온라인카지노All eyes will be on South Korea’s wildcard (over-24 player) Hwang Sun-hong as they look to win a third consecutive men’s football title at the Asian Games. The absence of a striker, which was initially considered an absolute requirement, has been criticised for taking away some of the weight. However, the three wildcards in the squad are desperate and will be leading the charge for gold.
Asian Games football coach Hwang Sun-hong announced the final 22-man squad for the Hangzhou Asian Games on Thursday. Major international stars such as Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart), Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) and Hong Hyun-seok (Ghent) were all included.
However, there were no strikers among the three wild cards. South Korea has had at least one wildcard from the attacking side of the game at every Asian Games since the 2006 Doha Games, when Lee Chun-su was selected as a wildcard. It’s been 17 years since an Asian Games wildcard hasn’t included a striker.
Park Jin-seop of Jeonbuk Hyundai. Courtesy of the Korean Football Association
“Striker is a special position, so we waited until the last minute,” said Hwang. It would have been nice to pick one, but in the end, we had to make a different choice,” he said, adding, “The strikers we have now are not inferior. If we do our best to prepare for the rest of the tournament, I think we can be competitive in the main round.”
Hwang’s three wild cards are midfielder Baek Seung-ho, central defender Park Jin-seop (Jeonbuk) and full-back Seol Young-woo (Ulsan).
Hwang was faced with a difficult choice of strikers and prioritised ‘multi-ability’. The final roster for the Asian Games is 22, with 19 field players, excluding three goalkeepers. With the sweltering heat and tight schedule, players with the ability to play a variety of positions are absolutely essential. Baek Seung-ho, Park Jin-seop, and Seol Young-woo are all regular starters for their respective clubs, but they also fit the bill for multiplayer. Baek Seung-ho can cover most of the midfield area, while Park Jin-seop excels in both centre-back and defensive midfield. Seol-Young-woo can play both left and right full-back, something few full-backs can do.
All of these players are in need of a special exemption from military service. But just as desperate as they are, they are also desperate for the Taeguk mark.
Ulsan Hyundai’s Seol Young-woo. Courtesy of the Korea Football Association
Baek Seung-ho is now a mainstay in the A team, but that was not the case at the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games five years ago. Not only did he not make the cut, but he also missed the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship and the Tokyo Olympics. At the Tokyo Olympics, Seol Young-woo was called up by coach Kim Hak-beom, but he missed out on a medal as South Korea were eliminated in the quarter-finals. The Asian Games is a golden opportunity for Seol to go for gold.
Park Jin-seop is more eager than any other athlete as this will be his first time wearing the Taeguk mark. Especially since last season was the minimum age for joining the merchant marine, he is no longer eligible to join the merchant marine. If he doesn’t win gold this time, he will have to continue his career in the K4 League as a public service worker. There is no athlete more desperate than him.