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Verbeek Shakes Up Team Korea’s Roster

Posted July. 29, 2006 03:00,   


New Korean national soccer team coach Pim Verbeek has released the list of the first Korean soccer squad supplemented by younger players.

At the building of Korea Football Association (KFA) in Jongno-gu, Seoul, coach Pim Verbeek yesterday announced the reserve list of 36 players for the qualifying match against Taiwan at the 2007 Asian Cup to be held in Taiwan on August 16.

Coach Verbeek said, “The Korean team failed to narrow the gap between it and European teams during this World Cup,” and added, “I’ll focus on finding players who are well rounded with defense and offense capabilities.”

The list includes as many as 28 under the age of 25. In addition, it is the first time for 15 players to meet Verbeek. These all reflect Coach Verbeek’s determination to shift Team Korea’s generation.

Goalkeeper Lee Un-jae was left out due to an injury, and Chung Seong-ryong and Sung Kyung-il were included along with Kim Young-gwang and Kim Yong-dae who joined the World Cup.

There was also a big change on the defense line. Chung In-hwan and Lee Kang-jin who participated in the FIFA World Youth Championship Netherlands 2005 and members of the so-called “Cho Trio,” Cho Byung-guk, Cho Seong-hwan and Cho Yong-hyung, newly joined the list.

The change in the midfield line was drastic as well. In particular, a 19-year-old Kim Dong-suk drew attention by assisting on an equalizer in a match against Suwon on July 26 while he was playing in the lower group of FC Seoul after graduating from Yonggang Middle School.

Besides, the selection of a lesser known tall offense player Seo Dong-hyun, who is good at post playing, is expected to allow Verbeek to test new offense strategies.

Meanwhile, there was a player on the list whose team was left “vacant.” The KFA noted, “as far as we are concerned, Ahn Jeong-hwan’s contract with Duisburg ended. But Ahn has yet to contract with a new team so we couldn’t mark his team.” Ahn, who joined the Duisburg in the Bundesliga this January, signed a one year and five month deal. However Ahn had an option in a contract that he could transfer to another team when the team is demoted to the Second Bundesliga and is seeking a team to move now that his team has relegated to the second league.

Eight out of 36 players including Lee Chun-soo, Choi Seong-guk, Lee Jong-min (Ulsan) who will play at the A3 Champions Cup and other players playing abroad including Lee-ho, Kim Dong-jin and Cho Jae-jin, won’t join the training session starting August 6 in Paju.

Coach Verbeek will announce the final entry of 20 that will play in Taiwan on August 10.

Jae-Yun Jung jaeyuna@donga.com