KPA + K League Listing 10/21-10/22 + recap KWNT friendly vs USWNT round 1 [updated]

[update: includes Han Chae-Rin’s outrageous goal against the USWNT last Friday]

It was going to be an uneventful midweek – until the Korean Women’s National Team landed in New Orleans. We’ll get to that match but first, let’s go to Korean Footballers Abroad for a quick midweek recap and weekend listing – see ya’ll in a moment:

There’s some midweek action next week so we’ll see if that impacts selection this weekend.

Day Time Player Club Opponent TV
Saturday 9:30 AM Ji Dong Won Augsburg Hannover Fox Match Pass
Saturday 9:30 AM Koo Ja Cheol Augsburg Hannover Fox Match Pass
Saturday 10:00 AM Lee Chung Yong Crystal Palace @Newcastle NBC Gold
Saturday 10:00 AM Ki Sung Yueng Swansea Leicester City NBC Gold
Saturday 2:00 PM Kwon Chang Hoon Dijon @Metz None
Sunday 6:30 AM Lee Seung Woo Hellas Verona @Chievo Verona BeIn Play
Sunday 11:00 AM Son Heung Min Tottenham Liverpool NBCSN
Sunday 11:00 AM Suk Hyun Jun Troyes Lyon BeIn Play

Kwon Chang Hoon — Seems manager is starting to trust him so we should see him start this weekend.

Suk Hyun Jun — He’s not been used and perhaps he gets a run out next week instead of anything beyond warming bench or a late sub at best.

Lee Seung Woo — Given its a derby and looking to build positive momentum, I doubt LSW will play unless it gets really ugly.

Ji Dong Won — He missed fair amount of training this week so we’ll see if it impacts his availability. Cordova is hurt so hopefully Ji is fit enough to take his squad place.

Koo Ja Cheol — Koo should start but Baum could look to a different DM combo again.

Lee Chung Yong — I don’t think he’ll be in the squad and he’ll have to hope for some sort of role midweek.

Ki Sung Yueng — With Fer out and a lot of positive comments from Clement, one would think that Ki should start, but Ki said he’s still not 100% so we’ll see if he’s good enough to possibly go 90. A good chance to earn a bigger role but of course whenever a knee injury is involved, caution may rule the day.

Son Heung Min — What looked a bit like an low-downside experiment to field a number of bench guys, leaving out Son for most of the match, turned into a weekend selection problem. Son did get on in the final minutes and even had a chance to win it had he been quicker to shoot, but when the team looks as tough as they did against Real Madrid (albeit aided by excellent work from Lloris and some unlucky finishes from RM), the battle for minutes becomes a lot more difficult. Fortunately, there a lot of minutes to distribute this week so we’ll see if Son starts Sunday or midweek. I suspect Poch will want Son’s ability to counterattack but Poch right now is a bit unpredictable.

>> Tavern Owner back. Let’s head to Korea -we’re into Round 35 of both K League Classic and Challenge divisions, let’s check in with Modern Seoul for all of Saturday’s fixtures here and Sunday’s fixtures here.

Next, check out K-League United’s preview of Round 35 of the K-League Classic here. And K-League Challenge Round 35 previews here.

Here’s the game times (in US EST)

Championship Round

Saturday, October 21

FC Seoul
2:00 AM

Suwon Bluewings
Sunday, October 22

2:00 AM


2:00 AM


Relegation Round

Saturday, October 21

2:00 AM


Jeonnam Dragons
2:00 AM

Pohang Steelers
Sunday, October 22

2:00 AM

Sangju Sangmu

K League Challenge Round 35 game times:

Sat 21/10/17 Ansan Greeners 02 : 00 Seoul E-Land More info
Bucheon 1995 02 : 00 Suwon More info
Asan Mugunghwa 02 : 00 Gyeongnam More info
Sun 22/10/17 Seongnam 02 : 00 Daejeon Citizen More info
Anyang 02 : 00 Busan I’Park

