“The ‘goodwill competition’ motivates me.”
Before the opening match, Suwon Samsung had an unfamiliar problem. It was the Under-22 (U-22) resource. Suwon had been laughing all along with its “premium” U-22 resources. In 2021, Kim Tae-hwan (23), Kang Hyun-mook (22-Gimcheon Commerce), and Jeong Sang-bin (21-Minnesota) shined. They were from the affiliated youth team Matango. Fans nicknamed them the Matang Boys (MTS). Last year, “baby monster” striker Oh Hyun-kyu (22-Celtic) was a revelation. He exploded for 13 goals in the K League alone. However, they were unavailable due to transfers and enlistments.
Suwon signed six rookies ahead of this season, including Matango’s Lee Sang-min (18), Seo Dong-han, Jin Hyun-tae Lee Kyu-seok (21), and free agent Kim Joo-chan Jang Seok-hwan (18). They were given alternating opportunities in the league. However, it was true that their performance was somewhat lower than the previous players.
Kim Byung-soo and Suwon had faith in the young players’ growth. After a slow start, Suwon’s U-22 resources are showing signs of improvement. They showed off their talents in the round of 16 of the 2023 Hana OneQ Korea Football Association (FA) Cup against Daegu FC at Suwon World Cup Stadium on Thursday.
Suwon was forced to pull out the rotation card due to a tight schedule. Lee Kyu-sung, born in 2001, Son Ho-joon, born in 2002, and Kim Joo-chan, born in 2004, started. Before the game, Kim said, “It’s a growth process, so you have to believe and support them. They can be an option when they grow up,” Kim said.
The ‘youngsters’ from the U-22 squad came out strong. Kim Joo-chan converted Kim Bo-kyung’s pass in the 26th minute for the game’s final goal. He played 72 minutes before retiring to the bench to the applause of the fans. Son Ho-jun, who had been playing defense in place of Lee Ki-jae, defied expectations and played the full game. Lee Kyu-seok gave his all in the first half and was replaced by Jung Seung-won at the start of the second half. Suwon won the match 1-0 thanks to their performances.
After the game, Kim gave a positive assessment. “Lee Kyu-seok was frozen (laughs). I substituted him after the first half because I thought he was done. Kim Joo-chan is a player with skills. I think we can look forward to him. I was worried about Son Ho-joon, but he looked pretty good. I think this will boost his confidence.”
The players also gained confidence from the match. Kim Joo-chan said, “I’ve liked Suwon since I was a kid. It was the team I wanted to play for. I scored my debut goal for Suwon. I’m happy beyond words. I will become a better player. I think the goodwill competition (between the U-22 players) is motivating.” Son Ho-joon added, “I know we’re not good enough. I think you can think that. The coach told me to be confident and do my best, and I will do my best 메이저사이트.”