AsiaCommentaryGeneral Knowledge

South Koreans Abroad

December 23, 2010 — by Sean

Seeing as part of the CultFootball family is currently enveloped in all things Korean, it seems as good a time as any to work up a little overview of the mother country’s most important players overseas (especially considering the conversation about the Reds that just happened over roast gui). Let’s break it down, list style:

Son Heung-Min Hamburger SV – An 18 yr old striker who has earned the affectionate nickname “The Korean Müller” for a rash of goals in the Bundesliga preseason before he picked up an injury that sat him out for a few months. On his first game back this season he scored against Koln, making him the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history.

Cha Du-Ri Celtic – The 30 yr old is well traveled, having been born in Germany then playing for Bayer Leverkusen, Eintract Frankfurt, and a couple others before landing at Celtic this year. He started his career as a winger, but shifted to a right back midway through his career. He sees limited time in Glasgow but with his experience he is an excellent option in a pinch.

Kim Nam-il Tom Tomsk – At 33 years the defensive midfielder is invaluable to the Russian side, breaking up opposing attacking play and distributing calmly to start the offense. He was well known in Korea during the 2002 World Cup, where he managed to earn hordes of female followers for being a sexy bad boy. He’s generally outspoken and doesn’t seem to give a damn about the Confucian backbone of Korean culture, speaking to elders as if they were his equals…the maniac!

Park Ji-Sung Manchester United – Undoubtedly the best-known Korean playing anywhere in the world, the 29 yr old winger is a mainstay of Sir Alex’s side, and he’s been key in United maintaining top marks this season. United picked him from PSV Eindhoven where he’d scored 13 goals in 60-odd games. He’s quick, plays with intelligence, and along with Giggs and Scholes has become one of the old men of United, brought out when the team needs an injection of experienced quality. We could go on for some time on this one, but you probably come in knowing enough about him already.


Argentina v South Korea, June 17-Soccer City

July 3, 2010 — by Larry

An Argentina fan

Having been warned by both our inside guy at FIFA, and the owners of our B&B, we leave for the park & ride at 9:30 am for the 1:30 pm kickoff.  It is also quite cold, but sunny, so doubled up on socks and tshirts, have the hat, gloves, and sunglasses.  After a half-hour ride in toward the city itself, we get out at Gold Reef City.  An amusement park celebrating the history of gold mining in the area.  And on the other side of the street, it is a casino.  Instead of chaos at the drop-off, we walk around the bend, into a nearly empty line, get right onto a shuttle, which spends 15 minutes driving us to the stadium.  It is now 10:15.  I guess the people who had trouble tried to get there right at kick-off, a feat which makes no sense to us who value the whole experience.

Along the main access road, the locals are just setting up there food stalls, providing sausages, chicken, salads, sandwiches, and drinks for anyone who walks along the main road from the dropoff toward the stadium.  Only a couple are ready for business at this time, but all have on vests and ID proclaiming their fitness to handle food.

Soccer City inside

Many fans mill about, as the gates have yet to open.  Way more Argentina than South Korea, but that is expected.  Lots of locals on the side of the Argies, including the locals with the curly wigs, earmuffs, tights, and jerseys.

South Korea buys our loyalty with an additional layer in the form of a free t-shirt from their government sponsored school in Swaziland.  They also brought in a student group who perform a Korean drum ceremony as fans dance and snap photos around them.

Once through security, but outside of the the ticket-taking, we stroll over to the sponsors area where we come across friends.  Not unexpectedly, of course, as I certainly figured they’d be around for tomorrow’s USA-Slovenia match at Ellis Park, so hitting this match makes complete sense.  After a chat, we have even more time to kill, so we wander over to the Bud beer garden.  We sit with 4 locals at a picnic table, and we begin the usual exchange of information.  Very nice people, and they want mostly to know our impressions of South Africa both before we arrived and now.  Finally, we leave them behind, and head inside.

Soccer City is a fantastic setup.  Brand new of course, but impressively compact, tight feel to the seating bowl for its massive capacity.

The swap

Just before start, now there are 2 small and one large sections of South Korea fans, but 2 very large, multiple-section groups of Argentina supporters in the lower bowl.  Fairly entertaining match itself, even if all 3 first-half goals were a bit sketchy.  Higuain’s hat-trick could not have been easier, as Messi dominates play along with the affections of the crowd.  Can a player be named the MVP of the World Cup without scoring a goal?  I’m guessing he can.

ScheduleUnited States

WC Round of 16: Weekend in Review

June 28, 2010 — by Suman

Ghana over USA

It was a great weekend of WC football, as the Round of 16 got underway with 2 matches on Saturday and 2 matches on Sunday.  We’re halfway to the quarterfinals being set, with 2 more matches today.

