Weekend Listing Jan 25 + Son Heung Min: Korean Footballer of the Year


Still riding high at the Tavern from Ki and Sunderland’s knocking out Man U in the League Cup semis, thus the Taeguk-gi flag is raised at the Tavern – Ki making a return trip to Wembley. I have a feeling the flag will have reason to continue flying this weekend, so let’s visit the listings shall we (provided in thanks to Korean Footballers Abroad):

Day Time (ET) Player Club Opponent TV
Saturday 9:30 AM Hong Jeong Ho Augsburg @Dortmund None
Saturday 9:30 AM Ji Dong Won Augsburg @Dortmund None
Saturday 9:30 AM Son Heung Min Bayer Leverkusen @SC Freiburg GolTV
Saturday 9:30 AM Koo Ja Cheol Mainz @Stuttgart None
Saturday 9:30 AM Park Joo Ho Mainz @Stuttgart None
Saturday 10:00 AM Lee Chung Yong Bolton Cardiff City (FA Cup) Fox Sports 2
Saturday 10:00 AM Kim Bo Kyung Cardiff City @Bolton (FA Cup) Fox Sports 2
Saturday 10:00 AM Ki Sung Yueng Sunderland Kidderminster (FA Cup) Fox Sports 1
Saturday 2:45 PM Park Ji Sung PSV Eindhoven AZ Alkmaar GolTV

and on Saturday, the first Korea match of the year – this one against Costa Rica will be televised in the US on ESPN Deportes at roughly 9pm EST / 5pm PST / 10 am (Sunday) Korea Time.

Talking points:

    • Bundesliga returns from winter hibernation. Ryu Seung-Woo isn’t listed here, however it isn’t out of the question that he might in the 18 man roster for Bayer Leverkusen’s match with Freiburg.  He’s technically listed as a member of the 1st team thus far – not loaned out and not in the reserves as far as we can tell.
    • And yes, Ryu’s teammate Son Heung-Min was voted by 200 journalists and Korea FA officials as the Korean Footballer of the Year. Obviously he couldn’t be there in Seoul to receive it in person but sent a video message of gratitude and called it “an honor.”  He is just 21 years old. The past 2 years, Ki Sung-Yeung took the award.
    • Speaking of Ki, earlier in the week a letter surfaced allegedly written by his dad that detailed the nature of Ki’s falling out with Ladrup – all starting with his request to seek treatment for a leg injury sustained at Chelsea last season. It was published in the online site Roker Report on Wednesday, which they sourced from Naver. How much veracity there is in the report?  Not 100% sure, but if confirmed, it would explain why Ki sought out a transfer despite having a stellar first season at Swansea.
    • The eventual game winning penalty kick by Ki that ensured his 2nd trip in a row to Wembley for the League Cup final? It was almost taken by Bardsley.
  •  and still on Ki: Happy 25th Birthday to Ki today! Here’s Sunderland twitternouncement:


  • Ji Dong-Won reportedly injured for Augsburg, having just joined them after transferring from Sunderland. To paraphrase Monty Python: “(he) got better.” He will not might play on Saturday against his future teammates in Borussia Dortmund -who he will join in a multi year contract after July.
  • Sort of/kind of but not really a derby: Bolton squares off against Cardiff in the 4th round of FA Cup action. Both teams are struggling as of late. No guarantee, but likely that Lee Chung-Yong and Kim Bo-Kyung will be out representing their teams respectively.
  • Park Chu-Young was not in the 18 man roster for Arsenal’s FA Cup 4-0 beat down of Coventry today. Arsene the Wenger issued in the press release when asked about him saying plainly that Park wasn’t injured – and that to his knowledge no bids have come in for him.
  • On the Korea v Costa Rica friendly on Saturday, here’s a prematch report by YonhapNews. I’m very excited to announce that we have our West Coast Tavern peeps going to the match at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Hey, West Coast really does represent!  Stay tuned for Jeremy Paek’s report…and I think in turn he’s getting interviewed by the folks from a football report
  • Looking ahead to the February 1 clash at StubHub center with the USMNT, Jurgen Klinsmann put out the roster to face Korea. Steven Goff in the Washington Post reported: “Buoyed by the large Korean community in Los Angeles, ticket sales are approaching 22,000 — a much larger response than for typical U.S. friendlies during the winter camp. Capacity is around 27,000. ESPN2 and UniMas will provide coverage, starting at 5 p.m. ET.”  Right on, it’s a home match -for the KNT.
  • Team Korea lost to Iraq 1-0 Thursday in the AFC U22 Championship. Ayguhnah…
  • For East Coast Tavern goers, some exciting news in around DC area: likely there will be a World Cup viewing party in Dupont Circle in Washington on June 22 [possibly with additional dates], all the fixtures that day including the Korea v Algeria match – broadcast on large screen TVs pending FIFA and ESPN/ABC permission. The organizer, Dupont Festival‘s Aaron DeNu is planning on reaching some of the embassies of the countries playing that day to see if they can get them involved, including the South Korean embassy. The Tavern owner has made contact with Aaron, we will have an interview with him shortly. There is the possibility that the Tavern will help in collaborating on this event to make this at least one official viewing party. No doubt DC/MD/VA Taeguk Warrior supporters will show up and represent.  In the meantime – I’m asking all US and Canadian Tavern goers (maybe more countries if possible) to see if you can help us identify all the World Cup viewing parties broadcasting the Korea matches.  Hopefully we can offer for anybody coming by the Tavern an organized/easy to find reference showing where all the Taeguk Warrior viewing parties are.  In LA and Korea, I’d imagine it’d be easy to find and document, but less so in Mississippi (hang in there Mississippi Tavern goers).


