South Korea announced a youthful squad for this year's FIFA World Cup in Brazil on Thursday, with few surprises among the 23 players who will take part in football's grandest extravaganza.
Head coach Hong Myung-bo unveiled the roster at the National Football Center (NFC) here in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, north of Seoul. Hong had repeatedly said he would not make surprises for the big tournament, and mostly lived up to his words, with the majority of the players having seen plenty of action under Hong since he took over the national team last June.
South Korea will be making its eighth consecutive World Cup appearance in June, and will field a young team with a strong international flavor against Algeria, Belgium and Russia in Group H. Kwak Tae-hwi, at 32, is the only player over 30, and 17 of the 23 players ply their trade in overseas leagues.
The squad features five carryovers from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa: forward Park Chu-young, midfielders Ki Sung-yueng, Lee Chung-yong and Kim Bo-kyung and goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong.
South Korea has made it out of the group stage twice, reaching the semifinals at the 2002 tournament it co-hosted with Japan, and advancing to the round of 16 in South Africa before losing to Uruguay.
Hong's squad will begin training at the NFC. South Korea will host Tunisia on May 28 for its final pre-World Cup match at home, and will depart for Miami two days later to set up a base camp there. South Korea is scheduled to play Ghana in the United States on June 10 and travel to Brazil on June 12, five days before the first match against Russia. (Yonhap)
|Head coach Hong Myung-bo announces the list of Korea's World Cup squad players on Thursday. (Yonhap)|
Following is the list of South Korean players named to the 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, with their clubs in parentheses:
Goalkeepers: Jung Sung-ryong (Suwon Bluewings), Kim Seung-gyu (Ulsan Hyundai), Lee Bum-young (Busan IPark)
Defenders: Hong Jeong-ho (FC Augsburg), Hwang Seok-ho (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Kim Chang-soo (Kashiwa Reysol), Kim Jin-soo (Albirex Niigata), Kim Young-gwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Kwak Tae-hwi (Al-Hilal), Lee Yong (Ulsan Hyundai), Yun Suk-young (Queens Park Rangers)
Midfielders: Ha Dae-sung (Beijing Guoan), Han Kook-young (Kashiwa Reysol), Ji Dong-won (FC Augsburg), Ki Sung-yueng (Sunderland), Kim Bo-kyung (Cardiff City), Lee Chung-yong (Bolton Wanderers), Park Jong-woo (Guangzhou R&F), Son Heung-min (Bayer Leverkusen)
Forwards: Kim Shin-wook (Ulsan Hyundai), Koo Ja-cheol (FSV Mainz 05), Lee Keun-ho (Sangju Sangmu), Park Chu-young (Watford)