Sept 28, 2012
Not to overstate, but I’m telling you, last weekend was pretty historic for Koreans foot-ballin’ in Europe. Where to start? Park Chu-Young scores his first for his club, a game winner for Celta Vigo and becomes the first Korean to score in La Liga. Son Heung-Min was (until Takashi Inui tied Son midweek) the leading asian goal scorer in the Bundesliga, netted his first brace for club, also a game winner, and is beasting it up since finding the Son-Van der Vaart connection. Ki Sung-Yeung made his debut start for Swansea, and ends up by a twist of fate (10 man situation with Dyer red card) becoming the first Korean centerback in the Premier League. Weird.
So what is going to happen next this weekend? Park Ji Sung scoring a hat trick for QPR? Stranger things have happened. Right, let’s get to it. Here’s some games to keep track of this weekend (all time are listed as US Eastern Standard Time):
Germany, Fortuna Dusseldorf vs. Shalke ’04. Now as I’m starting to write this late friday night, this game already came and went. Dusseldorf’s Cha Du-Ri came in the 83rd minute in a 2-2 draw.
Germany, Hoffenheim vs. Augsburg 9:30 am Koo Ja-Cheol is still recovering from a ankle tendon ligament injury. He will be out until possibly late October. His winless Augsburg club is in real danger of dropping off the face of the Bundesliga table -dead last.
Germany, Hamburg SV vs. Hannover 96 9:30 am Son Heung-Min is now an essential Hamburg starting XI and hungry for more goals after last weekend’s brace against Borussia Dortmund. He’s starting on the right as a forward midfield and has recently been the recipient of some smart Van der Vaart passes, resulting in 2 out of his 3 goals for Hamburg.
England, Sunderland vs. Wigan 10 am foxsoccer2go.com (tape at 2:30 on Fox Deportes, tape at 4:30 on Fox Soccer). This is going to possibly be a source of pain as the dynamic Ji Dong-Won has been forced to watch forwards Martin Fletcher and Louis Saha from the bench. While Fletcher has been their main goal-to guy, Saha has been largely ineffective, getting no goals and only one shot registered. Not sure what it will take before Martin O’Neil feels like taking a creative chance with Ji. [Update: Ji not in Sunderland’s 18 man roster].
England, Stoke vs. Swansea 10 am foxsoccer2go.com (tape at 4 on Fox Soccer Plus). Swansea has had quite a bit of drop off in form lately, coming off 2 losses in a row. Losing some key defenders to injury and red card suspensions haven’t helped, but a bright spot for the team has been Ki Sung-Yeung, who’s displayed great class and subsequently been entrusted by boss Ladrup with the last 2 starts for Swansea (although last Tuesday was a Cup match and Ki was in the unusual role as a centerback). Some of the usual centerbacks are back for the Stoke match, so expect Ki to resume his versatile role as a deep lying and attacking midfielder.
England, Cardiff City vs. Blackpool 10 am No TV. Steaming at? Cardiff almost had a chance to go to the top of the N-Power Championship table last weekend but fell short with a 3-2 loss to Crystal Palace. We’re still awaiting former Cerezo Osaka man Kim Bo-Kyung to get his first start for Cardiff. So far he’s gotten in a few minutes here and there. Cardiff’s next opponent, Blackpool is considered along with Cardiff to be another contender for promotion, so expect a tight match.
England, Bolton vs. Crystal Palace 10 am No TV, Streaming? Lee Chung-Yong has been given a break by Owen Coyle the last 2 games. Look for the ‘Blue Dragon’ as a possible starting midfielder for Saturday.
Switzerland, Lausanne Sports vs. FC Basel 1:45 pm No TV. Defender Park Joo-Ho expected to start.
Canada, Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders 9 p.m. NBC Sports Network, TSN2, RDS2. What’s this – Major League Soccer coverage on Tavern? This isn’t Europe – yeah yeah, but we’re talking about Canada -and that’s European enough for me. Ex Taeguk Warrior Lee Young-Pyo will help defend Vancouver in holding the last playoff position for the MLS Western Conference against northwest rivals Seattle.
Spain, Grenada vs. Celta Vigo 6 am No TV, Steaming? I’m pretty excited about this one, perhaps Park Chu-Young‘s first start for CV. Where’s the evidence you ask? For one, he scored a brillant game winner last Saturday against Getafe. Granted, there are some Park Chu-Young naysayers out there, but Brendan Dunlop of the Fox Soccer Report went out on a limb for Park back in late August on transfer day, declaring on air, “I think one of the biggest winners of the day is Celta Vigo. Park Chu-Young might singlehandedly be able to keep them up.” I tweeted him yesterday about Park’s game winner and he twitted back:
@taeguk_warrior yea he’ll have a few this year. If he can be successful in Spain, someone bigger will want him quick
— Brendan Dunlop(@Brendan_Dunlop) September 27, 2012
You require more evidence of Park joining the starting XI? check out Paco Herrera’s interview by KBS-N’s Chong Im-Young (it’s in Korean, English and Spanish):
Some interesting data: Celta Vigo has a diverse team capable of scoring. They are showing 6 different members of the squad credited with 1 goal each. Not too bad of an option for Paco Herrera to have, especially in La Liga.
|Enrique De Lucas
Iran, South Korea vs. Uzbekistan in the AFC U-16 Championship quarterfinals, 9:30 am, live streaming at http://www.ustream.tv/afcu16 [Korean commentary broadcast is out somewhere out there as well]. South Korea rocked group C, besting North Korea, Japan and Saudi Arabia this past week. Hwang Hee-Chan is the leading goal scorer of the tournament, getting a hat trick against North Korea and the first goal in a 3-1 victory over Japan. Again, not Europe – so now I’m putting up ( ) around EUROPE in the post title. Happy now? MONDAY
England, QPR vs. West Ham United 3pm No TV. Ok, Park Ji-Sung‘s side have been working hard with no wins to show for it. That has to end, so I’m making a highly unusual prediction, QPR 3 , West Ham 1 and PJS first goal of the season. To Park’s credit, his form has really been spot on and the QPR captain’s diligence just has be rewarded with a win…it just has to…
Ok, I’m starting to see strange things, and that’s not good. Not doing drugs, simply it’s 2am where I’m at so Tavern is finally closing for the night. I’m going to leave you with some strange but fabulous Fri nite/ Sat am music to take us out of here. Animal Collective is performing next Tuesday at Merriwether Post Pavilion in Columbia Maryland -and I’ve been waiting for years to see them. The members of the band put out some summer podcast mixes that may have inspired the new recording, Centipede HZ which came out very recently. Here’s Geologist’s mix. Enjoy and Good night!