Archives August 2023

Minamino out… Japan announces September A roster to face Germany, Turkey

Hajime Moriyasu’s Japan national soccer team has announced its September A match roster.

The Japan Football Association (JFA) announced the roster on Sept. 31 for the September 10 match against Germany at the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg and the September 13 match against Turkey at the Henk Chegeka Arena in Belgium.

The most notable omission from the roster is that of AS Monaco’s Takumi Minamino. Minamino was once a prominent figure in Japanese soccer, playing alongside Hwang Hee-chan at Red Bull Salzburg, but his recent struggles with his club have seen his place in the national team diminish. Despite a recent rebound with AS Monaco, where he scored three goals in three appearances, he hasn’t received a call-up from Moriyasu, and several other players, including Celtic’s Leo Hatate, have not been called up either.

In contrast, right-back Seiya Maikuma, who plays for Cerezo Osaka, was a surprise call-up.

Here’s the full roster for the Japan national soccer team for the two September A matches. 온라인카지노

GK: Daniel Schmidt (Sint-Truiden/Belgium), Kosuke Nakamura (Portimonense/Portugal), Osako Keisuke (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)

DF : Shogo Taniguchi (Al Rayyan/Qatar), Ko Itakura (Borussia Mönchengladbach/Germany), Ryoya Morishita (Nagoya Grampus), Koki Machida (Royal Winnion Saint-Gilles/Belgium), Seiya Maikuma (Cerezo Osaka), Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal/England), Hiroki Ito (VfB Stuttgart/Germany), Daiki Hashioka (Sint-Truiden/Belgium), Yukinari Sugawara (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands)

MF: Wataru Endo (Liverpool/England), Junya Ito (Stade de Reims/France), Hidemasa Morita (Sporting CP/Japan), Daichi Kamada (Lazio/Italy), Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton & Hove Albion/England), Ritsu Doan (Freiburg/Germany), Atsuki Ito (Urawa Reds), Ao Tanaka (Fortuna Düsseldorf/Germany), Takefusa Kubo (Real Sociedad/Spain)

FW: Takuma Asano (VfL Bochum/Germany), Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda (Celtic/Scotland), Ayase Ueda (Feyenoord/Netherlands), Keito Nakamura (Stade de Reims/France)

A club record in 12 years…we’ve summoned the legendary Pujols, the ‘Greatest Suspension of All Time’

What a man. For the second straight day, Tommy Hyun-Soo Edmon (28-St. Louis Cardinals) hit a walk-off single and a home run to give his team a winning series.

Edmon started in the leadoff spot in the lineup against the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, on July 31.

On the day, Edmon was a force on offense. After getting on base, he stole three bases on the day with a flurry of stolen bases.

The highlight came in his final at-bat. With the game tied at 3-4 and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, he took a sinker from reliever Josh Hader over the right field fence for a grand slam (his 12th of the season) to give his team a 5-4 victory. The ball traveled 387 feet (117.9 meters) at a speed of 100.1 miles (161 kilometers) per hour with a launch angle of 27 degrees.

Edman’s final line was 1-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, one walk, and one run scored. The team had only a 14.2% chance of winning before Edman’s at-bat, but with one swing, they pulled off a thrilling upset.

A day earlier, against San Diego on the 30th, Edmon came up big. In the bottom of the 10th inning with the game tied 5-5, he hit a sinker off Hader with runners on first and third. It was the second consecutive day that the same batter made the game-winning play off the same pitcher.

It’s been 12 years since Albert Pujols (vs. Chicago Cubs, June 4-5, 2011) made a game-ending play on back-to-back days in St. Louis franchise history. He has etched his name in franchise history.

In 111 games this year, Edmon is batting .241 (91-for-378) with 12 home runs, 41 RBI, 20 doubles and a .713 OPS. While his primary position is infield, his versatility allows him to play the outfield as well.

His ability to make precise contact, one-hit power, quick feet, and stellar defense make him an invigorating addition to the St. Louis lineup. 메이저사이트

“Heather has a really good fastball, so I wasn’t thinking about anything else,” Edmon told after the game. I tried to hit it as short as possible, and when it happened to be a home run, it was a lot of fun,” he said of his victory.

Kim also saw action in the game, batting leadoff against Edman. He went 2-for-4 with a home run, an RBI, and a run scored, but it was not enough as his team came up short in the end.

