Meet The Community

You ask, we deliver. A reader wanted a place where they can introduce themselves, so people know a bit about each other. Not a bad idea. So, here it is!

In the comments for this page you can leave whatever you like, including:

Name or nickname
Where you live
Favorite teams
Favorite players
Any other info you want to leave (contact, websites, blogs, etc)

Meet the Team:

Roy Ghim – Tavern Godfather

Started my revolutions around the sun in Washington DC, raised in Silver Spring Maryland where I was instructed to embrace and alternately forget my Korean heritage. I’ve been wandering since then, with short stops in Harrisonburg VA, Denver CO, Omaha NE, Portland ME, and back to Maryland (Frederick). The fever bit first in 2002, around 2:30 AM mid June in a random apartment in Denver when Korea surprised the hell out of everyone in THAT World Cup. Brief flirtations with football/soccer in 2006 while in Ghana – it wasn’t until 2010 that the ‘madness’ would utterly take over. Been playing catch up ever since, but with one foot in the door in several different worlds, continents and universes, the Tavern was a manifestation of a fevered dream to explore my untapped Korean roots, unite the Korean diaspora and -who knows -over-optimistically to unite the Koreas in one unstoppable football force that will bring harmony and restore balance in the universe -all while enjoying a drink or two. Hard to narrow down team(s) to root for. This might not make sense but here goes: Cardiff City, Barca, Seattle Sounders, Jeju United and FC Seoul. Favorite players?  Son Heung-Min, Kim Bo-Kyung, Koo Ja-Cheol, Ki Sung-Yeung, Lee Chung-Yong, Park Jong-Woo (for trouble making abilities) and I gots me a soft spot for Park Chu-Young. Now don’t be hating -but I do follow the exploits of the Ghanian national team and Ghanian players abroad – not that I’d start a blog on all that…

Roy can be contacted through the Tavern twitter – @taeguk_warrior

Jinseok Yang – Former Current Tavern Owner / Tavern Studio LA

[Jinseok wrote this blurb in 2014. He has since obtained his MD and is now a physician in California]

I am a college sophomore reporting from New Haven, Connecticut. Born in Daegu, South Korea and raised mostly in Columbus, Ohio, I am a relative newcomer to football.  I followed casually around 2006, but started seriously following Korean Football in 2008. As the designated “Youth Expert” I have since primarily posted updates on our promising youngsters in Spain and our Korean Youth National Teams, as well as random thoughts and analyses on national team events and the broader Korean 유망주 network. Although I initially started as a “Youth Expert” for the Spanish contingent and watching the KPA, I am now starting to focus on the K League. I’ve found it much more exciting, and the fact of the matter is, OUR DOMESTIC SCENE IS THE MOST CRUCIAL KEY TO SUCCESS FOR THE KNT.

In my free time I play the violin and religiously watch every KNT match possible, no matter how late at night. I hold no club loyalties, though as a Daegu native I have a soft spot for Daegu FC (I lived close to the stadium) and Pohang Steelers (best team for youth development and many of their graduates go to Youngnam University, where many of my family members attended). It’s really hard for me to pick a favorite player, but if I had to choose one who could I choose but Park Ji Sung, the hero of my generation? My favorite non-Korean player would probably be Patrice Evra because he’s one of the funniest guys ever (and a joy to watch). I look forward most, however, to the development of our 유망주 such as Hwang Hee Chan, Seo Myung Won, Lee Kang In, Lee Seung Woo, Jang Gyeol Hee, and Paik Seung Ho, players who I will follow and update the Tavern on for years to come.

