S Korea to open final traing camp at home before Wld Cup

เวลาปล่อย:2022-11-24 12:23

SEOUL, Oct. 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Friday will open their last training camp at home prior to the upcoming FIFA World Cup, with players on the bubble looking to capitalize on dwindling opportunities to stake claim on the final roster.

Head coach Paulo Bento will gather 27 players at the National Football Center (NFC) in Paju, just north of Seoul, Friday. Since the camp is being held outside the FIFA international match window, Bento was only able to call up players from leagues in Asia whose seasons are already over. European clubs in midseason werent required to release their South Korean players, though most of them, includingSon Heung-min of Tottenham HotspurandKim Min-jae of Napoli, are virtual locks for the final World Cup squad.

Now, it will be a few South Korean and Japanese league players trying to make a lasting impression on the bench boss and squeeze their way onto the 26-man World Cup team.

Considering Bentos reluctance to make drastic roster changes from match to match, its safe to assume that anywhere between 15 and 18 spots have already been determined for the World Cup. A few of those belong to K League players, leaving a precious few places for others who want to crash through the small window at this upcoming camp.

The competition on defenseshould be quite intriguing. Bento will have to find a suitable partner for Kim Min-jae, the all-around center back for Napoli. Ulsan Hyundai FC veteran Kim Young-gwon has the inside track, with Gamba Osakas Kwon Kyung-won and Daejeon Hana Citizens Cho Yu-min being the other candidates.

South Korea have hada revolving door of players in the right fullback position, and there doesnt appear to be a front runner among Ulsans Kim Tae-hwan, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors Kim Moon-hwan and FC Seouls Yoon Jong-gyu.

Bento has a wealth of options in attacking midfield spots, with Gimcheon Sangmu FC veteran Kwon Chang-hoon being pushed by a couple of rising K League stars in Um Won-sang of Ulsan and Yang Hyun-jun of Gangwon FC.

South Korea will host Icelandat 8 p.m. on Nov. 11 in Hwaseong, about 40 kilometers south of Seoul, and then Bento will announce hisfinal 26-man World Cup squad on Nov. 12. The team will depart for Qatar on Nov. 14.

South Korea will face Uruguay on Nov. 24, Ghana on Nov. 28, and Portugal on Dec. 2 in Group H. The Taeguk Warriors are playing in their10th consecutive World Cupand will try to reach the knockouts for only the third time, after reaching the semifinals in 2002 and the round of 16 in 2010.

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