Midweek Listing March 17-18 + KNT Call Ups [updated 2.0]

Uli Stielike has released his 23 man roster for Korea’s international games later this month (some surprises  -more on that later). There’s UEFA Champions League, Asian Champions League and an English Championship match to list – come one and all to a ‘champions’ midweek, let’s get started with Son Heung-Min & Bayer Leverkusen visiting Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Cauldron Stadium on Tuesday.

Champions League on Tuesday March 17

Atletico Madrid v Bayer Leverkusen   3:45pm EST / 4:45 am Korea Time

TV in US: Fox Sports 2

Bayer Leverkusen is in the drivers seat with a thin 1-0 aggregate lead.  They shocked everyone last month by ‘out-Atletico Madriding’ Atletico in leg 1.  Will Bayer fine tune their formula to gain entry to the Champions League final 8?  One thing in Bayer’s favor: they’ve managed to keep 5 consecutive clean sheets in the Bundesliga.  Meanwhile Madrid’s Tiago Mendes and Diego Godin are suspended for Tuesday’s match.

 

English Championship

Wigan v Watford   3:45 pm    No US TV

Kim Bo-Kyung has been revitalized at his new club, an awkward situation if you read a lot into the Malky-Moody-textgate scandal dating back to 2012. Nevertheless, Kimbo has been getting vital minutes, goals, and Man of the Match performances in recent games for the Lactics. Malky Mackaye and Wigan is nearing a pretty miraculous escape from the Championship table relegation zone. They are 6 points now from safety.

Asian Champions League

Tuesday

Jeonbuk Motors vs Binh Duong   [group E]       6 am EST / 7pm Korea Time

Guangzhou R&F  vs  Seongnam  [group F]       7:30 am EST / 8:30 pm Korea Time

Wednesday

Brisbane Roar  vs  Suwon Bluewings   [group G]  5:30 am EST / 6:30 pm Korea Time

FC Seoul vs Western Sydney Wanderers   [group H]   6:30 am EST / 7:30 pm Korea Time

 

Before we get to some Asian Champions League notes, there’s been a flurry of posts in the last 24 hours.  Do check out the following if you haven’t done so already:

Tim’s K-League week 2 roundup, Jinseok’s Korean ‘ballers in Europe weekend roundup, and Takeuchi’s Koreans in J-League + Korean youths in Europe update. Just do it!

Meanwhile, I am psyched about what’s happening with attendance in the K-League. We’ve been talking years about the problems of declining attendance + poor support for domestic pro football and the spiraling effects for Korean football. Don’t look now if you’re an eternal pessimist – the numbers not only were decent opening weekend (March 7-8) but actually rose significantly for week 2!!!  Check this out:

That is an improvement over opening weekend’s 13,979 average – what is going on?  Are people actually drinking the (non-poisonous) kool-aid?  Or has the Tavern Owner’s shaming techniques (old school shaming – classic in the Korean mother’s repertoire of coercion methods) taking hold?  Are Koreans in the peninsula recognizing the importance of coming out for their own home grown domestic club scene AND enjoying themselves in the process?  We will keep further tabs, and if we get time, talk to people on the ground in Korea about this encouraging trend.  Further indication of positivity, here’s Jae on taking in the goalzapalooza fest from the Pohang / Ulsan game:

Ah the spectacle of football- gotta love it…

 

ACL notes

  • FC Seoul v Sydney could be an interesting re-match of last year’s ACL semifinals, with Seoul looking for a bit of karmic revenge. Western Sydney has been poor of form in the A League, but so has FC Seoul.

*We’re getting reports from AFC website Ha Dae-Sung will be ready to play for Beijing. It was originally thought he was still recovering from injury.

 

 

Last Note: Uli Stielike just released the 23 man roster for the KNT international friendlies vs Uzbekistan (March 27) and New Zealand (March 31):

(Thanks Jae for tweeting the list!)

Lacking sleep, I’ll have to leave it all there. Taking last calls right now. Welcome back to the KNT roster Kim Bo-Kyung!

To discuss amongst yourselves: what do you make of Uli’s call ups for the Korean National team?  For one, there’s some eyebrows raised about Kim Eun-Sun getting the call…

*while Cha Du-Ri did say he had retired already from the national team, he will get one last honorary call up before getting publicly honored on March 31st.

 

UPDATE: Stielike talked to the media after announcing the roster, addressed the fact that Ji Dong-Won and Kim Bo-Kyung, two European based players that missed the Asian Cup tournament, has gotten the call to duty this time around.

“I have never seen Ji and Kim before, but I called them up because of their performances at their clubs…Kim was mostly confined to the bench at Cardiff City, but became a regular after moving to Wigan. Ji also moved to Augsburg and started six out of seven recent games. So I picked them to check out their performances.”

 

Yun Suk-Young also was called up, Uli explaining that Yun wasn’t selected for the Asian Cup due to injuries at the time. He also said this when asked about omitting Lee Dong-Guk for the March friendlies:

“Let me ask you one thing, how many games has Lee has played this season? The national team is for chosen ones. It shouldn’t be considered easy,”

There’s been some chatter about Lee Jung-Hyup…still not entirely sure what Uli sees in him —or perhaps Uli feels there are a lack of forward option.  Let’s see what happens.

 

Until next time, Chal ga!

 

 

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The old Tavern Owner

6 Comments

  1. Jang Hyun-Soo was injured in practice the day after the Seongnam game and will beo ut for about 2 months. Expect a injury replacement announcement for the KNT soon. More info within the next 24 hours in the KPA post.

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