Follow Jinseok on Twitter @hangukchukgu

Tim Lee – The New Former Tavern Owner / Tavern Studio Quebec

Age: 18
Nationality: Korean-Canadian
Where you live: Ottawa-Gatineau
Favourite teams: Manchester United, Daejeon Citizen, Ottawa Fury
Favourite players: Lee Jae-sung, Hwang In-beom, Jeong Seung-hyeon

I was born in Cheongju, South Korea, though I spent most of my childhood in Daejeon. I’m one part Korean, one part Canadian, and have lived in Quebec for most of my life. As a (very) young child, the memories of 2002 are faint and vague, but family tells me the story of how I joined in the jubilation and euphoria of Hong Myung-bo scoring that penalty kick against Spain, “manse’s” and all. In a weird way, I guess I was addicted from the very start. The 2006 World Cup was probably the first World Cup I vividly remember – and Lee Chun-soo’s free kick that gave Korea 2-1 win over Togo is a moment that remains etched in my memory.

I’m currently starting my undergrad at the University of Ottawa in Political Science (I’m definitely too left-wing politically for your taste). But on this site, I stick to Korean football, don’t worry! My club allegiances lie with Daejeon Citizen in the K League (shout out to Gangwon FC, my second Korean home), the Ottawa Fury in the USL (#SupportLocalFootball) and I’m the typical bandwagon Manchester United fan who first supported them back when they were good so I could experience the glory (though Park Ji-sung played a role). I tend to appreciate the players who create goals rather than score them – Lee Jae-sung and Kwon Chang-hoon are all favorites in that respect. RIP Hwang In-beom’s European career, too slow to pull the trigger. And nothing but love for Jeong Seung-hyeon, the KNT’s next no-nonsense CB extraordinaire.

Follow Tim on Twitter @korfan12

Nicole Chung – contributor / Tavern Studio Sydney

Age: 21
Nationality: Korean-Australian
Location: Sydney, Australia
Favourite teams: Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Seoul, Seoul Eland FC
Favourite players: Marco Reus, Mats Hummels, Yoon Il-Lok, Joo Min-Kyu, Son Heung-Min

Hello everyone, my name is Nicole Chung and I am from down under in Sydney, Australia. I’m a final year media student at Macquarie University and my aspiration is to become a sports journalist. My passion for football originated from the 2014 World Cup. For the first time in my life, I felt very wholehearted and proud of supporting the Republic of Korea national football team and I vividly remember the games against Algeria and Russia. Shortly after the World Cup had ended, I started to enjoy watching football at the club levels by supporting Borussia Dortmund in Europe and FC Seoul in Asia. I have two favourite players. Firstly, I love Marco Reus from Borussia Dortmund as he is a brilliant attacking midfielder and he is very loyal to the club. Secondly, I enjoy watching FC Seoul’s Yoon Il-Lok as he is a very hard-working player.

Follow Nicole on Twitter @0Nicole0

Michael Welch – contributor / Tavern Studio ChicagoAge: 27

Nationality: Korean-American
Location: Chicago, IL
Favorite Teams: Arsenal FC, Incheon United FC, Chicago Fire SC
Favorite Players: Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, Son Heung-min, Moon Seon-minI’m a halfie Korean and was born and raised in New Jersey. Honestly, I’ve had the soccer (I call it football now) bug since I was a little kid going to my older brother’s travel soccer matches. I would pass around with his teammates on the bench and cheer him on too! When we were in middle school, the EPL came on US TV and my dad rediscovered his love of Arsenal FC from his high school days as a lad in London. Once I saw the Invincibles I was hooked! It’s a tough life being an Arsenal fan but at least I’m not a Spurs fan (sorry Sonny). I picked up the K League club Incheon United as an English teacher in Korea with my British mates and now you’ll find me at Chicago Fire matches on the weekends in Chicago. Writing for the Tavern lets me rediscover my first “dream job” as a sports journalist and I’m excited to help the Tavern grow into the future! Thanks for reading my columns and as always, Daehanminguk Manse!

