The Taeguk Warriors have lined up their second friendly in November: Russia friendly 11/19 – this time the setting moves to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (a kind of ‘meet you halfway?’). More on this friendly – and on the Switzerland match on November 15th for a later time -we now go to Canada where a legend in Korean football has played his final game last night in Vancouver: Lee Young-Pyo hung up his boots after playing 90 minutes -subbing out during stoppage time and getting a long emotional and stirring standing ovation. Take a look
The captain for the night, Lee saw his team off to a 3-0 win over Colorado. Despite not making the playoffs, Vancouver still managed a post season honor- with the hat trick last night, Camilo beat out several other MLS players in a close contest and won the MLS Golden Boot on this last day of the regular season.
What can you say about Lee Young-Pyo and his importance in the backline for Hanguk football? There are many highlights -where to begin? His days playing for the Anyang LG Cheetahs (that would eventually morph into FC Seoul), the 2002 World Cup -advancing all the way into the semifinals – his role in expanding the opportunities of Koreans playing in Europe – who Guus Hiddink recruited along with Park Ji-Sung to go to PSV Eindhoven. There the adventure continued on to Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund, a slight detour in the Middle East before a respectable last 2 years at Vancouver. Last season he won MVP for the Whitecaps, helping them get to the MLS playoffs – a first for the Canadian club.
I suspect Jae or Jinseok may have more to say (with better insight – possibly as an addition to this post) but as I’m still catching up with everything since my daughter’s 1 year birthday (her dol ceremony was last weekend), I’m going to leave it at that. We may add some other pictures and a proper tribute (no promises – job and family issues + death in the family is making things tough at the moment for the Tavern owner). I leave you with Lee’s post match press conference (notice how he keeps the cards close at hand when asked about possibly returning to Korea in the future to coach):
I lied – not leaving post yet -some quick updates: Ji Dong-Won may not have featured in last Sunday’s derby with Newcastle, but he did score in a closed door reserve match for Sunderland today, converting a PK to give them a 1-0 victory over Hull. Conor Wickham attempted a PK earlier -which was blocked.
John Duerden writes in the Guardian today about Guangzhou Evergrande and it’s ri$e in Asian football. This interesting tidbit from the article: Marcello Lippi, Evergrande’s distinguished manager makes €10m (£8.5m) a year – 64 times more than FC Seoul’s boss Choi Yong-soo. Evergrande takes a 2-2 1st leg result back to China November 9th for the 2nd leg in the Asian Champions League final with FC Seoul. In the meantime, he’s kept ESPN FC readers informed about the entertaining title fight. Personally, I like Jae’s review of the match in the Tavern, but hey, the more perspectives out there, the merrier!
‘aight, Tavern out. Chal ga-yo!