‘Looking for third straight AG title’ Hwang to play June trials in China…’Will Lee Kang-in play?

South Korea’s men’s soccer team, looking to win a third straight Asian Games title, will play two trials in China in June.

“At the request of the Chinese Football Association, we are in talks to play two exhibition matches in China on June 15 and 19,” a Korean Football Association official said on June 25.

The Chinese Football Association also announced on its website on the same day that it will host the South Korean Under-24 national team for two matches (June 15-19) at the Jinhua Sports Center Stadium in Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province, China.

The Korean U-24 Men’s National Team, led by Hwang Sun-hong, will be looking to win their third consecutive Asian Games after winning the 2014 Incheon Games and 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games.

Men’s football at the Hangzhou Asian Games will take place from Sept. 19 to Oct. 7 in six cities (eight venues), including the Jinhua Sports Center, where the team will play an exhibition match against China.

“The Asian Games men’s football will also be played in cities near Hangzhou, and the Jinhua Sports Center Stadium is one of them,” Hwang Sun-hong told Yonhap News Agency.

U-24 Asian Games squad in full training mode
(Paju=Yonhap News) Players from the Hangzhou Asian Games U-24 soccer team are having a call-up training session at Paju NFC in Gyeonggi Province on Friday afternoon. 2023.5.15 hwayoung7@yna.co.kr

The trials will take place during the A-match in June. The A team, led by coach Jürgen Klinsmann, will play against Peru 스포츠토토(Busan Asiad Stadium) on June 16 and El Salvador (Daejeon World Cup Stadium) on June 20.

Accordingly, Hwang Sun-hong and Klinsmann have begun preliminary coordination on the players to be called up, and have exchanged views on player selection.

Fans will be interested to see which players, who could be included in both the A team and the Asian Games squad, will play in the A match schedule in June.

The Hangzhou Asian Games were originally scheduled to take place last year, but were postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The age range for athletes competing in the “23 and under” category was expanded to “24 and under.

Lee Kang-in waves.
[Yonhap News Agency photo].

As a result, athletes born on or after Jan. 1, 1999, will be able to participate in the Hangzhou Asian Games.

In addition to Lee Kang-in (Mallorca), who was born in 2001, Uhm Won-sang (Ulsan), Song Min-gyu (Jeonbuk) and Jung Woo-young (Freiburg), who were born in 1999, are among the “A-list resources” who can compete at the Asian Games.

Lee Kang-in is of particular interest as he is considered a key resource by both Hwang and Klinsmann.

Klinsmann drew 1-1 in his debut as Korea’s national team coach in March, so the pressure to win the A match in June could be high.

“We’ve coordinated with Klinsmann to some extent,” Hwang said, “but we still need to see more details, such as injured players.”

“The A-team roster has to come first,” he said, adding, “Coach Klinsmann is open to (the idea). We’re having good conversations.”

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