Shades of the ‘forced’ Golden Generation

“The forced golden generation suffered.”

That’s what one soccer fan wrote on social media as the South Korean women’s national soccer team dealt with a devastating report card that saw them crash out of the group stage for the second consecutive time.

Led by head coach Colleen Bell, South Korea (ranked 17th in FIFA) drew 1-1 with Germany (ranked second in FIFA) in their final Group H match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023 at Brisbane Stadium in Brisbane, Australia on March 3 (KST).

Having suffered upset losses to Colombia (ranked 25th) and Morocco (ranked 72nd) last month, South Korea was facing an impossible task of waiting for a ticket to the Round of 16 after beating Germany by five goals.

Doubled up against a Germany team with World Cup experience and a deep bench, the South Koreans grew stronger with each passing minute, and while the miracle that was supposed to happen didn’t happen, they remained determined throughout the match. The players showed their determination to “never let Germany get away with it,” and they fought hard to earn a valuable point.

Even though they didn’t win, they brought comfort and hope to fans who were disappointed by the “hard-fought draw” that eliminated Germany. This is the first time a German women’s soccer team has been eliminated in the group stage of a World Cup.

Despite the meaningful final, there is no denying that the future of Korean women’s soccer is a dark one. This is especially true when it’s time to send off members of the “golden generation,” such as Ji So-yeon, who have anchored the program for more than a decade despite difficult circumstances.

This is effectively the last World Cup for the ‘golden generation’, as there hasn’t been a generational change at all. The average age of the South Korean national team is 28.9 years old. This is the highest among the 32 nations competing at the World Cup. More than 10 members of the golden generation are over 30, including Ji So-yeon (32-Suwon FC), Cho So-hyun (35-Tottenham), Park Eun-sun (37-Seoul City Hall), and Kim Hye-ri (33-Hyundai Steel).

On the other hand, Japan, the 11th-ranked team in the Fifa rankings, which made a huge splash by beating Spain to top their group, has the fourth-lowest average age of the 32 nations at 24.8 years old. It’s also nearly three years younger than at the 2015 World Cup, where they finished as runners-up (28). Every player who made their first World Cup appearance at this tournament was either a top scorer or scored at least two goals. The generational shift has worked well.

The difference between the average age of the team and the lack of depth and infrastructure is evident in their performance at the tournament.

“In the 2015-2019 World Cup, we were called the golden generation,” said Cho So-hyun, who, along with Ji So-yeon, continues to hold the record for most appearances in Korean soccer history with 148 A-match caps, after the Morocco match. “If we had more young players who could push the older players, we could have competed with each other, but we didn’t,” she said. “If we had more young players who could push the older players, we could compete with each other, but we don’t,” she said.

The number of elementary school teams is declining, and there is a clear downward trend in the number of professional girls playing. The already poor state of women’s soccer is further weakened by the departure of current players, let alone the recruitment of new ones. While interest in women’s soccer has increased significantly, the number of players who are able to develop into professionals continues to decline.온라인카지노

With fewer players to replace them, veterans have been ‘forced’ into the golden generation after three World Cups, and even that golden generation won’t be around for the next tournament. It’s time to step out of the shadows, rebuild from the ground up and envision a stronger team.