By Joo Kyung-don
SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea unveiled their Olympic men's football roster Monday for two upcoming friendly matches against Algeria, as they aim to test unproven overseas-based players before finalizing their squad for this year's Summer Games.
At the Korea Football Association (KFA) headquarters in Seoul, head coach Shin Tae-yong announced his 23-man roster for matches on March 25 at Icheon Sports Complex in Icheon and on March 28 at Goyang Stadium in Goyang, both in Gyeonggi Province.
Among the 23 players, FSV Frankfurt forward Park In-hyeok and St. Pauli attacking midfielder Choi Kyoung-rok, who had helped the Olympic football team on the offensive end, made the squad for the first time this year. They were not included in the South Korean squad for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship in January after their German clubs refused to release them. South Korea wound up finishing second there to clinch one of three Asian berths at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
They will be tested along with midfielders Park Jung-bin, who plays with Danish club Hobro IK, and Jung Won-jin of Pohang Steelers at the friendlies. Park has been called up but has yet to play for the Olympic team, while Jung received his first call-up.
The squad for Algeria also includes core midfielders like Kwon Chang-woo, Ryu Seung-woo and Moon Chang-jin, who all played pivotal roles for South Korea in clinching their ticket to Rio.
However, Salzburg striker Hwang Hee-chan, who also played a big part for South Korea at the AFC U-23 Championship, was left out as coach Shin wants to keep the 20-year-old for more important periods before the Rio Games.
"Hwang is not in good physical condition at this moment and there are considerable reasons," he said. "In order to call up the player early before going to the Rio Games, we decided not to pick him and have already discussed this issue with Salzburg."
Shin said he doesn't plan to call up FC Barcelona's rising star Lee Seung-woo. The 18-year-old forward made his first appearance for the FC Barcelona B on Sunday as a second-half substitute.
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