You ask, we deliver. A reader wanted a place where they can introduce themselves, so people know a bit about each other. Not a bad idea. So, here it is!
In the comments for this page you can leave whatever you like, including:
Name or nickname
Where you live
Any other info you want to leave (contact, websites, blogs, etc)
Meet the Team:
Roy Ghim – Tavern Godfather
Started my revolutions around the sun in Washington DC, raised in Silver Spring Maryland where I was instructed to embrace and alternately forget my Korean heritage. I’ve been wandering since then, with short stops in Harrisonburg VA, Denver CO, Omaha NE, Portland ME, and back to Maryland (Frederick). The fever bit first in 2002, around 2:30 AM mid June in a random apartment in Denver when Korea surprised the hell out of everyone in THAT World Cup. Brief flirtations with football/soccer in 2006 while in Ghana – it wasn’t until 2010 that the ‘madness’ would utterly take over. Been playing catch up ever since, but with one foot in the door in several different worlds, continents and universes, the Tavern was a manifestation of a fevered dream to explore my untapped Korean roots, unite the Korean diaspora and -who knows -over-optimistically to unite the Koreas in one unstoppable football force that will bring harmony and restore balance in the universe -all while enjoying a drink or two. Hard to narrow down team(s) to root for. This might not make sense but here goes: Cardiff City, Barca, Seattle Sounders, Jeju United and FC Seoul. Favorite players? Son Heung-Min, Kim Bo-Kyung, Koo Ja-Cheol, Ki Sung-Yeung, Lee Chung-Yong, Park Jong-Woo (for trouble making abilities) and I gots me a soft spot for Park Chu-Young. Now don’t be hating -but I do follow the exploits of the Ghanian national team and Ghanian players abroad – not that I’d start a blog on all that…
Roy can be contacted through the Tavern twitter – @taeguk_warrior
Jinseok Yang – Former Tavern Owner / Tavern Studio LA
[Jinseok wrote this blurb in 2014]
I am a college sophomore reporting from New Haven, Connecticut. Born in Daegu, South Korea and raised mostly in Columbus, Ohio, I am a relative newcomer to football. I followed casually around 2006, but started seriously following Korean Football in 2008. As the designated “Youth Expert” I have since primarily posted updates on our promising youngsters in Spain and our Korean Youth National Teams, as well as random thoughts and analyses on national team events and the broader Korean 유망주 network. Although I initially started as a “Youth Expert” for the Spanish contingent and watching the KPA, I am now starting to focus on the K League. I’ve found it much more exciting, and the fact of the matter is, OUR DOMESTIC SCENE IS THE MOST CRUCIAL KEY TO SUCCESS FOR THE KNT.
In my free time I play the violin and religiously watch every KNT match possible, no matter how late at night. I hold no club loyalties, though as a Daegu native I have a soft spot for Daegu FC (I lived close to the stadium) and Pohang Steelers (best team for youth development and many of their graduates go to Youngnam University, where many of my family members attended). It’s really hard for me to pick a favorite player, but if I had to choose one who could I choose but Park Ji Sung, the hero of my generation? My favorite non-Korean player would probably be Patrice Evra because he’s one of the funniest guys ever (and a joy to watch), but Ronaldinho, Zidane, Brazilian Ronaldo, CR7, Eden Hazard, and Andres Iniesta are close on the list. I look forward most, however, to the development of our 유망주 such as Hwang Hee Chan, Seo Myung Won, Lee Kang In, Lee Seung Woo, Jang Gyeol Hee, and Paik Seung Ho, players who I will follow and update the Tavern on for years to come.
Follow Jinseok on Twitter @hangukchukgu
Tim Lee – The New Tavern Owner / Tavern Studio Quebec
Where you live: Ottawa-Gatineau
Favourite teams: Manchester United, Daejeon Citizen, Ottawa Fury
Favourite players: Lee Jae-sung, Hwang In-beom, Jeong Seung-hyeon
I was born in Cheongju, South Korea, though I spent most of my childhood in Daejeon. I’m one part Korean, one part Canadian, and have lived in Quebec for most of my life. As a (very) young child, the memories of 2002 are faint and vague, but family tells me the story of how I joined in the jubilation and euphoria of Hong Myung-bo scoring that penalty kick against Spain, “manse’s” and all. In a weird way, I guess I was addicted from the very start. The 2006 World Cup was probably the first World Cup I vividly remember – and Lee Chun-soo’s free kick that gave Korea 2-1 win over Togo is a moment that remains etched in my memory.
