[WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN] Manchester United's Park Ji-Sung heads the short list of 30 players under consideration for South Korea's World Cup. He is joined by a trio of European-based youngsters, all former FC Seoul players, who may hold the key to how South Korea does at the World Cup.
Lee Chung-Yong and Ki Sung-Yueng, teammates at FC Seoul, are known as the "Double Dragon." Both are only 21 and headed to Europe last year in expensive transfer deals. Lee plays for Bolton Wanderers in England, while Ki is at Celtic in Scotland.
Park Chu-Young, 24, moved to Monaco in 2008 and was one of its stars in its run to the 2010 French Cup final.
Besides Park, only three players from the 2002 World Cup team were under consideration by Coach Huh Jung-Mo for the 2010 finals: defender Lee Young-Pyo, who is now playing in Saudi Arabia after a successful career in Europe, Cha Doo-Ri, who is has been converted to defender after beginning his career as a forward, and Ahn Jung-Hwan, whose goal knocked Italy out of the 2002 World Cup.
Huh is confident about South Korea's chances.
"We have to hone our skills," he said, "but we have a lot of self-confidence and a huge fighting spirit. We are not behind any other national team.''
South Korea will play Ecuador on May 16 in the first of four warmup games. It will also face Japan, Belarus and Spain before heading to South Africa.
South Korea Squad:
Goalkeepers: Lee Woon-Jae (Suwon Samsung), Jung Sung-Ryong (Seongnam Ilhwa), Kim Young-Kwang (Ulsan Hyundai).
Defenders: Lee Young-Pyo (Al Hilal, Saudi Arabia), Lee Jung-Soo (Kashima Antlers, Japan), Kim Hyung-Il, (Pohang Steelers), Oh Beom-Seok (Ulsan Hyundai), Kim Dong-Jin (Ulsan Hyundai), Cho Yong-Hyung (Jeju United), Kwak Tae-Hwi (Kyoto Sanga FC, Japan), Cha Du-Ri (Freiburg, German), Kang Min-Soo (Suwon Samsung), Cho Won-Hee (Suwon Samsung), Hwang Jae-Won (Pohang Steelers)
Midfielders: Park Ji-Sung (Man. United, England), Lee Chung-Yong (Bolton Wanderers, England), Ki Sung-Yueng (Celtic, Scotland), Kim Jung-Woo (Gwangju), Kim Nam-Il (Tom Tomsk, Russia), Kim Bo-Kyung (Oita Trinita, Japan), Kim Jea-Sung (Pohang Steelers), Shin Hyung-Min (Pohang Steelers), Kim Chi-Woo (FC Seoul), Koo Ja-Cheol (Jeju United).
Forwards: Lee Keun-Ho (Jubilo Iwata, Japan), Ahn Jung-Hwan (Dalian Shide, China), Lee Dong-Gook (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Park Chu-Young (Monaco, France), Yeom Ki-Hun (Suwon Samsung), Lee Seung-Yeoul (FC Seoul).