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Leverkusen's Son among 14 from overseas to join S. Korea for football friendlies

All Headlines 15:42 August 18, 2014

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Aug. 18 (Yonhap) -- Son Heung-min, the dynamic winger for Bayer Leverkusen, will be among 14 footballers based in overseas leagues to join South Korea for its two upcoming friendly matches, the sport's national governing body announced Monday.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) unveiled the list of 14 players based in Europe and other parts of Asia who will be on the team against Venezuela on Sept. 5 and Uruguay on Sept. 8.

Lee Yong-soo, head of the technical committee at the KFA, said the rest of the squad will be filled with players from the K League Classic, the top-flight domestic competition.

"We will watch the K League matches this weekend before setting up the final roster," Lee said at a press conference. "We should have about 25 players for the two matches."

Son, who was second on his Bundesliga club last season with 10 goals, was one of the few bright spots for South Korea at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in June. He had one of South Korea's three goals at the tournament and was generally the only dangerous weapon on the attack.

Bayer Leverkusen recently refused to make Son available for the Asian Games, which will run from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4 in the South Korean city of Incheon. Since the Asian Games matches aren't on the official FIFA match calendar, clubs aren't obliged to release their international players for the event.

Aside from Son, seven other members of the World Cup squad will be called up for the two friendlies in September, including Ki Sung-yueng, the Swansea City midfielder who scored the very first goal of the new Premier League season this weekend.

Overall, there will be four players from Europe, three players from Japan, two from China and five from the Middle East.

The team will be announced next Monday and the training camp will open on Sept. 1 at the National Football Center (NFC) in Paju, north of Seoul.


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