Park out? Hong to announce Asian Games squad on 17th

Park out? Hong to announce Asian Games squad on 17th

U-23 national head coach Hong Myung-bo initially planned on announcing his squad for the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games on the 20th of this month; however, he may announce his squad earlier due to the holiday schedule.

Hong Myung-bo will choose most of his twenty footballers from his successful U-20 side that reached the quarter-finals in Egypt during the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Although those born in 1987 and after are all eligible to play in the upcoming competition, Hong will stick with his younger squad that will play in the London Olympics in 2012.

The biggest dilemma concerning squad selection for Hong are the three wild card players that aren’t bound to the age restriction. Because many of the candidates are foreign-based, they need permission from their clubs to be released during the season. The foreign-based players are Park Chu-young (AS Monaco/FRA), Cho Yong-hyung (Al Rayyan/QAT) and Ki Sung-yong (Celtic/SCO). Head coach Hong recently asked each of these clubs and will receive an answer in the upcoming days.

Park Chu-young, a key player for his club, seems unlikely to be released by AS Monaco to join the Asian Games squad. Ki Sung-yong, however, is more likely as he has only appeared once in the four matches this season for Celtic. If Ki Sung-yong does play in the Asian Games, he won’t be playing in the Asian Cup in January next year. As for Cho Yong-hyung, it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to participate.

The domestic wild card candidates are goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong (Seongnam) and midfielder Kim Jung-woo (Gwangju). It will be difficult for Seongnam to release Jung Sung-ryong as the Asian Games will coincide with the K-League playoffs. Gwangju Sangmu, who lie 13th in the K-League table, will realistically not be involved with the playoffs and are therefore far more likely to allow Kim Jung-woo to participate in the Asian Games.

The final squad members will depend on the availability of the three wild card players. Hong Myung-bo will announce his squad later this week.

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