The return of veteran fullbacks will be a key feature of the national team’s two October A matches against Tunisia (Sept. 13 at Seoul World Cup Stadium) and Vietnam (Sept. 17 at Suwon World Cup Stadium). Having started training at the Paju National Training Center (NFC), head coach Jürgen Klinsmann (GER) has called up Kim Jin-soo (31-Former North Korea Hyundai) and Kim Tae-hwan (34-Ulsan Hyundai), who have shaken off facial injuries.
The recall of the full-back duo, who played together in the round of 16 at the 2022 Qatar World Cup, cleared up the national team’s flank defense. On the left, Kim Jin-soo and Lee Ki-jae (32-Suwon Samsung) will be in charge, while on the right, Seol Young-woo (25), who won a gold medal at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games as a wildcard (player over the age limit), and Kim Tae-hwan, the senior, will compete. It’s nothing new. We’ve come full circle, and it’s hard to deny that Kim Jin-soo and Seol Young-woo are one step ahead of the competition.
Finding a fullback is a recurring problem for the national team. The fact that players in their early to mid-30s are consistently being called up is a sign that the national team is struggling with generational change. The team may be able to get through the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Qatar in January/February next year, but there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to qualify for the North American World Cup in three years.레고토토
It’s not as if there isn’t a player pool. Ahn Hyun-beom (29-North Korea) and Kang Sang-woo (30-Beijing Guoan) took part in the national team’s September trip to Europe, while Park Kyu-hyun (22-Dynamo Dresden) was tested in June. In the end, none of them made the cut for Klinsmann. The national team’s multinational coaching staff decided to leave all three out of the squad, opting instead to bring back the veterans. They opted for stability and familiarity, despite the relative weakness of Vietnam.
It’s unlikely that the team will experiment too much in the future. If Kim Moon-hwan (28-Alduhail), who played in the Qatar World Cup but became a forgotten name on the Klinsmann ship, continues to be excluded, alternatives will eventually have to be found in the K League, and Klinsmann has no intention of abandoning his existing overseas-based work pattern in the name of maintaining an international flavor. You can’t find the next generation of talent without looking at the K League scene. Even if they are called up to the national team occasionally, they are unlikely to be retained. That is until Klinsmann changes his mindset, as he sees K League players as partners to help the overseas teams.