yueng/Jung Woo-young
    CM: Park Joo-ho/Kwon Chang-hoon
    RM: Lee Chung-yong/Lee Jae-sung
    AM: Koo Ja-cheol/Kim Seung-dae
    LM: Son Heung-min/Hwang Eui-jo
    FW: Lee Jeong-hyub/Suk Hyun-joon

    I don’t know why exactly, but the idea of Ki SY/Kwon CH in midfield together reminds me of when Cho Kwang-rae did the Ki/Lee Yong-rae partnership.

    • Question though… do you think it’s fair to simply call up two per position? Seeing how JHS can play DM and CB, and KKH can do either RB and CB, surely that leaves room for an extra attacking player? I’m not denying that this is what Stielike is doing, his two-per-position thing, but I’m curious as to what you and others think of it

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