Three games down and the big story in the K League Classic is that champions FC Seoul are having problems. One point out of a possible nine was not the start that was expected. An opening day draw at home against Pohang Steelers was not a terrible start but then a first home defeat in nine years against Incheon United followed and then came a depressing 1-0 loss at Busan I'Park.
South Korean clubs teams don't change coaches at the drop of a hat and usually wait until the
season ends before taking a look at how their man in the hotseat has done. Sackings are rare,
coaches tend to leave as contracts end or better offers come along. This off-season period is a
little unusual however as three of the four clubs that were under overseas stewardship last season
will have a new coach when the 2010 K-League season kicks off at the end of February.
As the rainy season, hopefully, comes to an end, the football season in South Korea is just past
the halfway stage. It has been a very interesting and unusual campaign so far with some big fish
struggling down in the murky waters while minnows play around in unfamiliar waters near the
Usually, there is no smaller catch in the K-League than Gwangju Sangmu.
"This is like deja vu all over again", said baseball legend Yogi Berra once upon a time.
A quick glance at the top of the current K-league table certainly brings a host of memories
flooding back for football fans around the nation.
Suwon Samsung Bluewings are in first place after winning four and drawing one of the five games so
Six down, 38 to go, the K-League season may have a long way to go but the first month has been
action-packed with shocks, hooliganism, full and empty stadiums and mascots getting attacked.
That happened at Incheon United. It was only the second ever game at the brand spanking new Sungui
It didn't come as a surprise. Jeonbuk Motors led the K-league from early in the season and were the
best team for most of it. Choi Kang-hee's men should have won the Asian title too but had to make
do with the domestic title to add to the 2009 crown.
The inevitable came to pass on December 4 in the second leg of the Championship play-off final
against Ulsan Horangi.
In between football seasons comes the silly season - a time when clubs are looking for new players
and vice-versa. The internet bulges with stories of interest, denials, refusals, offers, medical
tests, breakdowns and then, sometimes, a picture of a beaming player wearing a new club shirt.
The World Cup comes around every four years to add extra impetus.
Football never stops. The World Cup has just finished but a full program of K-League returns this
weekend after the summer break. Much has happened since May 9 when the 15 teams were last in action
not least the fact that the national team reached the second round in South Africa for the first
time ever in a World Cup held overseas.
With most attention on the exploits of Pohang Steelers in the Asian Champions League and the
national team's friendly matches in Europe against Denmark and Serbia, the fact that the K-League
is about to embark upon its championship play-off series has almost gone unnoticed.
Six teams are still in with a chance of the domestic title.
As the K-League reaches the halfway stage, there is one team that looks like 100% champions, one
that is setting the bar higher every week. It is a statistic that improves by the week but has
become so familiar that it almost ceases to impress. Suwon Samsung Bluewings have won the last
eleven league matches.
So far, so good. The 2008 K-League is only two games old but it has already hinted at a fascinating
season to come. The weather is warming, attendances are healthy, stars new and old are shining and
the best part of all is that there are still another eight months to go.
It is unlikely that Incheon United will still be top of the table in November but the west coast
club is the only one of the 14 that boasts a 100% record.
Since the 2002 World Cup, the K-League has failed to build on the passion Korean fans demonstrated.
But a community club has recently beaten the conglomerates, heralding a possible new road for
Korean football. Tom Dunmore looks at Incheon United's success.
There are over 40 foreign players in the K-League. Brazil has always been the favored destination
for coaches and owners in the market for new talent. Eastern Europe has also been a fairly popular
hunting ground and that is where Dragan Mladenovic started a career that has taken in some of
Europe's most prestigious clubs.
Before I get to the game review I wanted to mention that the Rapids have announced some of their
pre-season plans for next year. They've been invited to be the MLS representative in the new
Hawai'ian Islands Invitational Tournament in February. The other teams invited are the J-League's
(Japan) Yokohama FC, the K-League's (South Korea) Incheon United, and the A-League's (Australia)
The Colorado Rapids are in the middle of the MLS season, but they are already making plans for a
postseason trip to the islands.
The Rapids announced today that the team will participate in the first annual Hawaiian Islands
Invitational, a four-team international tournament taking place in February.
While much of the attention is understandably at the top end of the K-league as the end of the
season approaches, those a little lower down the standings have issues of their own.
Seven of the 15 still have much to play for but the bottom eight are already thinking about next
season. One has more to think about than most.
Founded in 2003, Incheon United FC is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2013. To mark [...]
Incheon United FC is a professional Korean football team currently playing in the K-League. The
team's home town is Incheon, the third biggest city in the country, and the team's home stadium is
the Incheon Munhak Stadium, one of the ten venues built in Korea for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Incheon United finished last season's [.