No fewer than 17 K League stars have been called up to their respective national teams ahead of the September international break. As well as South Korea's Asian qualifiers for Qatar 2022, K League stars representing Costa Rica, Georgia and Montenegro will all be hoping to pick up positive results.
K League-based South Korean internationals
Ahead of South Korea's forthcoming World Cup qualifiers with Iraq and Lebanon, Paulo Bento named 14 K League-based players in his 26-man squad. Cho Gue-sung of Gimcheon Sangmu is the only uncapped player while K League 2 league leaders Gimcheon Sangmu are the most represented team with four followed by Ulsan with three.
The Taeguk Warriors first take on Iraq at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Thursday 2nd September and Lebanon on September 7th, both at 8 PM. The matches will be the first of Korea's third round of Asian qualifiers. The Taeguk Warriors' other group opponents are Iran, Syria, and UAE.
K League-based players
Jo Hyeon-woo (GK), Ulsan Hyundai (18 caps)
Gu Sung-yun (GK), Gimcheon Sangmu (4 caps)
Lee Yong (DF), Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (81 caps, 4 goals)
Hong Chul (DF), Ulsan Hyundai (33 caps)
Kwon Kyung-won (DF), Seongnam FC (16 caps, 2 goals)
Jung Seung-hyun (DF), Gimcheon Sangmu (8 caps)
Park Ji-soo (DF), Gimcheon Sangmu (7 caps)
Lee Ki-je (DF), Suwon Samsung Bluewings (2 caps)
Kang Sang-woo (DF), Pohang Steelers (1 cap)
Kwon Chang-hoon (MF), Suwon Samsung Bluewings (26 caps, 6 goals)
Lee Dong-gyeong (MF), Ulsan Hyundai (4 caps, 1 goal)
Na Sang-ho (FW), FC Seoul (14 caps, 2 goals)
Song Min-kyu (FW), Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (2 caps)
Cho Gue-sung (FW), Gimcheon Sangmu (uncapped)
Jonathan Moya & Costa Rica
FC Anyang striker Jonathan Moya will be on international duty for the first time since November last year after being called up for Costa Rica's World Cup qualifiers with Panama, Mexico and Jamaica. Next Friday's match with Panama will be the first of the Final Round qualification phase. Los Ticos' then take on Mexico on Monday 6th September and Jamaica on Thursday September 9th.
Moya made his debut in 2014 and has gone onto make 10 caps for his country. He is yet to find the net for the full international team but has bagged 11 goals in 23 appearances for FC Anyang this term, including one in Monday's Line 4 Derby, and will be keen to get off the mark for Costa Rica.
In an exclusive interview with KLeague.com, Moya talks about Costa Rica's upcoming matches:
"I think Costa Rica is doing very well in the qualifiers. The three matches in the Octagonal will be difficult for everyone, and I think we have to do well to get the highest possible score and qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.
"I believe that Mexico will become even stronger rivals. The rivalry between Mexico and Costa Rica has always existed since I was a child. There has always been this rivalry, I believe. They are two very strong countries, and people from other parts of the world do not know this rivalry. The game against Mexico in the Azteca is a very impressive environment with people screaming, throwing objects and so on. Imagine 80 thousand to 90 thousand people screaming and growing things at you. Mexico versus Costa Rica has always been a game that will get that kind of attention."
On the possibility playing along side Incheon United's Elias Aguilar, who hasn't been called up this time around: "I hope that Elias (Aguilar) and I can play together. If we have this opportunity, we will give our best.
Valeri Qazaishvili & Georgia
Ulsan Hyundai winger Valeri Qazaishvili has been called up to the Georgia squad for the World Cup qualifiers with Kosovo on Friday 3rd September and Spain on Monday 6th September and then Bulgaria on Thursday 9th September, Korea Standard Time. Georgia currently sit fourth in Group B with one draw and two losses from the first two matches.
Qazaishvili made his international debut in March 2014 and has gone on to win 53 caps, scoring 11 goals. His last appearance for Georgia came in the UEFA Nations League in November 2020, playing the full 90 minutes in a 0-0 draw at home to Estonia.
Stefan Mugoša & Montenegro
Incheon United's Stefan Mugoša will also be in action having been called up to the Montengro squad for their forthcoming World Cup qualifiers. Montenegro take on Turkey on Wednesday 1st September, the Netherlands on Wednesday 4th, both away from home, and then Latvia at home on Tuesday 7th September. After three games played in Group G, Montenegro sit third with two wins.
Mugoša has nine goals in 15 league appearances so far this term and will be looking to add to his 11 for Montenegro from 37 caps. The 29-year-old last found the back of the net for his country in the 4-0 UEFA Nations League C win over Cyprus in November 2020.
K League Internationals September Fixtures
Turkey vs Montenegro, Thursday 2nd September 03:45 KST
South Korea vs Iraq, Thursday 2nd September 20:00 KST
Georgia vs Kosova, Friday 3rd September 01:00 KST
Panama vs Costa Rica, Friday 3rd September 10:05 KST
Netherlands vs Montenegro, Sunday 5th September 03:45 KST
Spain vs Georgia, Monday 6th September 03:45 KST
Costa Rica vs Mexico, Monday 6th September - 08:00 KST
South Korea vs Lebanon, Tuesday 7th September 20:00 KST
Montenegro vs Latvia, Wednesday 8th September 03:45 KST
Bulgaria vs Georgia, Thursday 9th September 01:30 KST
Costa Rica vs Jamaica, Thursday 9th September 10:00 KST