I’m currently starting my undergrad at the University of Ottawa in Political Science (I’m definitely too left-wing politically for your taste). But on this site, I stick to Korean football, don’t worry! My club allegiances lie with Daejeon Citizen in the K League (shout out to Gangwon FC, my second Korean home), the Ottawa Fury in the USL (#SupportLocalFootball) and I’m the typical bandwagon Manchester United fan who first supported them back when they were good so I could experience the glory (though Park Ji-sung played a role). I tend to appreciate the players who create goals rather than score them – Lee Jae-sung and Kwon Chang-hoon are all favorites in that respect. RIP Hwang In-beom’s European career, too slow to pull the trigger. And nothing but love for Jeong Seung-hyeon, the KNT’s next no-nonsense CB extraordinaire.
Follow Tim on Twitter @korfan12
Nicole Chung – contributor / Tavern Studio Sydney
Location: Sydney, Australia
Favourite teams: Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Seoul, Seoul Eland FC
Favourite players: Marco Reus, Mats Hummels, Yoon Il-Lok, Joo Min-Kyu, Son Heung-Min
Hello everyone, my name is Nicole Chung and I am from down under in Sydney, Australia. I’m a final year media student at Macquarie University and my aspiration is to become a sports journalist. My passion for football originated from the 2014 World Cup. For the first time in my life, I felt very wholehearted and proud of supporting the Republic of Korea national football team and I vividly remember the games against Algeria and Russia. Shortly after the World Cup had ended, I started to enjoy watching football at the club levels by supporting Borussia Dortmund in Europe and FC Seoul in Asia. I have two favourite players. Firstly, I love Marco Reus from Borussia Dortmund as he is a brilliant attacking midfielder and he is very loyal to the club. Secondly, I enjoy watching FC Seoul’s Yoon Il-Lok as he is a very hard-working player.
Follow Nicole on Twitter @0Nicole0
I’m a halfie Korean and was born and raised in New Jersey. Honestly, I’ve had the soccer (I call it football now) bug since I was a little kid going to my older brother’s travel soccer matches. I would pass around with his teammates on the bench and cheer him on too! When we were in middle school, the EPL came on US TV and my dad rediscovered his love of Arsenal FC from his high school days as a lad in London. Once I saw the Invincibles I was hooked! It’s a tough life being an Arsenal fan but at least I’m not a Spurs fan (sorry Sonny). I picked up the K League club Incheon United as an English teacher in Korea with my British mates and now you’ll find me at Chicago Fire matches on the weekends in Chicago. Writing for the Tavern lets me rediscover my first “dream job” as a sports journalist and I’m excited to help the Tavern grow into the future! Thanks for reading my columns and as always, Daehanminguk Manse!
Follow Michael on Twitter @mhwelch1211
Kevin Kim – contributor / Tavern Studio NYC
Chi Soo Park – contributor
Namu Yoon – social media contributor / Tavern Studio Toronto
Where you live: Toronto, ON
Favourite teams: Korea, Canada, Toronto FC, Ottawa Fury FC, Daejeon Citizen FC, Valencia CF, York 9 FC
Hi, my name is Namu, and I’m a Korean-Canadian in my 30s currently living in Toronto. I grew up in Daejeon, Iowa and Vancouver, and have been playing and following soccer, baseball and basketball my whole life. I actually grew up a bigger fan of the latter two, cheering for the Daejeon teams and the Cubs and the Bulls. Soccer for me when I was a kid mainly involved endless games on FIFA and in the parking lots and the school dirt fields, with an introduction to the K League in 1997 with the expansion Daejeon Citizen, and watching the World Cup with friends and family, with early memories of 1994, starting to support Korea seriously in 1998, and growing up on the Korea-Japan WCQ derbies.
It was 2002 that truly opened my eyes to the bigger wide world of football, as well as a cool beer and soju shots watching footy over the summer. With TV, internet and FIFA in tow, I started following the Prem and the Champs closely with my friends, but began to expand beyond that into La Liga, and then further into North American soccer, such as MLS, NASL, USL and CPL. Along the way, I touched upon anything to do with football, including playing, coaching, Football Manager addictions, forums, podcasts, social media and supporter culture, with season tickets over the years in three different levels of local football and having helped lead supporter groups in Ottawa and Toronto.
Yet despite all the various sojourns, the Korean national team has always remained the one constant throughout my soccer fandom. It was my beginning, and it is still and always my number one. It’s what allows us to stay close with our homeland, what keeps us in touch with our friends and family while making new friends, and what brings the whole motherland and diaspora together into one big happy community. For that reason, the Korean national team means so much to all of us reading this, and why this website right here is so essential to our understanding of the Korean culture. Thanks for reading.
Follow Namu on Twitter @namujyoon