Shin Tae-yong: Perspective on the Olympics

I have the slight worry of feeling like I’m beating a dead horse – the Olympics are over, and we’re ready to move on to new discussions. Nonetheless, Shin Tae-yong gave his first sit-down interview with Korean media (actually just an interviewer from the KFA) since the Olympic team exited the competition last week. His thoughts on football philosophy, Jang Hyun-soo and squad selection after the jump.

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2016 ACL: Adriano-Dejan-Park Chuyoung! (Quarter-Finals, 1st Leg)

FC Seoul were absolutely dominant in the first leg of their 2016 Asian Champions League quarter-final with Chinese club Shandong Luneng. Club legend Dejan Damjanovic, top scorer Adriano and our favorite controversial striker Park Chuyoung all got on the scoresheet in a 3-1 victory at Sangam Stadium.

FC Seoul 3-1 Shandong Luneng
FC Seoul: Dejan (19′), Park Chuyoung (31′), Adriano (69′)
Shandong Luneng: Walter Montillo (35′)

Recap after the jump + Video Highlights + Midweek recap of EFL Cup action. Continue reading

2016 Asian Champions League: Quarter Final Leg 1 / Jeonbuk draws, FC Seoul next

After three months of waiting, the Asian Champions League returns at last, and we are now into the Quarter-Final stages of the competition. There are two Korean teams still carrying the K League’s flag in the final 8. Earlier today, Jeonbuk Hyundai was in Shanghai to take on Sven Goran Eriksson’s Shanghai SIPG – find out the result of that match, as well as a preview of home leg of the FC Seoul quarter-final tie against Shandong Luneng.

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“What Is the State of the Reds?” Some thoughts on the KNT future

One of the Tavern readers, paulykeno, left the following post in the new Tavern Forum:

Now that the dust has settled and the tears have dried over the Olympic exit- what is the state of the Reds in your opinion?


Son isn’t living up to his nickname of “Sonaldo”. At age 24 he is nowhere near the level of being even considered a prodigy. Lee Seung Woo has high expectations, but is still a mystery. There are a handful of marginally avg. young players in Europe. The backline at every level continues to be suspect at best. Whoever replaces Jung in the net will be a vast improvement, but a mediocre keeper at best.


What can Uli do? Will we ever have a “golden generation”? (Please don’t tell me that THIS is our golden generation.) Was the 2002 team of overachievers made up of blue-collar rough and tumble defenders, speedy midfielders/forwards, a iron horse goalie, and couple of prima donna hair models that never amounted to anything past 2002 our last good showing on the international stage in our lifetime?


I don’t want to sound all “gloom and doom”, but let’s have an honest conversation about the team. Another exit in group stage seems like the trajectory for 2018. The hopes of building from 2002 sounds like a fairytale told by hal-abeojis during Chuseok now. The further away that time grows from those achievements, the more the detractors (ie Italians) are proven right.


I will attempt to answer all of paulykeno’s questions in the following post: Continue reading

Weekend Roundup + Stielike’s China Callups

Football is a funny thing. Last season Ki Sung Yong + SHM were our best performers, but this season the once-frozen-on-the-bench Lee Chung Yong has already started two games for Crystal Palace. Hwang Hee Chan also managed to get minutes (thanks to an upcoming Champions League qualifier), while Koo Ja Cheol continues to perform as our only consistent performer in the continent.

Moreover, Stielike has finally announced his squad for the crucial World Cup Qualifying Final Round games against China and Syria. With Iran and Uzbekistan in our group yet again, we definitely want to secure all three points early on so we can secure qualification then experiment a bit with the up and coming teenagers such as Lee Seung Woo, Paik Seung Ho, and Jang Gyeol Hee.

Read on for more details, but before that, if you haven’t already, check out Roy’s two recent posts that are getting a lot of discussion going, as well as Tim’s perspective post about what went wrong in the Olympics. Continue reading

Olympics Debriefing: Where We Came Short

The 2016 Rio Olympics are coming to a close, with the Brazilians winning dramatically in the penalty shootout with Neymar (who else?) scoring the winning spot kick. Germany and Nigeria round out the medals, while the Korean team is already at home, arriving last week. Although they weren’t pelted by candy like the last time a Korean football delegation returned from Brazil, it’s no doubting that these players are still feeling just as disappointed.

As are we. As Korean football fans, perhaps we sometimes expect more from our team than we get. Call it the 2002 effect if you will. Or maybe, in this situation, the 2012 effect. Nonetheless, this team’s ultimate objective was a place on the podium. They haven’t achieved it, and thus military exemption evades them. There’s an excellent discussion going on about this on Roy’s Lee Chungyong round up post.

In this post, I’ll just give some final thoughts on Rio 2016. If you’ve been closely following our Olympics coverage on Twitter and in past posts, things might be a bit redundant, but honestly this post is for me as well – just to get everything out of this system and bring some closure to these games.

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Weekend Schedule Aug 19-22 K-League & Koreans in Europe

Before we start, one KPA game in progress: Augsburg is at Ravensburg for a German Cup match….and Koo Ja-Cheol has scored the first goal already!  Ji Dong-Won just entered in the 2nd half, Augsburg leads 2-0. UPDATE: FT 2-0 win for Augsburg, they move onward in the cup.  Continue reading

Late Roundup: Lee Chung-Yong shines in Crystal Palace opener + Midweek K League fixtures

Drinks on the house: Midweek Wednesday K-League matches and last weekend EPL season starting back up to bring tidings of gladness and joy -and hopefully allow the taste of Korea’s exit from Olympic football to wash away. Late Roundup as the title suggests, and with it a short summary and surprise. Lee Chung-Yong, who as you may recall was involved in an unpleasant translation-situation at season’s end with manager Alan Pardew. His statement to Korean media, which Pardew interpreted as a direct criticism of his managerial ineptitude, led to a player fine. Fast forward to Saturday, Matchday 1 Crystal Palace v West Brom and yours truly, along with virtually everyone else with a bead on Koreans footballers in Europe figured the Blue Dragon would be left on the bench as he had been most of last season. Surprise: Lee Chung-Yong started on opening day and got a chance to show off his ‘tekkers’ to a home crowd at Selhurst Park.  Continue reading

[Rio 2016 Olympics] Honduras Preview: Do or Die

4 years ago we had to beat Great Britain for the chance to medal. This time around we have to beat Honduras. It sounds much easier on paper but it’s not quite the case. It’s a good thing we avoided Portugal, because we usually struggle against teams that can out-pass us, but Honduras is no pushover either. As Tim eloquently put it, while we are going “YES Honduras!” the Honduras team will be going “YES South Korea!”

If we had been a more convincing in the group stage, playing our brand of free-flowing, passing-oriented, storm-the-box attack, I would be much more confident about this game. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite look like ourselves, especially against Mexico, where we had absolutely 0 midfield presence. If the Korea that played against Mexico shows up against Honduras, we are dead meat. If our usual self shows up, this is a more than winnable game. Continue reading