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Lee Chung-yong Dazzles With Season`s 2nd Goal

Posted October. 27, 2009 07:54,   


Bolton Wanderers coach Gary Megson started striker Lee Chung-yong at left wing instead of right in Saturday’s home game versus Everton.

Lee, 21, swiftly rushed toward the goal as Bolton defender Samuel Ricketts on the right sent a bouncing pass across the penalty box. Lee was there to receive and blasted the ball into the net in the 3-2 win.

The Korean forward has quickly adapted to the English Premier League with two goals and two assists through Sunday. He posted his first assist in a Carling Cup match versus West Ham United Sept. 23.

Park Ji-sung, 28, the first Korean to play in the league, needed two months for his first Premiership assist and four months for his first goal after joining the league in July 2005.

Sky Sports called Lee is a highly promising recruit and gave him a player rating of eight, the highest for Bolton, Saturday.

British media say Lee is changing the nature of his team. Up until the 1990s, Bolton had many players blessed with technical skills and speed who played creative soccer. After 2000, however, the team had resorted to long crosses and power that resulted in dull games.

Boasting speed and clever skills, Lee is reportedly changing the mood of the team. He plays extensively on the wings and center to mentally disrupt opponents while stepping up his offense in decisive moments.

Against Birmingham Sept. 26, he controlled in front of the goal area a free kick by Matthew Simon Taylor and then bounced from the right side of the goal in the 86th minute. He then penetrated two defenders and scored on a left-footed shot for his first league goal in demonstrating the essence of technical soccer.

KBS soccer commentator Han Joon-hee said, “It’s difficult to compare Lee with Park Ji-sung. Lee is an offensive player armed with speed and technique, while Park is more focused on defense based on his strong stamina.”

Granted, Park plays for the star-studded team Manchester United while Lee is a member of the lesser Bolton. Most analysts say, however, that if Lee continues his outstanding play, the sky is the limit.

Park played for the Dutch club PSV Eindhoven before moving to United at age 24, but Lee at three years younger has gotten off to a great start in England.

Lee began playing pro soccer while in middle school, and is exempt from military duty in Korea. Hence, he might achieve bigger and better things in the coming years.