Thursday, May 28, 2020

Weekend Preview May 29 and Midweek Recap May 26

Premier League looking to return in a couple weeks and it also sounds like Ligue 1 is reconsidering their cancellation so maybe an early summer full of football.

Friday12:30 PMPaik Seung HoDarmstadtGreuther FuerthFox Match Pass
Friday2:30 PMKwon Chang HoonFreiburgLeverkusenFox Sports 1
Saturday7:00 AMLee Jae SungHolstein KielArminia BielefieldFox Match Pass
Saturday7:00 AMSeo Young JaeHolstein KielArminia BielefieldFox Match Pass
Saturday9:30 AMJi Dong WonMainzHoffenheimFox Soccer Plus
On HoldKi Sung YuengMallorca
On HoldSon Heung MinTottenham
On HoldLee Kang InValencia
Season CancelledHwang Ui JoBordeaux
Season CancelledYun Il LokMontpellier

Paik Seung Ho-- Came on as a sub at 78' and had a beautiful assist on the third goal, with a wiggle to buy some space near halfway and a perfect throughball for the goal. Didn't have to do too much in his attacking role afterwards with the cushion. Maybe enough to push for a start but things are going well so I don't expect a major change to the XI barring fatigue.

Kwon Chang Hoon-- Came on with 10 or so minutes left, but couldn't make an impact this time as defender behind him lost his mark for the equalizer and Freiburg was sitting defensively otherwise. The problems behind may be a reason why KCH isn't playing much but still frustrating.

Lee Jae Sung-- I watched the second half live and he looked pretty ragged, especially when he got dispossessed on the way to the opposition's second goal. So I was pleasantly surprised to see him in the first when he was the source of many of the good moments in attack, playing as a CAM, even if his teammates were wasteful with the chances. He should start again.

Seo Young Jae-- Got a rare start and was a mixed bag. He struggled a bit with possession under pressure and he was the last man on the goal scored though that was due to the failure of the other defenders. But he had some nice passes and other good moments too. Not enough to avoid being subbed off after an hour and unlikely to impact his place on the depth chart, but at least not looking out of place either.

Ji Dong Won-- Came on as a sub and was sharper in his movement and action. He had a tendency to play it safe which isn't really what Mainz needed though, and aren't a side that is going to have dozens of touches in the buildup. His other problem is getting too deep to score the cheap goals or to be a presence in the box. But a mental issue is a good sign given his long road back. I expect him on the bench this weekend.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Midweek Preview May 26 and Weekend Recap May 23

Short turnaround so catching up on what I missed as I write this... so a bit of a scramble to get this out ahead of kickoffs.  Short weeks do make forecasting lineups a bit tricky.

Tuesday12:30 PMPaik Seung HoDarmstadtAueFox Match Pass
Tuesday2:30 PMKwon Chang HoonFreiburg@FrankfurtFox Match Pass
Wednesday12:30 PMLee Jae SungHolstein Kiel@BochumFox Match Pass
Wednesday12:30 PMSeo Young JaeHolstein Kiel@BochumFox Match Pass
Wednesday2:30 PMJi Dong WonMainz@Union BerlinFox Match Pass
On HoldKi Sung YuengMallorca
On HoldSon Heung MinTottenham
On HoldLee Kang InValencia
Season CancelledHwang Ui JoBordeaux
Season CancelledYun Il LokMontpellier

Paik Seung Ho-- Came on as a sub and in an even more advanced role, often lining up as a second striker. Although the goals started to really pour when he came on, he didn't really have a large impact. A couple nice balls but didn't have to do much in an easy win. We will see with short turnaround if he gets another go or if he stays on the bench.

Kwon Chang Hoon-- Took forever to come on given scoreline and mediocre team showing, but when he did come on around 70', he provided a much needed spark and aggressiveness. He didn't always make the right decisions as he looked a bit overeager to score. But he did bring one of the best chances for Freiburg with a shot that just missed the post and was one of few to have that needed initiative. With short week, a decent chance for KCH to start but he's been marginalized so far so not banking on it.

