Thursday Kickaround / Free Kimbo!?

While we wait for Saturday’s last Asia Cup group clash between Korea v Australia, today’s kickaround takes an analytical look at Korea v Kuwait. We also catch up with what’s happening with other developments, including some transfer news and the Korea Women’s come from behind win in a friendly with China. 

But as the Tavern owner is on the go, we will update this post throughout the day so come back for more…

Let’s start with Jae’s twitter analysis of Korea v Kuwait:



Alright, let’s get off this twitter plane for a moment.  Here’s Group A standings:

Position P W L D F A +/- Pts
2 2 0 0 8 1 7 6
2 2 0 0 2 0 2 6
2 0 2 0 1 5 -4 0
2 0 2 0 0 5 -5 0


With Australia and Korea qualifying for the knockouts, both tied on points, the Socceroos has a 5 goal difference to edge out Korea. A draw on Saturday would maintain that status quo. Korea would need to beat Australia outright to top the Group. As Jinseok mentioned in the Asia Cup preview podcast, the advantage of winning the group is an extra day of rest and either Group B’s Saudi Arabia, China or Uzbekistan as quarterfinal opponents (North Korea will be going home early with 0 points thus far).


At this point for Team Korea, they have some tricky personnel questions as they take on Australia. Rest Ki, who’s played both Oman and Kuwait matches?  Who will be the CB pair this time?

On the run – will update in a few hours, Suk Hyun-Jun made a transfer move within the Portugal Liga and will Kim Bo-Kyung finally see the light of day? #FreeKimbo ….stay tuned.

————-and I’m back:

Lee Chung-Yong will not need surgery, this according to the KFA after getting a hairline fracture on his shin – that happening during Korea’s opening Asia Cup win against Oman last week. He’s back in Korea and now has a cast on his shin to immobilize it. To note, there wasn’t a yellow card or even a foul issued in the dangerous tackle on him during that match. Could it impact his ability to transfer out of Bolton?  Just got word that he’s flying from Korea to Bolton on Friday. Stay tuned…

Suk Hyun-Jun transferred from CD Nacional to Vitória de Setúbal, another Portgual Liga club. He’s signed on until 2018. The ex-Ajax journeyman scored 4 goals across all competitions for CD Nacional this season.  Not sure what the rational was for this lateral move to a club 2 positions lower on the table.

Right now, MLS Draft going on right now. Not a fan of the draft – it brings in university players to a professional level late in their stage of development (some experts argue world class players start getting a crack at club minutes between age 16-17). DC United’s pick, for example, is 21 years old.  Anyway…nice to see Owen Coyle back helming a club, this time at Houston. The ex-Bolton coach, who managed Lee Chung-Yong several years ago, spoke a few minutes to MLS Live during the draft about his excitement working with young players.  Just a class manager. Ok, Back to hanguk chugu stuff…

In August, as Cardiff was readying their return to English Championship football, Kim Bo-Kyung rejected overtures from Celtic as then Bluebirds manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer persuaded ‘Kimbo’ that he had a unique place with the team. Team turmoil, Malky-MoodyGate and a manager sacking later, #Free Kimbo has been the mantra at the Tavern since he’s been on the outs with new manager Slade.  Now there’s renewed interest from Celtic with a possible swap for Adam Matthews in the works during this January transfer window.  Tavern owner thoughts: Kimbo might be better off in Germany, but who knows, Ki Sung-Yeung was able to shine at Celtic, maybe Kimbo can get on a better footing in Glasgow.

Stay Tuned – We’ll be back in an hour…

—–Back for the last part of today’s Kickaround…

The Korean Women’s team have been in Shenzhen for the Four Nations Cup, a friendly international with hosts China along with Canada, and Mexico. Korea shot ahead by a goal against 9th ranked Canada before succumbing in a close 1-2 loss last Sunday (goal: Yeo Min-Ji / assist Ji So-Yun).  That was followed by a 2-3 come from behind victory against China on Tuesday (goals: Yoo Young-Ah, Ji So-Yun, and Jeon Ga-Eul). Today the Lady Taeguk Warriors beat Mexico 2-1 and finshed 2nd in the tournament overall. Not a bad showing, especially with the Women’s World Cup looming in June.

Speaking of which, FIFA once again stayed with the decision to hold the Women’s World Cup on artificial turf, this despite Abby Wambach talking to FIFA officials during the Ballon d’Or ceremony this week. Several months ago, the world’s best women’s international players (including Chelsea’s Ji So-Yun) signed an accord asking for FIFA to reverse their decision to play on artificial turf in Canadian stadiums including this summer – saying it wasn’t an equal playing field with the men’s World Cup played on grass fields. They also argued it would increase injury risks, a charge that FIFA denies.

and Ji Dong-Won played 45 minutes in an exhibition test match today for Augsburg. According to some reports, played fairly well, good touches, no goals.


Before Tim posts his Australia v Korea preview, I leave you with the question that Jae posed earlier: considering Stielike still seems to be improvising the lineup on the fly – this despite the fact Korea is in the midst of the tournament, should players like Ki play or rest against Australia (again, knowing Korea already qualified for the knockout rounds)?

Here’s a follow up question: if you were Stielike, who would you field against Australia?   I have my thoughts on the matter but I’ll open up the Tavern at this point. Discuss…

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  1. Here is a good article. I really liked this quote from the article: “Stielike, who took over in September, said he wanted his legacy in South Korea to be a strong link between the domestic league and the national team.”

    Perhaps we have a guy with a long term vision for helping to improve the K-League in whatever capacity of influence he carries.

    Read more:
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    • It’s an interesting read (thanks for sharing), and I hope he truly means it. The K League and the club owners will need to take a long and hard look at how they operate if Stielike’s hopes are to be realized one day.

  2. I think Korea should play a 4231 with Lee Keun Ho up top, Son Heung min on the left, Kim Min Woo on the right, Nam Tae Hee in the #10 position, Koo Ja Cheol and Park Joo Hoo in the midfield. Back 4 should consist of Kwak Tae Hee, Jang Hyun Soo, Cha Du Ri, and Kim Jin Su. KISY should be rested until the 60th minutes.

    I would love to see SHM partnered up with another striker in a two striker lineup, but I don’t think we’ll see this happen.

  3. on a topic regarding to women’s world cup, i can’t see canada ever changing to grass field. i don’t think inequality has a major part in regards to the decision to play the world cup in turf. most of canada’s outdoor sport have always been played in turf in the first place. if american football stadiums are used, they’re mostly turf. if you take a look at toronto, montreal, and vancouver soccer stadiums, they’re turf. I do agree that it’s unfair that these women have to play their world cup in turf, but the blame mainly should lie in canada and not on fifa (as much as i hate them) for not willing to change from turf to grass. how hard it is to change from turf to grass? i don’t know. we probably need an expert on that.

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