Weekend Listing Feb 3 & 4 / Wales derby+ Son Heung-Min Goal [update]

Weekend Listings -courtesy of Korean Footballers Abroad,

Day Time (ET) Player Club Opponent TV
Friday 2:30 PM Son Heung Min Bayer Leverkusen @Gladbach GolTV
Saturday 9:30 AM Koo Ja Cheol Mainz @Wolfsburg None
Saturday 9:30 AM Park Joo Ho Mainz @Wolfsburg None
Saturday 10:00 AM Lee Chung Yong Bolton AFC Bournemouth None
Saturday 10:00 AM Ki Sung Yueng Sunderland Hull City NBC Sports
Saturday 10:00 AM Park Chu Young Watford @Leicester City BeIn
Saturday 12:30 PM Kim Bo Kyung Cardiff City @Swansea NBC
Saturday 12:45 PM Park Ji Sung PSV Eindhoven FC Twente GolTV
Sunday 9:30 AM Hong Jeong Ho Augsburg @Stuttgart GolTV
Sunday 9:30 AM Ji Dong Won Augsburg @Stuttgart GolTV

Weekend highlights:

    • The 2nd South Wales derby this season, this time at Swansea should be a cracker of a game, especially since both clubs are in a bit of turmoil and in relegation danger. Swansea, though not in the zone, are part of the bottom 10 clubs in the table -each and every one of those clubs are a loss from going into the zone. Latest news midweek involved Swansea sacking Michael Ladrup- was it perhaps a part of the reason he was sacked was his mishandling of the Ki Sung-Yeung situation last summer – the falling out between the two resulting in Ki temporarily leaving the club. The fact Ki is having a stellar year for Sunderland on loan has added to the board’s unhappiness with the sense that Ladrup is losing control, what with reports of infighting in the clubhouse. Cardiff’s maniacial owner Vincent Tan, after sacking Malky Mackaye earlier in the year, hasn’t had too much success since having Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in charge. They were very recently at the bottom of the table. However last week’s 2-1 win against Norwich gave the Bluebirds some breathing room -while off the bottom, are still in the ‘zone’. With Ki on loan to Sunderland, choosing sides in the derby should be fairly easy, but it’s a waiting game to see if Kim Bo-Kyung gets the nod to join the starting XI on Saturday. Update: originally on NBC’s internet streaming option only, the NBC main network is now carrying the Swansea/Cardiff derby live at 12:30 pm EST.
    • Park Chu-Young, on loan to Watford for the rest of the season -may be playing in front of a US TV audience Saturday morning – BeInSport will be broadcasting the English Championship match (a rarity around here), with Leicester playing host.
    • Ki Sung-Yeung and Sunderland are flying high these days, epic escape from the relegation zone, a League Cup Wembley stadium final in March with Manchester City – but they’re not out of the woods yet. 14th place is by no means a safe place to be, and with some tough fixtures ahead, a meeting with Steve Bruce’s Hull City is a must win for the Blackcats
    • The new dynamic duo of Park Joo-Ho and Koo Ja-Cheol over at Mainz is still basking in glory after last weekend’s all Korean scoring affair over Freiburg. Mainz moves to striking range of a European spot. Koo is about to face his former employers, Wolfsburg on Saturday. While the captain of the KNT can enjoy the rest of his career in Europe thanks to the 2-0 Bronze medal match over Japan in 2012, Park is starting to sweat the fact that unless he wins an Olympic or Asian Gold medal, he will have to remove himself from Europe to serve in the South Korean military. There’s an article in Bild quoting Mainz Manager Christian Heidel about low transfer fee and a short contract ending in 2015 a direct result of Park’s looming military service -he’s 27 years old, a year away from entering the service. “..but on a Korean-law exception: Heidel is hoping for a successful performance at the Olympics, the Asian Games or the World Cup to allow Korean players including Park exemption from military service.”  The article then gets an interesting quote from an unlikely source: “It depends on the mood of our people,” says Jong Seok Yun, head of the cultural department of the Korean Embassy in Berlin. “If there is general opinion that footballers should be rewarded, the sports minister could write a petition over which the Cabinet will then decide!”  Yun goes on to leave open the possibility that mandatory military service might be delayed to age 30 or 31 – instead of starting at age 28.  I detail the problem facing Korean football with looming military conscription in last month in the online journal, In Bed With Maradona. This Bild article will be discussed further in an upcoming Tavern post.
    • In the meantime, in light of the Korean contributions for Mainz recently, the Bundesliga’s official youtube channel put together a Top 10 Korean goals scored in Germany over the years. Senior Cha is of course represented…

    • BTW, Park Ji-Sung went 90 minutes in a 2-1 win for PSV Eindhoven over Cambuur Leeuwarden last Wednesday. PSV Einhoven faces FC Twente this weekend.
    • Son Heung-Min (and possibly Ryu Seung-Woo) are at Borussia M’Gladbach today. [Update: GOOOOOAAAALLL!!!!   Son scores in the 61st minute – so far the only goal of the match…]


[Update: …and that’s the game, Son’s solo goal earns 3 points for Bayer Leverkusen. Good start to the weekend.]  Son’s post match interview with Bundesliga English website: “That was an important goal and I’m really, really happy. It was a good shooting position for me to be in and I had the time to pick my spot. I often practice that after the game, and today it paid off. We were also lucky, but everybody could see how much passion we put into it.”

