Chelsea Ladies' Ji So-yun to lead Korea in US friendlies

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 27, 2017 - 11:36
  • Updated : Sept 27, 2017 - 11:36
Chelsea Ladies attacker Ji So-yun will lead the way for South Korea in two friendly matches against the United States next month.

South Korea, ranked No. 15 in the latest FIFA rankings, unveiled a 23-player roster on Wednesday. They will play two friendly matches with the top-ranked Americans: first at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Oct. 20 (Korean time), and again three days later at Sahlen's Stadium in Cary, North Carolina.

The women's national team, led by head coach Yoon Duk-yeo, features veterans like Ji, the all-time leading scorer for the Taeguk Ladies with 45 goals in 95 matches, and hard-working midfielder Cho So-hyun, who has played 100 matches for South Korea. They're joined by Lee Min-A, Jeon Ga-eul, and Lee Geum-min, who all helped South Korea clinch a spot at the 2018 Asian Football Confederation Women's Asian Cup after winning the qualification tournament in North Korea in April. 

In this file photo taken on April 13, 2017, South Korea women`s national football team players and coaches pose for a group photo at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul after returning from North Korea. (Yonhap)

Only two players -- forward Han Chae-rin and defender Park Cho-rong -- were newly selected members.

"The US are no doubt the strongest team in women's football," Yoon said. "We want to find out our level and shortcomings by playing against them in order to prepare for the next year's Asian Cup."

South Korea have never beaten the Americans in their nine previous meetings, marking only two draws and seven losses. They last met in May 2015 in New Jersey, where the match ended in a scoreless draw.

After taking on the three-time FIFA Women's World Cup winners, South Korea will travel to Tokyo in December to compete at the East Asian Football Federation Women's East Asian Cup. The biennial tournament features South Korea, North Korea, China and Japan.

The upcoming matches are considered tune-ups for the 2018 Asian Cup, which also doubles as the qualifying tournament for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.

The Korea Football Association said the national team will depart for New Orleans on Oct. 15. (Yonhap)