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Koreans Abroad Weekend Recap

By @KoreaFootAbroad

Sorry for the late post. Had a hard time finding time to watch the weekend games. But to offset that, I go into Ki a bit more than a player who didn't play usually gets.

And this serves also as Thursday Dortmund vs Liverpool preview given the likelihood of Park Joo Ho doing anything besides warming the bench (3PM ET on Fox Sports 1)

Ki Sung Yueng -- He was benched and didn't even come in, and it was revealed that Britton hadn't started previous match due to plantar fascitis flare up. So his previous start was more of an injury fill in and explains why he got the quick hook. It's very clear that Guidolin so far loves defense and the diamond, and that's a bad combo for Ki, as the stats show:

Looking at Ki's historical stats, it is incredibly amazing how consistent Ki is every season, with passing success at 90ish %, 2.3 tackles / 90, about a dribble / 90, same # of passes/90 as last season, etc.  And yet many defensive stats have shown a huge drop off: clearances (17 from 72); blocks (2 from 10); and aerial battles (34 from 113).

Now some drop off is to be expected as he plays wider than last season and the types of scenarios you face are quite different away from the center of the pitch.  But Ki's defensive efforts also have to be questioned as well and that dropoff in defensive influence may be what prevents him from a bigger role in the final matches this year.

Koo Ja Cheol -- Another good game from Koo as he scored his 8th goal and is at least doing his part to help keep Augsburg up even if his teammates are not. He started off playing support striker and was a bit invisible until he made a huge impact scoring off a deflected cross, showing brilliant control on the loose ball. He was a bit too offensive for my preference but I think that was Weinzierl's design, especially when they were down by a goal. Koo later dropped back into a CM role where he was a lot more influential, with a highlight being a great turn and throughball that Bobadilla subsequently wasted.  Unfortunately for Koo, he picked up his fifth yellow for arguing with referee and will have to sit out this next match.

Park Joo Ho -- With Bundesliga battle more or less irrelevant to Dortmund, PJH was allowed a bench spot, with both Durm and Schmelzer starting. We'll see if Tuchel goes with something similar for Thursday Europa Match (3 PM ET on Fox Sports 1) but it will be an emergency sub role on the bench at best.

Hong Jeong Ho -- What an awful first half.  HJH was left unprotected much of the match with both DMs struggling today, and Feulner either abandoning his post or just playing poorly.  And HJH didn't step up in that situation.  In fact, HJH had a crushing error, slipping on a pass which Mainz turned around for the lead.  He was less poor in the second half, but still looked off the pace getting back on defense (both goals were let in off counter) and his missing training midweek may be reflective of the fact that HJH isn't playing at 100%.

Ji Dong Won -- Still injured and may be out for one more week.

Lee Chung Yong -- Made the bench but didn't make an appearance.

Son Heung Min -- Finally started again but was pulled after 60ish minutes.  To be honest, I haven't seen about 20 minutes in the middle and was distracted during final 20 so I'll try to provide a better update at some point when I get my NBC app working at the same time as I have energy to watch a poor Son performance.  But I did gather in my minutes watched and reports afterwards, that poor was the best adjective for his showing.

Kim Jin Su -- Left off squad again but Hoffenheim scraped together a draw on an off day.  But for now, don't expect much change for KJS.

Suk Hyun Jun -- Came on as a late sub but wasn't able to help Porto score against the bottom team in a loss.

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