Hey, Jae’s back and he bring news on Park Ji-Sung turning down Hong Myong-bo’s personal request to come out of international retirement. I didn’t think it would change the calculus much, but don’t be surprised if Park joins the team on a consult/quasi assistant coach role.



About Roy Ghim 454 Articles
The old Tavern Owner


  1. Hey, not really back . . . yet. The Park Ji-Sung thing is just something that’s been kind of irking me. Love him for what he’s done, and he seems to be a really good guy, but he should stay retired, and I don’t really like how public Hong has been in terms of wanting him back as I don’t think it sends the right message to his current group.

    • Him trying to add Park Ju Young is even worse an idea as far as sending the wrong message to the youngins.

      I get that we don’t have many options but its not like PCY is going to help us that much. He’s not Luis Suarez. Nowhere close. But of course people love to play hindsight 20/20 and love to say things like “well if so and so was there, he would’ve scored” buzzzzzzzz…..wrong

      anyways Im going off track.

      • I disagree. If someone can give a good explanation as to who they think is actually better than Park Ju Young, then make the argument. It doesn’t matter what the youngins think. What matters is that Hong fields the best team possible. There will always be exceptions and people are not bothered when exceptional players get a little more leeway. No, PJY isn’t Luis Suarez, but he might as well be in the Korean pool of strikers. He is SIGNIFICANTLY better than the next striker Korea has, who would be… I guess JDW? or maybe LKH? I mean, you literally have to pause before you can think who MIGHT be the SECOND best player. Now if we were debating whether JDW, LKH, or PJY is the best striker, than yea, we can talk about dropping PJY, but that isn’t the case here. I’ve posted this elsewhere, but Ahn Jung Hwan was not doing much prior to his 2002 World Cup, but he got called up because he was in decent playing shape, granted he got a few games in as well, and because he was significantly more talented than the next striker (considering LDG was in the doghouse, of course). And look what he did at the World Cup. When there is enough disparity in talent between the #1 and #2 (as is the case here until I’m shown otherwise), then not taking your #1 because he’s been riding the bench of one of the top teams in the world is not enough to leave him home. Heck, PJY’s practice time is probably better than the limited Sunderland time JDW got or the playing time that LKH got. And yes, let’s not forget that JDW barely played this year either, regardless of how much he might play in the coming months with Augsburg. As for LKH and KSW, I haven’t heard anyone argue that they are actually a better player than PJY, who also is only 28 and in his prime. So to conclude this long comment, I have a couple sincere questions. Does anyone here really believe that PJY is not significantly, I repeat, significantly, better than whoever is the next best striker? Because I really want to hear it. Then the follow up question if you agree with me is, would you really leave your best striker at home for the likes of LKH, KSW, or JDW? I’d really love Roy and Jae’s opinion on this as well.

        P.S. I hope my comment doesn’t sound aggressive. I’m an MBTI INTP, so sometimes it sounds that way, but I’m just wanting to say and hear good, objective (as much as possible) points. And I appreciate that I even have people to debate with here at the tavern, since up until the tavern, I had to pretty much talk to myself! =)

        • In truth, the management situation with the NT for the last 5 or 6 years has irked me to no end. So when Hong took the post, I was mildly ecstatic for it. I had seen what he had done with the olympic team, seen the huddle ups with his squad, saw him light a match under his talent when they needed to hear it. Respectable leadership is what this team has needed for a long long time.

          So I was happy when he laid out his principles and vows for the NT’s future. Especially about the bit on how his team will be built around those playing to the max pot. Players priming. I was stoked to hear all of this. SO…to hear him go back on his word was a bit devastating. Not because of the actual verbiage but by the realization that Hong is cracking. He’s showing panic which is something I didnt think Id see from him. I took what he said to heart and to hear him go back on it took the last of the confidence I had pretty much. Ill be supporting of course but Im keeping my expectations down. If we make it out of the grouping, Ill consider that a huge success.

          I wanted to see Hong do this without damaging his integrity. Im afraid thats gone now.

          I could wax on and on why I don’t think Park is significantly better than his cohorts, especially with this time off, but I think its pretty pointless. To assume he’s getting good practice time with the Gunners would be especially wishful, imo. Kim SW would be my choice this summer only because he brings height and aggression which might be able to make up for the talent lost. Or JDW with Son playing shallow.

          Perhaps 4-2-4 is the answer lol. I think we are in deep doodoo regardless. Ill be happy to eat my words though.

    • Not back entirely then, that soju w/ yr name awaits further then. Jae, I agree w/ you on Park Ji-Sung. To me, he’s a player on the verge of being referred to in the past tense. Not to take away anything from his tremendous accomplishments – but he knows it, his pro playing days are nearly at an end. His reasons for retiring from the Taeguk Warriors were apt back in 2011 -Korea FA has to plan and strengthen for the future. It’s not Hong’s fault but there are systemic problems in which Korea finds itself short on the depth chart compared to other national teams. I wouldn’t say Hong’s desperate, but he wants the all options on the table for the 23 man roster. I would’ve been surprised if Ji-Sung said yes to reverse his retirement.

Join in the Tavern's conversations -Leave a comment...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.