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Two Rounds In: Three Takeaways

Both leagues have now finished their first two rounds and based on the early sample size, the first division looks like it will be tighter in 2022 than in seasons past.  In the second division, only two clubs remain with perfect records.  Having said that, is this the year when FC Anyang makes the leap and moves up a division, or will one of the teams below them spoil their chances?  While it's still too early to tell, there could be some interesting storylines in the weeks and months ahead.
 
Six Teams on Four Points After Two Rounds

Following results on the weekend in the top division, six teams currently have four points.  FC Seoul, Gimcheon Sangmu, Ulsan Hyundai, Gangwon FC, Jeonbuk Hyundai, and Incheon United are the sides who remain undefeated after the first two rounds.  While at first glance it may not be saying much, it could also be saying quite a bit.  Over the past several years, it has almost been a foregone conclusion that the title would be a two-horse race but it could be possible for things to be different this year.

What the league has been lacking for a while now is real competition, but will 2022 present a different narrative?  One would like to hope so.  It's still much too early to predict who will lift the title this year as some teams still haven't shown their true selves, but as with the beginning of every new season, it will take some time for things to take shape.  One thing is certain - March will be a busy month fixture-wise and could provide a clearer picture as to where teams will finish the first half of the season.  Will there be more than two clubs involved in the race to the finish line?  Time shall provide the answer to that question soon enough.

Is This FC Anyang's Year?

Jonathan Moya has opened the 2022 campaign with goals in each of his first two matches.
A second place finish was followed by a playoff loss to Daejeon Hana Citizen last year.  They've started with back-to-back wins this season and are considered again amongst the favorites in the second tier.  One of the major successes for the club in the off-season was being able to keep Jonathan Moya in their ranks, and the Costa Rican striker is already two goals to the good to start the new campaign and should be among the MVP candidates come the end of the year if he can maintain his form and avoid injuries.

The Violets have not conceded a goal thus far, shutting out Jeonnam Dragons on opening weekend and following that up with a 2-0 victory over Chungnam Asan.  March will be an important month as they will play four matches, three of which could be considered winnable, but the big fixture will be a rematch of the playoff from last season when they head out on the road to face Daejeon Hana Citizen on March 12th.  The Purples are fancied by many to win the division, so it will be a fixture to pay attention to all year.

Super Sub Heo Yong-joon

Heo Yong-joon is quickly becoming an impact player from the bench for Pohang.
The first division may have a new rising star.  Pohang Steelers frontman Heo Yong-joon came from the bench once again to score for his club against Gimcheon Sangmu at the weekend, but this time, Pohang would be brought back down to Earth as they came up just short in a 3-2 loss.

There has always been talk of the "super sub" role it seems that Heo is a perfect fit for the role.  His style of play and energy has given Pohang an attacking flair that has been difficult for their opponents to handle.  If this is to become a trend, Pohang could finish a lot further up the table than many had envisioned before the season began.

Heo managed seven goals and three assists in 18 appearances last season and he is already well on his way to eclipsing those numbers in 2022.  At 29 years of age, he is primed for a breakout year.  Returning to the top flight has given him an early burst of confidence, something which both fans of the club and neutral observers hope they will get used to as he plays more.  He'll get his next chance to be among the goals when the Steelers travel to face Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on Tuesday evening.
   
FNR

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