Lee Jae Sung-- I've seen about a half of the match but didn't pay the best of attention of what I did watch. LJS played as a CAM this week, and started off pretty rough with some errant passes and decision ruining good chances. He grew into the match and was a willing worker with good defensive work and provided some stability to Kiel's inconsistent possession. Eventually subbed off in final minutes to kill time. Should start.

Seo Young Jae-- An unused sub and with increased fitness of starting XI, will have to be patient for minutes. Likely on the bench.

Ji Dong Won-- An unused sub but Mainz were out of it early so hard to gauge. Likely a bigger role but not for certain how things will change given much different caliber of opponent so assuming bench to start.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Weekend Preview May 23 and Recap May 16

I took Park Yi Young off as he doesn't look close to first team. On the other hand, Choi Kyoung Rok shared a video of himself doing some outdoor rehab so he inches towards a return. Son should be restarting distanced training and the Spanish players are nearing full team training.

Saturday7:00 AMPaik Seung HoDarmstadtSt PauliFox Match Pass
Saturday9:30 AMKwon Chang HoonFreiburgWerder BremenFox Soccer plus
Sunday7:30 AMLee Jae SungHolstein KielStuttgartFox Match Pass
Sunday7:30 AMSeo Young JaeHolstein KielStuttgartFox Match Pass
Sunday9:30 AMJi Dong WonMainzLeipzigFox Sports 1
On HoldKi Sung YuengMallorca
On HoldSon Heung MinTottenham
On HoldLee Kang InValencia
Season CancelledHwang Ui JoBordeaux
Season CancelledYun Il LokMontpellier

Paik Seung Ho-- Started in an attacking midfielder role... primarily in the middle and also playing on both wings. His dribbling and skills looked pretty sharp, but didn't look as fit and it wasn't helped by the haphazard play of Darmstadt. He didn't get involved all that much but did have a nice run and pass that should have been an assist along with a few other good moments and few "bad" ones. Came off after an hour. I prefer him deeper but we'll see how he's used and I expect a start for now.

Kwon Chang Hoon-- Disappointingly an unused sub, and hopefully a tactical thing vs. a dangerous Leipzig side and the scoreline. I really didn't expect this after starting to earn a more regular role in the fall. Likely on the bench this weekend.

Lee Jae Sung-- Again a false 9 for much of the match, LJS had a strong contribution, scoring when he got behind defense on a headed-on corner and also had an assist later in the match. It feels a bit of a waste to have him so far forward when the team could use help in a lot of positions with more impact but hard to argue against a goal and an assist. He should start.

Seo Young Jae-- Looks like my suspicions were right as he only came on as a sub with 20 to go. nd when I saw that they had let in two goals after SYJ came on as a sub, I was worried but my concerns were unfounded as he wasn't at fault even if his defense work was only so-so. More problematic was a few turnovers under pressure which negated some of his more positive contributions vs. the starters. Likely on the bench again.

Ji Dong Won-- A surprise start given its been so long his last competitive match (about a year ago!). He definitely showed it, with some rough touches and a lack of proper physicality. Much of the action wasn't going his way on the right wing and a quick goal from his sub not a great sign for the weekend but its a positive step towards getting back into form. I expect him on the bench.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Weekend Preview Mar 16

Welcome back. Hopefully everyone is doing well in challenging times and can look forward to some football as a mental break from COVID-19.

I've added Bundesliga 2 guys. I'll be honest, mostly reflective of the lack of content for this first week where I have no clue what shape players are in two months later or what managers have thought up tactically. The other part is just to advertise that there is a fair amount of good football available this weekend.

