South Korea’s women’s national soccer team is making its World Cup debut in Seoul for the first time in a decade. It’s a symbolic gesture of the sport’s recent growth in stature and interest.
Led by head coach Colleen Bell, the Korean Women’s National Team convened at Paju NFC on June 18 to begin their preparations for the July 8 match against Haiti at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.
The match will serve as the team’s final exhibition game in Korea before they travel to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023, where they will name their final 23-man roster and depart for Australia on July 10.
Women’s soccer in South Korea has seen significant growth in recent years. The popularity of TV shows featuring women’s futsal has led to a dramatic increase in the number of female soccer players, as well as the number of women’s futsal teams and women’s soccer competitions.
The performance of the women’s national soccer team has also been on a steady upward trajectory.
After four years of building under Bell, the team finished as runners-up at the 2022 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup, their best-ever finish, and qualified for their third consecutive Women’s World Cup.
In April, the team swept Zambia in a domestic A-match, scoring 10 goals in two games.
This has changed the way the women’s national soccer team is viewed and treated in A matches.
The team, which had been traveling to Goyang, Yongin, Hwaseong, and Chuncheon instead of Seoul to play A matches in Korea, will play its A matches at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, the mecca of Korean soccer. The post-match World Cup send-off ceremony is also set to be much bigger than previous events.
This is only the second time in history that the women’s national team has played at Seoul World Cup Stadium, and the first time in 10 years since the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) E1 Championship in July 2013. It will be the first time for a non-competitive exhibition match. 토토사이트
The players are grateful for the increased attention and expectations and use it as motivation to improve.
“I can definitely feel that more people are watching women’s soccer than before,” said captain Kim Hye-ri (Incheon Hyundai Steel), emphasizing her sense of mission, “We have to take responsibility and do better when there is such a high level of interest.” 토토사이트주소
Veteran striker Park Eun-sun (Seoul Metropolitan Government) said, “I’m really happy to have the World Cup kick-off ceremony and evaluation match in Seoul,” and added, “I would like to play in a full stadium, so please give us a lot of support.”