South Korea Olympic Men's Soccer Team 2012: Updated News, Roster & Analysis
South Korea are poised to shock the international football world at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Matched in a group with Mexico, Switzerland and Gabon, they have the potential to stun their Group B opponents in London.
The Tigers of Asia look to gain confidence during the Games. While they won't be contending for a medal, the team could prove that they have an up-and-coming team, as they possess future stars to help them down the road.
When South Korea takes the field in London, this is your complete guide to what could be an exciting run.
Roster courtesy woldsoccer.about.com
Goalkeepers: Jung Sung-Ryeong (Suwon Bluewings), Lee Bum-Yeong (Busan I'Park).
Defenders: Yoon Seok-Yeong (Chunnam Dragons), Kim Young-Gwon (Omiya Ardija), Jang Hyeon-Soo (FC Tokyo), Kim Chang-Soo (Busan I'Park), Hwang Seok-Ho (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Oh Jae-seok (Gangwon FC).
Midfielders: Kim Bo-Kyung (Cerezo Osaka), Koo Ja-Cheol (Augsburg), Han Kook-Young (Shonan Bellmare), Baek Sung-Dong (Jubilo Iwata), Ki Seong-Yong (Celtic), Park Jong-Woo (Busan I'Park), Nam Tae-hee (Lekhwiya SC).
Forwards: Ji Dong-Won (Sunderland), Park Chu-Young (Arsenal), Kim Hyun-Sung (FC Seoul).
Key Players to Watch
Jung Sung-Ryeong (Goalkeeper)
As one of the over-age selections for this South Korean team, Jung Sung-Ryeong will be trying to keep the Tigers of Asia in contention through his goalkeeping prowess.
At 27 years old he will look to lead this team to a run of upsets, and prove why he is the country's top goalkeeper.
After riding the bench for a good portion of the season with Sunderland, Ji-Dong-won came in and scored a huge goal against Manchester City in injury time, giving his team the victory.
While he isn't a star on his club, he will have to be with the Koreans.
Chu-Young Park (Striker)
It looked like Chu-Young Park would delay his mandatory military service for a decade. This didn't bode well in the minds of fans, however, as it seemed unfair to be treated differently.
He later apologized, but the best way to win fans back is to help his country shock the world at the Olympics.
The host country naturally has an advantage in the stands at all events, but they also have an advantage on the field here.
The British have a much better team than South Korea, and are looking to win it all in front of their home fans. However, nothing would be a better upset for the Tigers of Asia than taking down the hosts.
A foe in Group B, Switzerland has a chance to stop South Korea from escaping the group. If the Swiss can beat the Koreans then South Korea is in trouble, and may not move on.
The best team in Group B and a contender to win it all in London, Mexico will provide a big test for the South Koreans. An upset over Mexico (or even a draw) would be a huge confidence booster for South Korea.
These two will battle to move on, and their game on July 26 could be a heated affair.
Looking to rock the football world, South Korea will be able to impress during the Olympics.
A group with Mexico essentially only leaves one spot open for Switzerland, Gabon and the Tigers of Asia. However, it will be South Korea that takes it.
With the mindset of an underdog and the confidence to spoil any team's day, this team is dangerous.
I see them drawing with Mexico and Switzerland, while beating Gabon to advance. From there, they will lose in their first match, but it will have been a feat to advance from their group.