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2016 K-League Challenge Mid-Season Grades

With Round 22 officially in the books, we're now half way through the K-League Challenge regular season. Our contributors take stock of where each team is compared to their pre-season expectations and how they got to this point. As always, you're encouraged to let your voice be heard in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter @KLeagueUnited



A+

Ansan Mugunghwa FCNone of us expected Ansan to be leading the league by 8 points after 19 games. After struggling to score in 2015, 11 players have scored Ansan's 29 goals so far in 2016. The Police are primed for promotion one way or another.    
– Kyle Gobler  @Gobble_311
A


Gangwon FCIn the close season there was talk of Gangwon going out of business and yet half way through the campaign they are sitting 2nd in the table and in with a real shout of taking the title. A pretty amazing team effort so far.    
– Stephen Waddell @the48clubkorea
A


Bucheon 1995A bit of a surprise package in the second half of last year and they've continued their strong form this season. Given their relative resources, fourth is pretty impressive. Parana's loss could have been significant but they seem to have unearthed another potential gem in Waguininho. 
– Stephen Waddell @the48clubkorea

B+



Daegu FCWith other big name teams around them struggling this was a great opportunity for Daegu to push on from last season and secure the title and promotion. They looked promising at the start but hit a bit of a flat patch in May and June to drop off the pace of Ansan. With 10 goals Paulo Sergio has done a decent job of replacing Jonathan but he needs some others to share the load.    
– Stephen Waddell @the48clubkorea

B+


Gyeongnam FC: A -10 point deduction made the start of the season, a kind of non starter for Gyeongnam.  We needed to make a goo start to even have any chance of making the playoffs.  A terrible start of only 2 wins from our first 9 games put an end to any chance of a playoff berth.  However since the middle of May the team has been a revelation.  Solid at the back and pacey and very dangerous every time when going forward.  It'll take a miracle, but the playoffs aren't out of our reach as of yet.
- James Edrupt @edrupt_james

B-
FC AnyangMost of us picked Anyang to finish mid-table this season. So far, they are holding that with a chance to jump into a playoff spot, that’s going to be a hard battle though. Anyang have played well in a few big games but seem to have chased off their foreign players, An Argentinian that refused to play and a Brazilian that preferred to go home after being questionably left out of many game day rosters. At the midway they at 25 points from 20 games in the center of the table.  
– Kyle Gobler  @Gobble_311
B-


Chungju HummelPoor old Chungju. Expected to struggle every season and rarely fail to live down to those expectations. They can certainly spring the odd shock though and bright spots so far include a 3-1 home win against E-Land and the form of Kim Shin with 8 goals. After Cho Suk-jae's performance last season it looks like Chungju can definitely spot a goalscorer.     
– Stephen Waddell @the48clubkorea
C+


Daejeon CitizenAfter a very slow start to the campaign Daejeon are beginning to gel as a team, and are thus, finding their feet. With a solid base defensively, Daejeon now look hard to beat and are beginning to turn draws into victories. Indifferent form from others has helped but with Daejeon knocking on the door of the playoffs they deserve a C+.  
– Paul Neat @NeatPaul
C


Seoul E-Land The first half of the season was way below expectations and resulted in a change of manager. Too many players failed to deliver and results were poor. Things look to have picked up slightly under new management but the title looks a long way off.    
– Stephen Waddell @the48clubkorea
C-


Goyang ZaicroA new name but the same old problems for the Goyang side this year. They've now won only a single match since October 2015 (A 3-2 win against Chungju in May). With 10 points from 20 games so far, the fans would probably be in revolt...if they had any.    
– Stephen Waddell @the48clubkorea
F


Busan IParkPromotion was the only acceptable outcome for this season and Busan looks like they will fall well short of that. Choi Youngjoon remains out of his depth as the teams looks disorganized and unsure of how they should play.   
– Jae-hyuk Lee @ArmchairRegista

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