Now it’s time to play without fail.
After two back-to-back A matches in October (Tunisia-Vietnam), the national soccer team, the Klinsmann ship, will begin its title defense next month with the second round of World Cup qualifiers.
The national team, coached by Jürgen Klinsmann (GER), will begin the second round of Asian qualifiers for the FIFA Confederations Cup North America 2026 in November. South Korea is drawn in Group C with China, Thailand, and Singapore. Singapore earned a 1-0 away win over Guam in the second leg of their first round qualifier on Sept. 17. Singapore also won the first leg 2-1 at home to earn a spot in the second round.
South Korea will play its first match next month against Singapore at Anbang on Nov. 16 and the second against China on Nov. 21.
After the second round of World Cup qualifiers, the focus will turn to the 2023 Asian Cup in Qatar, which is not unlike Klinsmann’s first mission. The Asian Cup will take place from Jan. 12 to Feb. 10 next year. Klinsmann will seek cooperation from the Korean Football Association (KFA) and other K League clubs, with the intention of convening the squad in December, focusing on players from the domestic and Asian leagues.
“The second round of World Cup qualifiers will be against teams that are relatively weaker than us, but we can’t let our guard down. Teams in the lower half of the table in Asia often play a compact defense whenever they face a powerhouse like South Korea, but with experience in the Asian Champions League (ACL), several foreign managers in their domestic leagues, and the recruitment of quality players, the level of tactical execution is higher than before. That’s why Klinsmann saw playing Vietnam during the October A-Match as a good experience.
South Korea is also competing in Group E of the Asian Cup with Jordan, Bahrain, and Malaysia, all of whom will likely play net defense against the Koreans. 안전놀이터
Klinsmann, who has been embroiled in controversy over his frequent travels and lack of work since taking over the reins of the national team in February, recently told reporters, “I think a national team coach should be international. I’m not a K League coach. It’s the way I work. The way I work will not change,” he said.
His ‘my way’ continues. According to the Korean Football Association (KFA), Klinsmann, who finished his A-match schedule in October, will be traveling to Europe this week and then back to his home in the United States. As usual, we will keep an eye on local broadcasting activities and European trends while getting K League information centered on Coach Chaduri.
However, in preparation for the second round of World Cup qualifiers and the Asian Cup, the team also plans to explore other Asian countries that are still unfamiliar to them. In particular, to analyze the style of Singapore, the first opponent in the second qualifying round, the team will visit or send a coach to watch Jeonbuk Hyundai and Ryan City (Singapore) play against each other at the Vishan Jalalvesar Stadium in Singapore on March 8. Ryan City is home to the majority of Singapore’s national team mainstays. He also plans to watch an ACL game in Malaysia.
Shortly after the Vietnam game, Klinsmann said, “I’m going to watch Mainz play Bayern Munich (on the weekend). I want to see Lee Jae-sung and Kim Min-jae play together. Then I’ll go home and come back in time for the FA Cup in November. After the FA Cup, I plan to go to Singapore and Malaysia to watch the ACL,” he said. “I saw that the Singaporean and Malaysian national players are all on the same team (for the ACL).”
Klinsmann has seen other Asian styles of play during the ACL group stage, including the Incheon United-Kaya FC (Philippines) match on March 3 and the Pohang Steelers-Wuhan Shanzhen (China) match on March 4.
To fulfill his primary mission of winning the Asian Cup, he is now focused on guiding the national team’s ascent from the second round of World Cup qualifiers next month without fail. The real test of Klinsmann will come from now on.