Follow Michael on Twitter @mhwelch1211

Kevin Kim – contributor / Tavern Studio NYC

Chi Soo Park – contributor

Namu Yoon – social media contributor / Tavern Studio Toronto

Age: 30s
Nationality: Korean-Canadian
Where you live: Toronto, ON
Favourite teams: Korea, Canada, Toronto FC, Ottawa Fury FC, Daejeon Citizen FC, Valencia CF, York 9 FC

Hi, my name is Namu, and I’m a Korean-Canadian in my 30s currently living in Toronto. I grew up in Daejeon, Iowa and Vancouver, and have been playing and following soccer, baseball and basketball my whole life. I actually grew up a bigger fan of the latter two, cheering for the Daejeon teams and the Cubs and the Bulls. Soccer for me when I was a kid mainly involved endless games on FIFA and in the parking lots and the school dirt fields, with an introduction to the K League in 1997 with the expansion Daejeon Citizen, and watching the World Cup with friends and family, with early memories of 1994, starting to support Korea seriously in 1998, and growing up on the Korea-Japan WCQ derbies.

It was 2002 that truly opened my eyes to the bigger wide world of football, as well as a cool beer and soju shots watching footy over the summer. With TV, internet and FIFA in tow, I started following the Prem and the Champs closely with my friends, but began to expand beyond that into La Liga, and then further into North American soccer, such as MLS, NASL, USL and CPL. Along the way, I touched upon anything to do with football, including playing, coaching, Football Manager addictions, forums, podcasts, social media and supporter culture, with season tickets over the years in three different levels of local football and having helped lead supporter groups in Ottawa and Toronto.

Yet despite all the various sojourns, the Korean national team has always remained the one constant throughout my soccer fandom. It was my beginning, and it is still and always my number one. It’s what allows us to stay close with our homeland, what keeps us in touch with our friends and family while making new friends, and what brings the whole motherland and diaspora together into one big happy community. For that reason, the Korean national team means so much to all of us reading this, and why this website right here is so essential to our understanding of the Korean culture. Thanks for reading.

Follow Namu on Twitter @namujyoon


  1. Martin Kang, Korean-Norwegian, Oslo (Norway), Arsenal + FC LYN Oslo, Chinedu Obasi, Cha Du-ri. Been a dedicated supporter of the KNT since the second half of Germany vs. South Korea in WC ’94.

      • korea had some offense back in 94, though it inexplicably disappeared against bolivia. korea v. bolivia was one of the worst matches ever. there were hardly even chances from either side if i remember correctly. what’s it like being korean-norwegian?

  2. Since I’m writing for the site now, suppose I should get this up there.

    Born in Cheongju, Korea, I spent most of my childhood in Daejeon. As a young child, the memories of 2002 are few and vague, but I distinctly remember that one night when Ahn Jung-Hwan hit that monumental header to send Korea into the Quarter-Finals. The apartment complex erupted – cries of Manse! rang from far and wide. From then, I guess I was married for life. The 2006 World Cup was probably the first World Cup I vividly remember – and Lee Chun-Soo’s free kick that gave Korea 2-1 win over Togo was a moment that I will never forget. It was then that I started idolizing these stars (although Lee CS offers little in terms of a role model). I’m currently underage, as highlighted by briefly being shut out from one of the Tavern hangouts that was 18+, and I currently reside in “La Belle Province” of Quebec, Canada. As for favorite club, there’s a few. Numero uno would be Manchester United, the old stomping ground of Captain Park Ji-Sung. Daejeon Citizen holds a special place in my heart, as they are my hometown team, but I only watch a few of their games per year due to the time zones. Also, I am closely following the Ottawa Fury, a second-tier Canadian side, since I used to live there and I have friends in the supporters’ group. Obviously, I root for Koreans abroad in Europe, so my favorite teams do sometimes end up changing every year. My favorite players would be Juan Mata, Son Heung-Min and Lee Chun-Soo for the aforementioned goal in 2006. I’m honoured to write for the Tavern and I’m hoping to contribute for the years to come!

