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Half-Korean forward named to S. Korean training camp roster ahead of Women's World Cup

Sports 17:42 June 10, 2023

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- Half-Korean forward Casey Phair was named to South Korea's last training camp roster ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup on Saturday, becoming the first person of mixed heritage to join a senior Korean women's national football team.

This file photo provided by the Korea Football Association shows half-Korean forward Casey Phair in action for South Korea during the qualifiers for the 2024 Asian Football Confederation U-17 Women's Asian Cup in April 2023. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This file photo provided by the Korea Football Association shows half-Korean forward Casey Phair in action for South Korea during the qualifiers for the 2024 Asian Football Confederation U-17 Women's Asian Cup in April 2023. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The Korea Football Association (KFA) announced a 31-player camp squad featuring the 15-year-old Phair and two other teenagers: Hyundai High School teammates Won Ju-eun and Kwon Da-eun. At 15 years and 309 days old, Kwon is the second-youngest player ever to make a senior national football team, men's or women's.

Born to an American father and a Korean mother in South Korea, Phair had a star turn for South Korea in April in the qualifiers for the 2024 Asian Football Confederation U-17 Women's Asian Cup. She grabbed a brace in South Korea's 16-0 rout of Tajikistan, and then scored a hat trick to help South Korea beat Hong Kong 12-0.

Phair is training with the Players Development Academy in New Jersey. The KFA noted Phair's aggressive play and nose for the goal.

The teenagers are joined by usual suspects such as midfielders Ji So-yun and Cho So-hyun, forwards Choe Yu-ri and Jung Seol-bin, and goalkeepers Yoon Young-geul and Kim Jung-mi.

In this file photo from April 11, 2023, South Korean players celebrate a goal by Lee Geum-min (2nd from R) during a women's football friendly match against Zambia at Yongin Mireu Stadium in Yongin, some 40 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

In this file photo from April 11, 2023, South Korean players celebrate a goal by Lee Geum-min (2nd from R) during a women's football friendly match against Zambia at Yongin Mireu Stadium in Yongin, some 40 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

The 31 players will report to training camp at the National Football Center in Paju, some 40 kilometers northwest of Seoul, between June 18 and 23.

Coached by Colin Bell, South Korea will host Haiti in their final tuneup match on July 8, after which Bell will whittle down the roster to the final 23 players.

This year's Women's World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, kicks off on July 20. South Korea will open their Group H play on July 25 against Colombia in Sydney. They will then take on Morocco in Adelaide on July 30 and Germany in Brisbane on Aug. 3.

The top two nations from each of the eight groups will advance to the round of 16. This will be South Korea's fourth appearance at the Women's World Cup. They've been in the knockout stage just once: in 2015 in Canada, where they lost to France 3-0 in the round of 16.

In this file photo from April 11, 2023, South Korea head coach Colin Bell directs his players during a women's football friendly match against Zambia at Yongin Mireu Stadium in Yongin, some 40 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

In this file photo from April 11, 2023, South Korea head coach Colin Bell directs his players during a women's football friendly match against Zambia at Yongin Mireu Stadium in Yongin, some 40 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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