The one position that hasn’t changed since Klinsmann’s inception is frontline striker. During the March, June, September, and October A-Match call-ups, no striker other than Cho Kyu-sung (Mitwillan), Hwang Eui-jo (Norwich City), and Oh Hyun-gyu (Celtic) were named to the Klinsmann Cup. The trio’s position is solid.
Klinsmann’s men will take on Singapore at 8 p.m. on Sept. 16 at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in their first Group C match of the 2026 North and Central American World Cup Asia Second Qualifying Round. The team will then travel to Shenzhen, China, on Sept. 19 for the second leg.
Their record in their first eight matches is three wins, three draws and two losses. After going winless in their first five matches, they have now won three in a row, starting with a victory over Saudi Arabia in September and a two-game series against Tunisia and Vietnam in October.
Klinsmann’s approach has been to play attacking soccer. He played a 4-4-2 formation with two strikers up front. However, after scoring just four goals in the first five games, Klinsmann’s attacking style was criticized.
Moreover, the tactic of playing two up front led to wide spacing and an overloaded midfield. The lack of depth led to a lack of team balance, and the buildup from defense to attack was not as detailed as it could have been.
In October, however, the team’s offense was refreshingly cool, scoring a combined 10 goals against Tunisia and Vietnam. With three straight wins and a turnaround in form, it’s a very positive sign heading into the second round of World Cup qualifying.
The striker who has been given the most playing time under Klinsmann is Cho Kyu-sung. He started the first match of the Qatar 2022 World Cup against Uruguay on the bench behind Hwang Eui-jo. However, he came on as a second-half substitute and performed well, earning a surprise start in the second game against Ghana, where he scored a multi-goal performance. He then started the Portugal-Brazil match and has been in good form ever since.
His physicality allows him to hold off defenders and link up well. However, he lacks the destructive power and goal-scoring ability in on-the-ball situations. His only goal under Klinsmann came against Saudi Arabia.레모나토토 주소
Born in 2001, Oh is more of a late bloomer than Cho Kyu-sung and Hwang Eui-jo. He didn’t make the final 26-man roster for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but joined Ventojo as a reserve.
In the March A match, Oh stole the show. He played with an assertiveness that belied his young age and possessed a combination of daring and power. He made two substitute appearances in the Colombia-Uruguay match, catching the eye of Klinsmann, and was named to the starting lineup against Peru in June, but didn’t quite live up to expectations. Oh’s only appearance in four A matches in September and October came as a second-half substitute in Saudi Arabia.
Hwang’s half-beat quickness and flexibility have long made him a favorite for the South Korean national team. He missed a crucial chance against Uruguay in the first game of the World Cup before losing his starting spot to Cho Kyu-sung.
At Klinsmann’s, he’s been a bit of an afterthought. Hwang has scored more goals than Cho with one against El Salvador in June and one against Tunisia in October. In the two October A matches, Hwang was rated more highly than the sluggish Cho Kyu-sung, reigniting the competition for the starting spot.
One variable is the change in tactics. Recently, Klinsmann has started playing a 4-2-3-1 formation instead of a 4-4-2. Starting with the last match against Saudi Arabia, the 4-2-3-1 formation has been effective in all three of their wins.
In the center of the second line, Lee Jae-Sung (Mainz) supported the attack with a lot of activity and link-up play, while the creativity of Lee Kang-In (Paris Saint-Germain) on the right was synergistic. In earlier trials, the team has been balanced with less wide-open spaces and one more player in the midfield.
If Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), Lee Jae-sung, and Lee Kang-in have to play at the same time, there will be no room for legitimate strikers. We can envision Hwang Hee-chan, Lee Jae-sung, and Lee Kang-in in the second line, with Son Heung-min up front.
Son has been playing up top for Tottenham this season and is third in the Premier League in goals. Hwang Hee-chan is also on fire. The left wing-forward is in prime form, scoring six goals up front and tied for sixth in the Premier League. Add to that the creativity of Lee Kang-in, and the presence of Lee Jae-sung, who provides a lot of movement and lubrication in the attacking third.
It will be interesting to see what Klinsmann decides to do in Singapore, the first leg of his World Cup campaign.