Saturday7:00 AMPaik Seung HoDarmstadt@KarlsruherFox Match Pass
Saturday7:00 AMSeo Young JaeHolstein Kiel@Jahn RegensburgFox Match Pass
Saturday7:00 AMLee Jae SungHolstein Kiel@Jahn RegensburgFox Match Pass
Saturday9:30 AMKwon Chang HoonFreiburg@LeipzigFox Sports 1
Sunday7:30 AMPark Yi YoungSt PauliNurnbergFox Match Pass
Sunday9:30 AMJi Dong WonMainz@CologneFox Sports 2
On HoldKi Sung YuengMallorca
On HoldSon Heung MinTottenham
On HoldLee Kang InValencia
Season CancelledHwang Ui JoBordeaux
Season CancelledYun Il LokMontpellier

Paik Seung Ho-- His starting seems tied to the shape in terms of how much defense they're willing to give up to get Paik's offense in. Given playing one of the weaker sides, I think he starts.

Seo Young Jae-- He started before the break but that was due to injury and the man in front just got an extension. But I'm not up to date on what the injury status is of the nominal starter so we'll see.

Lee Jae Sung-- He's been starting, often as a false 9 or second forward and dropping deeper as the match progresses so I think he start.

Kwon Chang Hoon-- He was on a good streak before hamstring injury. Hopefully he's back starting but should be in side either way.

Park Yi Young-- He had a serious shoulder injury and as a result was clumped in with players who weren't going to be in first team. I don't think that there's been an improvement in his status but my lack of knowing is why I'm putting him in here for now.

Ji Dong Won-- Hopefully actually able to contribute rather than only being fit enough to warm bench but we'll see.

Ki Sung Yueng-- He's one of the guys in training but also given short-term nature of contract, will be curious to see how it all plays out.

Son Heung Min-- Finished military duty so re-quarantining before joining teammates.

Lee Kang In-- Back in training.

UPDATE - Forgot Choi Kyoung Rok is with Karlsruher but he's out with ACL injury

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Midweek Preview Mar 10 and Weekend Recap Mar 6

Weird world with COVID 19, but as of now, the football proceeds on even if behind closed doors. Apologies for the late post.


Lee Kang In -- Valencia host Atalanta at 4PM on B/R Live. Left out of the squad on the weekend, we'll see if that was to save him for CL. Given 1-4 aggregate, maybe he'll be cannon fodder, but the tie doesn't seem completely out of the question so I'm prepared to be disappointed.


Ki Sung Yueng -- Came on as a sub in final minutes to make his debut. Unfortunately, there was a late goal and Ki wasn't completely free of blame as he was marking the man who made the cross, but mostly it was pretty poor defending from back line. Not an ideal start but he was moving well and his touches looked ok.

Kwon Chang Hoon -- Still out injured.

Hwang Ui Jo -- I guess Sousa also thought HUJ played poorly last time, and as a result HUJ was on the bench but came on with about 20 minutes to go. He was a lot sharper, moving with a reasonable amount of quickness and force. Started on the left wing, then occasionally moved to second forward on the right. Unfortunately, he didn't get too many touches outside of a foul which resulted in opposition defender getting a second yellow. Better than last week for sure at least.

Yun Il Lok -- Came on for final minutes in a slaughtering but didn't get more than a touch or two.

Ji Dong Won -- Still an unused sub.

Son Heung Min -- Still out injured but if you want to see Tottenham limp through next match in CL, Tottenham go to Leipzig Tuesday at 4PM on TNT.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Weekend Preview Mar 6

I wanted to acknowledge the end of Lee Chung Yong's European career. For the sake of those using this site purely as a calendar, I've put it at the end.

Daylight savings this Sunday for US but not Europe so set your clocks appropriately.

