|Kim Yong-Dae||Goalkeeper||Seongnam Ilwha|
|Kim Young-Kwang||Goalkeeper||Chunnam Dragons|
|Lee Woon-Jae||Goalkeeper||Suwon Bluewings|
|Cho Won-Hee||Defender||Suwon Bluewings|
|Choi Jin-Cheul||Defender||Chonbuk Motors|
|Kim Dong-Jin||Defender||FC Seoul|
|Kim Jin-Kyu||Defender||Jubilo Iwata|
|Kim Young-Chul||Defender||Seongnam Ilwha|
|Lee Young-Pyo||Defender||Tottenham Hotspur (England)|
|Song Chong-Gug||Defender||Suwon Bluewings|
|Baek Ji-Hoon||Midfielder||FC Seoul|
|Kim Do-Heon||Midfielder||Seongnam Ilwha|
|Kim Sang-Shik||Midfielder||Seongnam Ilwha|
|Kim Nam-Il||Midfielder||Suwon Bluewings|
|Lee Eul-Yong||Midfielder||Trabzonspor (Turkey)|
|Lee Ho||Midfielder||Ulsan Tigers|
|Park Ji-Sung||Midfielder||Manchester United (England)|
|Ahn Jung-Hwan||Forward||MSV Duisburg (Germany)|
|Cho Jae-Jin||Forward||Shimizu S-Pulse|
|Chung Kyung-Ho||Forward||Gwangju Sangmu|
|Lee Chun-Soo||Forward||Ulsan Tigers|
|Park Chu-Young||Forward||FC Seoul|
|Seol Ki-Hyeon||Forward||Wolverhampton Wanderers (England)|
|Head Coach:||Dick Advocaat|
Style of play: Former coach Guus Hiddink used a 3-4-3 system to guide South Korea to the semifinals at the World Cup four years ago. Fellow Dutchman Dick Advocaat is now in charge, and he's converted South Korea's lineup to a 4-3-3 formation. South Korea plays a fast paced game, with quick ball movement and short passes. They'll try and keep possession and move up the field by making their opponents continually chase the ball. The two wide defenders, Lee Young-Pyo on the left and Kim Dong-Jin on the right, are encouraged to bomb forward and make overlapping runs down the flanks. Korea's three-man attack sees one forward, probably Park Chu-Young, playing up front alone as a classic target man and supported by two speedy wingers, Park Ji-Sung and Lee Chun-Soo. The wingers are the main supply line of service to the striker, but Park often goes on a dashing run down the right before cutting inside quickly and heading towards goal.
Probable starting lineup (4-3-3): (GK) Lee Woon-Jae - (D) Kim Dong-Jin, Choi Jin-Cheul, Kim Jin-Yyu, Lee Young-Pyo - (M) Kim Nam-Il, Lee Eul-Yong, Lee Ho - (F) Park Ji-Sung, Lee Chun-Soo, Park Chu-Young
Never say die attitude - Whatever the Korean's lack in star power and skill, they make up for it with a never-say-die attitude, aggression and an unparalleled work ethic. All their players are constantly running at top speed on the field, working to try and put something together and pressuring their opponents at all times. South Korea can be outplayed, but rarely is it outworked.
Solid backbone - The nucleus of the 2002 Word Cup team will be in tact in Germany: goalkeeper Lee Woon-Jae, winger Park Ji-Sung, left fullback Lee Young-Pyo, striker Seol Ki-Hyeon and midfielders Kim Nam-Il and Ahn Jung-Hwan, the goal-scoring hero that knocked the Italians out of the tournament. This sextet provides the team with a solid reference point on the field for the rest of the roster.
Coaching - Guus Hiddink, the architect of South Korea's miraculous run in 2002, has since departed. Fellow Dutchman Dick Advocaat has taken over and like Hiddink he has an impressive track record - he led the Netherlands to the World Cup quarter-finals in 1994 and the semifinals of Euro 2004. The players have responded well to Advocaat, a coach who has a wealth of international soccer experience.
Scoring - For all their hard work, the Koreans don't score nearly enough goals from all the chances they create. They lack a genuine, natural goal-scorer - unlike France (Thierry Henry), Togo (Emmanuel Adebayor) and Switzerland (Alexander Frei). Their lack of offensive punch will hurt them against teams in which scoring chances will be a premium and in a group where goal difference could decide who finishes in second place.
Key injuries - The loss of striker Lee Dong-Gook, out six months with a knee injury, decimates a South Korean team that only plays with one forward. Lee was the team's top scorer in the qualifying round and coach Advocaat has yet to find a suitable replacement. The loss of midfielder and former captain Yoo Sang-Chul (knee injury) is another big blow that hurts the Koreans.
Pressure - After becoming the first Asian nation to reach the World Cup semifinals four years ago, South Korea is expected to come close - if not duplicate - that incredible feat in 2006. They're dealing with extra pressure to prove themselves after a rather lacklustre qualifying campaign. Such expectations will do the Koreans few favours, especially for a team that went winless in its 14 World Cup games played before the 2002 World Cup on home soil.
