Head coach Jürgen Klinsmann is excited about the team’s in-form forward line.
The South Korea national soccer team (ranked 26th in FIFA), coached by Jürgen Klinsmann, will kick off their October A match against Tunisia (ranked 29th in FIFA) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Seoul World Cup Stadium. The team will then face Vietnam (ranked 95th in FIFA) in an exhibition match on October 17.
Ahead of the match, Klinsmann held a pre-match press conference at Paju NFC at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 9. This time, the squad includes Son Heung-min, Kim Min-jae, Hwang Hee-chan, Hwang In-beom, and Cho Kyu-sung. In addition, Lee Kang-in, Jung Woo-young, and Hong Hyun-seok, who returned home from the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games with a gold medal, joined the squad.
Korea has faced Tunisia twice before. Both were friendly matches, with a 0-0 draw in March 2002 (Tunis, Tunisia) and a 0-1 loss in May 2014 (Seoul, South Korea). With one draw and one loss, they have yet to win a match. Vietnam has played a lot of opponents. They’ve met 24 times, winning 17, drawing 5 and losing 2. However, their most recent match was in the second qualifying round of the 2004 World Cup in Germany. They won 2-0 at home and 2-1 away.
Speaking ahead of the game, Klinsmann said: “This is our last friendly before the second round of World Cup qualifying begins. We want to finish the two games with a good result, and we have a lot of fans coming to support us, so we want to give them a good performance. This is the fourth call-up in the process. I hope it will be an opportunity to grow and improve before the Asian Cup. The coaching staff has learned a lot about the players, and the players understand. We want to have a good result and prepare well for the second qualifier and the Asian Cup.”
The team is anchored by an attacking line that has performed well in Europe and at the Asian Games. Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min has been an integral part of the Nations League this season, playing up front. He scored a hat-trick against Burnley in Round 4 of the Premier League (PL), a multi-goal performance against Arsenal in Round 6, and a single goal against Liverpool in Round 7. His six goals in September alone earned him a nomination for the September Player of the Month award, which he will likely win.
Another ‘Premier Leagueer’, Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), has had a fantastic start to the season. He scored one goal against Brighton in PL Round 2, one against Crystal Palace in Round 4, one against Liverpool in Round 5, one against Manchester City in Round 7, and one against Aston Villa in Round 8. Add in a goal against Ipswich in the English Football League Cup, and that’s six goals in nine games.
Finally, Jung, who moved to Stuttgart in the summer transfer window, was trusted by his former Bayern Munich second team coach, Sebastian Hoeneß, and was named a starter in each of the first three Bundesliga games. He also provided an assist in the third round against Freiburg in a 5-0 win. He then joined the national team for the Hangzhou Asian Games and established himself as an ‘ace’. She was the tournament’s top scorer with eight goals. In doing so, he became the fourth South Korean to score in Asian Games soccer after Seo Jung-won (4 goals, 1990), Hwang Sun-hong (11 goals, 1994), and Hwang Eui-jo (9 goals, 2018).
As such, the offense is in good shape and has plenty of options. When asked about his expectations, he said, “I hope to continue my performance for the team and the tournament. Son Heung-min, Hwang Hee-chan, and especially Jung Woo-young have started the season well for their respective teams as well as the Asian Games. I hope they will continue to do well in the upcoming two games. You know what a gold medal at the Asian Games means. I hope we can keep the positive momentum going.”메이저놀이터
Klinsmann also played for Stuttgart during his playing days. He also expressed his affection for Jung Woo-young as he is a “Stuttgart junior”. There was a question about what was said in Germany and how the national team would utilize it.
“He’s been in the headlines in Germany a lot lately,” Klinsmann said. I learned a lot about Korean military culture and the Asian Games in Germany, as well as Stuttgart. I’m happy that Jung Woo-young played a big role in the German scene. I had a difficult season in Freiburg last season. He didn’t get a lot of playing time, and now that he’s here, he’s getting more playing time and showing a lot of good things. It was good to see him score so many goals at the Asian Games, he was impressive. Jung Woo-young is a player who can play multiple positions. I think he can grow as he gets more playing time. He can play on the flanks and in the center like Son Heung-min, so we’ll have to think about how to use him in training.”
SouthKoreaNationalSoccerTeam’s October friendly call-up list (24 players)
Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-kyu (Al-Shabab), Cho Hyun-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon Sangmu)
Defenders: Kim Young-kwon, Jung Seung-hyun, Kim Tae-hwan, Seol Young-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), Kim Jin-soo (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Lee Ki-je (Suwon Samsung), Kim Joo-sung (FC Seoul)
Midfielders: Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), Park Yong-woo (Al Ain), Lee Jae-sung (Mainz), Hong Hyun-seok (KAA Hent), Hwang In-beom (FK Tsubena Zvezda), Jung Woo-young (VfB Stuttgart), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), Lee Sun-min (Gwangju FC), Moon Sun-min (Jeonbuk Hyundai)