Former Vietnam assistant coach becomes advisor to South Korea national football team

By Hieu Luong   March 1, 2024 | 04:56 pm PT
Former Vietnam assistant coach becomes advisor to South Korea national football team
Lee Young-jin (L) as an assistant coach for Vietnam in the 2019 Asian Cup. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
Lee Young-jin, the former assistant of coach Park Hang-seo in Vietnam, has been appointed as the technical advisor for the South Korea national football team in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Lee will support interim manager Hwang Sun-hong in two games against Thailand in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in March, the Korea Football Association (KFA) announced on Thursday.

Lee, currently a member of the National Team Committee, is familiar with Southeast Asian football thanks to his stint as an assistant with the Vietnam national and U23 teams.

KFA believes Lee can be of great assistance when South Korea face Thailand in the second round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers on March 21 and 26.

After the dismissal of coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Feb. 16, South Korea also parted ways with most of the coaching staff on the national team.

On Feb. 27, Hwang was chosen as the interim manager over two other candidates Park Hang-seo and Choi Yong-soo.

Hwang's task is to help South Korea achieve good results against Thailand.

South Korea are currently leading group C with six points from two matches, three ahead of Thailand and China.

Winning both matches against Thailand could potentially secure South Korea's early qualification for the third round.

Lee worked as an assistant to coach Park Hang-seo from 2017 to 2023, some of the most successful years of Vietnam national and U23 teams.

The 60-year-old was considered coach Park's brain, especially in analysis, technical guidance and strategy. After coach Park's contract with Vietnam expired last year, a group of South Korean assistants, including Lee, also left.

As a player, Lee was known for his stint at LG Cheetahs (now FC Seoul), winning the K League 1 title in 1990.

In 2003, he was voted into the best XI of South Korea from the 90s. He played for the national team from 1989 to 1994 with 51 appearances, attending two World Cups in 1990 and 1994.

After retiring, he worked as assistant coach of Seoul from 2005 to 2009, then coached Daegu FC from 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

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