If coach Hong Myung-Bo can inspire his charges to victory over Russia and/or Algeria in their opening group stage matches at the World Cup, the South Korean side should advance to the round of 16 along with Group H favorites Belgium. While the defense may be slightly suspect, there are loads of promising young midfielders and attackers in the team. Here's the final 23-man squad, including some familiar names:
Jung Sung-Ryeong (Suwon Bluewings), Kim Seung-Gyu (Ulsan Horang-i), Lee Bum-Young (Busan I'Park)
Yun Suk-Young (QPR), Kim Young-Kwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Hwang Seok-Ho (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Hong Jeong-Ho (Augsburg), Kwak Tae-Hwi (Al Hilal), Lee Yong (Ulsan Horang-i), Kim Chang-Soo (Kashiwa Reysol), Park Joo-Ho (Mainz)
Ki Seung-Yueng (Sunderland, on loan from Swansea), Ha Dae-Sung (Beijing Guoan), Han Kook-Young (Kashiwa Reysol), Park Jung-Woo (Guangzhou R&F), Son Heung-Min (Bayer Leverkusen), Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City), Lee Chung-Yong (Bolton Wanderers), Ji Dong-Won (Augsburg)
Fantasy Players To Watch
Ki Seung-Yueng - The deep-lying midfielder showed his class on loan for Sunderland this season, and for a brief period was their best player before Conor Wickham and Fabio Borini secured their Premier League survival. Energetic and with excellent vision, the 25 year-old may also be on set pieces.
Lee Chung-Yong - Some of the veterans of the fantasy game will remember the promising young midfielder from his time with Bolton in the Premier League. He has continued his development with the Championship club, and will be looking for the ball constantly. Assists should be expected, and the odd goal is a possibility.
Ji Dong-Won - The former Sunderland player has seen a meteoric rise in his stock over the past year and, following a successful spell on loan at Augsburg, he was signed on a permanent basis by the German club. His talents have attracted the eye of Borussia Dortmund, where he will play his club football next season. At 6'1", The 23 year-old striker is among the tallest players in the squad and will be a target on set pieces in addition to his goalscoring capabilities from the run of play.
Son Heung-Min - Versatile, attack-minded and a brilliant finisher, the Bayer Leverkusen youngster is a fantasy dream. A complete player who can excel in a variety of positions, the 21 year-old will be a must-have if he is listed as a midfielder. If he has a good tournament, don't be surprised to see his name on the transfer wishlists of a number of major clubs across Europe.
Koo Ja-Cheol - A prolific attacking midfielder/withdrawn striker, Koo has earned the captain's armband at age 25. Similar to Frank Lampard in his prime, but with more pace, the playmaker has the uncanny ability to get himself into goalscoring positions between defenders. With 12 goals in 36 games for the senior national team squad, he'll be one of the key players for South Korea.