Hwang Hee-chan is new to the Klinsmann ship, but he’s ready.
South Korea’s national soccer team, coached by Jürgen Klinsmann, will play two exhibition matches in June in South Korea. The team will face Peru (ranked 21st in FIFA) on June 16 at 8 p.m. at the Busan Asiad Stadium, and El Salvador (ranked 75th in FIFA) in the second match on June 20 at 8 p.m. at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium.
Ahead of the two friendlies, Klinsmann named his squad for the back-to-back A matches on May 5. It’s de facto Klinsmann’s first term. Back in March, Klinsmann had only just been appointed to the job, so he named a largely unchanged squad from the one selected under Paulo Bento. However, this call-up can be called the de facto Klinsmann’s first, as the coach has spent the last three months observing the K League and European scene.
Ahead of the match, Klinsmann gathered the players at Gudeok Stadium in Busan on the 12th. One of the players who stood out on the roster was Hwang Hee-chan. In the last call-up in March, Hwang didn’t make the team due to a hamstring injury. He’s been a consistent performer for the national team, but he must have been disappointed to miss out on the last call-up.
Hwang hadn’t played under Klinsmann yet, but she was already familiar with the team and Klinsmann’s atmosphere. “I contacted (Coach Klinsmann) and met with him separately. He made me feel comfortable when I met him, so I’m getting along just like I always have,” he said, revealing that he was no stranger to the national team.
Hwang will also have to start competing for a spot on the national team. Klinsmann likes to use a 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 formation, but he hasn’t used Hwang yet, so we don’t know where he’ll play. We’ve seen him on the left or right wing, but it’s not out of the question that he could also be used as a frontline striker, and competition is inevitable.
But Hwang is ready for the new competition. “If the strikers (Hwang Eui-jo, Cho Kyu-sung, etc.) score a lot of goals, the team can win,” Hwang said. We have good strikers and other players are showing good form, so I hope to show the fans something good in these two matches.”
On how he came into the national team
It’s been a long season. I’m glad I was able to finish it well. I took a break and trained in Paju. I’m in good shape. The coach gave me clear goals, so I think it’s a good start for us to work towards them together.
I didn’t come to the last call-up, but I saw the coach.
to see how he was doing. He made me feel at ease when I saw him, so I’m getting along just as well as I always have.
Hwang Eui-jo and Cho Kyu-sung scored goals in the league.
If the strikers score a lot of goals, the team can win. We have good strikers, other players are playing well, and we want to show the fans something good in these two games.
What does the coach emphasize?
The coach talks about straight lines. It’s the most important thing and he tells us a lot to move forward.
The overseas players have been training.
We didn’t have tactical training because we couldn’t get a lot of players together. We trained to maintain our individual physicality and senses. The physical coach prepared a harder workout than the one I did, so I feel good physically now.
It’s your first A match in Busan in four years.
I think it was with Australia. Busan is my favorite city and I often go there on vacation. I’m happy to be able to play locally. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the last call-up, so my goal is to play well and have a fun game.
Did you watch the U-20 World Cup?
I didn’t watch all the games because it was late. I watched it on 안전놀이터 highlights or later. I saw a lot of good players.
The absence of the defense
We haven’t talked about tactics yet. It’s unfortunate that we’re missing some players who have been with us for a long time, but we have a lot of players who are doing well in the league, so the goal is to do well with them.
You haven’t won a game under Klinsmann yet.
The goal is to win every game. We’re playing two games in a row in Korea, so we’ll try to win. We want to win and play entertaining soccer.