Bae’s quick feet shine…’From sprinting infield hit to ninth-inning blast,’ PIT pulls off thrilling upset over KC

Bae Ji-hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates)’s quick feet shined.

Bae went 1-for-4 with a double, a home run, an RBI and two strikeouts in the ninth spot in the lineup against the Kansas City Royals in the 2023 Major League Baseball World Series at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on Tuesday.

Pittsburgh’s lineup was: Keybrian Hayes (third base), Brian Reynolds (left field), Andrew McCutchen (designated hitter), Conor Jo (first base), Andy Rodriguez (catcher), Joesua Palacios (right field), Leover Peguero (shortstop), Jack Swinski (center field), and Bae Ji-Hwan (second base). The starting pitcher was Colin Selby.

Cole Reagans started for Kansas City and the lineup was Maikel Garcia (third base), Bobby Witt Jr. (shortstop), Salvador Perez (first base), MJ Melendez (designated hitter), Nelson Velasquez (right field), Drew Waters (center field), Freddy Fermin (catcher), Michael Massey (second base), and Dillon Blanco (left field).

Bae stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded in the top of the third inning. After swinging at Reagans’ first and second pitches, he saw a 97.5 mph (156 km/h) four-seam fastball on the third pitch. But it was in the strike zone. He struck out.

The 0-0 balance was broken in the bottom of the fourth inning. Kansas City put runners on first and third with back-to-back singles by Witt and Perez. After Melendez struck out, Velasquez walked to load the bases. Waters then hit a line drive to Cho at first base. The fastball hit Cho’s glove and rolled backward. But Bae calmly caught the ball and threw to first base for the final out. In the meantime, Witt scored.

Bae led off the sixth inning with a double. He hit a 97.4 mph (156 km/h) four-seam fastball from Reagans on a 1B2S. The ball was heavily bound and headed toward Massey at second base. Massey caught the ball and threw to first, but Bae was quick on his feet. However, Hayes struck out. Reynolds followed with a single, but the runners were unable to score.

Bae led off the eighth inning with a walk. Peguero singled against reliever Austin Cox. Swinski flied out to left field and Bae swung wildly at an 87-mph (about 140 km/h) cutter that landed low in the 0B2S. But Pittsburgh’s comeback home run came. Hays hit a two-run homer off reliever Carlos Hernandez.

In the top of the ninth, Pittsburgh drove in a run. With one out, Rodriguez doubled and Palacios walked. Peguero then hit a 91 mph (146 km/h) slider from Stephen Cruz for a three-run homer. Swinski followed with an RBI triple.

With runners on first and third, Bae Ji-hwan is up to bat. Bae hits a 98.8 mph (159 km/h) fastball on the ground toward the shortstop, Witt. But Witt made an error. He opted for a throw to first base. But Bae was quick on his feet.

Hayes then singled, advancing Bae into scoring position. After Reynolds struck out, McCutchen walked to load the bases. However, with two outs, Cho struck out to end the inning.

Kansas City had runners on second and third in the bottom of the ninth when Melendez singled and Velasquez doubled. Waters struck out, but Fermin followed with an RBI single, but Massey grounded out to first base to end the game with a 6-3 Pittsburgh victory.

Bae has hit safely in three straight games, keeping his batting average at .240. His OPS dropped to .625. Pittsburgh won its second straight. Peguero led the way with three hits (one home run), three RBIs and two runs scored, while Hays also had two hits. Luis L. Ortiz, who took over on the mound in the third inning, pitched five innings, allowing one run (one earned) on three hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

Kansas City starter Reagans pitched seven innings of scoreless baseball with three hits, one walk and zero strikeouts, but the bullpen collapsed and he was unable to secure the win 바카라사이트.

The nine-man rotation, including Sonny, was overkill…Postecoglou’s patchwork of players.

Nine-man rotation, including Sonny, was overkill…Postecoglou’s defeat Ange Postecoglou, 58, went for a full rotation and it paid off.

Tottenham Hotspur were 1-1 at full-time against Fulham FC in the Carabao Cup (League Cup) Second Round (Round of 48) of the 2023/24 season at Craven Cottage in London, England, on Tuesday. However, they went on to lose 3-5 on penalties. Spurs were eliminated from the competition after failing to advance to the round of 32.

On the day, Spurs equalized after conceding a goal to send the game to penalties. However, they lost the penalty shootout to end the tournament.

