Generational change is the most pressing issue in South Korean women’s soccer these days.
At the FIFA Women’s World Cup in July, only five members of the South Korean national team were members of the “Century Club,” which is defined as 100 or more A-match appearances.
Players like Ji So-yeon (Suwon FC) and Kim Hye-ri (Hyundai Steel) have been anchoring South Korean women’s soccer since the late 2000s and early 2010s, respectively.
However, the national team, led by these players, was knocked out of the group stage of the World Cup with one draw and two losses.
They were beaten by teams that were perceived as underdogs, such as Morocco and Colombia, and realized the gap between the world stage and Korea.
Of course, the World Cup has its rewards. It was the discovery of Korea’s “youngest talent,” Casey Eugene Fair (R).
Fair became the youngest player in World Cup history, male or female, to make a World Cup appearance when she came on as a substitute against Colombia in the first round of the group stage. She was 16 years and 26 days old.
In the final game against Germany, he was a surprise starter and played 86 minutes up front, where he was no match for Germany’s world-class players.
After the three-match World Cup, the pair made their first appearance for the national team and played their fourth A match on Saturday in the first match of Group B of the second Asian qualifying round for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at the Xiamen Eaglet Stadium in Fujian Province, China.
Fair, who started in place of incumbent Hwa-yeon Son (Hyundai Steel), repaid head coach Colleen Bell’s faith in her by scoring the opening goal in the 33rd minute.
Born to an American father and Korean mother, it was the first goal she scored in a Korean national team uniform.
In doing so, Fair became the second-youngest player in South Korean soccer history to score an A-match goal (16 years, 119 days). The previous record holder was Ji So-yeon (15 years, 282 days), who rattled the net against Taiwan at the 2006 Doha Asian Games.
Paire added goals in the 11th and 21st minutes of the second half to complete her hat trick. 먹튀검증
According to the Korea Football Association, Paire is a dual citizen. He was a highly touted prospect in the United States, earning a call-up to the U-15 national team last year, but chose to play for South Korea.
By playing for South Korea at the World Cup, she is no longer eligible to play for another country under FIFA rules. For South Korea’s women’s soccer program, it’s a big step forward in securing a solid striker.