With Gyeongnam winning the Challenge title last weekend and thus automatic promotion, the top 5 are battling for a playoff spot, with the third and final playoff spot held (just barely) by Seongnam at 52 points and Bucheon 1995 just a point behind. Take a look at the top of the Challenge table (

# Team MP W D L F A D P Last 5 matches H2H
1 34 22 7 5 65 34 +31 73 WWLWL
2 34 18 10 6 49 28 +21 64 WLDDW
3 Previous rank: 4 34 15 8 11 41 33 +8 53 WWWWL
4 Previous rank: 3 34 13 13 8 37 28 +9 52 WDDWD
5 34 15 6 13 48 43 +5 51 WDDLL


The November friendlies were announced and some eye popping opposition will be flying to Korea for the international break:

I’m getting a bad cold (what’s the hanguk word – kang-gi) so I’m going to wrap it up but not before giving some respect to the Korean Women’s Team, who despite the 3:1 scoreline , held their own admirably as coach Yoon Deok-Yeo played a lot of youngsters, some of them making their international debut to give them a taste of staunch opposition. That staunch opposition? None other than #1 ranked US womens  -and a long flight for Team Korea to New Orleans to boot.  Here’s the lineup from Korea (huge props to Hal Kaiser who was covering the game live down at the Superdome):

Again, some surprise selection with Korea’s most experienced goalkeeper not in the 18.

After kickoff, as soon as Korea and the new players settled their nerves, they worked out some kinks and challenged themselves and the US by working the ball out of their half, using some quick one touch passing and a bit of technical skill to boot. They even got a few early chances and with Ji So-Yun as the conductor, moved in on US territory and Korea was growing offensively into the match. However, the US began asserting themselves. It was only a matter of time before Korea conceded – but it should be noted, that first goal was just simply ridiculous  – Julie Ertz blitzing to the near post on a corner kick and heading the ball at a crazy tight angle.  Then this:

But Korea didn’t seem too rattled. Through waves of US attacks, Korea looked fairly organized and defensively compact. Wasn’t perfect, but they did much to stem the US tide.


Korea didn’t shy away from the challenge the US presented and kept with a regime of orchestrating from the back, moving the ball with more and more confidence and getting some chances in from decent counter attacks. Then in the closing last minute of stoppage time, this:









That.was.brilliant. Who is Han Chae-Rin?

The start to the 2nd half didn’t go so well, the US came out more determined and picked apart the young Korean defense, resulting in a penalty which Rapinoe converted.  Team Korea settled once again;


Korea ran out of time and the friendly came to an end.  During the 2nd half, Hal wondered about the injuries mounting and the old school artificial turf at the Superdome:

After the match US coach Jill Ellis had a lot of praise for Ji So-Yun (her Chelsea teammate Crystal Dunn made it onto the pitch in the 2nd half).

Hal reported later than defender Shin Dam-Yeong looks to have suffered a more serious injury, will check in at a hospital in Raleigh NC.  Korea will play the US in another friendly on Sunday Oct 22 at 2pm (ESPN will carry the match) in Cary, North Carolina – Salen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. Tickets are still on sale, check with USWNT website here.   In case you need a guide to Korean players to watch, Hal’s got you covered -check that out at The Equalizer over here.  More on a downer, Hal also writes in the Equalizer about some of the struggles that’s about to get more challenging for Women’s pro football in Korea – one of the original WK League clubs is dismantling – check that out here to get all caught up.


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  1. When I was in Korea (moved to the US in 2013), NOBODY gave a shit about women’s soccer. Basically, people were only fans of a few players that were “pretty”, but nobody watched or took it seriously. I think that’s just part of the culture, especially considering how low Korea ranks in the Global Gender Gap report ( Korea is ranked 116- damn! They’re basically around the same as some Middle Eastern countries, and ranked lower than India.

