Printer Friendly and PDF

Seoul: Chelsea Ladies attacker Ji So-yun will lead the way as Korea Republic ramp up preparations for the AFC Women's Asian Cup 2018 with friendly matches against the United States next month.

World No 15 Korea Republic included the Chelsea attacker in a 23-player squad announced on Wednesday.

They will play two friendly matches with the top-ranked Americans: first at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on October 20, and again three days later at Sahlen's Stadium in Cary, North Carolina.

The team, led by head coach Yoon Duk-yeo, features veterans like Ji, the all-time leading scorer for the Taeguk Ladies with 45 goals in 95 matches, and midfielder Cho So-hyun, who has played 100 matches for Korea Republic.

They're joined by Lee Min-A, Jeon Ga-eul, and Lee Geum-min, who all helped Korea Republic clinch a spot at the AFC Women's Asian Cup 2018 after winning the qualification tournament in DPR Korea in April.

Only two players - forward Han Chae-rin and defender Park Cho-rong - are newly selected members.

"The U.S. are no doubt the strongest team in women's football," Yoon said. "We want to find out our level and shortcomings by playing against them in order to prepare for the next year's Asian Cup."

Korea Republic have never beaten the Americans in their nine previous meetings, marking only two draws and seven losses. They last met in May 2015 in New Jersey, where the match ended 0-0.

After taking on the three-time FIFA Women's World Cup winners, Korea Republic will travel to Tokyo in December to compete in the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) Women's East Asian Cup. The biennial tournament will also feature DPR Korea, China PR and Japan.

The AFC Women's Asian Cup 2018 also doubles as the qualifying tournament for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 in France.

Sources: AFC, Yonhap

randomness