Tokyo wildcard spots go to Hwang, Kwon and Kim
U-23 football team head coach Kim Hak-bum announced his final 18-man roster for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics including the three wildcards — Kwon Chang-hoon, Hwang Ui-jo and Kim Min-jae.
Kwon, who joined the Suwon Samsung Bluewings after an international career in Germany and France, is the only wildcard from the local league. As an attacking midfielder, he will bolster Korea's offense alongside Bordeaux forward Hwang.
The Tokyo Games will mark the second time Hwang has been called up to the U-23 team as a wildcard, having previously appeared at the 2018 Asian Games where he scored nine goals in seven matches.
While Hwang and Kwon take care of the offense, Kim Hak-bum has called in the big guns to take care of the back line, adding Beijing Guoan center back Kim Min-jae as the final wildcard pick.
Kim, known as "The Monster" for his formidable defense, was also part of the Asian Games squad, earning his spot as a genuine U-23 player at the time.
The KFA still has to seek permission for Kim to play, rather than heading back to Beijing, where the season is ongoing. If the Beijing club refuses, the head coach will have to fill his spot from a 50-person substitution list at least 24-hours before the first match against New Zealand on July 22.
The 18-man squad includes: Goalies Song Bum-keun and Ahn Joon-soo; defenders Lee You-hyeon, Jeong Tae-wook, Kim Jae-woo, Kim Jin-ya, Seol Young-woo and Kim Min-jae; midfielders Jeong Seung-won, Kim Dong-hyun, Lee Dong-gyeong, Won Du-jae and Lee Kang-in; and forwards Lee Dong-jun, Um Won-sang, Song Min-kyu, Kwon Chang-hoon and Hwang Ui-jo.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]