    Having said all of that, I watched the women’s game between the US and SK, and I have to say it was HELLA more interesting/competitive/fun than any of the Korean men’s matches so far this year. Some of the passing was sick, maybe even better than the men’s team. Not saying the women are gonna win the World Cup- not even close, but they have improved a lot in the past 3 years. I wonder if people in Korea feel the same way, considering how public opinion of the men’s team is pretty low right now. Could that be an opportunity for people to care about women’s soccer in Korea?

    (Still hoping that the men’s team gets better..)

      • Jon, to your first comment – yeah I’d agree that some of Korea’s passing that first night in New Orleans was slick and sick. It was very interesting to watch Korea as they are doing so much with so little resources; to see some glimpses of brilliance against the world’s #1 is encouraging. The result on Sunday was partly a result of playing players out of position, Cho So-Hyun was deputized at CB after Shim Dam-Yeong was injured in the nola match – but it’s not Cho’s best position not to mention Jang Chang was simply out of her league in midfield. Many attempts to move the ball forward by Korea on Sunday was stymied by Jang’s frequent mishaps and mispasses. But echo what Hal was saying, this was a chance to test young players who haven’t had many international caps (or none at all) and for coach Yoon, it’s all about player development in a (very) challenging environment rather than just results via scoreline.

        • Yeah my second comment was more of a joke. I knew the coach was testing new players.
          By the way, I like to look at Naver to see what’s trending in Korea. Men’s soccer is always a big search. Yesterday, Tottenham was obviously number one. During both of these last two friendlies, ZERO on women’s soccer. Was it even on TV in Korea? Very sad in my opinion..

    • Thing with the women’s side is they get very little support from the KFA. These were only the 4th and 5th friendlies since the Women’s World Cup in 2015. They’ve played in tournaments, of course, but they play less than half as many matches per year than the US women’s team and probably same is true versus the Korean men’s team. Lots of talent, need to play as a national team more often. Also, the better players need to get overseas to play. Right now only Ji So-yun plays overseas (Chelsea).

      I’d also note that Yoon didn’t bring his best team on purpose, he was testing younger less experienced player.

      In any event, it is sad. Reality is the Korean men’s team won’t win the World Cup in our lifetime (neither will the US). The Korean women’s team, however, could be a serious contender. The KFA would be smart to put a lot more money into the women’s program, that’s where they can realize success just like the US women do. Hell, they won the U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2010 and finished 3rd in the U-20 Women’s World Cup as well that year.

      • Good point. Kinda confirms why women’s soccer is popular in the US- most people don’t like watching the men suck so much (if not missing the World Cup, consistently placing outside of the quarterfinals). At least the women always have a shot and have won 3 times.
        Not sure how popular women’s soccer is in other strong countries like Germany and Brazil… the women are great, but my guess is it probably isn’t too popular since the men’s teams are so good.
        I believe that women’s soccer became more popular in Japan when they won the World Cup (something the men have obviously never done).
        If the Korean men’s team consistently performs poorly, perhaps more people will care about women’s soccer in Korea? I’m not holding my breath though… sexism is alive and well in Korea, and I don’t think they’ll ever view soccer as something for girls.
        Not trying to dump on Korea so much. I have an older sister who complains about it all the time and I guess we’re both pretty westernized at this point.

        • That could be interesting dynamic – going with the hypothetical situation – if Korea loses interest in men’s football – would Korean football gain in interest/viewership?

          Onto the aspect of sexism in Korean society, hopefully it’s changing in a more positive direction. Might take time, but there is a link b/w the US and Korea — as long as that link continues, cross pollinating cultural influences going back and forth between nations might also include for Korea some forward progressive ideas like a healthy appreciation for feminism and seeing women (any woman who’s name is not Park Guen-hye) in influential positions of power, both in business and in government.

          • I think if the women had a good run at the World Cup, the public would embrace them (at least for that run). Kind of like 1999 in the USA. Most people, me included, knew zip about the USWNT. Suddenly, bars are packed, TV ratings way up, 90,000 fill the Rose Bowl for the final and the players earn tons of endorsements.

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