Friday3:00 PMLee Kang InValencia@AlavesBeIn
Saturday7:00 AMKi Sung YuengMallorca@EibarBeIn Play
Saturday9:30 AMKwon Chang HoonFreiburgUnion BerlinFox Match Pass
Saturday12:30 PMSon Heung MinTottenham@BurnleyNBCSN
Sunday10:00 AMHwang Ui JoBordeaux@St EtienneBeIn Play
Sunday12:00 PMYun Il LokMontpellier@RennesBeIn Play
Sunday1:00 PMJi Dong WonMainzDusseldorfFox Sports 2

Lee Kang In-- Left out of squad. Hopefully he gets more of a chance in CL midweek where Valencia may be throwing in the towel being down 1-4 in aggregate, but at this point, not assuming anything.

Ki Sung Yueng-- No news, outside the manager saying it was a low financial risk gamble but somewhat of an unknown so we'll see if he makes the bench or his debut. Hard to baseline expectations here.

Kwon Chang Hoon-- He wasn't mentioned in press conference, so not sure if that's good news or bad. I imagine he'd be on bench if fit. UPDATE - KCH is out still with injury.

Hwang Ui Jo-- I'd expect him to start but maybe Sousa changes things up a bit.

Yun Il Lok-- I doubt a major change after a big win last week, but should be on the bench and hopefully more than that.

Ji Dong Won-- Will he make his debut? No positive signs at all but at least he's made the bench last week.

Son Heung Min-- Out injured.

Lee Chung Yong

A European career that started so well, between club and region POTY awards, a strong cup run and a good showing in the World Cup, was not only a reflection on the caliber of player that LCY was but also a signal that Korean footballers could now play with flair and technical ability. In a league that values strength, LCY had enough skill to overcome his lack of physicality and thrive. His success opened many people's eyes to the fact that a new generation of Korean footballers had arrived.

And while we all know how badly things turned with the broken leg, many may have missed the fact that after a struggle to find himself post injury, he eventually excelled again at Bolton, being a bit under the radar in the Championship. While his time at Crystal Palace was awful, it's worth remembering the effort and quality it took to earn a move back to the top tier despite playing in a league where slight players like him usually fail. Ironically, his value to Crystal Palace's sporting director, who had managed LCY previously, prevented him from returning to Bolton on loan which might have given his English career a boost.

More recently, it must have been humbling to drop down to the BL2 in an attempt to revive his European career, even when I'm sure he had more lucrative options in the AFC. But as he had throughout his career, he buckled down that first season and had a strong season. It remains unclear how much injury impacted his slow start this season or a desire to go home kept him from playing his best, but I'm sure that he'll go back to success in the K-league.

For a long period, LCY was my favorite player to watch and as a result it was incredibly frustrating to see injury and circumstance prevent him from reaching the heights he might have seen. But don't let the negatives diminish the incredible highs. Similarly, do not forget that the effort it took to carve out over a decade in Europe despite very difficult circumstances and bad luck.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Weekend Recap Feb 28

I switched my money from Bleacher Report to BeIn so hopefully some better coverage for me in Ligue 1/La Liga even if that means less watching CL at work lol.

Kwon Chang Hoon -- Out with injury.

Ji Dong Won -- Still an unused sub. Not looking great right now as he can't get on even during low pressure situations.

Lee Kang In -- An unused sub as the match was very close and a needed win even if not ideal for LKI.

Yun Il Lok -- Came on only as a sub with 10 minutes or so to go. He looked ok and confident on the ball... except his crosses which were all pretty poor. Hard to judge too much as the match was pretty much over.

Hwang Ui Jo -- I hope I watched a weaker match because it was not good. HUJ isn't the quickest player but playing on the right wing which accentuated his lack of quickness. He was often caught running in the wrong direction to the flow of play whenever possession switched. He did play 90 but didn't do all that much on either end. He also ended up moving to CAM and then LW to adjust for subs. Very disappointing that this was the bulk of my watching this weekend.

Ki Sung Yueng -- Too soon and a bit disappointing that he wasn't in better shape to be in the squad at least.

Son Heung Min -- Out injured but a glimmer of hope that he might return a bit sooner than originally suggested but of course nowhere near soon enough for their FA Cup match midweek vs. Norwich (2:45 PM on ESPN+).