South Korea women's football coach Yoon Duk-yeo said Sunday that upcoming friendly matches with the United States will give them a chance to grow.
The Taeguk Ladies have departed for the US for two friendly matches later this month. The South Koreans will first meet the Americans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Oct. 20 (Korean time), and the two sides will square off again three days later at Sahlen's Stadium in Cary, North Carolina.
|Yoon Duk-yeo (Yonhap)|
Yoon called up 23 players, including Chelsea Ladies FC forward Ji So-yun, for the friendlies.
"We'll have difficulties such as jet lag once we arrive in the US, but we'll have to do our best in the given situation," Yoon said at Incheon International Airport. "We shouldn't be intimidated."
South Korea, ranked No. 16 in the latest FIFA rankings, have not beaten the top-ranked US 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.
The friendly matches against the US are tune-ups for the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Asian Cup, which also doubles as the qualifying tournament for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Yoon said the upcoming friendlies will serve as a good lesson to his players.
"I think it's a great pleasure for us to face the US, who have experienced and technically gifted players," he said. "Matches against big teams will further develop South Korean football."
South Korean players acknowledged that the US are strong team, but will give their best effort.
Lee Min-ah, an attacking midfielder who plays for Hyundai Steel Red Angels in the WK League, said she is ready to show her skills against the US She is currently second in both goals and assists in the WK League, with 14 goals and 10 assists to her name.
"When I first faced the US four years ago, I was young and inexperienced," she said. "We had a difficult time because the US players were quick and technically good, but now I want to face them head-to-head with my own skills." (Yonhap)