Korean National Team Leaves for Middle East for Two Friendly Matches
D-Bo , Nov. 11, 2014, 8:56 a.m.
The Korean national football team left for Amman, Jordan on Monday for two upcoming friendlies in the Middle East. Korea will play against Jordan on Friday and against Iran next Tuesday. Korea's manager Uli Stielike said that this set of friendlies is important because they are the last matches before the 2015 Asian Cup in January. Victories from the trip would be big confidence boosters for the players.
Stielike is set to submit a tentative roster of 50 players to the Asian Football Confederation by Dec. 9, and the final 23-man roster by Dec. 30. Stielike was especially excited about the match against Iran as Korea has yet to register a win in an away game against the team. He said that this is the opportunity to set the record straight. Korea's all-time record against Iran is nine wins, seven draws and 11 losses.
Everyone's eyes will be on Park Chu-young, who plays for the Saudi Arabian club al-Shabab. Park is likely to fill the void left by injured strikers Lee Dong-gook and Kim Shin-wook. Koo Ja-cheol of Mainz in Germany's Bundesliga, who was the captain of the national team in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, was called up by Stielike for the first time. Koo had injuries to his right calf muscle. Goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong also joined the squad under Stielike for the upcoming friendlies.