Spurs are not eligible for European competition due to their poor showing the previous season, so they only play in the League, FA Cup, Community Shield, League Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup, and UEFA Champions League or Europa League or Conference League out of the seven competitions they can mathematically qualify for (League, FA Cup, Community Shield, League Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup).

Of these, the League Cup is the one with the most potential for Tottenham to win, although it’s certainly not easy. Generally speaking, Spurs and other strong teams don’t focus on the League Cup as much as they do on winning other competitions, and teams with lesser form can be beaten.

Spurs are desperate to lift any trophy as they haven’t won the League Cup since 2008, so it was obvious that they needed to give it their all. However, Postecoglou went with a rotation that included a number of non-starters for this game.

Postecoglou has named a starting XI of Ben Davies, Micky van der Vaan, Davinson Sanchez, Emerson Royal, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Giovanni Lo Celso, Oliver Skip, Ivan Perisic, Manor Solomon, and Hicharlison Ghiandrazi, with Fraser Forster in goal.

The rotation makes sense. All mid-table clubs entering the second round of the League Cup rotate their starting XI for that round or so. In addition, Tottenham had played the same starting lineup in the second and third rounds, so the fitness levels of their players were down. ‘There was a good reason for the rotation. The problem was overdoing it.

Of the 11 players in the starting lineup, only two – center backs Mickey van der Vaart and Michy Batshuayi Andrade – started against AFC Bournemouth in the league last week. Nine changes were made, including captain and centerpiece Son Heung-min.

What’s more, the opponent was Fulham, a first division team in the English Premier League (EPL). While a nine-man rotation is understandable for a lower league team, it’s hard to understand the reasoning behind over-rotating against a tough EPL team like Fulham.

The over-rotation quickly caught up with them. The backups, who hadn’t played much and hadn’t gotten a feel for the game, struggled against Fulham. Fulham took full advantage and scored the opening goal. Tottenham’s equalizer only came when they were down to 10 men due to a problem with opposing right-back Kenny Tetteh’s cleats.

Rather than shuffling almost all of the starting XI, nine of the eleven, it could have been a different story.

As mentioned earlier, Tottenham have a scheduling advantage over the rest of the league because they don’t play in Europe, so it’s hard to understand why they chose to leave out almost all of their starters. In the end, it was a losing proposition.

Excessive rotation can also have a disruptive effect on team chemistry. Tottenham have been there, done that. During Nuno Espirito Santo’s tenure at Spurs, players such as Ben Davies resented the fact that he used his starters in important league games and completely rested them in less important conference group stage matches.

The excessive rotation prevented the team from getting into a good rhythm, while the inexperienced players, who were not as good as the starters, were completely outclassed by the opposition.

As a result, Spurs lost and were knocked out of the League Cup, which is still their best chance of winning this season. It will be 16 years since they won the League Cup in 2008, and 33 years since they won the FA Cup in 1991. 안전놀이터

On the same day, according to Tottenham’s official social media, Postecoglou said, “The players are disappointed in the locker room. But they are a resilient bunch and I know they will get back on their feet. We took a blow, but we have to get back up and get ready for the weekend (EPL).”

That’s all well and good, but the elimination could have been avoided in the first place. The rotation was acceptable, but the over-rotation was not. It was more like a cold shoulder.

‘Flooding in the baseball field~’ ‘Gwangju Champion becomes a sea of red water’

The baseball game between NC and KIA, scheduled to be played at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on Monday, has been canceled due to rain.

This is the first rainout for the KBO as the organization announced the rest of the day’s schedule.

It rained heavily in the morning in the Jeonnam region of Gwangju, and although the rain lightened up for a while in the afternoon, it started to fall so heavily that it was impossible to see from 4pm.

As the heavy rain poured into the puddles of water on the large tarpaulin, the field quickly became a sea of water. 카지노사이트

Kim Yong-hee, the tournament supervisor, had been on the ground since 2:00 to keep an eye on the weather conditions, but at 4:37, the water was too high to be repaired in a short time, so he decided to cancel the game.

The canceled matches will be rescheduled at a later date.

Holloway, Chung’s last opponent, says “Enjoy your retirement! Looking forward to your first album bro”

Max Holloway (31-USA) was respectful of “Korean Zombie” Chung Chan-sung (36) to the end, even saying he’s looking forward to releasing a music album.

