Weekend Listings -courtesy of Korean Footballers Abroad,
|Friday||2:30 PM||Son Heung Min||Bayer Leverkusen||@Gladbach||GolTV|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Koo Ja Cheol||Mainz||@Wolfsburg||None|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Park Joo Ho||Mainz||@Wolfsburg||None|
|Saturday||10:00 AM||Lee Chung Yong||Bolton||AFC Bournemouth||None|
|Saturday||10:00 AM||Ki Sung Yueng||Sunderland||Hull City||NBC Sports|
|Saturday||10:00 AM||Park Chu Young||Watford||@Leicester City||BeIn|
|Saturday||12:30 PM||Kim Bo Kyung||Cardiff City||@Swansea||NBC|
|Saturday||12:45 PM||Park Ji Sung||PSV Eindhoven||FC Twente||GolTV|
|Sunday||9:30 AM||Hong Jeong Ho||Augsburg||@Stuttgart||GolTV|
|Sunday||9:30 AM||Ji Dong Won||Augsburg||@Stuttgart||GolTV|
- The 2nd South Wales derby this season, this time at Swansea should be a cracker of a game, especially since both clubs are in a bit of turmoil and in relegation danger. Swansea, though not in the zone, are part of the bottom 10 clubs in the table -each and every one of those clubs are a loss from going into the zone. Latest news midweek involved Swansea sacking Michael Ladrup- was it perhaps a part of the reason he was sacked was his mishandling of the Ki Sung-Yeung situation last summer – the falling out between the two resulting in Ki temporarily leaving the club. The fact Ki is having a stellar year for Sunderland on loan has added to the board’s unhappiness with the sense that Ladrup is losing control, what with reports of infighting in the clubhouse. Cardiff’s maniacial owner Vincent Tan, after sacking Malky Mackaye earlier in the year, hasn’t had too much success since having Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in charge. They were very recently at the bottom of the table. However last week’s 2-1 win against Norwich gave the Bluebirds some breathing room -while off the bottom, are still in the ‘zone’. With Ki on loan to Sunderland, choosing sides in the derby should be fairly easy, but it’s a waiting game to see if Kim Bo-Kyung gets the nod to join the starting XI on Saturday. Update: originally on NBC’s internet streaming option only, the NBC main network is now carrying the Swansea/Cardiff derby live at 12:30 pm EST.
- Park Chu-Young, on loan to Watford for the rest of the season -may be playing in front of a US TV audience Saturday morning – BeInSport will be broadcasting the English Championship match (a rarity around here), with Leicester playing host.
- Ki Sung-Yeung and Sunderland are flying high these days, epic escape from the relegation zone, a League Cup Wembley stadium final in March with Manchester City – but they’re not out of the woods yet. 14th place is by no means a safe place to be, and with some tough fixtures ahead, a meeting with Steve Bruce’s Hull City is a must win for the Blackcats
- The new dynamic duo of Park Joo-Ho and Koo Ja-Cheol over at Mainz is still basking in glory after last weekend’s all Korean scoring affair over Freiburg. Mainz moves to striking range of a European spot. Koo is about to face his former employers, Wolfsburg on Saturday. While the captain of the KNT can enjoy the rest of his career in Europe thanks to the 2-0 Bronze medal match over Japan in 2012, Park is starting to sweat the fact that unless he wins an Olympic or Asian Gold medal, he will have to remove himself from Europe to serve in the South Korean military. There’s an article in Bild quoting Mainz Manager Christian Heidel about low transfer fee and a short contract ending in 2015 a direct result of Park’s looming military service -he’s 27 years old, a year away from entering the service. “..but on a Korean-law exception: Heidel is hoping for a successful performance at the Olympics, the Asian Games or the World Cup to allow Korean players including Park exemption from military service.” The article then gets an interesting quote from an unlikely source: “It depends on the mood of our people,” says Jong Seok Yun, head of the cultural department of the Korean Embassy in Berlin. “If there is general opinion that footballers should be rewarded, the sports minister could write a petition over which the Cabinet will then decide!” Yun goes on to leave open the possibility that mandatory military service might be delayed to age 30 or 31 – instead of starting at age 28. I detail the problem facing Korean football with looming military conscription in last month in the online journal, In Bed With Maradona. This Bild article will be discussed further in an upcoming Tavern post.
- In the meantime, in light of the Korean contributions for Mainz recently, the Bundesliga’s official youtube channel put together a Top 10 Korean goals scored in Germany over the years. Senior Cha is of course represented…
- BTW, Park Ji-Sung went 90 minutes in a 2-1 win for PSV Eindhoven over Cambuur Leeuwarden last Wednesday. PSV Einhoven faces FC Twente this weekend.
- Son Heung-Min
(and possibly Ryu Seung-Woo)are at Borussia M’Gladbach today. [Update: GOOOOOAAAALLL!!!! Son scores in the 61st minute – so far the only goal of the match…]
[Update: …and that’s the game, Son’s solo goal earns 3 points for Bayer Leverkusen. Good start to the weekend.] Son’s post match interview with Bundesliga English website: “That was an important goal and I’m really, really happy. It was a good shooting position for me to be in and I had the time to pick my spot. I often practice that after the game, and today it paid off. We were also lucky, but everybody could see how much passion we put into it.”
We might have more updates later today, so stay tuned. If you haven’t ventured into the Tavern in a while, check out the insightful analysis from the other Tavern writers this week in the aftermath of the KNT’s mini US Tour. A lot to unpack and much to garner in forecasting the Taeguk Warrior’s World Cup 23 man roster going forward to Brazil.
Late note: As much as I try to make the Tavern an all inclusive Tavern for worldwide accessability, honestly it ends up catering to a more US-centric view. I want to make the Tavern something everyone around the world can utilize, but in the meantime,if you are a Tavern goer outside the US, it might mean an extra step in time translations and finding the right broadcast means to watching Koreans in top flight football. All apologies and good hunting in finding and watching your favorite football match this weekend.