South Korea's new coach spoke of a "crisis" as he announced an experienced 26-man squad on Friday for the crucial World Cup qualifying match against Kuwait later this month.
Arsenal striker Park Chu-Young is expected to lead the line for the clash in Seoul on February 29 despite barely featuring for the English Premier League side. He is one of three overseas-based players in the squad.
South Korea and Lebanon are level on 10 points at the top of Asian qualifying Group B with Kuwait in third on eight points ahead of the last round of games in this qualifying stage.
With the top two in the group going into the final qualifying round, the South's 2014 Rio World Cup dream will be over if they lose to Kuwait and Lebanon draw or win away at the United Arab Emirates.
"We need experienced, veteran players to come through this crisis," said coach Choi Kang-Hee, who quit as boss of K-League champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors to take up the post in December.
He replaced Cho Kwang-Rae, sacked following a shock defeat for the 2002 World Cup semi-finalists in Lebanon.
With Manchester United star Park Ji-Sung retired from the national team, Arsenal's Park is expected to form an attacking partnership with Lee Dong-Gook, a 32-year-old with Jeonbuk.
Also in the squad are experienced midfielders Kim Sang-Sik, 35, and Choi Tae-Wook, 30.
Midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng, who plays in Scotland with Celtic, and central defender Lee Jung-Soo, of Al Sadd in Qatar, are the other players based abroad.
South Korea take on Uzbekistan at home four days before the Kuwait game in a friendly.
Goalkeepers: Kim Young-Kwang (Ulsan Hyundai), Jung Sung-Ryong (Suwon Samsung), Kwoun Sun-Tae (Sangju Sangmu)
Defenders: Kim Hyung-Il (Sangju Sangmu), Lee Jung-Soo (Al Sadd/QAT), Kim Chang-Soo (Busan I-park), Kwak Tae-Hwi (Ulsan Hyundai), Park Won-Jae (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Choi Hyo-Jin (Sangju Sangmu), Hong Jeong-Ho (Jeju Utd), Oh Beom-Seok (Suwon Samsung), Cho Sung-Hwan (Jeonbuk Hyundai)
Midfielders: Kim Jung-Woo (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Kim Do-Heon (National Police Agency), Kim Chi-Woo (Sangju Sangmu), Han Sang-Wun (Seongnam Ilhwa), Ki Sung-Yueng (Celtic/SCO), Lee Keun-Ho (Ulsan Hyundai), Ha Dae-Sung (FC Seoul), Choi Tae-Wook (FC Seoul), Kim Sang-Sik (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Shin Hyung-Min (Pohang Steelers), Kim Jae-Sung (Sangju Sangmu)
Forwards: Kim Shin-Wook (Ulsan Hyundai), Lee Dong-Gook (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Park Chu-Young (Arsenal/ENG)