Kim Jin-Su Bundesliga debut / Weekend Roundup

German football, Bundesliga season finally underway. Short intro, Sunday night, Seoul kids win little league world series against Chicago. Is it a good thing that some Korean kids are kicking ass at an american past-time? Yagu-seriously. (rather let’s end that with a ‘?’)  Enough. Tavern Roundup… 3 – 2 – 1 – go:

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And here’s the K-League Classic Week 22 Roundup:

Saturday, August 23
FC Seoul
Sangju Sangmu
Sunday, August 24
Jeju United
Busan IPark


I didn’t want to give Jae’s post on the KNT call up roster short thrift, go here for the latest on who’s representing for Korea against Venezuela and Uruguay. And if you haven’t heard already, Luis (the biter) Suarez didn’t get the call up for Uruguay. Too bad actually, would’ve like to see how the backline would’ve handled him.

For a change, let’s go to Korea first with K-League Classic talking points:

Tavern Contributor Tim noticed this interesting detail about Jeonbuk v Seoul on Saturday>

Jae confirmed this impressive gate draw, to which I asked…

Nice to see the good attendance. So table topping Jeonbuk suffers their first loss in quite a long time, while Seoul, despite the win, is still struggling to break into the top half of the table – that’s because Ulsan was able to dispatch Sangju, beating them 3-0. Meanwhile Jae’s Busan iPark drops further in relegation trouble…

and now to Europe and talking points about KPAs this weekend:

A few Koreans made their debuts this weekend (though not all at top flight). Kim Jin-Su however made a decent impression in his Bundesliga debut for Hoffenheim. The left back (who you’ll remember just missed out on the World Cup due to a last minute injury) made a nifty contribution, particularly in the build up to their 2nd goal against Augsburg. Someone who goes by the youtube handle FootballOnside made a compilation of his touches. Take a look:

      • Ki Sung-Yeung and Swansea earned 3 more points after a scrappy win against Burnley. If my elementary math hasn’t forsaken me, add 3 points from a high flying 2-1 win at Old Trafford week 1 – that puts them at 6 points and…temporarily at the top of the Premiership with Chelsea and Tottenham. As for Ki’s performance, he did his job adequately, though defensively just a bit suspect as he could have been called for fouls in very dangerous places. Quieter performance from Ki overall, however late in the 2nd half he delivered a killer through pass to Routledge…who went on to squandering the chance to get a shot on goal.
      • Harry, Your QPR team lost 0-4 today. 3 in the backline – really? Harry, isn’t it time to add Yun to the roster?
      • Kim Bo-Kyung: post Moody/Malky-gate racist/bigoted text revelations, didn’t appear for Cardiff – presumably still injured (?)
      • Don’t look now, Bolton’s latest loss puts them near the bottom of the Championship table.  I still wonder if Lee Chung-Yong might consider a move before the transfer window closes?
      • Mainz escapes their first match of the season with a draw against newly promoted Paderborn. Okazaki was pulled down in the area in stoppage time, Koo converted the resulting PK, game ends in a 2-2 draw and a point preserved. Will luck continue for a side that’s defensively in shambles?
      • Ji still injured and out for about 4 weeks for Borussia Dortmund.
      • Hong Jeong-ho still injured for Augsburg (apparently had been slightly injured during the World Cup, but not disclosed until earlier in August. Could it have partially explained defensive collapse vs Algeria? but I digress…)
      • Leverkusen loanee Ryu Seung-Woo made his Bundesliga.2 debut, coming in with about 20 minutes left for Eintracht Braunschweig. New Tavern contributor Takeuchi had this brief take on his performance:
    • Speaking of Leverkusen, Bellarabi scored the fastest goal in Bundesliga history against Borussia Dortmund. 9 seconds / 3 passes. Break it down:


Pass 1: Hakan Calhanoglu to Son Heung-Min

Pass 2: Son to Boenisch

Pass 3: Boenisch to Bellarabi

Bellarabi shoots, scores, makes history. Later on, Bellarabi gets the ball to Son and gives the Korean a chance on goal, but his shot was blocked. Bellarabi had another chance for himself blocked, then in stoppage time, brilliantly fed Kiessling who delivered the final blow. Leverkusen still has BVB’s number. *note: Bellarabi spent last season on loan to Eintracht Braunschweig, the team Ryu’s been (re) loaned to.


> Quick note about the Barcelona academy teens at the center of the storm over what FIFA considers as improper procedural transfers, Barcelona’s appeal has been turned down by FIFA. The penalty given Barcelona: reinstitution of their $493,637 fine and more damaging, a harsh transfer ban, this time affecting their January 2015 and July-August transfer windows. Barca will now appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Lee Seung-Woo, Paik Seung-Ho and Jang Gyeol-Hee are still in purgatory status, not allowed to play in Spain for Barca’s youth squads except in international tournaments. According to Reuters, Barcelona has been given 90 days to “regularise the situation of all the minor players concerned.”  So what does that mean for the 3 Korean teens at La Masia? Stay tuned.

Now this next related item is not for sure, but if this is found to be true, it adds an incredible twist to the entire saga:


What – the – hell … but before I blow a gasket and do something rash like punching a hole in the wall of the Tavern, I do not want to jump to conclusions. Let’s see what happens, if there’s conclusive evidence that emerges.  I’ll bide my time. 


Some other Koreans in lower divisions that didn’t make our initial round up list:

Finally, just came across this nicely summarized article at In Bed With Maradona that describes some of the problems facing the Taeguk Warriors post-World Cup. The author Luke Butcher weighs in on the idea that the Korean FA has not fully taken advantage of the epic momentum that 2002 gave. A decent article worth a read, I would only add that I disagree with his take that the 2002 World Cup stadiums give a base of infrastructure to build upon. The stadiums built for the ’02 World Cup may be part of the problem with Korean football as it translates for the K-League today – they simply are too large.  Take DC United in the MLS. It is one of the last clubs that don’t have their own smaller/sleeker soccer-specific stadiums and instead relies on the broken down 55,000 seat RFK stadium. They struggle mightily with attendance, occasionally filling 10,000 seats when the league is growing by leaps and bounds thanks to smaller yet more appropriately sized stadiums.

About Roy Ghim 454 Articles
The old Tavern Owner


  1. The stadiums might be too large, but it’s all a financial issue probably. Why build a new stadium when there’s a perfectly fine one down the street? Saves money for the city concerned.

    • a short term financial issue – because in the long run the K-league isn’t really making ends meet with the dismal numbers they’re bringing in to the stadiums. Building ‘FIFA quality stadiums’ in certain cases means too big and too impractical for future local use. The Manaus stadium in the jungles of Brazil is one extreme case in point. I don’t believe anyone club is slated to use it post world cup.

        • He’s not saying it will, he’s saying that the stadiums are too large for practical use… Imagine for example a high school with a huge field but only the froshsoph soccer team plays on it and three parents might watch each game. That’s like the k-league

      • A complicated issue, and one I’m still trying to research, but a more pressing matter is the fact that, like in Italy, virtually all teams are “renting” the stadiums. They all must pay a percentage of the gate fees they get (anywhere from 5-15% it seems like). It would be ideal for teams to be able to build their own stadiums that are more appropriate for their needs, but given the economic climate in Korea that is highly unlikely any time soon. Honestly though, giving any sort of serious argument about the K League/KFA will require both to release more detailed financial information.

  2. And might I add, the Seoul-Jeonbuk game was a thriller. Impressive ‘tending by Kwoun Sun-Tae and Kim Yong-Dae, great volley by Lee Dong-Gook to tie the game and a late, late goal by Seoul sealed the points.

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