Professional soccer K-League kick-off on the 25th with Ulsan-Jeonbuk’Hyundai vs. First line in Cheongju and Cheonan
Korean professional football opens the 2023 season with a ‘Hyundai Family Showdown’.
The K-League 1 2023 season will start with a confrontation between Ulsan Hyundai and Jeonbuk Hyundai, which will be held at Ulsan Munsu Stadium on the 25th at 2:00 pm, and will enter an eight-month long journey.스포츠토토
Ulsan, who stopped Jeonbuk’s 6-game losing streak last season and enjoyed the excitement of winning the league in 17 years, and Korea Football Association (FA) Cup champion Jeonbuk, will go head-to-head from the first edition of the new season.
The second division, K League 2, announces the start of the 2023 season with six games to be held on March 1.
Like last year, K-League 1, in which 12 teams participate, will be played over 33 rounds until early October.
Afterwards, it is divided into Final A (1st to 6th place) and Final B (7th to 12th place), where each team plays five more games, and then the winning team, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League participating team, and the K League 2 relegated team are determined.
Gwangju FC, which won the K-League 2 championship last season, and Daejeon Hana Citizen, who succeeded in promotion for the first time after eight years of promotion and re-establishment as a corporate club through the promotion playoffs (PO), will newly join the K-League 1 this year.
Instead, Seongnam FC, the lowest in K League 1, and Kim Chun, who lost in the promotion PO, switch places with them and spend this season in K League 2.
With the addition of Chungbuk Cheongju FC and Cheonan City FC, K League 2 increased the number of participating teams from 11 to 13, the highest ever.
On March 1st, Cheonan invites Busan I-Park to Cheonan Sports Complex, and Cheongju makes its first appearance in K-League 2 with an away match against Seoul E-Land.
K-League 2 continues PO, the gateway to promotion to the first division, after each team plays 36 games.
The K-League 2 4th and 5th place semi-PO will be held on November 29th, and the K-League 2 3rd and semi-PO winning team’s PO will be held on December 2nd.
Promotional POs will be held on December 6 and 9 on a home and away basis.
The 11th place in K League 1 and the 2nd place in K League 2 will directly face each other, and the 10th place in K League 1 will face off against the final winner of K League 2 PO to determine whether they will be promoted next season.
The 12 K-League 1 club command towers have not changed since the end of last season.
Acting manager Choi Won-kwon, who was responsible for the second half of Daegu FC last season, welcomes the new season as an official manager.
In the K-League 2, Choi Yoon-gyeom of Cheongju, coach Park Nam-yeol of Cheonan, Park Choong-gyun of Seoul E-Land, Lee Ki-hyeong of Seongnam, and Seong Han-soo and Kim Cheon-sangmu coaches will join the new battle of resourcefulness.
In the K-League, which was launched in 1983 and turned 40, the most interesting thing this season is the championship competition between Ulsan and Jeonbuk, which have recently built a two-tier system in the first division.
While Jeonbuk climbed to the top of the league for five consecutive years from 2017 to 2021, Ulsan fought for the championship until the final match of the season for three consecutive years from 2019 to 2021 and stayed in second place.
Then, last year, Ulsan managed to pull Jeonbuk down to second place and win the title.
In Ulsan, Japanese midfielder Jun Amano moved to rival Jeonbuk, but most of the main players who won the championship last year are still alive.
In addition, with the signing of Joo Min-gyu, former scorer who played for Jeju United, Swedish midfielder Daryan Boyanich and striker Gustav Rubiksson, Ulsan is evaluated as a strong championship candidate again this year.
Jeonbuk, which is trying to regain the throne, also embraced Amano, Lee Dong-jun, who played an active role in Ulsan, and strengthened its power by recruiting central defender Jeong Tae-wook and Brazilian striker Rafael, who has won the AFC Champions League.
Last season’s 4th place Incheon United and 5th place Jeju, as well as FC Seoul, who finished the season in Final B, are evaluated as their best in the semifinals and are considered candidates to crack the Yanggang system.
Ahead of the new season, transfers of top midfielders in the league such as Yoon Bit-garam (Jeju → Suwon FC), Kim Bo-kyung (Jeonbuk → Suwon Samsung), and Shin Jin-ho (Pohang Steelers → Incheon) were noticed.
Attention is focusing on how the transfer students, including them, will perform in new uniforms this season.
Another point to watch is whether Hwang Eui-jo (Seoul), who briefly returned to the K-League after playing in Europe, could lay the foundation for a comeback.
It is also expected that foreign strikers such as Martin Adam, who joined Ulsan midway through last season and contributed greatly to the championship by scoring 9 goals (4 assists) in 14 games, and the competition for the top scorer between native goalkeepers.
There is a change in the foreign player system this year, and it is noteworthy how it will affect the team ranking battle.
In the case of K-League 1, the limit on foreign players has been expanded from ‘3+1’ (3 players regardless of nationality, 1 player from an AFC member country) to ‘5+1’ (5 players regardless of nationality, 1 player from an AFC member country) do. The “Southeast Asia Quarter” was abolished.
However, the maximum number of people who can participate in one game at the same time is 4 players, including 3 players of no nationality and 1 player from an AFC member country.
In the K-League 2, the existing rules for holding and participating in ‘3 players of no nationality + 1 nationality of AFC member countries + 1 nationality of Southeast Asia’ are applied as they are.