Holloway posted on Instagram on Aug. 28 (KST), “Honored to share the Octagon with Korean Zombie. The man, the myth, the legend. I’ve seen him hold his own in the fight game with the humility and respect of a true martial artist. The OG (original gangster) of the WEC, UFC. There is no circus like it anywhere. You are the last of a dying breed. Thank you for paving the way,” he added in another show of respect.

Chung was knocked out just 23 seconds into the third round of his UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Korean Zombie main card bout against Max Holloway (31-U.S.) on Nov. 27 at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

“I’m done,” he said in an interview above the Octagon shortly after the loss, announcing his retirement. “I’m a person who wants to be a champion. I sincerely thought I could beat Holloway. I prepared without regret. I’m not in MMA to be third, fourth, or fifth,” he said, explaining his decision to leave the Octagon.

Holloway had the demeanor of a winner. After a brief moment of celebration, he walked over to Chung, who had collapsed. He comforted him and hugged him. Holloway grabbed the microphone and raised his arm, saying, “Chung is a legend.”

In a post-match Instagram post, Holloway wrote, “Enjoy your retirement. Looking forward to your first song album, Brother,” he wrote at the end. He also shared a photo with Chung after the game. Chung commented, “My last. It was an honor to be with you,” and “Let’s make my first album,” he wrote, tagging singer and friend Park Jae-beom.

Since turning pro in 2007, Chung has compiled a 17-8 MMA record, 7-5 UFC record, and has hung up his open-fingered gloves. The Holloway fight is often described as the perfect final fight. In particular, the fact that Chung, who was down 1-2 in rounds, made a rush in the third round that lived up to his nickname “Zombie” was significant in itself. 토토사이트

Leaving the Octagon with no regrets, Chung said on social media after announcing his retirement, “I haven’t achieved everything, but I’ve achieved enough, and I’m going to stop because it’s greedy to want more in my head state (cumulative impact),” adding, “Thank you so much for loving Korean Zombie. I was really, really happy while I was fighting in the UFC.”

After falling to last place in 33 years, Yankees look to sign Lee Jeong-hoo…New York media looks at next year’s infielders

Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom Heroes) has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the New York Yankees’ starting center fielder next season.

The New York Post reported on Nov. 27 (KST) that Lee Jeong-hoo is one of the potential middle infielders the Yankees could sign next year as they are uncertain about re-signing starting center fielder Harrison Vader, who is set to become a free agent at the end of this season.

Vader, who made his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2017, won the National League Outfield Gold Glove in 2021. He joined the Yankees in a trade last August and is batting .651 with seven home runs, 37 RBIs, 16 doubles, and an OPS of .651 in 81 games (280-for-68) this season.

“Vader, who is a free agent after the season, has lived up to his defensive reputation and been a steady presence in center field when healthy, but multiple injuries and inconsistent offensive production have made it questionable whether the Yankees will invest the money to bring him back next year,” according to the New York Post.

Vader hasn’t played full-time since 2021 due to a variety of injuries, including ribs, soles, obliques, and hamstrings. “Hopefully I’ll be back with the Yankees next year, but if not, it’s what it is. I’m just trying to take advantage of the moment I’m in this uniform right now,” said Vader, “and hopefully contribute offensively to help the team win more games the rest of the season.”

The New York Post reports, “If the Yankees don’t re-sign Vader, they don’t have many alternatives in free agency. Cody Bellinger, who resurfaced with the Chicago Cubs this offseason, is expected to be the biggest name, while South Korean star Jung-Hoo Lee, defensive veterans Kevin Kiermaier (Toronto Blue Jays) and Michael A. Taylor (Minnesota Twins) are possible additions.

Among the internal outfield prospects, Everson Pereira and Jason Dominguez were mentioned as alternatives. However, Dominguez is only 20 years old and just reached Triple-A, while Pereira, who was called up to the big leagues on Nov. 23, is a left fielder.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, “Pereira has played all three outfield positions and has shown what he can do at every position. He’s very athletic and has a good throwing arm. We haven’t completely ruled out center field, but we’re looking at a corner outfield for the long term.” 소닉카지노

The Yankees, who have lost nine straight games for the first time in 41 years – from the Miami Marlins on April 13 to the Washington Nationals on April 23 – have fallen to 62-68 and are in fifth place in the American League East. With the postseason out of reach, they are likely to finish last in the division for the first time in 33 years since 1990.