Players to watch:
Park Ji-Sung - The right winger for Manchester United is one of Asia's best players. A wizard with the ball at his feet who can burn defenders with his pace, Park has great vision and uses it to deliver and distribute the ball to his teammates with pinpoint accuracy in the attacking third of the field. He will be one to watch in Germany.
Lee Young-Pyo - The backbone of the Korean defence, Lee Young-Pyo is a regular starter for Tottenham in the English Premiership and before joining the London club he enjoyed a successful stint with Dutch club PSV Eindhoven. Lee is versatile - he can play either at left or right fullback, is comfortable carrying the ball forward instead of simply playing it out of danger and has an impressive stamina level.
Kim Nam-Il - A no-nonsense defensive stopper who holds things together for the Koreans in the middle of the field. A midfield enforcer, he's known as 'The Hoover' for his precise, clean tackles and his ability to sweep his area clean of trouble. He's an efficient player who displays great intelligence on the field and quietly goes about his business.
Key injuries/ squad omissions: South Korea suffered a big blow when striker Lee Dong-Gook, the team's top scorer in qualifying, underwent surgery to repair torn knee ligaments, ruling him out for the World Cup. Midfielder and former captain Yoo Sang-Chul announced his retirement after losing his battle to recover from a long-term knee injury.
Prognosis: With South Korea set to appear in its sixth straight tournament, soccer fans around the world are waiting with anticipation to see what it will do for an encore. An appearance in the semifinals turned South Korea into a major soccer power on the Asian continent, but they'll be looking to build on that reputation in Germany and show that 2002 was not a fluke. Another miraculous run to the semifinals is out of the question, but South Korea is a good bet to make it to the second round. With Togo expected to pick up the rear in Group G, the race for second spot behind France comes down to South Korea and Switzerland. Should they defeat the Swiss the Koreans will have virtually guarantee themselves a spot in the next round, but that's where their journey will end. More than likely, however, South Korea's lack of scoring power will hurt them and they'll have to settle for third spot and an early trip home.
Road to the World Cup
Current FIFA Ranking: #29
1st round matches:
June 13 vs. Togo in Frankfurt
June 18 vs. France in Leipzig
June 23 vs. Switzerland in Hanover
2006 qualification route: South Korea finished in first place (14
points) in Asia's Group 7 ahead of Lebanon (11 points) in the first round
of qualifying. It finished second (10 points) in Group A in the final round
behind Saudi Arabia (14 points).
Qualifying record: 12 games played, 7 wins, 3 draws, 2 losses
Goals for: 18 Goals against: 7
Top goal-scorer in qualifying: Lee Dong-gook (5)
Qualifying results: (home team listed first)
Feb. 18, 2004 - South Korea 2, Lebanon 0
March 31, 2004 - Maldives 0, South Korea 0
June 9, 2004 - South Korea 2, Vietnam 0
Sept. 8, 2004 - Vietnam 1, South Korea 2
Oct. 13, 2004 - Lebanon 1, South Korea 1
Nov. 17, 2004 - South Korea 2, Maldives 0
Feb. 9, 2005 - South Korea 2, Kuwait 0
March 25, 2005 - Saudi Arabia 2, South Korea 0
March 30, 2005 - South Korea 2, Uzbekistan 1
June 3, 2005 - Uzbekistan 1, South Korea 1
June 8, 2005 - Kuwait 0, South Korea 4
Aug. 17, 2005 - South Korea 0, Saudi Arabia 1
World Cup History
FIFA member since: 1948
Team nickname: Asian Tigers, Taeguk Warriors
All-time caps leader: Hong Myung-Bo (135)
All-time leading scorer: Cha Bum-Kun (55 goals)
Number of Previous World Cup Appearances: 6
All-time record: 21 games played, 3 wins, 6 draws, 12 losses
Goals for: 19 Goals against: 49
World Cup History:
1930 to 1950 - Did not enter
1954 - First round
1958 - Did not enter
1962 - Did not qualify
1966 - Did not enter
1970 to 1982 - Did not qualify
1986 to 1998 - First round
2002 - Semifinals
Biggest victory: 2-0 vs. Poland in 2002
Biggest defeat: 9-0 vs. Hungary in 1954
Top scorer: Hong Myung-Bo and Jung-Hwan Ahn (2 goals)
Most appearances: Hong Myung-Bo (16 matches)
Hosted the World Cup: 2002
Asian Cup Champions: 1956, 1960
East Asian Cup Champions: 2003
Cha Bum-Kun: A legend in Korean soccer, Cha Bum-Kun was voted Asian player of the century by the AFC (Asian Football Committee). He was a standout forward in the Bundesliga (German first division) in the 1980s, scoring 98 goals in 300 games.
Hong Myung-Bo: South Korea's all-time leader in games played with 135, Hong Myung-Bo captained the side to its improbable fourth-place finish at the 2002 World Cup on home soil. Started out as a midfielder but switched to an attacking sweeper later in his career.