Only the K League Challenge to discuss this weekend as the top tier is off for international break. Of course, this means the long anticipated debut of Seoul E-Land. Also, I have added my kits preview that I never posted earlier in the year, due to popular demand… of one person. 😀 If you want some bad jokes and K League banter, I think you’ll be satisfied(ish).
K League Challenge – Round 2
Let’s get right to the listings.
Suwon FC-Bucheon (Sat 2pm)
Goyang Hi-Gyeongnam (Sat 2pm)
Seoul E-Land-Anyang (Sun 12noon)
Daegu-Gangwon (Sun 2pm)
Ansan Police-Chungju (Sun 4pm)
Sangju Sangmu – bye week.
No real interesting fixtures this weekend apart from the obvious one. The long anticipated debut of Seoul E-Land FC. A longtime sponsor of the K League, the E-Land Group, one of Korea’s most renowned conglomerates, pitched the idea of starting a team in April 2014 – starting a team from scratch – and basing it in Seoul. But not just any team – the nation’s “most popular team”. A tall order. It was never going to be an easy ask to convince players to buy into their project, but first, they needed a manager – one with credentials and the influence to haul in the big fish.
Martin Rennie was the chosen one. With the encouragement of Lee Youngpyo, who played for the Scot at Vancouver Whitecaps, Rennie took up the position. He quickly got to work, signing some has-beens of Korean football and some compelling foreign exports.
Among the foreigner contingent is Ryan Johnson. The Jamaican plied his trade in the MLS for many years, enjoying arguably his best playing days with the Toronto FC, where he was named best player of the Canadian Voyageur’s Cup (the de facto national championship). Headlining the domestic players is goalkeeper, and once a backup to Jung Sungryong, Kim Youngkwang. Kim was dislodged from longtime club of Ulsan Hyundai last season by Kim Seunggyu.
Does Seoul E-Land have a shot at promotion this year? Their squad is certainly better than the likes of Goyang, Chnugju and Bucheon, and could beat any team on any given day – on paper. In the pre-season, goals have been very hard to come by for the debutant side, with 0-0 draws in Carolina and against the U23 NT. As with any new side in any sport, it takes time for the links and the chemistry to build. Don’t expect boys in blue to come out flying. But they would be mightily disappointed if they are not around the promotion spots come the end of the season.
Last note: although this team is just “cool”, their logo and jerseys are a bit… questionable…
Seoul E-Land will play their games in the Olympic Stadium – aka Jamsil Stadium – a venue which was used for the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and since then has been, like many stadiums of this kind, a lonely reminder of the mere weeks of Olympic festivities.
Better explanation of Jamsil Stadium with Seoul E Land. Main seating and two "skyboxes". pic.twitter.com/GlO2U2KeCr
— Tim Lee (@korfan12) March 27, 2015
Seoul E-Land will open their history books against FC Anyang at 12noon KST, 11pm EDT. A tough opponent – Anyang were 3-0 winners last weekend and are another candidate for promotion. If you want to catch Seoul E-Land’s debut, there will be a more convenient stream on twitter – but as for more authentic ways to watch the game – try Naver, Daum or Afreeca streaming and Daum Potplayer VPN switcher. Or just use Hola! Same difference.
So here’s a little ‘Just For Fun’ post on what the teams are wearing this season. It’s been rusting away in the drafts section for a while now. Been waiting for the right time to post it – might as well now. I’ve added my thoughts (and being a bit sarcastic) underneath each one for the heck of it.
However, yellow and red horizontal stripes only mean one thing for me:
For one reason or another, Busan and Jeonnam are retaining last season’s kits.
Alright, that’s all for this listings – er – one last note. Lee Myeongju’s Al-Ain took on Kwon Kyungwon’s Al-Sadd Dubai (managed by ex-Saudi Arabia manager Cosmin Olairou) in the Arabian Gulf Super Cup. It usually is held as a curtain raiser, but is more of a curtain… curtain fall? curtain call? this year because Al-Ain had ACL duty when the game was initially scheduled to be held.
In any case, Kwon’s Al-Sadd Dubai won the cup 1-0. Nothing incredible from either Koreans. Al-Sadd get some hardware to rescue a disappointing season for them that sees Al-Ain look all but certain to claim the ultimate prize – the league.
Time to tuck into bed and enjoy a baseball nightcap. KBO is back this weekend and hopefully the Hanwha Eagles can make a good account of themselves this season – i.e. don’t finish a distant last like every year. Thanks for reading – stick around, more international stuff on the blog coming your way – and jalgayo from the TSQ.