Jürgen Klinsmann (59), head coach of the A national team, is now in his “real first season.
Klinsmann got his first job in March at an A match. But he hadn’t had time to prepare as he had just taken over. The team was celebrating its first World Cup round of 16 in 12 years. His roster was made up of players who played at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
This time was different. Klinsmann met with the Europeans after the March A match. He also watched K League games and checked on the domestic team.
On the 5th, Klinsmann revealed the roster for the two A matches against Peru (16th-Busan) and El Salvador (20th-Daejeon) at the Shinseong-ro Soccer Hall in Seoul. He called up 23 players.
There was a lot of concern in the backline. Kim Min-jae (Napoli), who received a special exemption from military service after winning gold at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, was unable to join the squad due to basic military training. Kim Young-kwon (Ulsan), another pillar of the center back line, also went down with a right hamstring (muscle behind the thigh) injury.
‘Surprise call-ups’ were the talk of the town. Among the Europeans, Park Ji-soo (Portimonense), who plays for Portugal, is back. The center back went down with an injury just before the World Cup in Qatar. Hong Hyun-seok (Ghent), who plays in the Belgian league, also made his first appearance. Klinsmann’s coaching staff also selected them after seeing them in action.
New faces were also all the rage in the K-League. Kim Joo-sung (Seoul), Ahn Hyun-beom (Jeju), Seol Young-woo (Ulsan), and Won Doo-jae (Gimcheon), all of whom are playing strongly in the K League, were selected by Klinsmann. Ahn Hyun-beom, Hong Hyun-seok and Park Yong-woo were called up to the A team for the first time.
‘Captain’ Son Heung-min (Tottenham), World Cup Round of 16 hero Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), the future of Korean soccer Lee Kang-in (Mallorca), and ‘Man-Tearing Man’ Cho Kyu-sung (Jeonbuk) were re-called. Son Jun-ho (Shandong Taishan), who is currently detained in China, also made the cut.
Immediately after the roster announcement, Klinsmann headed to the Paju National Training Center (NFC). Before the full squad is called up, the team will begin ‘commuter training’ from the fifth to keep European players such as Son 스포츠토토 Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan, whose seasons just ended, in shape. The full squad will be called up on the 12th.
Klinsmann failed to register his first win in two matches in March. He lost 1-0 to Uruguay and drew 2-2 with Colombia.
He will look to get his first win in June in a two-game A-match series.
Klinsmann’s first call-up list (23 players)
▶GK (3) = Kim Seung-kyu (Al-Shabab), Cho Hyun-woo (Ulsan), Song Bum-geun (Shonan Belmare)
DF (8) = Park Ji-soo (Portimonense) Kim Jin-soo (Jeonbuk) Kim Joo-sung (Seoul) Kwon Kyung-won (Gamba Osaka) Ahn Hyun-beom (Jeju) Lee Ki-je (Suwon Samsung) Seol Young-woo (Ulsan)
MF (12 players) = Son Jun-ho (Shandong Taishan) Hong Hyun-seok (Ghent) Won Doo-jae (Gimcheon) Hwang In-beom (Olympiacos) Lee Jae-sung (Mainz) Na Sang-ho (Seoul) Park Yong-woo (Ulsan) Lee Kang-in (Mallorca) Son Heung-min (Tottenham) Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton)
▶FW (3) = Hwang Eui-jo (Seoul) Cho Kyu-sung (Jeonbuk) Oh Hyun-gyu (Celtic)