Hwang Sun-hong, Hong Myung-bo, and Choi Yong-soo’s interim coach Hamapyeong

Ulsan HD coach Hong Myung-bo, Olympic national soccer team coach Hwang Sun-hong, former Gangwon FC coach Choi Yong-soo, and FC Seoul coach Kim Ki-dong are mentioned as candidates to take the helm of the national team for a while.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) will hold a meeting of its executives from 10 a.m. on Wednesday at the soccer center in central Seoul with the replacement of Klinsmann as its main agenda. All key executives, including Chung Mong-kyu, president of the Korea Football Association, will attend the meeting.

On the previous day, the KFA Power Enhancement Committee agreed that manager Klinsmann should be replaced due to the absence of tactics during the △ Asian Cup △ lack of will to find players △ lack of internal discipline △ lack of duration of stay in Korea.

Chairman Chung Mong-kyu, who was busy covering up all the time after taking the lead in the appointment of Klinsmann, remains, and the decision to dismiss him is expected to be inevitable due to the raging public opinion.

If Klinsmann leaves, the Korean national soccer team should appoint a new head coach in a hurry. Korea will play Thailand on Nov. 21 and 26 for two consecutive rounds of qualifying matches for the 2026 North-Central American World Cup.

With only one month left until the first game, it is difficult to appoint a coach through careful review. As time is running out, high-ranking KFA officials and the power reinforcement committee are said to have considered entrusting the interim coach with two consecutive games in March.

It is common in the world to put out an urgent fire as a temporary coach. In the past, Korea also had a temporary coach play the role of a firefighter.

After dismissing Cho Kwang-rae in December 2011, he entrusted Choi Kang-hee, then leading Jeonbuk Hyundai, to one final match of the World Cup qualifying round. In 2014, when Hong Myung-bo resigned after the World Cup in Brazil, he played two warm-up matches under acting coach Shin Tae-yong. Since then, Uli Stielike has taken the helm of the national team.

Currently, competent domestic leaders are mentioned as candidates for temporary supervision.

Ulsan coach Hong Myung-bo is a strong candidate. He led the Korean national team to the first bronze medal in the history of soccer at the 2012 London Olympics and won the K-League 1 title for two consecutive years at Ulsan, which was recognized for his leadership. He has coached Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Kim Young-kwon (Ulsan), and Kim Jin-soo (Jeonbuk), who are currently senior players in the national team, and will likely have a tight schedule to control the team.

As he has left the national team in bad shape since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, it could be an opportunity to recover his reputation. However, the stumbling block is that Hong is at the helm of Ulsan HD, which is set to open the K-League 1. According to the association’s regulations, it is possible. Even if a leader who has been nominated as a qualified candidate through the Korea Power Enhancement Committee is incumbent, the relevant team should send him to the national team unless there is a specific reason.

Coach Hwang Sun-hong, who is preparing for the Paris Olympics, is also one of the candidates. When Hwang won the gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year, some of the members belonged to the A-team, which makes it easier for him to communicate.

The problem is that coach Hwang Sun-hong is set to hold the Olympic qualifying round in Qatar from April. Since he had a hard time leading the Olympic and Asian Games teams at the same time, taking the A team on an important path to the Olympic finals could be burdensome.

Choi Yong-soo, who is currently a wild man, is also a candidate. He can be a good alternative as he has displayed good performances while coaching star players in FC Seoul and Gangwon Province. However, Choi has no experience leading the national team.

Not a few people recommend Kim Ki-dong, who is currently the most popular coach in the K-League. However, as he took the helm of Seoul this year, it seems difficult in reality.


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