“This season has been a disaster,” said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who has been at the helm for 26 years. It’s embarrassing, it’s disappointing,” he said. Both Cashman and Boone’s jobs are up in the air, and they’ll have to turn things around next year. With an immediate need to bolster their lineup, a vacancy in center field, and a potential candidate to make a move for Lee Jeong-hoo, this is not the time to rebuild.

From alternative school baseball team to MLB contract to COVID-19 setback…”I was just waiting for today”

A baseball player from Mungyeong Campus of Global Advancement School, an alternative school for internationalization. He dreamed of becoming a major leaguer, but after being blocked by an unexpected barrier, he returned to his homeland. And now he dreams of becoming a KBO leaguer.

Born in 2001, right-handed pitcher Jin Woo-young was a member of the baseball team at Global Advancement School, which was led by Choi Hyang-nam. His alma mater’s baseball team is now disbanded and no longer exists. Despite the fact that the team was small and not widely known, Jin Woo-young was the pride of the school. He was recognized as a fastball pitcher and signed a contract with the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball (MLB) in August 2018 before graduation. The following year, his rookie-league challenge began.

In the minor league rookie level of the 2019 season, Jin went 6-2 with a 2.35 ERA in 14 games. The club’s expectations were understandably high, and the potential for improvement in his sophomore season looked promising.

But in early 2020, the team was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The minor leagues were shut down, and Jin was unable to play and continued to train privately. He returned to the team for the 2021 season, but was unable to advance to the next level and eventually left Kansas City as a free agent on September 17, 2021.

Upon his return to South Korea, Jin resolved his military issues. There was no reason to hold on to his regrets for long. Fortunately, being a full-time reservist allowed him to work out in the evenings after work. Once he was demobilized, he immediately joined the Paju Challengers in the independent league and focused on improving his game. After fulfilling all the requirements to be drafted as a rookie from overseas, Jin Woo-young participated in the KBO tryout at the Team Up Campus in Gonjiam-eup, Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do, on Aug. 28. “For the past two years, I’ve been waiting for the tryout and the rookie draft without forgetting a single day,” said Jin Woo-young, who threw a total of 30 practice pitches in front of scouts.

“It was raining today, so the environment was not good, but I think I showed the maximum effort and the best I could in that situation, so I have no regrets,” he said confidently, adding, “There are regrets than my best pitching, but I still did my best.”

The major league challenge was not without regrets. “In my first year, I did better than expected and had a perfect season. I was so happy, but suddenly the bad news of COVID-19 broke out, and the club was closed, and I came to Korea because it wasn’t a good environment for me to play in the U.S. I was very disappointed, but I thought it was a good time to strengthen and protect my arm, and I tried to prepare well in that situation,” he recalls.

Still, he’s only 22 years old. “It’s good to be able to come back from the U.S. Challenge at a young age and challenge the KBO again. I also solved my military problems, so I think that things are coming together nicely for me,” he said, adding, “I’m a little disappointed that I had to end my American dream early, but I can make a new start.” 먹튀검증

He also lost about 12 kilograms of weight from his minor league career and prepared for his professional debut with the Paju Challengers. His personal best fastball in an independent league game was 150 kilometers. His average fastball is around 145 kilometers.

“I watched a lot of games of pitchers my age, like Ahn Woo-jin and Moon Dong-joo, to see how they adapted to the professional game and how they dealt with hitters. I put a lot of effort into my pitches to survive in the U.S., where there are a lot of fastball pitchers. It’s one of my strengths. There are a lot of strong players in this year’s draft, but I’m determined to fulfill my dream of joining the pros.”

Chung retires after third-round KO loss to Holloway

“Korean Zombie” Chung Chan Sung (36) has announced his retirement from active competition after suffering a third-round TKO loss to former UFC featherweight champion and current No. 1 ranked Max Holloway (31-USA).

Chung was knocked out by Holloway 23 seconds into the third round of their featherweight bout in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Korean Zombie at Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday afternoon (Aug. 26).

It was the second straight knockout for Chung, who suffered a fourth-round TKO in his title fight against reigning featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (AUS) last April, and improved his career record to 17-8.

Chung landed a few punches on Holloway in the first round but couldn’t do much damage.

Wobbling after a flurry of punches in the second round, Holloway locked in a choke but escaped. This drained his energy and he began to lose ground.

