Hwang Sun-hong, the 23-year-old coach of the U-23 national soccer team who also temporarily serves as the head coach of the A team, has begun surgery for the national team in earnest. He will cut out the affected area through drastic changes in the team’s roster, select proven talents in the K-League, and receive new blood.

Coach Hwang announced the list of players to play in the second consecutive match against Thailand in the second Asian qualifying round of the 2026 FIFA North-Central American World Cup at the Korea Football Association in Sinmun-ro, Jongno-gu, on the 11th.

Coach Hwang abruptly re-appointed Lee Kang-in, who caused the retrograde incident ahead of the Qatar Asian Cup semifinal match against Jordan. At that time, he defined the incident as a whole team problem, not an individual problem for Lee Kang-in.

“Is this a matter between the two players? I don’t think so,” he said. “It’s a matter of all the team members, including the team members, coaching staff, and support staff. We have to prepare for the second consecutive match in Thailand with a sense of atonement for the people.”

Lee Kang-in, the person involved in the incident, was selected, but a significant change occurred as a large number of players who participated in the Asian Cup were excluded from the list. Jung Seung-hyun (Alwaseul), Park Yong-woo (Al Ain), Kim Tae-hwan (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Lee Ki-je (Suwon Samsung), Kim Joo-sung (FC Seoul), Oh Hyun-kyu (Celtic), Lee Soon-min (Daejeon Hana Citizen), Moon Seon-min (Jeonbuk Hyundai), and Kim Seung-gyu (Al-Shabab) were eliminated. Yang Hyun-joon (Celtic) and Kim Ji-soo (Brentford) moved to the Olympic team.

Hwang plans to find the cause of the conflict within the national team and work to resolve it when the team calls for the second consecutive match against Thailand. “I will look into it carefully even for a short period of time,” Hwang said. “I think we need to sort out some difficulties through various conversations.”

Furthermore, Hwang plans to renew the atmosphere of the national team by boldly hiring a new face.

Joo Min-gyu, Lee Myung-jae (Ulsan HD), and Jung Ho-yeon (Gwangju FC), who were famous in professional soccer K-League 1, were selected for the first time in the national team.

Unlucky striker Joo Min-kyu, who was evaluated as having the best scoring ability in the K-League 1 stage, will join the national team. Joo, who has never been listed on the national team by age, was thrilled to join the A-team.

Hwang highly praised Joo Min-gyu and said there was no reason not to select him. “Football actually has many factors, but scoring ability is another area,” he said. “There are no players who have scored more than 50 goals in the league over the past three years, and there is no need for further explanation.”

Lee Myung-jae, a teammate of Joo Min-gyu, was also called to the national team for the first time. After being called up for the under-20 and under-23 national teams, Lee has played for Ulsan for 10 years and continued to play as a side defender, but this is the first time he has been called up for the national team. Lee also has teamwork in that he is in charge of side defense with Seol Young-woo at Ulsan.

Jeong Ho-yeon, who collaborated with Hwang to win the gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year, was also named in the A team for the first time.

In recognition of his K-League performance, Jung Ho-yeon was selected as the A-team this time. Jung Ho-yeon, who plays as a main midfielder for the sensational team Gwangju, started against FC Seoul on the 2nd, which Hwang watched himself, overwhelming his opponent and leading the team to a 2-0 victory.

In addition to these, players who had been shunned by the national team despite their outstanding performances in the K-League were called by Hwang.

Goalkeeper Lee Chang-geun (Daejeon Hana Citizen), who has been evaluated as having the best defense ability in Korea, returned to the national team. Lee Chang-geun, who has not been close to the national team since his A-match debut in a warm-up match against Qatar on November 17, 2020, has put on the national flag again this time based on his good defense skills in his team’s match.

Kwon Kyung-won (Suwon FC), Kim Moon-hwan (Alduhail), Cho Yoo-min (Sharza), Baek Seung-ho (Birmingham), and Um Won-sang (Ulsan), who had been away from the national team for a while, also got a chance again with the replacement of Klinsman. 퀸알바

Unlike Klinsmann, who neglected to manage the team in the name of granting freedom, Hwang plans to actively contact the players.

Coach Hwang said, “I have benefited a lot from my 14-year career as a national soccer player, and I thought something should help me as a soccer player in this situation,” and expressed his willingness to break through head-on, saying, “I’ve been playing soccer so far, avoiding when it’s difficult, and doing a little when it’s easy, and I haven’t done that.”

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