South Korea’s men’s soccer team is finally complete as they look to qualify for their 11th consecutive World Cup.
Head coach Jürgen Klinsmann’s squad will train at Mokdong Stadium in Seoul on Thursday afternoon for the second day of their November A-match call-up. Two players will be interviewed before training, and the media will get a sneak peek at the training session. It’s the first day of full training.
The call-up took place on the 13th, but due to team schedules, not everyone was able to make it. Klinsmann called up 23 players for the A-League match, but only 11 of them, including Son Heung-min (Tottenham) and Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), participated in training on the first day.
Of the remaining 12 players, eight – Kim Young-kwon, Seol Young-woo, Kim Tae-hwan, Cho Hyun-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), Kim Jin-soo, Moon Sun-min (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), and Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) – did not train but instead worked on their muscles at their accommodation, citing their professional soccer K League schedules and long travel distances.토토사이트
According to the KFA, the other overseas players, striker Hwang Eui-jo (Norwich City), missed the first training session because he returned home later than called up on the 13th, while forwards Cho Kyu-sung (Mitwillan), Oh Hyun-gyu (Celtic), and midfielder Hong Hyun-seok (Hent) arrived in South Korea on the morning of the 14th by plane after fulfilling their club schedules.
This meant that all 23 players were together for the second day of training. The training will be a little more detailed and varied than the first day.
However, it is unclear whether all 23 will participate in the second day’s training. “Probably all 23 will train together, but there may be some players who will miss the team training due to physical conditions (such as long flights). Individual training at the hotel is also training.”
Klinsmann will get his first taste of action this November in an A-match. All eight of Klinsmann’s A matches since taking over in March have been friendlies. The team hopes to carry its unbeaten record (3 wins, 1 draw) from its four games in September and October into November and continue its smooth path to World Cup qualification.
The number of qualifying nations increased to 48 after the North and Central American World Cup. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has been allocated a total of 8.5 spots, which will be awarded to the first six teams to finish second in their respective groups in the third round of qualifying. The remaining 2.5 spots will be awarded through the fourth and fifth rounds of qualifying and continental playoffs.
While many expect an easy ride to an 11th consecutive World Cup, Klinsmann says, “I think more teams are going into the qualifiers well prepared. I don’t think it’s going to be easy. We’re going to have to play with a little more professionalism.”
“There are no easy teams or matches in football,” he said, noting that both Singapore and China, the two opponents in the November A match, are relative underdogs.
Hwang Hee-chan, who has developed into one of the team’s key strikers, agreed, saying, “I don’t think (the opponents) are weak. Every game is really important, and since it’s our last home game of the year, we want to give our fans a good show,” he said, vowing to perform well in the two-game series.
Klinsmann’s squad will continue training at Mokdong Sports Complex until the first match of the second Asian qualifying round against Singapore at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on June 16. After the Singapore match, the team will depart for China via Incheon International Airport on the 19th. The team will play the second match against China at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center on the 21st before disbanding.