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Up and Coming Players on Korean Olympic Soccer Team

Posted August. 24, 2007 07:29,   


Lee Sang-ho, a 20-year old from Ulsan Hyundai, and Lee Geun-ho, a 22-year-old from Daegu FC, scored goals in the final round of the Olympic qualifying match with Uzbekistan held on August 22.

The two players have something in common: both have successfully overcome difficulties.

Lee Sang-ho weighed over whether to go abroad or to remain in the Korean soccer league before he finished high school. He drew much attention as a striker during high school and he got an offer from a French club. Ulsan was also very active to draft him, and ended up scouting him early 2006.

However, he usually sat on the bench overshadowed by big players such as Lee Cheon-su and Choi Seong-guk.

But he has always been selected as a representative player in all matches divided between age groups. He seized the opportunity when major players were off the field. And he has been steadily improved his performance, becoming a distinctive figure during the International Youth World Cup in Canada this year.

Lee is a “multiplayer,” taking many positions such as striker on offense and defensive mid-fielder.

Lee Geun-ho graduated from Bupyeong High School in Incheon in 2005 and joined Incheon United. But he usually played in the minor league. He played only eight games in the K-League, Korea’s professional league, but ended up with no scores.

He changed his team to Daegu, which served as a springboard for his career. Daegu’s coach Byeon Byeong-ju loves his speed.

He has played twenty matches this year alone and scored nine goals, leading him to be selected to the Olympic and adult national team.

He has played every match for the Olympic team and scored two goals in a match against the United Arab Emirates, contributing to Korea’s 3-1 victory. He has emerged as a star player of the Korean Olympic Team.