South Korea’s women’s soccer team is aiming for its best ever performance at a World Cup.
The South Korean women’s national soccer team, led by head coach Colleen Bell, has been drawn in Group H at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023, which kicked off on Sept. 20, with Germany, Colombia and Morocco competing for a spot in the tournament.
The team will face Colombia (ranked 25th) on Nov. 25 at 11 a.m. at Sydney Football Stadium in Sydney, Australia, and Morocco (ranked 72nd) on Nov. 30 at 1:30 p.m. at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide, Australia. They will play Germany (ranked No. 2) at Lang Park in Brisbane, Australia, on Nov. 3.
The Women’s World Cup has expanded to 32 nations from the previous edition in France in 2019, when 24 nations competed. Teams will be divided into eight groups of four, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the round of 16. The prize pool has also more than tripled from $50 million (KRW 63.6 billion) to $152 million (KRW 192 billion).
South Korea, which has qualified for three consecutive tournaments since the 2015 edition, will attempt to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in its history. The women’s national team’s best result was a round of 16 finish at the 2015 tournament in Canada.
South Korea is more confident than ever. In the four years since the last World Cup, the team has been steadily building its organization under Bell, who hasn’t had to change coaches in four years. The team also boasts a golden generation of players, including Ji So-yeon (Suwon FC), Lee Keum-min (Brighton), and Cho So-hyun (Tottenham). They are also well-armed with intense training.
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The World Cup is likely to be the last dance of the ‘golden generation’.
Many of the players who left their mark at the Universiade and age-group competitions are now in their 30s. In four years’ time, they will be in their late 30s, so there’s no guarantee they’ll still be playing, and even if they do, there’s no guarantee they’ll be as good as they are now.
Veterans Kim Jung-mi, Kim Hye-ri (Hyundai Steel), Ji So-yeon, Shim Seo-hyun (Suwon FC), and Park Eun-sun (Seoul Metropolitan Government), who led the golden era of women’s soccer, are highly motivated to make history in their final stages.
Of course, there are also younger players to look forward to.
Casey Eugene Fair (PDA), the first mixed-race player on the women’s national soccer team, is the youngest player (16 years and 1 month old) and the only 2007-born player among the 736 players from 32 countries competing at the World Cup. With her 5-foot-9 frame and great speed, Casey can play as a winger in addition to a traditional striker. 메이저놀이터
The youngsters are also eager to get the job done, including Chun Garam (Hwacheon KSPO) and Bae Ye-bin (Widok University), who were called up from the Women’s U-20 World Cup squad.
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Belho’s biggest weapon is the center trio of Ji So Yeon, Cho So Hyun, and Lee Geum Min. Ji-So-yeon and Cho are veterans with 145 A matches under their belts, while Lee Geum-min has 81 matches under his belt.
The three players have different strengths. Lee played eight seasons for Chelsea Women in the past.