We might have more updates later today, so stay tuned. If you haven’t ventured into the Tavern in a while, check out the insightful analysis from the other Tavern writers this week in the aftermath of the KNT’s mini US Tour. A lot to unpack and much to garner in forecasting the Taeguk Warrior’s World Cup 23 man roster going forward to Brazil.


Late note: As much as I try to make the Tavern an all inclusive Tavern for worldwide accessability, honestly it ends up catering to a more US-centric view.  I want to make the Tavern something everyone around the world can utilize, but in the meantime,if you are a Tavern goer outside the US, it might mean an extra step in time translations and finding the right broadcast means to watching Koreans in top flight football.  All apologies and good hunting in finding and watching your favorite football match this weekend.

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  1. sunderland is on nbc sports because of jozy, right? just curious, since hull city v. sunderland is not exactly a sexy matchup unless you have particular players you are wanting to see. it definitely makes it helpful then that ki and altidore are on the same team. i really like altidore btw and feel bad for him that the fact that he hasn’t scored seems to have the media putting pressure on him, though i don’t know if he concerns himself with all that. it’s good to see sunderland doing well in general though.

  2. Yeah, I think it’s safe to say NBC has aired and will continue to air Sunderland games on the NBCSP channel b/c of Jozy. His performances have been a mixed bag – some good contributions mixed in with troublesome finishing. Sunderland has really pulled it together -credit the players like Ki, Borini and Gardner – and a lot of credit to Gus Poyet – good management decisions overall.

    • btw, does anyone else watch altidore and think he’d fit in really well with the korean strikers? lol. decent passer, scores once in a while, but generally needs to really improve finishing….. well, at least it’ll be nothing new for ki to play with a striker like that. =P

  3. First, Go, Liverpool! Thrashed Arsenal. Swansea dominated Cardiff in the second half. Kim was decent, but aside from Bellamy, Cardiff did little and their back 4 were just atrocious.

      • Kim wasn’t horrible. He certainly wasn’t good, but it would be a bit unfair to lay it on just him. It didn’t really seem like he was involved, but EVERYONE on Cardiff except Bellamy, in my opinion, did little to nothing, especially in the second half. Lot of standing around by the defense as well.

  4. Granted….Brown’s dumber than a box of rocks. We know this.

    But Ki….why is he so inconsistent? He’s done this now for Celtic, Swansea and now Sunderland. He’s gone missing quite a bit lately and Ive seen enough of his professional career now to notice he does have a tendency to have major ruts. I hope this isn’t one of them.

    Not now.

    • Thought about it this morning and I think Ill wait for Ki to play with some higher caliber players before casting judgment on his consistency. haha hows that for wishful thinking.

      In all seriousness, He’s played with mediocre to junk his entire career thus far.

  5. My opinion of Ki is that he is more likely to show up for big matches or pressure matches and sort of doesn’t care about lesser matches. This was a big match for Sunderland in terms of relegation threat, but it wasn’t nearly as hyped as when they were already in the zone. I’m not worried about Ki in the World Cup, because he tends to be more focused for the National Team. That said, everything I’m saying about him is certainly not a compliment. You’re right, he needs to stay consistent and not disappear. My worry would be him in the Algeria match if he thinks it’ll be a cakewalk. Lol. However, I predict he’ll be focused for that one, too.

    • Not trying to be confrontational but ‘not caring about lesser games’?

      It irks me when fans presume way too much. It almost seems like wishful thinking.

      Besides that point, If he really thought this way, Id really start to dislike Ki as a footballer. Not baller should have this kind of attitude.


      • It is a presumption, but I’m only saying my interpretation of what seems a trend based on evidence, as anecdotal as it may seem. Think about when he has had great games. It’s always in bigger matches. Think about when he has had pretty bad matches. They’re usually not in bigger matches. I’m just sayin. I don’t really delve into wishful thinking. I just say what I think I see and admit that I could be wrong. Wishful thinkers will never admit they’re wrong.

          • I also probably should have been more careful and precise with my words and say that I think Ki tends to have a let down rather than saying that he doesn’t care. That was what I meant to say anyway.

    • I hear what you are saying…I saw part of the match – it seemed like Ki was off his game, but so was a number of his teammates, they were all tactically knocked off their moorings with the super early Wes Brown red card – that’s my 3 cents on the matter…

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