If you are already going through football withdrawal, what with the European leagues wrapping up only a day ago, you’re in luck for a quick fix: 2nd leg of the Asian Champions League Round of 16! Which K-League sides will survive?
Tuesday May 26 [in US EST]
|KASHIWA REYSOL 6:00 AM||SUWON SAMSUNG FC|
|Venue: Hitachi Kashiwa Stadium, Kashiwa|
|Aggregate 3-2 lead for Kashiwa. Suwon have proven goal scoring abilities but with 3 away goals conceded already to Kashiwa, can Suwon stop the hemorrhaging?|
|BEIJING GUOAN||JEONBUK HYUNDAI MOTORS|
|Venue: Beijing Workers Stadium, Beijing|
Aggregate 1-1 Jeonbuk has to look behind their backs as the away goal conceded to Beijing could be the difference maker.
Wednesday May 27 [US EST]
|GAMBA OSAKA||FC SEOUL|
|Venue: Expo ’70 Stadium, Osaka|
|Aggregate 3-1 lead – looks like an insurmountable mountain to climb for Seoul…but can they beat the odds to advance?|
|GUANGZHOU EVERGRANDE||SEONGNAM FC|
|Venue: Guangzhou Tianhe Sport Center, Guangzhou|
Aggregate 1-2 lead for Seongnam – THE surprise of the ACL round of 16 1st leg- Seongnam continues to astonish- if they can maintain their ACL form – they will have knocked out a giant – Asia’s champion from 2013 and furthers their adventure despite their status as a underfunded citizen’s club.
In the US, One World Sports will broadcast on 3 hour delay -however not many have this obscure cable channel. Alternative streaming options exist.
Ki Sung-Yeung won this season’s Swansea Supporter’s Player of the Year award. He is recovering from minor knee surgery and should return in time for preseason training. Meanwhile Son Heung-Min was voted Asian player of the year by FourFourTwo magazine – other Koreans in Europe like Ki (#3) also ranked high in the list. Bit of a surprise on the list: Cha Du-Ri clocks in at #13 – but perhaps it shouldn’t be – his standout performance during the Asian Cup was appropriately cited. Others making the list: Kim Young-Gwon (#20), Kim Jin-Su (#23), Koo Ja-Cheol (#30), Kwak Tae-Hwi (#39). FourFourTwo however errs mightily by listing Park Joo-Ho #45 on the list. Behind Kwak Tae-Hwi? The Tavern gives a wag of the finger for that gaffe.
Those in need of a football fix will also set their calendars in June for the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada. Meanwhile, the US and Korea get in their last tuneup on May 30th at Red Bull Arena at 4:30 pm EST in New Jersey. That game will be nationally broadcast in the US on ESPN. Ji So-Yun and Park Eun-Sun are going to be potentially lethal combo – however the squad did suffer a setback: Yeo Min-Ji tore a knee ligament during practice and will be out for 8 weeks. Her replacement will be midfielder Park Hee-Young.
Within the US, there will be some spotty broadcast coverage of the Women’s World Cup. While Fox Sports One is a widely distributed cable network (as most cable packages go), Fox Sports 2 is not. That is where you will find 2 out of 3 Korea group match games.
Here’s the broadcast listings
Tues June 9 7:00 PM EST Brazil vs Korea Republic @ Montreal FOX Sports 1
Sat June 13 7:00 PM EST Korea Republic vs Costa Rica @Montreal FOX Sports 2
Wed June 17 7:00 PM EST Korea Republic vs Spain @Ottawa FOX Sports 2
One possible way around that in the US is via Fox Sports Go that utilizes mobile / tablet devices password connected to cable packages that offer at least some of the Fox sports networks (think ESPN3 access and you get the idea of how that works). I may try to go to my local soccer bar (codeswitch alert) to view the game – they usually have even the obscure soccer channels like Fox Sports 2.
We’ll list these again in a separate posting. Should Korea advance out of group E, all advance stage matches will be broadcast by either Fox Sport 1 or the flagship Fox network.
Of course, let’s not forget the men’s squad – first World Cup Qualifier for the 2018 World Cup will be against Myanmar June 16 – though the setting will be in a neutral country -in this case Thailand. Myanmar is being punished by FIFA for mal-behavior by supporters in a previous match. Again, we’ll have a future post on all the worthy calendar events / fixtures / tournaments / etc – stay tuned.