  3. I just read through some of the posts here and I love what you’re doing here.

    Name: Daniel
    Nationality: Korean American
    Where you live: Northern Virginia
    Favorite Team: Manchester United
    Favorite Player: Shevchenko, RVP, PJS

    I’ve been watching soccer religiously for about 8 years. But I fell in love with the sport while playing FIFA 2004 that’s when I pledged my allegiance to Manchester United. Then I watched soccer closely after the 2006 WC, I remember when I screamed my head off when PJS scored against France haha.

    I’ve been watching the KNT regularly since about 2006 after the WC. The tournament I focused on after that was the 2007 AC. I remember waking up at 5am just to watch Korea lose against Bahrain. We eventually got third place in PKs against Japan which felt good. It also gave us automatic qualification to the 2011 AC.

    I hope to read more of your content and contribute to this site.

  4. Oh hello guys,
    didn’t realize there’s any page like this. Let me introduce myself properly then…

    Name: Tomáš
    Age: 23
    Nationality: Czech-umm-Czech
    Where you live: Prague, CZE
    Favorite Team: Arsenal FC
    Favorite Player: Does Titi still count?

    Now, here’s an answer for *the* question: Why on earth would have a Czech person taken any interest in Korean NT in the first place?!

    Firstly, you should all know I’m into Asian football in general, not just Korea. (Here, I said it.) Korea have actually claimed the “pole position” in my hierarchy as recently as during the 2011 Asian Cup; while at the 2010 WC, for example, it was perhaps Okada’s Japan whom I’d consider to be my favourites, with Korea being the “runners-up”.

    (Hope I haven’t lost you all there, and that someone is still reading this Judas’ piece…)

    The most important thing now is that I consider myself to be quite a passionate and curious fan, or a follower rather, of the Korean NT. And that I’m also trying my best to somehow improve its image over here in the Czech Republic.

    You probably wouldn’t believe it yourself but here, Koreans are still “those cheating *** from the 2002 World Cup”, and most of the football fans I know are, indeed, in total peace with such label.
    An outrageous label, of course, and the one I’ve been slowly but surely correcting through my numerous articles about Asian football. At least I hope I have…

    So yeah, that’d be it. If you have some questions, please, just shoot – from now on I’m more than willing to engage more at this wonderful website I regularly visit.

    Obviously, my knowledge about Korea (by which I don’t mean only football) is still pretty limited, so I would also like to thank Tim, Evelyn, Jae, Roy and other contributors for educating me continuously and with particular precision. 🙂

    Hope we all have a good Asian Cup ahead of us!

  5. Name: Justin
    Nationality: Korean-American
    Location: Cary, North Carolina
    Favorite Team: Bayer Leverkusen (until Son leaves, that is…)
    Favorite Players: Son Heung-min, Ki Sung-Yueng

    I’ve been following this blog for quite a while and I love it! Might just be one the blog’s youngest followers. I’ve been religiously following the Korean National Team ever since I came out the womb- mainly because my parents are die-hard fans as well. I still remember crying as a 9-year old when we were knocked out by Switzerland at the 2006 WC… These days, I reminisce by watching the 2002 WC (and some 2010 WC + 2012 Olympics) highlights, which always give me the chills. Despite the terrible 2014 WC, I definitely see Korean football on the rise. I’m very bummed that we didn’t win the AFC Cup though. Also, I really hate that the above-average K-League players are leaving to play in the Middle East, China, etc. But anyways, I see the super-duo of Son Heung-min and Lee Seung-Woo tearing it up at the 2018 WC.

    • Hey Justin, welcome to the Tavern. Your “one of the youngest followers” comment made me chuckle a bit because I write here… and I’m younger than 18. Lol.

      Anyhow yeah, stick around, and yup – I cant wait until the world cup where the Barca Boys and Son play together.

