South Korea Whittles Roster Down to 30 World Cup Hopefuls

Jim CheneyCorrespondent IMay 2, 2010

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JUNE 17:  Manchester United's Korean midfielder Park Ji-Sung of South Korea reels off celebrating a goal scored during the 2010 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers match between Iran and South Korea at Seoul World Cup Stadium on June 17, 2009 in Seoul, South Korea.  (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images)
Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images

With a little under six weeks left until the World converges on South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, things seem to be finally taking shape for the South Korean side.

Coach Huh Jung-Moo announced a roster of 30 players who could make the final World Cup roster of 23 that will been announced before the end of May.

Of course, at this point there aren't a ton of surprises on the roster as all 23 of the players who made the trip to defeat the Ivory Coast in March made the roster. However, this is another necessary step, signaling to football fans everywhere that the World Cup is fast approaching.

In regards to his roster, Coach Huh stated, "I selected the 30 players by comprehensively considering their personal skills, ability to understand tactics, and physical and mental conditions. They must exercise and play games with a sense of pride as representatives of South Korea from now on."

The Taegeuk Warriors will be lead by Captain Park Ji-Sung. Park plays his club football for Manchester United and is widely regarded as one of the best Asian footballers of all time.

So far this season, Park has 25 appearances for the English club, scoring three goals and playing a pivotal role in several United wins.

Of course, with Manchester he isn't required to bear nearly the load that he will be expected to carry once the South Korean club reaches South Africa next month.

However, entering his third World Cup, Park should be up to the task of leading South Korea to World Cup glory.

Just because the roster is starting to become finalized and World Cup fever is starting to heat up in Seoul, it doesn't mean that their still aren't games to be played.

Looking ahead, the South Koreans still have matches against Ecuador, Japan, Belarus, and Spain to look forward to before they can face off against Greece on June 12. 

If all goes according to plan, the South Koreans should have a team that is capable of competing with some of the best teams in the World.

Can they repeat their success from the 2002 World Cup? Realistically it's not likely, but surely crazier things have happened.

Either way, football fever should continue to grow on the Korean Peninsula and the next two months should see an outbreak of football fever.