November 9, 2012
WHOOO! What a WEEK! Barack Obama re-elected in the United States (73% of Asians overwhelmingly backed Obama according to the Washington Post), South Korea’s U-19 squad beat China 1-0 to make it to the quarterfinals of the AFC U-19 championship, Ki Sung-Yeung’s former team Celtic earned a shock upset of Barcelona, and both Kim Bo-Kyung and Lee Chung-Yong had some cracking games for their respective teams midweek.
This is going to be a very short post as most of my collective efforts were geared towards putting out the very first Tavern of the Taeguk Warriors Podcasts (part 1 & 2)! [Note: as the Tavern has only rudimentary media equipment, it’s production value is a wee bit rough, but the Tavern will be upgrading microphones and other items soon for future podcasts].
Podcast part 1: Our man in Cardiff, Wales, CJay discusses Kim Bo-Kyung’s first 2 starts for the Bluebirds, how he fared against Lee Chung-Yong in the ‘Korean Derby’ last Saturday, and red jerseys vs blue jerseys -can they only win in red OR are the formations boss Malkay uses in away vs home matches the culprit of their uneven performances? ‘Doing the Cardiff,’ seems to be a November/December annual ritual for the Welsh side -what exactly does that mean? Will we see Cardiff in the Premiership next season? Our man in Cardiff has some deft insights into all this.
Podcast part 2: A collective effort with K-Talk blog: Speaking with both Chris Ayres and Lex Nande of K-Talk, an amazingly resourceful blog about the K-League. We preview the Asian Champions League Finals featuring Ulsan Hyundai Horangi vs Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli, plus look at the revolutionary changes to the K-League, namely the split table and relegation taking place for the first time. Speaking of a league implementing relegation for the first time, ruminations about trying out relegation in American sports leagues: imagine the New York Yankees relegated to the minor leagues – perhaps a capital idea -or is it? And why the hell isn’t South Korea representin’ in the 2012 FIFA Futsal Championship in Thailand? Could there be flexibility on the mandatory military service that burdens young Korean footballers? K-Talk illuminates. [note: congratulation to K-Talk on their 100th post! They also explore how the Asian Champions League final means to the teams at the top of the K League table in an earlier but very apt post – you can check that out here.]
It is 5 am at the Tavern, and I haven’t gotten any sleep. No matter: a quick lineup of fixtures to be aware of -some include TV/internet listings. All times in Eastern Standard Time -apologies to non-US Tavern goers. When my Tavern intern gets back from sabbatical, I’ll get him to post some global time starts…provided he hadn’t gotten a different internship that actually pays a salary. It’s not easy being a Tavern operator.
Asian Champions League final, Ulsan vs. Al-Ahli 5:30 a.m. One World Sports (tape at 7 p.m.) Will the dynamic duo of the Wookie (Kim Shin-Wook) and Lee Keun-Ho score decisively for club and country in this dramatic Asian Champions League Final? [Kick Off Asia has their own preview on their blog site here].
Germany, Augsburg vs. Borussia Dortmund 9:30 am/ tape delay 11:30 a.m. GolTV Koo Ja-Cheol is back from injury; Augsburg has been hurting without him and is in last place in the German Bundesliga.
Germany, Fortuna Dusseldorf vs Hoffenheim 9:30 am No Tv/Internet? Cha Du-Ri‘s new role as attacking midfielder is an ongoing experiment. He came on last Saturday, substituting in as an attacking midfielder in a 3-2 losing effort to Leverkusen.
Germany, Freiburg vs Hamburg 9:30 am No Tv/Internet? Son Heung-Min looking for his 6th goal of the season -he still is the leading goalscorer for his club and Asian goalscorer in the Bundesliga.
England, Everton vs. Sunderland 10 a.m. Fox Soccer, Fox Deportes Ji Dong-Won hasn’t been in Sunderland’s first team squad all season – could it be coincidence Martin O’Neil’s team has been dreadful all season? It certainly won’t make their squad any worse then they are now to let some of the youngsters time on the pitch. Only 1 player, Steven Fletcher has scored for Sunderland – a mere 5 goals. Louis Saha: nada.
England, Stoke vs. QPR 10 a.m. foxsoccer2go.com (tape at noon on Fox Soccer Plus) Park Ji-Sung has been out with knee injury lately. Questionable for this Saturday.
England, Southampton vs. Swansea 10 a.m. foxsoccer2go.com (tape at 2:30 on Fox Soccer) Ki Sung-Yeung is looking for his first goal. Whether he scores or not, he’s been huge for Swansea’s midfield. But this is Southampton, last in the table -could be target shooting practice for the Swans.
England, Cardiff City vs. Hull 10 am No Tv/Internet? Kim Bo-Kyung comes into the match with a decent substitute outing last Tuesday. Will he start again? Will he score and join the Blue Dragon in being a Korean goalscorer on English soil this season.
England, Blackpool vs Bolton 10 am No Tv/Internet? Lee Chung-Yong had chances, got good shots on goal – for his latest starting performance for (sort of) resurgent Bolton in a 0-0 midweek draw with Leicester City. Lee is expected to start again — will Stuart Holden eventual return from a long injury be yet another cog needed to get Bolton humming again?
Spain, Rayo Vallecano vs Celta Vigo 10 am UPDATE: BeInSport Espanol will air this match in the US. Park Chu-Young doing well in practice, but will he get the start? Even more important, can he end his scoring drought since getting his first and only goal in September?
U-19 AFC Championship Quarterfinals South Korea vs Iran 10 am No Tv / Internet? Taeguk Warriors U-16 were favorites to win it all last month, but stumbled surprisingly in the quarterfinals against Uzbekistan. Will the U-19 squad go further than their younger brethren and find Asian Football Confederation glory?
One more update: Vancouver Whitecaps just missed advancing further in the MLS playoffs and now the head coach’s 1st mission, according to the Province, is to convince Lee Young-Pyo to stay with the team one more year. Lee is contemplating retiring but has yet to make a decision.
Tavern closed for now. We’ll try to keep updates over the weekend via Twitter. Seeing as it’s 5:40 am I can only mutter…Football…bloody hell.