At the start of the third round, Chung pushed his opponent forward and landed a punch, but was countered and dropped to the canvas. The referee stopped the fight 바카라.

After the fight, Chung announced his retirement from active duty. “I thought I was going to cry, but I don’t have any tears,” he said, “I’m a person who wants to be a champion. I thought Holloway could beat me, and I did it without regret,” he said. “I didn’t do this for third place,” he continued, “I didn’t beat a top ranked fighter, so I think it’s time to stop.”

After announcing his retirement, Chung fell to the ring and burst into tears. The crowd applauded and cheered as he exited the ring.

Ahn Ik-soo’s departure a ‘first step’ for Seoul under Kim Jin-gyu…could it signal a rebound?

FC Seoul is starting a new chapter under acting head coach Kim Jin-gyu (38). After a string of bad results and the surprise resignation of coach Ahn Ik-soo, it will be important to see how quickly the ‘legendary’ Kim Jin-gyu can turn things around. Showing fans that there is hope for a rebound in the rest of the season will be just as important as results.

Seoul, led by acting coach Kim Jin-gyu, will take on leaders Ulsan Hyundai in the 28th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at Seoul World Cup Stadium at 7 p.m. on Nov. 27. It will be the first match since Ahn Ik-soo announced his resignation shortly after the match against Daegu FC on Nov. 19, and Kim Jin-gyu was officially named acting head coach three days later.

Kim is a “legend” who played 220 K League games for Seoul as a player. After retiring, he coached Seoul’s U-18 team, Osango, before taking over as Seoul coach in 2020. He was promoted to head coach this year, but had to take over in a hurry when Ahn suddenly resigned. While he had previously led the team on an interim basis for three matches (one draw and two losses), including two matches due to Ahn’s COVID-19 confirmation and disciplinary action, this is the first time he has led a team in both training and matches.

The biggest challenge is to change the mood. Seoul have been winless in their last five matches (three draws and two losses). Since June, they have won two, drawn six, and lost four, and at home, they have been unable to get a win, with a recent record of one win, four draws, and one loss. They are now down to fifth place in the league standings. Depending on the outcome of the next one or two games, there are growing concerns that the team could drop to the ninth spot in the Final B group 스포츠토토.

On top of that, Ahn’s surprise resignation has thrown the team’s atmosphere into disarray. After receiving the news of his resignation on the 19th, the team left the stadium in a somber mood, with some players even shedding tears. Some players felt responsible for the coach’s resignation, and it was urgent to reverse the atmosphere that sank in the aftermath of the coach’s resignation.

In his first meeting after taking over, acting coach Kim Jin-gyu emphasized communication and fighting spirit to raise the team’s mood. He said, “I will communicate with all the players from today. If you have any difficulties, please feel free to tell me. The fighting spirit has been too low. We can’t go out on the field and not be ready to fight. This week, I want you to show that kind of character, a different kind of character, from the game against Ulsan.” The players also started their first training session under Kim Jin-gyu with a determined mood in the heavy rain. An official said, “The players trained in a serious mood while the rain was pouring down. Acting coach Kim Jin-kyu is a leader and communicates well. I believe he will do a good job.”

Of course, they faced a tough opponent right from the start. Not only is Ulsan the league leader, but Seoul has also been winless against Ulsan for five years, with four draws and 13 losses. From Seoul’s perspective, this is a game they can’t afford to miss. It would be a great start for the new head coach, and a great start for the new regime, if they can catch Ulsan and break the jinx. It’s the best-case scenario for Seoul against Ulsan.

As important as the result is, there’s something else. It would give us a glimmer of hope for the rest of the season. Seoul’s recent pattern of conceding late goals and dropping results has been repeated. This, coupled with poor game management and frequent substitutions, has led to a lot of criticism of Ahn. If Ahn can show a different side from his first game in charge, the mood of both the players and the fans could change dramatically. It would signal a rebound.

The club will also be keeping a close eye on the start of Kim Jin-gyu’s tenure as it could affect the process and speed of the new coach’s appointment. After Ahn’s surprise resignation, Seoul will be very cautious in selecting their next manager. If Kim can keep up the good work, the club will be able to proceed more carefully with the search for the next manager and the selection process as originally envisioned. Kim can certainly be included in that list. The prerequisite is that he can show the club and its fans that there is hope.