Korea Republic go all-foreign for Russia friendly

Korea Republic coach Shin Tae-yong has called a 23-man squad entirely made up of overseas-based players for the upcoming friendly against Russia.

The Taegeuk Warriors will use the match on October 7 to prepare for next summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, which they sealed qualification for last month.

And, interestingly enough, the latest roster picked by Shin does not include a single player based in South Korea’s K League.

Most of the star names are present, including English Premier League stalwarts Son Heung-min and Ki Sung-yueng of Tottenham and Swansea respectively, as well as Augsburg duo Koo Ja-cheol and Ji Dong-won.

There is also a spot for up-and-coming attacking midfielder Kwon Chang-hoon, who plays in France for Ligue 1 outfit Dijon.

While there is plenty of experience in the side, Shin has also opted to blood some youth with a total of nine players boasting ten caps or less.

The lack of domestic-based players means the majority hails from Japan, with nine of them currently plying their trade in the J.League.

The South Koreans were initially scheduled to play a friendly on October 10 but that has since been cancelled.

Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-gyu (Vissel Kobe), Kim Jin-hyeon (Cerezo Osaka), Gu Sung-yun (Consadole Sapporo)

Defenders: Kim Young-gwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Kim Kee-hee (Shanghai Shenhua), Yun Suk-young (Kashiwa Reysol), Kim Ju-young (Hebei China Fortune), Rim Chang-woo (Al Wahda), Oh Jae-suk (Gamba Osaka), Song Ju-hun (Albirex Niigata)

Midfielders: Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea), Lee Chung-yong (Crystal Palace), Koo Ja-cheol (Augsburg), Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Jang Hyun-soo (FC Tokyo), Nam Tae-hee (Al-Duhail), Kim Bo-kyung (Kashiwa Reysol), Jung Woo-young (Chongqing Lifan), Kwon Chang-hoon (Dijon), Hwang Il-su (Yanbian Funde), Kwon Kyung-won (Tianjin Quanjian)

Forwards: Ji Dong-won (Augsburg), Hwang Ui-jo (Gamba Osaka)