Go to contents

Korea Assembling Starting World Cup Roster

Posted March. 05, 2010 09:29,   


○ Finding Park Chu-young`s partner

Most of the attention the national soccer team is getting is on offense. Striker Park Chu-young has solidified his spot as one of Korea’s two strikers for the World Cup in South Africa.

Though he sat out a friendly match against Cote d’Ivoire Wednesday, he has shown his best performance this season in the French league.

Korea coach Huh Jung-moo has been testing other strikers to find who can form the best combination with Park.

Huh has two-top and one-top systems in mind. If he chooses the two-striker setup, Lee Keun-ho will likely take the other striker position. Assistant coach Park Tae-ha said Lee’s speed and ability to shoot fast will work in the World Cup.

Lee Dong-kook, who nailed a clean volley shot to give his team an early lead in the 2-0 win over Cote d’Ivoire, has raised his chances of being selected the other striker.

Shin Moon-seon, a sports professor at Myongji University in Seoul, said, “The Park Chu-young-Lee Keun-ho combination looks appropriate for a rapid offense, and the Park Chu-young-Lee Dong-kook combination for a slow offense.”

Lee Dong-kook has also impressed Korean fans by actively helping out on defense.

Lee Seung-ryul, Ahn Jung-hwan and Seol Ki-hyeon will also compete for the remaining striker position. Lee is blessed with youth and boldness and Ahn with experience in big games, so these two have the advantage over Seol.

○ Solid midfield leaves few slots

The team’s midfield lineup of Park Ji-sung, Kim Jung-woo, Ki Sueng-yong and Lee Chung-yong leaves no room for further adjustments. Some questioned the selection of Kim, but his defense and game coordination in the match against Cote d’Ivoire quieted his skeptics.

Instead, the competition is for the backups for the two center midfield positions. If coach Huh puts more emphasis on defense, Kim Nam-il is the most likely choice. Kim Jae-sung, who was impressive at the match against Cote d’Ivoire, also caught Huh’s attention.

○ Organization key for defense

Team Korea’s defensive line of Lee Young-pyo, Lee Jung-soo, Cho Yong-hyung and Cha Du-ri will likely remain the same as it was Wednesday. Cha, however, is being strongly challenged at right fullback by Oh Beom-seok.

KBS soccer commentator Han Joon-hee said Cha is expected to start against Greece while Oh will start against Argentina.

The previous defense line led to concern, but the addition of veteran Lee Young-pyo and the powerful Cha has greatly improved the defense. Their effective interception of an opponent’s offense from the sides has revived the organization of the defense.

kimsk@donga.com niceshin@donga.com