South Korea’s soccer team enters its first gateway to the 2026 North American Football Confederations Cup. Head coach Jürgen Klinsmann’s (GER) men’s national team will open Group C of the second round of World Cup qualifying against Singapore at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Saturday, followed by two away matches against China in Shenzhen on Sunday.
Ahead of the two games, which are expected to be high-scoring affairs, the framework of the ‘Klinsmanns’ has remained largely unchanged. There were virtually no roster changes. It was expected. The team is loaded with quality players from Europe’s big leagues and the UEFA Champions League.
Still, it’s not without its concerns. There are certain positions that need to be addressed. They are the left and right fullbacks and the third line. Kim Jin-soo (31-North Korea Hyundai), Lee Ki-je (32-Suwon Samsung), Seol Young-woo (25), and Kim Tae-hwan (34-Ulsan Hyundai) are fine for the time being, but in the medium to long term, generational changes are inevitable. In addition, Park Yong-woo (30-Al Ain) and Lee Sun-min (29-Gwangju FC), who are currently classified as specialized defensive midfielders in the national team, are not very good in terms of international competitiveness. There are other midfielders such as Hwang In-beom (27-Tsrubena Zvezda), Hong Hyun-seok (24-Hent), and Lee Kang-in (22-Paris Saint-Germain), but they are more attack-minded.
This was one of the questions Klinsmann was asked at the press conference prior to the team’s first training session at Mokdong Sports Complex on Wednesday, and he acknowledged the situation. “It’s something we always worry about,” Klinsmann said. We made some changes by bringing in a younger player (Seol Young-woo), but our fullbacks are getting older. Internally, we’re talking about how to deal with injuries and who to replace them with.”
But for now, the door to the national team is closed. The national coaching staff has trimmed its roster to 23 players, with a much less demanding World Cup secondary qualifying roster that won’t even make the final cut for the Asian Cup in Qatar next January/February. This was a missed opportunity to test the skills and potential of the new faces in training. 보스토토 도메인
In any case, the decision has been made and it’s now up to Klinsmann to find a way forward. In particular, defensive midfielders and fullbacks will have to be found domestically rather than in Europe. The global coaching staff needs to be more serious and open to sharing the domestic scouting work that has been handled by Chaduri, who is contracted until the Asian Cup.