I’m back! After a hiatus of I-don’t-know-how-many-weeks and a flurry of exams (still more to come, but a bulk of it done), I have returned to deliver the weekend listings. Well, it’s an exciting time of the year, as the seasons are coming to their ends, while the K League is in full swing. News on the Qatari front – can Michael Laudrup’s Lekhwiya complete a Qatari treble? And of course, exciting times ahead for Canada, as the Women’s World Cup is just a little over TWO WEEKS AWAY!! Accordingly, Yoon Deok-yeo has announced the squad he will take to the Great White North. Also – Lee Seungwoo scores a hat-trick in a friendly for a Korean university. More after the jump!
Unfortunately, as some of you may have noticed from the inactivity of my Twitter account, I haven’t been watching much football on the weekends, so I’m basically rephrasing BigSoccer Forums and Korean Footballers Abroad here:
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Hong Jeong Ho||Augsburg||Hannover||None|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Ji Dong Won||Augsburg||Hannover||None|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Son Heung Min||Bayer Leverkusen||Hoffenheim||None|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Kim Jin Su||Hoffenheim||@Leverkusen||None|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Koo Ja Cheol||Mainz||Koln||None|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Park Joo Ho||Mainz||Koln||None|
|Saturday||10:00 AM||Yun Suk Young||QPR||Newcastle||NBC Extra Time|
|Saturday||12:30 PM||Lee Chung Yong||Crystal Palace||@Liverpool||NBCSN|
|Sunday||8:30 AM||Ki Sung Yueng||Swansea||Man City||NBCSN|
|Sunday||1:00 PM||Suk Hyun Jun||Vitoria Setubal||Arouca||None|
|Summer Break||n/a||Kim Bo Kyung||TBD|
Hong Jeong-ho is expected to start, which is great news as it sounds that 1) he has been doing well and 2) it’s about bloody time, as he didn’t feature much in the early parts of the season. Ji expected on the bench.
A final Korean derby between Leverkusen and Hoffenheim, and it sounds like Son and Kim Jin-su have decent shouts to start. Koo and Park Joo-ho, with Mainz hosting Koln, are also both looking at starts.
With Crystal Palace guaranteed safety and QPR guaranteed relegation, Lee Chung-yong and Yun Suk-young’s selections are completely up in the air. Hopefully Chungy can get his first start for Palace against Liverpool (who luckily will not be wasting an English Champions League spot this year).
Ki seems to have been benched or something, I’m not entirely sure why, but that seems to be the case so we’ll see what happens. Swansea (8th place, 56 points) is playing for Europa League, with 6th place (currently occupied by Tottenham on 58 points) being enough this year thanks to Chelsea’s Capital One Cup triumph. If they can pass Southampton (57 points) in 7th place, and Arsenal retain the FA Cup in two weeks, then that would also be enough to qualify. However, Swansea will be hosting Manchester City.
A non-Korean story caught my eye today though, and it was about the Europa League. Everton and West Ham, 2nd and 3rd in the England Fair Play tables, are doing battle this weekend – with the real winner (or loser?) being the team that amasses the least amount of cards. Yes, we’re talking about the Europa League Fair Play berths, with the EPL being awarded one of them this season. Since the current leaders of the English Fair Play table, Liverpool, are essentially guaranteed a spot in the Europa League but nothing more, the berth will go to either 10th-placed West Ham or 11th-placed Everton. Play nice, boys, and you might just win training in June and a qualifier in Azerbaijan in July. What a thrill.
The story is from (of all places), the Mirror. Read it for yourself here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/everton-wont-try-foul-way-5680633
Back to Korean stuff, and we switch over to the Middle East for what I suspect might be the final time in quite a while. In fact very briefly, as Qatar does this thing when after their season they play a bunch of tournaments. The Crown Prince Cup went to Lekhwiya and today was the semi-finals of the originally named Prince Cup. Unfortunately, there would be no treble for Laudrup and Nam Tae-hee, as they fell to Al-Sadd Qatar 2-0,
Now let’s head over to the K League, where will see some action in mere hours. I can’t really detail since again, I have sort of lost track of everything. Times EST, add 13 hours for KST.
|K League Classic|
Saturday, May 16
Sunday, May 17
Why don’t we take a peek at the table while we’re at it…
|#||Team||MP||W||D||L||F||A||D||P||Last 5 matches||H2H|
Park Chuyoung is expected to return from yet another knee injury (thanks to Jae @ArmchairRegista for that bit of info) as the capital club host Jeonnam. Suwon and Jeju battle for a temporary hold on second, while two teams on opposite sides of the tables, Jeonbuk who are already beginning to run away with the title, and Daejeon who are already beginning to run away from the top tier, do battle.
Suwon 1:0 Jeju, FC Seoul 0:0 Jeonnam, Jeonbuk 2:0 Daejeon, Seongnam 1:1 Ulsan, Busan 0:0 Incheon, Gwangju 0:1 Pohang.
6 goals, 6 games!
If you want goals however, you might have to turn to the K League Challenge, where Sangju Sangmu AND Seoul E-Land are averaging just over 2 goals a game. The Army side will host a passionate hoard of purple-clad Anyang fans, who I’ve got to say certainly are the best supporters in the second tier, while E-Land will host boring boring Chungju.
Full list of K League Challenge fixtures on this 9th matchday:
Ansan Korea Police : Goyang Hi FC
Seoul E-Land FC : Chungju Hummel
Sangju Sangmu (Army) : FC Anyang
Daegu FC : Suwon City
Gangwon FC : Gyeongnam FC
While we’re on the subject, and it may have already been posted, but here are the 16 teams in the Round of 16 of the KFA Cup:
The K League Classic Teams (9)
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Ulsan Hyundai Tigers
The K League Challenge Teams (2)
The National League Teams (3)
Daejeon Korail FC
Ulsan Mipo Dockyard
The K3 League Team (1)
The University (1)
And about Yeungnam University… AGAIN?! It’s unusual to see University teams make it this deep, but to see the same one not just twice in recent times, but twice in as many years…. hats off to Yeungnam-dae.
That is a sneaky little segway to Lee Seung-woo. The Korean youth phenom is currently training with Myongji University as preparation for yet another U-17 tournament to be held in Korea in June. He bagged a comfortable hattrick against Sangwoo High School. Here are some highlights:
Let’s finish with the Korean Women’s National Team. As you may or may not know, there are just over 2 weeks remaining until the Women’s World Cup kickstarts here in Canada. South Korea will be coming to Ottawa and Montreal (but I’ll miss the games – %#&*!) and will be represented by this squad:
[2015 FIFA 여자월드컵 참가 여자대표팀 최종 명단 확정] pic.twitter.com/w1rjId7ITJ
— 대한축구협회(KFA) (@theKFA) May 15, 2015
Ji So-yun and Park Eun-seon are the two foreign-based players in the squad. Fighting to our Korean ladies’! Hopefully they can advance past the group stage.
So… that’s it! K League in an hour, and lots of footy Saturday morning. Jalgayo from the TSQ.