Pohang Steelers enter ‘Soosung’ in second place.
Pohang, led by head coach Kim Ki-dong, ended July in second place. The team is on a two-game winning streak, defeating Jeju United (4-2) and Jeonbuk Hyundai (2-1). They have 44 points from 24 league games, extending their lead over third-place FC Seoul (37) to seven points. Seoul’s one win in their last five games (two draws and two losses) has consolidated their position in second place.
Kim’s strategy in July was to hold on. Pohang lost several key players to injury, including Jung Jae-hee, Kim Jong-woo, Shim Sang-min, and Shin Kwang-hoon. However, Pohang managed to minimize the gap by actively utilizing its U-22 resources and switching some players’ positions.
After the July break, Pohang resumes its league schedule with a 25th round match against FC Seoul on July 4. It’s a two-way tie for second place, so it’s worth six points. If Seoul wins, the gap between the two teams will shrink back to four points. The good news for Pohang is the return of their injured players. Not all of them will be back, but one by one.
Most notably, Jung Jae-hee and Kim Jong-woo are back. Jung Jae-hee, who wore a Pohang jersey last season, is a resource with explosive speed and dashing breakthrough ability. He scored two goals in the first six games of the season. He was a perfect fit for Pohang’s offense. Since his departure, Baek Sung-dong, Kim Seung-dae, and Kim In-sung have taken turns filling in, but Jung Jae-hee is a different style. If used as a late-game ‘joker’ until he’s fully fit, he can be quite potent. He can also help stabilize the stamina of Baek-Seong-dong and Kim Seung-dae, who played a lot of minutes.카지노사이트
The same goes for Kim Jong-woo. Kim Jong-woo is a midfielder who was brought in as a replacement for Shin Shin-ho (Incheon United). He was a key part of Pohang’s midfield alongside Oberdan earlier this season. His pressing and ability to set up attacks has been a big boost for Pohang. However, competition is inevitable, as summer signing Han Chan-hee and U-22 international Kim Jun-ho have done a good job of filling his shoes. There is a possibility that Kim Jong-woo could be deployed up front at times due to his attacking prowess.
The return of left-back Shim Sang-min is also a big boost. Wandelsson, who has improved his fitness with more playing time, will also be utilized more. Not to mention the addition of multiplayer Shin Kwang-hoon as a ‘mental support’. Pohang has five games in August alone, including the FA Cup. Having secured second place despite the departure of their mainstays, Pohang will now challenge for the ‘mantle’ with their summer signings.