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K League United Monthly Awards - July

Football Radar Analyst Alex Lee is back with his K League 1 Player, Young Player, and Manager of the Month awards for July having taken in all the action so far this term.

Player of the Month

Adam Taggart - Suwon Samsung Bluewings

July was a remarkable month for Adam Taggart as he found the net in five consecutive games, adding six goals to his tally. As well as being the league’s top scorer, the Australian is considered the deadliest forward in Korea, which was shown by his goal for Team K League in their friendly against Juventus. Taggart has also brought a spark to Suwon who had a low key start to the season, but moved into the top half of the league thanks to their striker’s form. However, the best is yet to come for Taggart this season, as fans eagerly wait to see his synergy with fellow Australian Terry Antonis, who signed for Suwon over the summer.

Shortlist

Kim Bo-kyung (Ulsan Hyundai FC)
Yun Il-lok (Jeju United FC)

Young Player of the Month

Seo Jin-su - Jeju United



Despite Jeju’s underwhelming season, the emergence of 18-year-old Seo Jin-su was something that the fans could cheer for. Since making his debut in late June, Seo has been an important member for this Jeju side as the striker adds pace and energy to their attack. Seo links up well with wingers Yun Il-lok and Nam Jun-jae when breaking down the opposition defence, with the highlight being his hat-trick of assists in Jeju’s 4-2 demolition of Seoul. His performances and the U22 rule meant that accomplished players like Elias Aguilar and Magno Cruz were made to sit on the bench. As Jeju continue to fight for survival, the young rookie will be looking to make a difference at his hometown club.

Shortlist

Park Chang-joon (Gangwon FC)
Kim Jun-beom (Gyeongnam FC)

Manager of the Month

Kim Byung-soo - Gangwon FC


Similar to Daegu at the start of the season, Gangwon have been making the headlines in the summer with their attacking football and multiple goals in stoppage time. Manager Kim Byung-soo and his ‘Byung-soo Ball’, K League’s version of tika-taka, have brought high-level football in Gangwon’s play, completing more passes than any other team in the league.

Various people including myself have criticised Kim earlier this year for being stubborn with his tactics that initially seemed too complex for K League players to adopt. It was also questioned whether he was right to drop foreign players like Uros Djeric and Valentinos Sielis while opting to play Korean players out of position.

Five months into the season, Gangwon are currently fourth in the table and are pushing for ACL qualification. The manager is also given credit for developing players like former Seoul E-Land winger Cho Jae-wan, who has arguably been the league’s best player since making his top flight debut at the end of May.

Kim Byung-soo defied his critics and implemented a unique style of football that continues to entertain the viewers.

Shortlist

Lee Lim-saeng (Suwon Samsung Bluewings)
José Morais (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors)

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