    • Looks like you’re just a year younger than I am… you a freshman? Or still in HS? Glad to see more diehard KNT fans around my age

  6. hey, guys! can I join the party? I hope i’m not gate crashing (;
    Name: Jun
    Nationality: Korean-Kiwi
    Location: Auckland, New Zealand
    Favorite Team: Borussia Dortmund (and Liverpool sympathizer)
    Favorite Players: Son, Bergkamp, LYP, Juergen Kohler, K-H Riedle, Tony Adams (and of course other KNT players)

    I was born in Seoul and my first football memory’s USA ’94 WC, where Korea played vs Germany.. remember THAT goal from Hong?! shortly after the ’94 WC, my family moved here to NZ.

    most ppl here follow EPL, I also followed Arsenal as a kid, just before Monsieur Wenger took over at Highbury. But at the same time, unlike other kids, I followed Bundesliga and became a fan of Dortmund.

    long story short, I just love football. it doesn’t matter if it’s K-League classic, EPL, Bundesliga or even Allsvenskan lol

    • welcome! Just added you!
      We know each other on twitter right? You’re the guy who retweets pretty much everything dortmund related lol

  7. Hi everybody, I found this site recently from meeting Tim on social media and in person a couple times. We both follow Ottawa Fury FC, which plays in NASL or in the North American 2nd division, as well as Daejeon Citizen FC.

    I’m born in Seoul and raised in Daejeon before making the move to Canada when I was a teen, and footy has dominated my life in pretty much all aspects since i was 5 years old haha. This site is definitely a great resource, and I will be reading and RTing all the articles throughout the WCQ campaign.

    Name: Namu Yoon
    Age: 20’s
    Nationality: Korean-Canadian
    Where you live: Toronto, Ontario

    Favorite Team: Ottawa Fury FC, Toronto FC, Daejeon Citizen FC, Valencia CF, Korea MNT, Canada MNT
    Favorite Player: It’s all about club and country yo

    Any other info you want to leave: Twitter – @namujyoon, Blog – @OFFCReview (blog on Ottawa Fury FC, though I decided to take a break).

  8. Hey, I stumbled onto your site and was glad I found it! I am an American living in Korea. I really love K-league soccer! But it seems like most Koreans don’t, haha. Sorry, I am an amateur when it comes to soccer so go easton me. I am happy to find some fellow K-league fans.

    Name: Dongbaek Dan
    Age: 31
    Nationality: USA
    Where you live: Yongin, South Korea (Between Suwon and Bundang/Songnam)

    Favorite Team: Suwon Bluewings! I lived in Suwon for 2 years. Now I am rooting for Suwon FC since they just “leagued up” this year. I am also a fan of Jeju United (no idea why, I just like them).

    The season is just starting! I hope to get some good information out of this site. It is had to find K-League information in English.

  9. Name: Keno
    Age: Old
    Nationality: USA
    Where you live: New York City (Brooklyn)
    Favorite Team: Tottenham, NYCFC
    Favorite Player: Son, David Villa

    As you all know the USA didn’t qualify for the WC for the first time since 1986 so there has been a lot of articles about where the problem lies with the state of soccer in America. One of the key issues that pundits are pointing to is the “pay-to-play” system in US soccer youth development. Here’s a simple overview article:

    I want to ask you guys (since you guys have an ocean size of insight about Korean soccer)- Does Korean soccer development at the youth level have a similar issue where only the rich are able to afford to have their children play soccer and are pushing chlidren to go to academies overseas?

    Also, Klinsmann and a lot of nations implemented “passport grabs” where they would find dual nationals in other countries to find talent. America, Brazil, the UK, Germany, etc. has thousands- if not millions of Koreans living there. Why isn’t Korea attempting to do passport grabs? Is it simply because of the threat of mandatory military service deter Korean men from committing to being a Korean citizen?

    Looking forward to hearing you guys’ insights and thoughts.

  10. Thank you guys for doing this. I have been searching for source like this one for a long time and I can’t be happier. Thanks again. Happy to join the community.

  11. You guys ever think about making a Discord server for the site? It only takes 5-10 minutes to make and it would be a nice way to have real-time discussions and whatnot

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