Crunch time in Europe / an FC Seoul revival underway? + more as we list some possible games of interest this weekend involving Korean ballers: let’s begin, shall we?
We begin with Europe, listing courtesy of Korean Footballers Abroad (Time in US EST/ TV listed for US)
|Friday||3:00 PM||Kim Bo Kyung||Wigan||@Fulham||None|
|Saturday||7:45 AM||Ki Sung Yueng||Swansea||Everton||NBCSN|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Hong Jeong Ho||Augsburg||@SC Paderborn||None|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Ji Dong Won||Augsburg||@SC Paderborn||None|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Son Heung Min||Bayer Leverkusen||@Mainz||None|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Koo Ja Cheol||Mainz||Leverkusen||None|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Park Joo Ho||Mainz||Leverkusen||None|
|Saturday||10:00 AM||Lee Chung Yong||Crystal Palace||@Sunderland||NBC Extra Time|
|Sunday||8:30 AM||Yun Suk Young||QPR||@Chelsea||NBCSN|
|Sunday||9:30 AM||Kim Jin Su||Hoffenheim||@FC Koln||GolTV|
|Sunday||2:15 PM||Suk Hyun Jun||Vitoria Setubal||Sporting Lisbon||None|
- Relegation troubled QPR are within sight of safety but it’s getting down to the wire. 7 games remaining, they visit Chelsea and will likely be without Yun Suk-Young, who is still recovering from a concussion suffered last week.
- Speaking of relegation, Friday’s Wigan v Fulham results are in: 2-2 draw. 90 minutes for Kim Bo-Kyung. Gary Caldwell’s debut game in charge of Wigan, he’s stepped into the cauldron and it’s beginning to look doubtful the Lactics will escape the drop.
- Quasi-derby in Germany, Son Heung-Min & Leverkusen go to Mainz to visit Koo Ja-Cheol and Park Joo-Ho (PJH according to Vavel, is a target of acquisition over the summer by 2 German clubs, Augsburg and Hamburg)
- Suk Hyun-Jun, like Yun, is also recovering from concussion. He’s listed as a maybe for Sunday.
We go to Korea where they are within an hour of kickoff for Saturday’s K-League Classic games (all times in US EST):
Saturday, April 11
Sunday, April 12
- The Seongnam v Busan game will be streamed
(delayed) at 8am ESTnow on SPOTV. You can watch that here. I could be wrong, but I think they are only delay broadcasting in the US…?
- All other matches can be streamed live (using creative means…)
- The more tantalizing fixtures looks like Jeju/Pohang on Saturday. On Sunday, all 3 games look interesting. Could upstarts Gwangju give Jeonbuk a run for the money? Meanwhile, with the intro of Park Chu-Young in the 2nd half last week, FC Seoul sparked back to life with a victory over Jeju. Can they continue their season overhaul while visiting Incheon?
K League Challenge (2nd tier) don’t have league matches this weekend (
are they tied up with FA Cup duties ? I’ll get back to you with more on this later).
What games will you be watching this weekend?
Extra Time: The Suwon JS Cup (JS for Ji-Sung? update: yes: JS as in Park Ji-Sung/ Suwon is his hometown) an international youth tourney will have a bit of star power for the KNT U18:
LRT: If understood correctly, Barça Boys Lee Seungwoo and Paik Seungho will play in an U18 tourney in Suwon for the U18KNT. #lamasia
— Tim Lee (@korfan12) April 10, 2015
The player's father told the paper that Lee SW will participate in the U18 event where Korea will face Uruguay, Belgium, and France teams.
— Jae (이재혁) (@ArmchairRegista) April 9, 2015
But that begs the question, what about their Barcelona teammate, Jang Gyeol-hee?
Lastly: Theis Bliemeister is a name you’d probably not recognize. You do know Son Heung-Min – instant name recognition for Korean football enthusiasts. And straight from the Tavern midweek headlines, a relatively new name to get familiar with in the future, 20 year old Choi Kyoung-Rok, who made a sensational debut for his 2.Bundesliga side St Pauli on Monday with a 2 goal 1 assist performance, all adding to a 4-0 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf. The connection? Theis is the talent agent for both Son and Choi. He’s also representing Park Jung-Bin (Karlsruhe), Kim Dongsu (Hamburg U23) and another Korean youth player at SC Concordia. A recent Bild article highlights his fairly unique operation that connects German clubs with Korean youth talent. Deep connections / networks in Korea? He’s in with Son Heung-Min’s father, Son Wong-Jung, who runs his own academy. Me thinks the Son Academy would be in the habit of developing skilled ‘ballers. Along with scouts on the ground in Korea, he’s continuing to comb around to find others like Son and Choi for opportunities to train and possibly break in with German clubs. Inadvertently he’s helping* to solve a problem endemic within Korean football, namely the lack of professional opportunities for youths between ages 16-19 — precisely the age range of players Bliemeister represents (*helping in a fractional sense given he represents 5 players in Germany. If that number was say, 10 times higher, Tavern Sainthood would automatically be bestowed on him).
[Thanks to Takeuchi for tweeting about that article].