On Saturday, Uruguay defeated South Korea 2-1 to move into the quarterfinals for the first time since 1970, and the USA crashed out against Ghana in extra time, also by a score of 2-1. The CultFootball team liveblogged both games, here and here.

Sunday offered two highly anticipated matchups.  England and Germany added another memorable installment to their long and heated rivalry, with Germany destroying the English 4-1, in a game that will be remembered for the stunning German counterattack, and for a clear “Wembley goal” for England that the referees completely missed.

In the afternoon game, Argentina pulled away from Mexico 3-1, although this game too was marred by an officiating error, with goalscorer Carlos Tevez clearly offside on Argentina’s first goal.   The extended CultFootball team commented extensively on both games in entertaining open threads here and here.

That sets up a huge quarterfinal matchup between Argentina and Germany, to be played Saturday (10am ET).  The other quarterfinal matchup that’s set is Uruguay vs. Ghana, Friday 2:30pm ET.

We’ve got two more Round of 16 games today: the Netherlands kickoff against Slovakia in just over 30 minutes, followed by Brazil against Chile later in the day (potentially setting up yet another tremendous quarterfinal match!).

We’ll cover both of today’s games via liveblogs/open threads..join us for the action!


Video Highlights: Uruguay v South Korea (Round of 16)

June 27, 2010 — by Suman

Uruguay defeated South Korea 2-1 in the first Round of 16 match. Uruguay led 1-0 for much of the match, after Luis Suarez took advantage of poor defending for an easy finish off a Diego Forlan cross. South Korea leveled in the 2nd half, but Uruguay went back ahead to stay off another goal by Suarez, this one a tremendous curling shot.

Live Blog

Liveblog (or open thread?): Uruguay (#uru) v South Korea (#kor)!

June 26, 2010 — by Suman7

And here we go..doesn’t it feel like a whole new tournament is starting today? The past 2 weeks were prologue; the most important time in history is now, the present(*).

All eyes here in the US are looking forward to the 2nd match of the day, USA v Ghana (kickoff 2:30pm ET). But we here at CultFootball HQ are nearly as excited about Uruguay v South Korea. Why? Well, the Korean branch of the CultFootball fam is both numerous and uncompromising in its support of the Reds. And on the other hand, this CultFootballer is, among all the South American teams, partial to Uruguay, for reasons both personal and historical.

We are about 15minutes from kickoff.  Some intro material lifted from the Guardian’s liveblog and then our live entries after the jump!


Uruguay v South Korea preview – by @Zonal_Marking

June 26, 2010 — by Suman

Lifted from Zonal Marking’s very readable, must-read second round preview:

Uruguay v South Korea

Uruguay have been one of the most impressive teams so far – playing for and achieving a draw against France, destroying South Africa and recording a solid 1-0 victory over Mexico.

They started the competition with a 3-5-2 shape, which became more like a 5-3-2 when the wing-backs had to contain France’s wingers. They’ve since switched to a 4-3-1-2 with Diego Forlan playing behind the main two forwards, and they’ll surely play the same formation after their two wins.

South Korea’s first XI is fairly predictable. The only changes they’ve made so far have been at right-back, bringing in Oh Bum-Suk against Argentina – but he was the worst player on the pitch, so Cha Du-Ri has regained his place.

The formation will probably be 4-2-3-1. Playing Park Ji-Sung on the left-hand side might be useful to track the forward runs of Maxi Pereira, although he was fielded in the centre of the three against Argentina.

Picking up Forlan is the obvious task – with two holding midfielders, Korea will have a man tracking him, but must worry this will concede the midfield ground to Uruguay. Korea should look to play down their left-hand-side, because Uruguay’s shape tends to be slightly lopsided. Alvaro Pereira, generally a left wing-back, is playing a more central role but tends to drift back out wide, sometimes meaning Uruguay look like two banks of four minus a right-sided midfielder.

[via World Cup second round preview (part one) | Zonal Marking]



Tuhon 2010 – Be the Reds! #KOR

June 26, 2010 — by Suman2

via YouTube – Nike Tuhon 2010, where the description reads:

This is the movie Nike Korea produced for their Korea National Soccer Team. It’s about Korean traditional fighting spirit, Tuhon.
Below, I put the English translation what you see in the movie. Quite a piece, I think.

Forget Your Name.
Tear out your name on your back.
Just remember TUHON on your heart.
People would tremble by the name of KOREA .
People would fear at the RED jersey that you wear.
Feel the 23 TUHONs linked to your heart.
Rule every moment with TUHON.


World Cup Video Highlights: South Korea #KOR

June 26, 2010 — by Suman

Video highlights (courtesy of @footytube) from South Korea’s 3 group matches collected below.

Tues June 22 (Day 12): South Korea 2, Nigeria 2

An exciting and crucial match which could have swung either way.  Had Nigeria managed to win, they would have advanced to the Round of 16 instead of South Korea.