The rise and rise of Seoul E-Land FC Joo Min-Kyu

Hello All,

First the introductions, my name is Nicole Chung and I am the new Tavern of the Taeguk Warriors contributor. Roy found me on Twitter and asked me to help contribute to the blog so here I am. I am currently a final year media student at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. My football interests are the Korean National team, K League (first and second division) and the Bundesliga. The teams I root for in the Bundesliga are Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen. My first piece for the blog will be on rising star Joo Min-Kyu. I am new to blogging so any feedback would be great.

Joo Min-Kyu

Who is Joo Min-Kyu?

People who follow the K League will be quite familiar with Joo Min-Kyu as he is receiving much interest from both the media and fans for his fantastic K League performances (Tv report on Joo Min-Kyu). Joo Min-Kyu is a 25 year old striker who plays for newly founded K League Challenge team Seoul E-Land FC. Up until December last year Joo Min-Kyu was on an expiring contract with K League Challenge team Goyang Hi FC. But he received a call from Seoul E-Land FC manager Martin Rennie to join the club. Rennie also told Joo Min-Kyu to swap his position from a defensive midfielder to a striker. As he saw a striker potential in him. Rennie is getting much praise for this action.

Joo Min-Kyu’s statics in the K League Challenge

Seoul Eland table

Joo Min-Kyu is currently K League Challenge’s top scorer with 15 goals and 2 assists in 16 matches. But if you include the FA Cup he scored 17 goals in 18 matches. That’s nearly (94%) a goal every game. These results are very impressive for a player who recently changed positions from a defensive midfielder to a striker. Although there will be haters for example. Some people are saying that these statics don’t mean anything as Joo Min-Kyu plays in K League Challenge and it’s not a competitive league. People can be very harsh. In my opinion I think Joo Min-Kyu has so much potential to be a great striker. Also all of his goals are quite magnificent. For example, the most famous one of his goals were a carbon copy goal of James Rodriguez 2014 World Cup goal. Which went viral and gave Joo Min-Kyu the nickname of Joomes/ 주메스 (Seoul E-Land FC striker Minkyu Joo scored James Rodriguez’s volley goal in World Cup 2014). Or his similar Luis Suarez goal (Minkyu Joo scored after fantastic first touch similar as Luiz Suarez scored against Real Madrid).

Interesting fact: The history behind Joo Min-Kyu’s jersey number (18) is because of his admiration with former Korean national team player and current Pohang Steelers manager Hwang Sun-Hong. Hwang had the jersey number of 18 back then. He said “being a striker was just a dream for me and when I was young I looked up to Hwang Sun-Hong. I wanted to be a player like him who can score many goals. This jersey number is very important to me and gives me great pride.”

Joo Min-Kyu for the 2015 East Asian Cup in China

With Joo Min-Kyu’s goal scoring talents being noticed by the Korean fans and the media many people want him to be called up for the national team or at least the East Asian Cup. With national manager Uli Stielike recently saying that he is open to calling up players from the K League Challenge. There has been much talk and many news articles on whether Joo Min-Kyu would get a call up or not. For example, some fans have been saying “even a player like Lee Yong-Jae who plays in the J League second division is getting called up. Joo Min-Kyu should get a chance too.” In my opinion Joo Min-Kyu definitely have great talents in him maybe Stielike should test his abilities too. What’s your opinion? Should Joo Min-Kyu get a national team call up or is it too soon?

That is all for now, thank you for reading.





  1. Not to be super critical but he’s in the second tier. He really should be scoring that much as an inspiring striker! Let’s hope he can keep up in the bigger league.

    • He’s really a breakout player this year, and has been doing exceptionally well. If Stielike could afford to call up a Sangju Sangmu nobody and he turned out to be okay, then he can certainly also afford to call up a K League Challenge beast for the East Asian Cup.

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