‘Lee Kang-in’s First Selection’ Director Hwang Seon-hong, a trip to Europe was worthwhile… June U-23 Asian Cup Sortie: Sports Dong-A

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Kangin Lee. Sports Donga DB

Hwang Seon-hong, the under-23 (U-23) national soccer team coach (54), has selected Lee Kang-in (21, Mallorca) for the first time. Efforts to travel to Europe and have a direct conversation with their team have paid off.

The Korean Football Association (KFA) announced on the 16th the list of 23 players who will participate in the Asian Football Federation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup final to be held in Uzbekistan from the 1st of next month. Korea is aiming for the second consecutive championship following Thailand in 2020.

Kangin Lee’s appointment is the most notable. He was reboarded to the U-23 national team after more than a year of participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics last year. After the Olympics, he left Valencia and moved to Mallorca, scoring one goal and two assists in 29 matches in Spanish La Liga. He played a pivotal role until mid-season, but was recently pushed out as a substitute. Mallorca are in 17th place, just above the relegation zone (18th-20th place), with 9 wins, 9 draws and 19 losses, and 36 points.

Although it is unfortunate that he is active in his team, he can expect an ace role in ‘Hwang Seon-Hong-Ho’. Manager Hwang, who selected Kang-in Lee for the first time since taking office, said, “(Lee Kang-in) is more suitable for a sagging striker or central midfielder than on the side. “But the defense has to be organized. He added, “It’s not okay to be a half-player who only attacks.” He added, “I will communicate with (Lee) Kangin.

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Manager Hwang put a lot of effort into recruiting Kang-in Lee for this tournament. After completing the training in Seogwipo, he went to Europe in February of this year and coordinated the schedule with his team, Mallorca, to cooperate with the recruitment. At the time, Hwang also had a meeting with Lee Kang-in to share their thoughts on the U-23 national team, the Asian Cup, and the Asian Games.

In addition to Lee Kang-in, overseas artists Sang-bin Sang (Grasshopper, Switzerland), Hyun-seok Hong (LASK, Austria), and Se-hun Oh (Shimizu S-Pulse, Japan) were also called. Won-sang Um (Ulsan Hyundai), Young-wook Cho (FC Seoul), Umji-seong (Gwangju FC), Jun Choi, Jeong-in Park (above I-Park in Busan), Joo-seong Kim (Manager Kimcheon), Tae-hwan Kim (Samsung Suwon), etc. A large number of players were also selected.

As the K-League schedule is in full swing and the FA Cup Round of 16 match is scheduled for the 25th, the U-23 national team cannot conduct a separate call-up training before departure. Only 14 people who have agreed to take out will depart for Uzbekistan, the decisive battlefield, through Incheon International Airport on the 23rd. The six latecomers will leave after completing their team schedule, and European players will join the squad locally.

‘Hwang Seon-Hong-Ho’ in Group C will play a group match against Malaysia (June 2) – Vietnam (5 days) – Thailand (8 days).

Reporter Lee Seung-woo raul1649@donga.com View more articles by reporter

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