Huang Sunhong, head coach of the Hangzhou Asian Games men’s soccer team, is in good spirits. Lee Kang-in is still unlikely to join the team early.
With Lee’s participation in the group stage uncertain, it’s even more important to have a reliable offense.
On July 14, Hwang announced the final 23-man roster for the Asian Games. The roster included national and K League-level players such as Lee Kang-in, Baek Seung-ho, Park Jin-seop (Jeonbuk Hyundai), and Seol Young-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), but the inclusion of ineligible Lee Sang-min (Chungnam Asan) sparked controversy.
Kim Tae-hyun (Vegalta Sendai) was eventually named as Lee’s replacement, ending the controversy, and the Asian Games squad trained with the U-22 team in August. The squad should have been able to train with the full squad for a few days before the tournament in September, but due to the delayed arrival of overseas players and several players being called up to the national team, the squad was not fully formed.
The key is Lee Kang-in. Lee first worked with Hwang at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan in the summer of 2022. Hwang used Lee to help his side win the tournament, but they were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Japan in a shocking 0-3 defeat.
Since then, Lee has made a major statistical leap in Mallorca. His physicality and speed, as well as his powerful left-footed kick, were on full display, and he enjoyed a career-high season in 2022/23, scoring six goals and providing six assists in 36 Spanish La Liga games. He’s a completely different player than he was a year ago.
Lee joined PSG in July as the first Asian player to sign for the club, and while he remains in contention for a starting role, he has made a name for himself at 온라인바카라 PSG as a playmaker who spearheads the team’s attack. However, he was recently sidelined with a hamstring injury late last month.
This affected his national team as well as the Asian Games squad. Luckily, it’s not an injury that will put a strain on the men’s soccer schedule at the Asian Games, which begin on Sept. 19, but it’s unlikely that PSG will be rushing Lee to the Asian Games, which are not a FIFA A-match.