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K-League Starts 2nd Season at Sangam

Posted August. 23, 2006 03:23,   


Korea’s pro soccer league (K-league) will begin its second season on August 23. The Korean Pro Soccer Federation and 14 team coaches declared they would do their best to raise the quality of games and meet fans’ high expectations.

There is one team to pay attention to: Suwon Samsung. The team finished 8th in the first season but spent 4.0 billion won to get new players such as Lee Kwan-woo, Baek Ji-hun, Elpidio Pereira da Silva Filho from Brazil, and Juan Manuel Olivera, who once scored the most goals in Uruguay’s league. More players were selected from Suwon Samsung for the Asian Cup game with Taiwan than from any other team. It will be interesting to see how “Real Suwon” with its top-quality roster will regain its reputation in the second season.

FC Seoul prepared for the second season by taking in Lee Eul-yong, who was playing in Turkey. Ulsan Hyundai, last year’s champion, won the A3 Champions Cup with Lee Chun-soo and Choi Seong-guk as its two tops. Seongnam Ilhwa, the champion of the first season, is aiming to become the champion of the year without a playoff by winning the second season. Pohang Steelers and Daejeon Citizen are two dark horses bidding for attention. Another excitement of K-league is to watch ‘young guns’ whose competence is growing.

Players worth attention are Jeong Jo-guk (22, Seoul), who scored a goal in the game with Taiwan, Choi Seong-guk (23, Ulsan), who made eight goals in the K-league Cup, and multi-player Oh Beom-seok (22, Pohang).

The most exciting opening game is the match between the two big rivals in the K-league, Seoul and Suwon to be played at Seoul World Cup Stadium at 8:00 p.m. on August 23. It will be their fourth match in the 2006 K-league season. After the teams tied 1-1 in the opening game of the first season and in the K-league Cup, Suwon won the quarterfinal game with Seoul in the FA Cup on August 12 on penalty kicks after the teams tied 2-2 again. The official record is three ties because the penalty kick is officially counted as a tie.

Seoul is determined to win this game at its home stadium. The players in the list include “Sharp” Kim Eun-jung with nine goals in the season, “Korean soccer’s hope” Park Chu-young and Jeong Jo-guk, and Dudu who moved from Seongnam. Suwon will play with a 4-2-3-1 formation and make most use of its strong midfielders, including Kim Nam-il, Song Jong-guk, Kim Dae-eui, Lee Kwan-woo, and Baek Ji-hun.