Head coach Jürgen Klinsmann (59) talks about his newly announced 23-man squad. He explained who will replace Kim Min-jae (27, Napoli) and Kim Young-kwon (33, Ulsan) and why Son Jun-ho (31, Shandong Taishan), who is currently detained in China, was not included.
The Korea Football Association (KFA) held a press conference to announce the roster at the KFA Football Hall in Jongno-gu, Seoul at 9 a.m. on Friday.
Klinsmann said, “I’m always excited and looking forward to the games. In March, we played two games against Colombia and Uruguay. They were good games. We played well, but we didn’t get a result, which was disappointing. I think this is a good opportunity to get to know the new players. The roster is based on a lot of circumstances.”
Klinsmann added: “As you know, I’ve been very busy in the last two and a half months. We’ve been looking at teams not only in the K League but also overseas. I think the fans had an exciting time as well. Seeing Kim Min-jae lift the Serie A trophy was a happy and proud moment, and he’s done something he’ll live with for the rest of his life. I could only see it in videos and photos, but I think it’s a happy memory,” he said, referring to Kim’s Serie A title in the 2022-2023 season.
“I watched Son Heung-min play against Tottenham and Celtic, and Oh Hyun-gyu was a late substitute, but he won a lot of trophies. He also scored goals. Hong Hyun-seok, the newest addition to the team, had a good showing in the Belgian league.”
“The challenging part of being a national team coach is that you have to keep developing your players. I think this is the year to watch and be a part of that in Korean soccer. We have the Asian Games in Hangzhou in September and the U-20s did well today (Friday). We will continue to monitor them and see if any of the younger players can make it to the A team.”
“The most important thing is the Asian Cup in January 2024 in Qatar, but it will be interesting to see how the roster evolves between now and then,” he said, adding that he expects there will be changes, big and small.
“As you know, the draw for the Asian Cup is complete. It’s time to start thinking about who we’re going to play and how we’re going to prepare. When we participated in the draw, we saw the local atmosphere. We are thinking about how best to prepare. We have about seven months to go. We need to find out who will be on the train to Qatar. The A matches are important and the upcoming matches are important, but we want to use these matches to prepare for the Asian Cup.”
Junho Son, who is being detained in China, has been selected.
-It’s very heartbreaking. As you said, we are doing our best as an association. We continue to cheer and support him. We don’t know what his situation is mentally and physically. But his performances against Colombia and Uruguay in March were excellent. Our role is to pray for him and hope for the best. I don’t know if he knows it, but I’m constantly helping him behind the scenes. I hope he knows that.
Even if Son is released, it’s likely that he won’t be in top form. On whether this decision will take away from other players.
-We want to let him know that we are supporting him during this difficult time, and we will continue to look for ways to help him. The roster itself may change next week. There are K League matches during the week and on the weekend, and there could be injuries in between. The U-23 team also has a friendly in China. This can be a challenge for national team managers. You have to build a roster in a changing situation. I think this 23-man squad is competitive. I think we need to maintain the good performance we had in March. The roster itself could have been announced with 26 or 30 players, but the roster is subject to change.
There are new faces like Won Doo-jae, Park Yong-woo, etc. instead of Jeong Woo-young.
-Jung Woo-young, for example, had a small surgery after the season. Before I left for Europe, I watched a lot of K League games, especially Gimcheon Sangmu, and got a lot of information about the military team. I’m learning Korean soccer one by one. The players that the coaches traveled to check out were newly selected. Park Ji-soo, Seol Young-woo, and others were identified by the coaches. Wherever they could, they traveled and selected players themselves. Through this continuous process, we are working on the important task of creating the best roster before the Asian Cup in Qatar. The coaching staff is capable and knowledgeable. They will make the best team.
This is the same striker roster as last March.
-Striker is a special position. You are judged by your goals. As a coach, I want my players to score every game. Cho Kyu-sung scored in the last game and Oh Hyun-gyu also scored a goal. I was watching and thinking that it would be nice to score. It must have been difficult for him as well. There were more substitutions than starts. But I think the three players on the roster can show more. There are players in the K League who score more goals, but there is something about the striker position that we think is important. There comes a time when strikers don’t score. As a coach, I think it’s my job to help them get through it.
On coordinating with Asian Games coach Hwang Sun-hong.
-As you said, I’ve been talking a lot with coach Hwang Sun-hong and coach Kim Eun-jung. For the U-20 team, I saw them before they went to Brazil and we talked and watched them. We’re constantly talking, and we’re in a very good mood and having fun. Hwang Sun-hong will have his own challenges. We will continue to talk intensively in September. Jung Woo-young (Freiburg) is missing from the roster. That’s a reflection. He is in the 24-year-old national team, but he can be called up to the A team depending on the situation.
Kim Min-jae and Kim Young-kwon are unavailable due to military training and injury, respectively.
-As a national team coach, variables such as injuries and unforeseen circumstances are challenging. My role is to make the best choices under these circumstances. The changes in the defense line compared to last March are significant. I want to maintain the continuity and rhythm of the national team’s performance, but it will be difficult in June.
Ahn Hyun-beom is the newest addition.
-I haven’t seen him play in person. But I’ve been monitoring him. I’ll be watching him on Saturday. He’s fast, aggressive and good one-on-one. It’s fun as a coach to see an aggressive player. Unexpected injuries, situations seem to give opportunities and open doors for other players. The first day or two can be nerve-wracking. As a coach, it’s your job to help them perform at 100%. Of course, it’s heartbreaking to watch the players who didn’t make the cut due to injury. I’m going to focus on the new players and make good preparations.
Impressions of the Korean K League
-It’s interesting and fun to watch a 토토사이트 new league. You can see the details in person and see the styles of the players and coaches. There are some good matches and some boring ones. It’s the same in any league.
There seems to be a pool of players on the reserve roster.
-We try to narrow down the pool of players as quickly as possible. We talked to the coaches and tried to narrow it down to the national team’s capabilities. I didn’t think Jin-Soo Kim would be able to make it. He had a big injury in March, but he played a few weeks later in the K League. It will be great to see him in Paju.
I’m also keeping an eye on the U-24 and U-20 national teams. It’s interesting to see how they develop. The purpose of the age groups is to develop players for the A team. It will be fun to watch them join the national team in the future.