The national team will have to make do without Kim Min-jae (Napoli) and Kim Young-kwon (Ulsan Hyundai) in defense.
The South Korean national soccer team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann, announced a 23-man roster on Friday morning ahead of a pair of friendly A matches in June. South Korea will play Peru and El Salvador on June 16 and 20 in Busan and Daejeon, respectively.
Compared to the March A-Match roster, the biggest change is in the defense. In March, Klinsmann had just taken over as coach for the matches against Colombia and Uruguay, and the Korean Football Association (KFA) selected the roster based on the roster for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, so this June’s A-Match roster is effectively Klinsmann’s first.
The seven defenders on the roster are Seol Young-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), Lee Ki-je (Suwon Samsung), Kim Jin-soo (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Ahn Hyun-beom (Jeju United), Kwon Kyung-won (Gamba Osaka), Kim Joo-sung (FC Seoul), and Park Ji-soo (Portimonense). Ahn is earning his first national team call-up, while Seol Young-woo has played 0 A matches and Kim Joo-seong has played 1 A match.
Existing core defender Kim Min-jae is scheduled for basic military training in June. Kim Young-kwon was injured in a K League match. The Korean national team will have to deploy a defensive Plan B for the two friendlies. 안전놀이터
“As a national team coach, it’s difficult to deal with military training and injury variables,” Klinsmann said. There will be a lot of changes in the defense from March. I want to continue the continuity of the national team’s tactics, but it will be difficult in June,” said Klinsmann.
“Injuries to existing players can open doors for other players. It’s my job to bring out the best in new players. I’m sorry for the players who didn’t make the squad due to injury, but I hope the new players do well.”
Klinsmann traveled to Europe during the season, including Italy, to meet with European players, including Kim Min-jae. “Kim won the Italian Serie A,” Klinsmann said. It’s a proud moment for me as a Korean coach. It will be an incredible memory that he will never forget,” he congratulated Kim.