Um Won-sang is loved by both Hwang Sun-hong and Hong Myung-bo. Um Won-sang has a big opportunity to succeed in both his team and national team.

Um Won-sang vowed to prove that the choice of coach Hwang Sun-hong, who selected him for the national team, was right.

Ulsan HD striker Um Won-sang started the second leg of the 2023-24 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League quarter-final against Jeonbuk Hyundai at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium on the 12th and shared Ulsan’s 1-0 victory.

With the victory, Um Won-sang advanced to the semifinals of the ACL along with Ulsan, and also raised the possibility of taking the stage of the FIFA Club World Cup in the U.S. in 2025. Ulsan, which won in regular time and secured six AFC ranking points (3 points for winning and 3 points for advancing to the next round), can turn the tables on Jeonbuk to confirm its advance to the Club World Cup by itself if it adds two points in the next round.

Although he did not score offensive points, Um Won-sang’s contribution was certainly high. Um Won-sang was tasked with aiming for the opponent’s back space based on his fast speed or speeding up the attack in a counterattack situation when his fellow resident came down to a low position.

Um Won-sang also contributed to Ulsan’s defense when he blocked Jeonbuk’s offensive at the end of the game and kept his lead by recording two tackles (100%), three recoveries, four ground contention successful (100%), and one aerial contention.

Um Won-sang has established himself as a clear core player in the Ulsan under coach Hong Myung-bo. In the 2022 season, the first season in Ulsan, Um Won-sang had 12 goals and six assists in the league alone, serving as a troubleshooter for his team and even served as a helper. Although his offensive points declined in the 2023 season, he was listed as one of the 11 best players in the K-League 1 in recognition of his stellar performance.

Um Won-sang is considered one of Hwang Sun-hong’s favorite students in the national team, if he is loved by Hong Myung-bo in his team. Um Won-sang, who has been consistently selected for the U-23 national team and used on Hwang’s team, won the gold medal with Hwang at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games last year.

Um Won-sang will continue his relationship with Hwang at the U-23 national team. Hwang, who will lead two consecutive rounds of qualifying matches for the 2026 North-Central America World Cup against Thailand in March, has invited many members of the Hangzhou Asian Games, including Um Won-sang, to the national team.

Um Won-sang, who has to go beyond the age-specific national team and seek to be selected as an A team, has a big opportunity. Um’s goal in March is to elevate his value through fierce competition for the second term and become one of the options for the national team.

Um Won-sang, whom I met after the match against Jeonbuk, said, “I think the coach must have thought a lot about it. I was also very worried about selecting the national team. Thank you for calling me back like this. I will go and prove that the coach’s choice was right.” 유흥알바

“I’m going to join the national team as if I’m learning more than I’m determined to survive the competition,” Um said. “I’m going to learn a lot in the national team because there are so many good players that I think I can grow if I learn from them.”

I was also looking forward to meeting with Hwang in the A-team. Um Won-sang said, “I talked a lot with the coach at the Asian Games, and I received a lot of feedback. I think he will tell me a lot of good things again this time. Especially since he was a striker, he helped me a lot on the offensive side. I will learn those parts.”

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