Bad news for the South Korean soccer team. The team is facing two upcoming friendlies on Sept. 16 (Peru) and Sept. 20 (El Salvador). Starting central defenders Kim Min-jae (27-Naples) and Kim Young-kwon (33-Ulsan) are out of action due to basic military training and injury, respectively. The defensive weaknesses that have been a perennial source of anxiety in Korean soccer will be highlighted. Even captain Son Heung-min (31, Tottenham) is uncertain after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia. For now, he will sit on the bench on game day and monitor his condition. The captain’s armband will be worn by goalkeeper Kim Seung-kyu (33, Al-Shabaab).
메이저놀이터 But national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann (59-Germany) said in a press conference on Friday that it was an opportunity. New faces can fill the void left by the old guard and make a surprise impact. “I hope the new players will seize the opportunity,” he said, adding, “The roster may change at any time. Show enthusiasm.”
Klinsmann will be looking for a central defender to replace 33-year-old Kim Young-kwon in the two games. For now, Park Ji-soo (29-Portimonense) and Jeong Seung-hyun (29-Ulsan), both with A-League experience, seem to be leading the way. Both are strong, physical defenders who can break up attacks and have played 14 and 11 A matches respectively. Klinsmann also checked out the combination on the day of the 12th call-up. ‘Young blood’ Kim Joo-sung (23-Seoul), who has played one A-Match, and first-time call-up Park Kyu-hyun (22-Dynamo Dresden) have also been working hard in training, hoping for a chance.
Son Heung-min’s absence will be filled by a variety of resources. In Klinsmann’s first two friendlies against Colombia and Uruguay in March, just two weeks after his appointment, Son played as a dropped striker and spearheaded the attack. This time around, the team will be without Son Heung-min and will likely play a different game plan. “We’re thinking about various Plan B’s, such as Hwang Hee-chan (27-Wolverhampton) and Oh Hyun-gyu (22-Celtic),” Klinsmann said. There is also the question of who will start in the center of defense. Cho Kyu-sung (25-North Korea) started against Colombia and Hwang Eui-jo (31-Seoul) against Uruguay.
Klinsmann’s men, who drew 1-1 in the last trial, will be looking for their first win in the two-game series. They will face Peru at 8 p.m. on Sept. 16 at the Busan Asiad Stadium and El Salvador at 8 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium. Both matches will be broadcast live by TV Chosun.