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K League Headlines: July 15th-19th

K League Headlines

In the first of a new series on our site, we take a look at some of the more interesting and popular K League news stories from various Korean media outlets and provide an English summary for our international readers. Our own Chris Park selects five stories from the week.

[K League 1] Suwon Bluewings to Sign Melbourne’s Terry Antonis as Elvis Sarić Replacement?

Suwon Samsung Bluewings, who recently sold their key midfielder Elvis Sarić during the summer transfer period, is expected to bring in a new foreign player to replace him. Australian media recently reported that midfielder Terry Antonis of Melbourne Victory has agreed to a multi-year contract with Suwon. The Blues are believed to be able to quickly find Sarić’s replacement. 

Antonis, who is capable of playing defensive and central midfield positions but also can play offensive and out wide, has shown his ability to compete with K League teams with his excellent mid-range shooting ability. In 2017, he notably scored two goals against FC Seoul from such positions. If Antonis joins Suwon, there won't be much trouble adjusting as he will be playing alongside compatriot Adam Taggart.

Source: Sports Asia (Ban Jaemin)
Date: July 18th, 2019

K League Requires Adaptability, not Reputation

Foreign players from the English Premier League in the K League are showing contrasting results. While a player who did not manage to find minutes in the EPL has succeeded on the Korean stage, a veteran player has dropped out midway through the campaign. Two such foreign players who plied their trade in Europe and are demonstrating success in the K League this season are Ulsan Hyundai’s Mix Diskerud and Gangwon FC’s Valentinos Sielis. The two players have also been selected in Team K League and will play against Juventus on July 26th.

Jordan Mutch, who received much of the spotlight and attention when he arrived at Gyeongnam FC at the start of the season, ended his contract earlier this month. Mutch is a veteran player who has played a total of 201 games in the EPL, including Birmingham City, Cardiff City and Crystal Palace. In the K League, however, he left the team with only one goal in eight matches. Analysts have suggested that the international players’ ability to adapt, regardless of the level of the league, is determining the players' level of success in Korea.

Source: Kookmin Ilbo (Lee Donghwan)
Date: July 19th, 2019

[K League 2] Anyang’s Two Goals: Achieving Five Consecutive Victories and Ending Gawngju FC’s Unbeaten Run

FC Anyang defeated Asan Greeners in the league and achieved their fourth consecutive win. If Anyang claims victory in their upcoming match against Gwangju FC, they will win their fifth consecutive league wins and it will also be a record for the side. As the team has played four home games in a row recently, they will also achieve their home win record of five consecutive games if they manage to beat Gwangju FC.

Jo Kyuseong, Palacios and Alex, Anyang’s offensive trio, are also expected to threaten Gwangju's defense. So far, the three players have a combined total of 20 goals and eight assists in the league. "I do not care about the ranking, or the four or five consecutive wins" said Anyang’s manager Kim Hyungyul, “I always think about the next game right away". He continued, "The senior players are doing their part and the young players are trusting and following the seniors well. I believe in our players”.

Source: Sports World (Kim Jinyeop)
Date: July 19th, 2019

[Focused Analysis] Should Gangwon Find an Extra Home?

Gangwon FC, a provincial team that is ranked fourth in the K League 1 as of Round 21, and will likely hold home games in both Chuncheon and Gangneung next year. In fact, the team is going to divide the home stadium into two. Fans are sharply divided over the issue. Some are concerned that the "home stadium dualization" would have a negative effect on performance. Obviously, it is not possible to jump to conclusions, but it is clear that this is a very unusual situation.

Founded in 2008, Gangwon FC initially built its nest in Gangneung. The clubhouse was also built in the city of Gangneung, and the home game was played at Gangneung Sports Complex until 2016. Then in 2017, Gangwon FC played their home games at Alpensia Football Stadium in Pyeongchang, and in the 2018 season, they moved to Chuncheon because of Gangneung and Pyeongchang Football Stadiums were tied to a security zone at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. This year, Gangwon FC are still playing their home games in Chuncheon.

Gangwon FC can either garner local public sentiment through this decision or end up lowering crowd attendance. For reference, the average attendance at the home in Gangwon FC was 2,417. It is an improvement on the 1,553 during the same period last year, but it is still the lowest in the K League 1, offering the board food for thought.

Source: Sports Chosun (Lee Wonman)
Date: July 19th, 2019

[National League] Gangneung City Continue to Dominate the National League

Gangneung City FC continued to widen the gap between themselves and 2nd placed Busan Transportation Corporation FC by claiming victory in Round 13 of the National League. Gangneung City, who have only lost one match this season, have returned to winning ways with two victories in their last couple of outings.

Gangneung City will travel to face Daejeon Korail on Saturday. The opposing team recently reached the FA Cup semi-finals, but their league form is of sharp contrast, recently plunging to seventh in the division with no wins in their last six outings. Therefore, a comfortable victory is expected for Gangneung City and they should extend their dominance at the top of the table.

Source: Sports Chosun (Park Chanjun)
Date: July 19th, 2019

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