Korean soccer got a good coach in Argentina.
One of the biggest takeaways from the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 in Argentina was the discovery of outstanding players like Bae Joon-ho, Lee Young-joon, Lee Seung-won, Choi Seok-hyun, and Kim Ji-soo, who will help shape the future of Korean soccer.
It wasn’t just the players who rose to the top. Kim Eun-joong, the head coach, has also emerged as a major force in Korean soccer. Born in 1979 and now in his mid-40s, Kim has made history by reaching the World Cup quarterfinals after only a year and six months in charge.
Kim is a character who possesses good leadership qualities.
This U-20 team has been labeled as the “valley generation”. Many analysts said that the squad was not as strong as it was four years ago in Poland. The team was expected to succeed in the round of 16.
As a result, Kim had a lot to think about when selecting his roster. For nearly a year after taking over, Kim traveled the country looking for players who could add to the team. He traveled to college tournaments and leagues, as well as K4 games with professional B teams.
He also actively reached out to soccer officials and agents, trying to secure a good source of players in the World Cup-eligible age group. He even organized his own trips abroad to meet with club officials to discuss recruitment.
It was Kim’s idea to plan and organize away training trips to Vietnam, Portugal, and Uzbekistan. To overcome the weaknesses of players who lacked international experience, Kim actively sought out the Korean Football Association to make this happen.
As a result, he was able to send his players to the World Cup with more experience. His meticulous and diligent work ethic helped the team throughout their preparation.
Although he appears calm and collected on the outside, Kim is a leader with a sharp edge, hence the nickname “Sharp”. As a team leader, he emphasizes the importance of discipline and team culture. Rather than giving them a free hand, he gave them a list of rules to follow and focused on creating a “one-man team” so that the athletes would not disrupt the team atmosphere.
Even during our first meeting before the race last January, we talked about what we needed to do as a team. While coaching the athletes, he was not afraid to be critical when necessary. Kim is a coach who combines warmth and sharpness.
His tactical and strategic skills also stand out. Since his arrival, Kim has been working on perfecting the 4-3-3 and 4-1-4-1 formations he used in the tournament. With little time to prepare for the tournament, and the nature of the national team making it difficult to train in-depth, he decided it was better to sharpen one weapon rather than use multiple tactics.토토사이트
In the process, the team’s flexibility to modify their strategy shone through. In the Asian Cup and the Asian tournament, the team played to dominate possession, but in the lead-up to the World Cup, they switched to a more defensively-oriented style that minimized conceding goals and took advantage of chances with quick counterattacks.
Kim’s contract with the federation ends after the tournament. After a hectic year and six months, Kim will be able to catch his breath and prepare for what’s next. We don’t know what the future holds for Kim, but what we do know is that he has become an invaluable resource for Korean soccer.