Important fixture alert, in a few hours:
Asian Champions League Semifinal 2nd leg
UPDATE: FC Seoul fell 2-0 to Western Sydney this morning. No K-League repping at the Asian Champions League title matches this year.
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS (AUS) FC SEOUL (KOR) 5:30 am EST / 6:30 pm Korea Time
Venue: Parramatta Stadium, Sydney
Winner will face Al Hilal in a 2 leg series to determine the Champion of Asia on October 24 & 31.
K League Classic games Wednesday
Gyeongnam v Pohang 6am EST / 7pm Korea Time
Jeonbuk v Jeju United 6am EST / 7pm Korea Time
Suwon v Incheon 6:30pm EST / 7:30 Korea Time
Busan Ipark v Sangju Sangmu 6:30pm EST / 7:30 Korea Time
Seongnam v Jeonnam 6:30pm EST / 7:30 Korea Time
Ulsan v FC Seoul postponed -see Asian Champions League
Over in Europe, Champions League group matchup:
Son Heung Min and Leverkusen host Benfica at 2:45 PM ET. DirecTV and ESPN3 in US.
English Championship midweek fixture: Lee Chung Yong & Bolton visit Fulham at 3:00 PM ET. No TV.
Asian Games: Korea defeated Thailand earlier on Tuesday, a 2-0 win (goals by Lee Jong-ho and Jang Hyun-soo) that sends them on to the all important gold medal match.
Thursday’s game (8pm Korea time /7am EST) pits them against…who else but North Korea. Ironic given the Cold War circumstances that currently hamper the trajectories of many Korean footballers – given looming mandatory military conscription to serve before age 30, coinciding with what should be the peak of footballing prowess. Did I mention the Gold medal game was important? It impacts the careers of Korean footballers like Park Joo-ho and Kim Jin-su, the former we mentioned earlier, faces the prospect of jettisoning his solid status at Mainz in Germany to return to Korea to start his time in the military…unless he wins Asian Gold. We could argue the merits of the 1973 ruling under then ROK military dictator Park Chung-hee that narrowly offered military exemption for certain tournament wins, but for now, this is the maze-like bizarre circumstance that they face in order to have unfettered footballing careers.
According to the Choson Ilbo, in the 3 most recent Asian Games, the record has been fairly even; South Korea has won 1, drawn 1 and lost 1 against their northern neighbors.
Going back to the subject of the K League, Jae just posted the news at the Tavern earlier about Park Chu-Young finally signing with a club; he mused that for the million that he was signed for at Al Shabab, he might’ve opted to sign with his old club FC Seoul. You know who could’ve used a center forward: if you guessed FC Seoul, you win a round of soju* (*winning round of soju = metaphoric praise and not actual soju -Tavern attorney clarifying). Had he done so, it’s possible that there would be renewed interest in the KLeague by your average joe Korean sports fan. Jae noted that with the KLeague season winding down, that might not have interested PCY and thus the move to a Saudi club. On the other hand, his agent didn’t hear the Tavern owner’s recommendation to check out Augsburg in the Bundesliga. For now, consider it an opportunity missed. Still, I’ll be following Al Shabab to check in on PCY. We’ll see if he can turn in an Asamoah Gyan-esque turnaround.
UPDATE: Still here eh? Good – those of you wondering if Yun still exists, this isn’t bigfoot footage – no this came straight from QPR’s media man Adam Hulme. He sent this clip this morning of Yun in practice. Can’t judge a LB by a short youtube clip alone, but by itself he looks kinda sharp. Is this an indication Redknapp, desperate for a cohesive defense, will finally call up Yun for his Premier League debut? Take a look: