My short bio: Hey Reddit:

Been a sports writer in Seoul, South Korea, for the last seven or so years. I've covered the 2012 Olympics, the 2013 World Baseball Classic and the 2010 Asian Games. Also write about the KBO baseball and K League football etc. Been with Yonhap News for the last four years.

Contributor to

My Proof:

Ask me anything about sports in Korea, life as a sports writer and even what it's like covering North Korean athletes.

Follow me on Twitter @Jeeho_1 for tweets from Brazil.

I'm also on

EDIT: Thank you all for your questions. It's been fun :)

Comments: 156 • Responses: 58  • Date: 

mclovin4207 karma

Who is your favorite Korean baseball team? I am partial to Nexen myself...

jeehoyoo8 karma

I grew up in the city of Incheon... watched the old Chungbo Pintos, Taepyungyang Dolphins, etc... they were horrible teams actually haha... dark memories of my childhood, really... Then Dolphins became the Hyundai Unicorns, they relocated to Suwon, the team went up in flames after winning a few championships... And then came in the Nexen Heroes, now based in Seoul... So yeah, if anything, I should really be attached to Nexen, but since they're not based in Incheon, I can't really decide hehe... I don't really consider SK an Incheon team, for the record

mclovin4201 karma

As a teacher in Incheon, my students would be very upset at that remark. hahaha.

jeehoyoo5 karma

Haha, call me a purist Incheon baseball fan... I just can't bring myself to cheer for that SK team, even though some players and coaches grew up in the city...

mclovin4201 karma

Still though, its all pretty crazy over here. I love the baseball atmosphere, mainly because I don't have to pay $9 for a beer... Anyways, what is your opinion on the foreigner rule in Korean/Korean sports in general?

jeehoyoo3 karma

Foreign players eh? I think they can help sports here (in baseball for instance, former big league bats could put fans in the seats)... Some may say those guys are taking away jobs from homegrown talent. The way I see it, players from overseas can further push Korean players to perform better... they can also teach them a thing or two about playing... Esp. in KBO, with a 10th team joining the league next year, the talent level will be really diluted... We're already seeing some ugly games this season... Teams could certainly use their big league pitchers or hitters...

xuanxuan6 karma


Thanks for doing this AmA. What do you think of South Korea's chances this World Cup and who do you think will be the stand out players?

jeehoyoo11 karma

Hello to you. South Korea will likely get knocked out of the group stage this year. A bit pessmistic, I know hehe. I've mentioned Son Heung-min (Leverkusen) as perhaps the best-known Korean player, and I think he has a chance to take the next big step. He's a guy who can thrive in open field, a fearless, aggressive player. Coach Hong Myung-bo should just unleash this kid and let him do his things. Some good things could happen.

CallToon6 karma

Hello there! I'm from Belgium, one of your opponents in the group stage. The feeling over here is that we should get out of that group pretty easily, along with Russia. What are the expectations in Korea?

jeehoyoo10 karma

Hi, I think Belgium will go very deep into the tournament, even the semifinals. I feel that Belgium was considered an underrated team for a bit, and then everyone started talking about Belgian youngsters, and now they're really hyped! People might feel disappointed if Belgium can't get past the quarters haha... Seriously, Belgium should have no problem getting out of Group H. Russia could be second, but Algeria has surprised the past couple of matches (Armenia, Romania). Korea will face an uphill battle against all three, I think.

hajimayo6 karma

Is there any talented young player from Korea that might shine in the tournament? ??

jeehoyoo4 karma

I keep going back to Son Heung-min.. turns 22 in July... fearless attacker, can play false 9 or on wing... Likes to cut across from left toward middle and isn't afraid take shots...

I was also counting big things from DF Kim Jin-su (turns 22 on the opening day of the World Cup!) but he was dropped off the team with an ankle injury... What a shame for the promising player...

Puxtib6 karma

Are there any South Korean players that people who know very little about the team should watch out for?

jeehoyoo5 karma

Well, I hope I am not giving away anything on the Korean team haha. People who follow European football might have heard of Son Heung-min from Leverkusen and I think most other players aren't that well known outside Korea or Asia. One name that sticks out: DF Kim Young-gwon, who plays for Marcello Lippi on Guangzhou Evergrande (the 2013 AFC Champions League winners). Lippi apparently likes Kim a lot; Korean media are calling Kim "Lippi's adopted son" (not sure if anyone has ever asked Lippi about it but still...) He's a smart defender, solid positioning, can also join the attack. Suffers from occasional lapse of concentration, but he should be a starting center-back for Korea in Brazil.

Hurhurrahrah5 karma

Which matches do you think are must-watch for the group stage?

jeehoyoo4 karma

If you're referring to Group H, Belgium-Russia should be interesting... likely the top two teams in the group... on paper, Belgium with great offense and Russia with stifling D... In other groups, who wouldn't like to see the 2010 finalists go at it in group stage?? Spain vs. Netherlands in Group B will be fun to watch

tank_boy3 karma

How do you feel about Koo receiving the captaincy? Do you feel there were other players more deserving? Also, I know this team has a lot players plying their trade in Europe, but I just don't get a sense of confidence from them. Am I missing something or are they just too young a squad?

jeehoyoo3 karma

Hello. Koo has been the captain for the current head coach Hong Myung-bo at the 2009 U-20 World Cup, the 2010 Asian Games, the 2012 Olympics. So it was a logical choice, I think. Players like being around him. He's sort of a rah-rah guy in the locker room. There are older players on the team (and in Korean culture, age/seniority matters a great deal) but Koo, by all accounts, has been a good bridge between older guys and younger teammates. Lee Chung-young may have been another choice but he may be too quiet/reticent of a man to be a team leader at a World Cup.

Yes, a lot of young players now plying their trade in Europe, and some good ones too. (Son Heung-min for Bayer Leverkusen, for one). I can see why these guys won't inspire confidence for you. More optimistic analysts here say those guys may lack international experience but their experience at club level could compensate for that. I tend to agree a bit with that sentiment, but overall, I do feel that this team may be a tad too young.

GloriusL3 karma

Hi! Two questions: How do you think the Korean team will fare in the 2014 wolrd cup? How strong is the football culture in Korea? Compared to other leagues, how important would you consider the S. Korean one to be? Thanks for your time!

jeehoyoo7 karma

Hi. I am a bit pessimistic about Korea's chances. I don't think the country will survive the group stage this year. My guess is Korea will earn two or maybe three points in the group. This year's squad has had so much trouble scoring and I can't see them fixing that problem in time for Brazil.

In terms of professional leagues, football plays second fiddle to baseball. But the national football team is hugely popular and people follow the squad pretty closely.

Thanks for your questions.

Tsu_Shu5 karma

What can the K-league do to surpass the Korean baseball league in popularity?

Which of the 2 sports is most popular with younger generations?

jeehoyoo5 karma

Interesting question. Most football fans in Korea are spoiled in a way because they watch a lot of European club matches (pretty good TV coverage of Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, etc, over here) and they think K League is boring and no fun at all by comparison... With more Korean players going overseas now, it's gonna be difficult to reverse this trend... K League is trying what it can, though, adopting that relegation system for the first time a couple of years back.. I personally believe the K League is an underrated product and teams play some good football... But with KBO baseball games on cable TV literally every day (you can watch EVERY SINGLE pro baseball game on TV here), football has trouble getting into sports fans' consciousness..

Well, I am not really sure what the K League can do to surpass baseball here... A huge match-fixing scandal from 2011 clearly didn't help the K League... A good World Cup campaign by Korea could help, though... When Korea went to the semifinals in 2002, K League's popularity soared and baseball went through some really lean years at the gate...

MauroGelf3 karma

Who's your favorite international player?

jeehoyoo8 karma

If I had to name one right now... I know it pains me to say this because his country is in the same group as Korea... I really like how Eden Hazard plays. I tend to like attacking midfielders over strikers because of their creativity and how they can play well off their teammates, etc... But it might change after Belgium destroys Korea haha

SteddiEddie3 karma

What do you think of England's chances at the World Cup? Is the Premier League popular in South Korea?

jeehoyoo7 karma

Premier League is quite popular in Korea. Major matches are televised live (ones not even involving Korean players) and people stay up and watch into wee hours of the morning.

As for England, I think they will do what they always do at World Cups. I will leave it at that :)

jdog20503 karma

What is the sentiment in Korea on the political atmosphere surrounding the World Cup in both Brazil and Qatar? Both are turning out to be political nightmares with tons of corruption and scandals.

jeehoyoo4 karma

There really hasn't been much coverage on those situations over here... The focus is mostly on the Korean team and how they will do, etc, etc...

timhpal3 karma

What kind of tactics can we expect from Korea at the World Cup? And could you name the probable starting lineup for the first game?

jeehoyoo5 karma

Sure, Starting XI would look something like this GK: Jung Sung-ryong DF: Park Joo-ho, Kim Young-gwon, Hong Jeong-ho, Lee Yong MF: Han Kook-young, Ki Sung-yueng, Son Heung-min, Lee Chung-yong FW: Koo Ja-cheol, Park Chu-young. I may be off by a name or two. DF Park Joo-ho may be replaced by Yun Suk-young as left fullback, for instance.

Coach Hong Myung-bo doesn't seem to be a huge Xs and Os guy, if you know what I mean. But he stresses posession, movements away from the ball, shorter passes, likes to rely on fullbacks creeping in, etc. (The major problem being none of this has led to much scoring)... Defensively, Koreans will put some pressure on ball carriers early (forechecking, in NHL parlance hehe) and try to take control of the middle... The defensive key for this team is really concentration in my mind... Backs have suffered too many lapses in recent matches for their own good, getting caught napping, so to speak...

brayfurrywalls3 karma

Aside from football, big SK Wyverns fan here. Who do you think is going to win the KBO this year?

edit: also why do you think NC Dinos are doing amazing this year as only a second year team?

jeehoyoo3 karma

Looks like Samsung Lions again, doesn't it? It's been a very strange season in the KBO... A lot of runs, dragged out games, horrible officiating, etc... NC Dinos had a great corps last year, good manager (Kim Kyung-moon works better with young players than anyone, I think), and added some character guys in the offseason to balance things out... They get to have one more foreign player than the rest of the league for their first two seasons (last and this year)... So three foreign starters plus ex-MLB player Eric Thames tearing up the pitching... OF Na Seong-beom looks like a real deal, a five-tools guy... Add that up and you have a legitimate playoff contender this year

improbablewobble3 karma

What's been your experience with the North Koreans? Are their handlers as controlling as we've been led to believe?

jeehoyoo7 karma

I have covered North Korean athletes at the 2010 Asian Games (in China), the 2012 Olympics (London) and the East Asian Cup football tournament in Seoul (the North Korean women's team came to play)... Some athletes were more open about speaking to the press after their matches (through mixed zone, etc) than others... It all depends on the state of inter-Korean relations at the time... When the two Koreas were on better terms (holding summits, etc), they marched in as one at Olympics, etc, and coaches and athletes hung out away from the field... It hasn't been the case the last four, five years... In London 2012, a North Korean official threw a towel at South Korean journos for taking photos of the North Korean table tennis team at a practice, for instance... Most officials (wearing North Korean gear) simply ignored South Korean media's questions when approached (in the stands, for instance)...

As far as handlers, I'd imagine they're pretty strict on their athletes... The country is all about control, keeping its people (athletes or otherwise) on a tight leash

TeaCrimes3 karma

Hello, there. Thanks for the AMA
Do you think that Park Ju-Young and Yun Suk-Young deserves to be included in the World Cup squad?
Also if you had to pick 1 player that will have a 'hot streak' during the WC who would it be and why? (Not just from the Korean squad)

jeehoyoo4 karma

Thank you. Park, yes, because although he may not be the most likable/liked man, and he has played very little this season, he still has a history of coming through in clutch for Korea... Has scored some big goals over his career... I think coach Hong is counting on that trend, and Park has responded to Hong's faith in more than one occasion. As for Yun, I am not so sure. I always felt Park Joo-ho was a more deserving player than Yun. Park was left out, but then joined the team anyway when Kim Jin-su went down. Yun's advantage may be that he has played for Hong on different tournaments earlier in his career (U-20, U-23) and Hong may have picked him for their history together.

"Hot streak," eh? I am tempted to pick a player from Group H because I've followed this group more closely than others... Romelu Lukaku could be a big-time scorer for Belgium, it looks like... Deadly combination of size and skills...

maccazz3 karma

Hi there! So, in all honesty, who is the weakest nation at the World Cup this year and why is is Australia?

jeehoyoo5 karma

In FIFA rankings, Australia and Korea are the worst two among the 32 World Cup nations... ouch... I think Iran may also struggle (who am I kidding.. Iran almost knocked Korea out of Asian qualifying!!) in the same group with Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina...

hajimayo3 karma

Whats the greatest impact to korean team without Park Ji Sung? ? Do you think he is replaceable so far? ?

jeehoyoo5 karma

No one will ever replace Park Ji-sung for Korea... He's simply a big game player (at both club and international level)... Scored in three straight World Cups... Quiet captain who leads by example on and off the field... On the field, his ability to stretch the defense will be missed mostly...

Hoxerrr3 karma

Who do you think are the underdogs that can make a surpise in this cup for each group?

jeehoyoo6 karma

Hmm... I think Japan may be a bit overlooked squad this year but in Group C with Colombia, Greece and Cote d'Ivoire, I think Japan has a decent shot to reach the knockout stage... But I think for the most part, the countries that many feel will be the favorites will get the job done...

Tsu_Shu3 karma

How do you see North Korea's and South Korea's future footballing wise? Are they moving in the right direction? Any exciting youth talent to look out for?

I'd imagine information like this is hard to come by with North Korea. Apparently they've created an international football academy recently. What are your thoughts on this?

jeehoyoo3 karma

Wow, thanks for the link to the football academy. Haven't seen this one before. Surprising that a country as reclusive as North Korea would open up something like this.

Yes, it's difficult to get any sort of information on young talent coming up in North Korea. But their failure to qualify for the World Cup out of Asia is a fairly good indication of where their game is right now.

As for South Korea, I feel we have a good young core in midfield, still in their 20s, who can compete at another World Cup if they can qualify. This country sorely needs a go-to striker, though, because you've got to score to win in this sport! I see some athletic players in the middle but not a front-line goal scorer.

eldongato3 karma

You should take a look at south korea's u-17 squad. Almost all of them partake in European youth programs. One to seriously consider becoming the next big star is Lee seung woo, currently playing (but suspended due to a fuck up on behalf of management) for FC Barcelona. He is currently being touted as the next korean messi. You should check out his highlight reels I YouTube. A very promising player for sure.

jeehoyoo1 karma

Yeah, Lee Seung-woo and a couple of other kids playing on the Barca youth teams eh? Too bad he can't play in FIFA events (until next year, I think)... Hopefully he can keep developing...

stax_n_stax3 karma

Did QPR pick up any support in Korea for the year Park was with us? For the record while Park didn't leave here with many fans, a lot of us are very excited about Yun Suk-young, but we have very little info about his history. Is there anything particularly noteworthy, or is he just a decent, professional, speedy leftback?

jeehoyoo5 karma

Well, not sure if you follow baseball, but Yun is a cousin of a U.S. minor league pitcher Yoon Suk-min (they spell their last name in English differently). Yoon Suk-min was an MVP in the Korean league in 2011, signed with the Baltimore Orioles before this season and is pitching for their Triple-A team now.

As you said, he's a decent, speedy leftback. But he wasn't really a household name in Korea either before he signed with QPR.

Park didn't have such a great with QPR did he? Not sure if the team picked up much support but fans here certainly got to watch the club play a lot on TV...

But the whole circus surrounding Yun's availability for the Korean camp last month (QPR not releasing him ahead of championship playoff vs. Derby) might have angered fans here...

_Mandoo3 karma

Why is it that Koreans in the United States show no loyalty to a team, but support teams with Korean players? Example, I'm from New York and I hate Boston, Philly, and LA. I could care less if Ryu Hyun Jin had an injury and was out for the rest of the MLB season.

Also, who do you think will win the Stanly Cup, NBA finals, and the World Cup?

jeehoyoo4 karma

Predictions first: the Kings (another comeback win in Game 1!!) in 6, the Spurs in 6, and Brazil for the World Cup.

Unless those Koreans you refer to were born in the U.S.... I do think that immigrants may still have that "pride" thing... there are so few Koreans in those big leagues and they want to see one of their own do well...

I know when Ryu goes to pitch against the Mets in New York, he will get cheers from all the Korean fans from Flushing Meadows!! In Toronto (which is where I went to school), fans started chanting him with 'Ryu~' and people thought they were booing the guy!!

orr250mph3 karma

baseball - is shin-soo choo, who currently plays for the texas rangers, a high profile athlete in korea?

jeehoyoo3 karma

He's quite high-profile, yes... Wasn't really the case until recently, and signing that huge deal with Texas helped...

pinstripebowties3 karma

안녕하세요! 전 한국에서 올립니다 ㅋㅋ

What's your personal way of measuring the "quality" of a team? What's the most important factor, especially as a newscaster?

jeehoyoo3 karma

I am assuming you're talking football... With all team sports, I tend to look for players' chemistry, how well they can play with each other as a unit... It sounds abstract, I know, but it's the kind of thing that you know when you see it... Like many fans, I like to see goals scored... Quality teams will create scoring chances many different ways... I enjoy watching great players using their creativity, making passes to spots that no one else could see, etc...

poisonmango3 karma


jeehoyoo3 karma

My advice would be to keep at it, really. Keep writing, reading (that's really important), watching games, etc. I decided at a relatively young age (12-13ish) that I wanted to be a sports writer... I mostly started out reading newspapers and trying to copy some of the writers I read. And I obviously loved watching sports whenever I had a chance. Then I started also studying sports history, reading different books, etc.

One of the common misconceptions about this job is that people think we're just lucky people who get paid to watch sports. That's partially true and I count my blessings every day. But there's a lot of work that goes into the craft. I work for a news wire so there's always the pressure of trying to be the fastest to file news stories. Not only do you have to like sports, you have to know and appreciate them. It takes a lot of studying, I think. As much as watching games, I've spent countless hours reading and writing on my own (before I got to publish my stuff in newspapers, online magazines, etc)...

Enough about myself... The bottom line is there's no short cut. But if he's passionate about basketball or any one sport, that's a great place to start.

emptyfree3 karma

I'm going to Seoul for the first time in September. I'm excited to catch at least one Korean baseball game... most likely the Doosan Bears.

In your opinion, which Seoul baseball team has the best fan experience? What's the city rivalry between the three teams like?

jeehoyoo4 karma

Doosan seems to have the largest foreign fan base, as far as I know... They've been an exciting team to watch (plenty of offense, horrible bullpen, leading to a lot of high-scoring games, haha). I think you wlil enjoy watching them... The fan experience will be vastly different from what you have in MLB (if you're coming from the U.S. or Canada)... Nexen Heroes in Mokdong play in a small ballpark with much fewer fans than either Doosan or LG Twins... So I suggest you take in the Bears or the Twins when they're in town...

The Bears and the Twins have a pretty good rivalry going on (played each other in a playoff series last year), while Nexen only joined the league in 2008 and there really isn't much history for the club in Seoul...

AVGA113 karma

What do you think of Kim Shin Wook? Could you describe his play style and do you think he has the potential / ability to play in Europe? From my point and the little I've seen of him I think that his build could make him very successful in Europe.

jeehoyoo5 karma

Becuase of his build, he could be a decent target man. He used to be a defensive back and later a midfielder before he started playing as a forward. He's deceptively nifty with his footwork for someone his size. But overall, I think he's still learning how to play in a role that's expected of him, and he's not an overly physical player who can bang bodies with big defenders and withstand their challenges. What I like about him is his work ethic and how he's tried to improve different facets of his game. He is one guy that really worked his way on to the World Cup team.

CptnFunbags3 karma

1) Which single Korean athlete would you say is the best ambassador for all Korean athletes and Korea itself?

2) When do you expect the Korean Curling team to make a major push in the Olympics? I know this is the sport everyone really cares about.

jeehoyoo7 karma

1) I would say it is figure skater Kim Yu-na (though she retired after the Sochi Winter Games) A highly visible athlete in a marquee winter sport, won two Olympic medals, two world championships, speaks good English (gave presentation to IOC members during a Korean town Pyeongchang's bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics; Pyeongchang wont he bid)... I think how she handled herself in the aftermath of that judging controversy in Sochi helped cement her image as the country's top sports ambassador...

2) I'd like to think I was one of the few Korean sports hacks who actually understood curling (I went to HS and university in Toronto)... In Sochi, the women's team became the nation's darlings... Though they didn't win much, their matches usually fell during the prime time or afternoon hours here and were shown often on TV... Curling became really popular... But then in March, those same curlers accused their coaches of sexually and verbally harrassing them... Those coaches were banned or dismissed... Black eye for a sport that was just making its way up... Korea has one facility for curling, I think, and that's a shame for a country that will host the next Winter Olympics... Without enough infrastructure, I can't see how we can develop enough curlers to help the country be more competitive when it hosts the Winter Games...

TheChameleonPrince3 karma

With the 2018 Winter Olympics coming to your country, can you enlighten us as to what the winter sports culture is like in your country.

jeehoyoo4 karma

If you have followed Korea at previous Winter Games... this country has won all of its medals in skating events (mostly short track, and more recently speed skating, then two medals by Kim Yu-na in the past two Olympics)... Ski jumping garnered some attention when the real-life tale of the national team ski jumpers was made into a film (and became a box office hit) but I don't think it really lasted very long... Alpine skiing doesn't really generate much interest here, though people certainly like to go skiiing...

Some young ski jumpers coming up in moguls, I think... The women's curling team showed some promise in Sochi... Sledding events (bobsleigh, luge, skeleton) have made huge strides in recent years... Korea struggles in hockey and with the host nation not guaranteed a spot in the Olympic tournament, it remains very unlikely Korea will be good enough to qualify for Pyeongchang on merit... Korea has three hockey teams competing in the Asian league (competing with teams from Japan and China)...

So that's the performance part... as far as people playing winter sports, we mostly go skiing... Girls have picked up figure skating since Kim Yu-na became the world champ and the Olympic gold medalist, but public skating rinks for them to practice are few and far between...

Most of the athletic kids still go play the glamorous professional sports (baseball, football/soccer, basketball, etc)... Doesn't bode well for the future of the country's winter sports...

wslshin3 karma

How do you generally feel about the state of football in Korea, in terms of talent and fan popularity in Korea? After the massive boom in 2002, do you feel either factor is improving or declining? As a Korean in the United States, the only two things I can see are:

1) Son Heung Min seems to be the only bright young star to look out for

2) Baseball is back (if it ever went away 10 years) as the #1 sport

jeehoyoo3 karma

I think the current team has a good young core in midfield but lacks the scoring punch needed to win a match or go deep at World Cups... Fans here mostly follow the national team but the domestic league struggles to sell tickets or draw high ratings on TV (if they're on TV at all)... Yes, the boom was huge in 2002 but it has tailed off considerably since... Baseball is indeed back at the top sport and has no competition...

Son is the most visible player on this year's team, I think... Ki Sung-yeung and Lee Chung-yong have been around forever and this is their second straight World Cup, but they're still only 24-25 ish... Cardiff City's Kim Bo-kyung was on the 2010 World Cup team and he's still only 24... So I think talent is certainly there, but just not in areas where Korea needs the most talent...

wslshin2 karma

Wow, I didn't realize that Ki and Lee were in their mid-20s, I feel like they've been around for a decade.

But going on that, I feel like there is a lack of veteran leadership in this 2014 team, compared to previous squads. 2002 was amazing, because it was the time for longtime veterans like Hong Myung Bo and Yoo Sang Chul to finally get their moment of glory, and I think it was the perfect mix of young talent and veteran leadership that was able to make the team so good.

Even 2006 and 2010 had veteran leaders like Park Ji Sung, Lee Woon Jae, Kim Nam Il (let's forget his Nigeria game ever happened).

For this 2014 squad, I don't feel as enthusiastic about the veterans as in previous years. Park Chu Young's and Lee Keun-Ho's careers haven't planned out as it should have, I'm nervous about Kwak Tae-hwi leading the backline, and I miss the the days of Lee Woon Jae when I wouldn't have to worry about the keeper position. I do like the choice of Koo-Ja Cheol as a captain, just because he's had so much experience as a leader, but the fact that a 25 year old is leading this team seems to confirm my concerns.

Would you say I'm right or wrong in my assessment?

jeehoyoo3 karma

I agree with the leadership part. Yes, the previous teams had some older, seasoned players. Hong Myung-bo wanted the same, which is why he went after Park Ji-sung and tried to get the man to play!! Kwak Tae-hwi is the oldest man but the problem is he may not even be the third or fourth best DF on this team! So how can he be expected to be a leader when he probably won't play much in Brazil?

One thing about Park Chu-young: the media have an on-and-off relationship with him (mostly off :) but his teammates love the guy... It's almost like he has split personalities; really outgoing, gregarious, caring, generous with his teammates, aloof and reticent with the media. Young guys often talk about how Park Chu-young is one of the first guys to approcah them on the first day at the camp, talking to them, trying to get them to relax, etc.

No one will ever replace Park Ji-sung as the team leader in my opinion. but Park Chu-young has good rapport with the current group of teammates, I think. He has played with most of the guys at the Olympics, too, and I think that should help also.

nickkula3 karma


jeehoyoo3 karma

Baseball is the biggest sport, and footbal is a distant second, followed by volleyball and basketball. Baseball really has no competition (literally every game is on cable, tons of articles, highlights, even full games available on portal sites, etc)

ohhii2 karma

Favorite K League team?

jeehoyoo5 karma

I don't really have a favorite team in any of the leagues. It's not so much about trying to maintain objectivity or anything. I've lived abroad, spent time in different cities in Korea, etc. So I don't really have a specific rooting interest in Korea hehe. But I do enjoy watching certain clubs, like FC Seoul and Pohang Steelers... (they will play each other at the AFC Champions League quarters in August)

USAF_DTom2 karma

Hello I am an American who's only sport is soccer/football. I'm liking your team better than ours this year lol. Son really looks to be a top young player, not just in Germany with Bayer, but in the world. Good luck you you in the World Cup.

jeehoyoo2 karma

Thanks. Your team is in a really tough group. The U.S. also travels more distance in Brazil than any other country, I believe. Who knows, Korea and the U.S. might clash in the round of 16! (I am not holding my breath though). Son Heung-min is a fine young player to be sure. I think I've also mentioned DF Kim Young-gwon of Guangzhou (coached by former Italian boss and '06 World Cup winning manager Marcello Lippi) as a young player to keep an eye on. Korea has a very young team (average about 26 years old) and only one player is over 30 years old. Hopefully they can put their good athleticism and energy to good use. Good luck.

lboss12232 karma

Why is KBL not really popular? I mean there isn't the KBO season that onterferrd with it like the K League...

jeehoyoo2 karma

Hi, basketball was arguably more popular before the launch of the professional league KBL in the early 1990s... There was a huge boom with the National Basketball Festival (semi-pro teams, college team), a highly popular Korean TV drama loosely based on two college hoops rivals, and the start of NBA coverage on Korean television (as Jordan led the Bulls to three straight championships...) Basketball players at the time were treated much like K-pop stars today... huge celebs... The majority of the fans in the stands were teenage girls, some literally swooning at the sight of their favorite basketball players... Now those guys graduated from colleges and then the KBL was founded (1997)... The KBL did relatively well in the early going, I think, but as that particular generation of stars got older, we didn't really have younger players coming up to replace them (in terms of popularity, basketball skills, etc)... More so than other sports, I think basketball (the same can be said about the NBA) relies heavily on presence of visible star athletes, and the KBL really hasn't had a household name star for quite some time... I think it has hurt the league in recent years... (Most guys I grew up watching are now coaching in KBL. .makes me feel old)

KimG19052 karma

Any interesting interviews you've done?

jeehoyoo3 karma

Hello. My first interview was an NBA Hall of Famer Nate "Tiny" Archibald. He brought a team of D-League All-Stars to play a couple of exhibition games here. I was an intern at an English-language newspaper here (still second year in university at the time). I was pretty intimidated but we were about the same size, so that kinda helped :) At first, I didn't really know who he was (he played well before my time)... and when I went to the court that his team was supposed to practice, I was supposed to meet up with the team's PR man... It turned out I actually asked Archibald who this PR man was haha... That was embarrassing... But Mr. Archibald was nice about the whole thing...

Too many interviews to count... I once spoke to big league outfielder Curtis Granderson during his visit to Korea as an MLB Ambassador. What a gentleman...

My most recent interview was yet another NBA Hall of Famer, Alex English... He was in Seoul as a State Department's Sports Envoy...

Tomhap2 karma

Annyeong haseo!

A Dutch person here, could you tell me your opinion on Guus Hiddink when the coached the national Korean team, have you ever met the guy?

And what do you think about our chances? We're up against Spain (yikes), Chile and Australia.

jeehoyoo2 karma

Yikes indeed about your grouping. Dennis Bergkamp was my favorite international player growing up :) But your team should be able to get past the group... After that, Brazil may await you... More yikes!

Anyway, I've had a chance to see Coach Hiddink.. (Not any one-on-one setting, mind you)... For what he was able to do with the team he coached, Hiddink became and still is seen as a national hero (I think he even has an honorary citizenship of Seoul)... He changed the whole football culture here, I think (how players train, prepare for the World Cup, etc)... Also, he raised expectations to unrealistic levels... the coaching job for the national team is really a tough one because Hiddink set the bar so high... Not sure if Korea will ever go that deep in any World Cup again...

RivellaLight2 karma

안녕하세요 유지호 (이름이 맞아요?)!

저는 유럽인이지만 엄청 큰 태극전사팬이에요. 이번여름에 알제리아와 벨기에 경기를 한국에서 볼거에요. 엄청 기대해요!

관련 질문이 있어요. 월드컵 브라질에 있어서 경기는 4시 세벽에 한국 시간 있어요. Do you think there will still be many people watching it live? I'd absolutely love to watch it in a public viewing but due to the time of day I'm scared that the city will be dead (I'll be in 부산 and 서울). What do you think?

jeehoyoo3 karma

Hello, thanks for your question (yes, that's my name. Good work!) Yes, obviously, those matches won't obviously ben in prime time here. But I am sure people will watch it live. The Red Devils will do that street cheering in Gangnam area in Seoul (near COEX, I heard) rather than the usual Seoul City Hall Plaza (where memorial altar has been set up for victims of the Sewol ferry sinking)... I think it will be bright enough by the end of the first half for people to watch it outdoors. Have fun!

arh8282 karma

I heard that you are quite bad at fantasy football, is this true? How do you think you will fare this year?

jeehoyoo8 karma

Hey man, this is a thread about football not the American brand where you throw the ball and try to catch it haha. Thanks for your Q anyway. I don't know if I will win the championship but I am gonna beat you :)

tehallmighty2 karma

Which baseball team is the best in all of korea? And also, is there any interest in korea about american sports such as Basketball or football?

jeehoyoo6 karma

Hello, the Samsung Lions have won the past three championships and they're in first place as we speak... Yes, interests in MLB and NBA are pretty substantial.. (NFL and NHL, not so much)... Having some Korean players in MLB in the mid- to late-1990s helped... Korean TV started broadcasting some NBA games in the early 1990s during Jordan-era Bulls' first three-peat, and Jordan (like he's everywhere in the world) became a huge icon here... NBA reg. season and playoff games are televised here live... MLB games involving Korean players (LHP Ryu Hyun-jin of the Dodgers and OF Choo Shin-soo of the Rangers) are also broadcast live here

Cyssero2 karma

Are there any baseball prospects from Korea MLB fans should be keeping an eye on in the coming years?

jeehoyoo3 karma

We have a high school shortstop named Park Hyo-jun and he's said to be close to signing a contract with the Yankees... But baseball prospects have been hard to come by in recent years... Around 2007-2008, about a dozen kids signed on with several clubs (most notably the Cubs) but they're still in the minors as we speak... One guy, SS Lee Hak-ju, was traded by the Cubs to the Tampa system a couple of years ago... he's in Triple-A and is a good bet to reach the majors soon... Seattle had a Triple-A 1B Choi Ji-man but he was recently suspended for 50 games for doping... (was on 40-man roster last season)

AnotherMansCause2 karma

Hi there, what is the most popular sport in Korea and are there any which people outside of Korea, may never have heard of?

jeehoyoo5 karma

Hello, baseball is by far the No. 1 sport in Korea. Attendance, TV ratings, etc.. nothing comes close... Football is a distant second, but the national team football is pretty closely followed...

r_e_d_d_i_t2 karma

Hi, how do you think Korea will fare in their last warm up game before the WC against Ghana? What can we expect to see?

Thank you.

jeehoyoo2 karma

Thank you. The starting XI vs. Ghana will probably be the starting XI vs. Russia in Brazil. I don't see Hong Myung-bo making any drastic changes. But obviously he will use his maxium 6 subs to test different combinations. The loss to Tunisia was pretty deflating; very lethargic efforts on both ends. Ghana will be an even more difficult test for Korea (theoretially, they could meet in the round of 16, but only theoretically)... Korea will probably lose again, I think... I'd like to see more energy on offense, better concentration on defense.. and maybe No. 2 goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu will see some action in this one...

webchip2 karma


jeehoyoo2 karma

There was some trash talking going on between the two countries at the time. The Iranian coach said something about how Korea was going to lose and then the Korean coach fired back that Iran would be watching the World Cup at home (turned out it was the other way around. The coach stepped down, and Iran qualified for the World Cup!!) Anyway, after that goal and the Korean loss, fans here were pretty upset. (The game was played in a city well south of Seoul.) Fans threw debris toward the field as Iranian players celebrated their win. The Iranian coach made some gesture with his fist toward the Korean bench after the whistle; it was caught on camera; suffice it to say, he wasn't the most beloved man in this country afterward...

pugglesworthIV2 karma

So when are Hanwha Eagles going to start being contenders again? They are my KBO team and also How do you feel about the Suwon Bluewings chances this year?

jeehoyoo4 karma

The Eagles are a mess, aren't they? I think they're still a few years away (need to draft well the next couple of years, hopefully find a Ryu Hyun-jin or two in the draft)... Can't say I've been following Suwon much this year, but looks like they're underachieving...

I_Just-Blue_Myself2 karma

how is the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL viewed in South Korea? could you rank them in popularity? what teams are the favorites in each league?

fwiw I love Korean food culture. have you scouted any Korean restaurants in Brazil?

jeehoyoo3 karma

Hello... If I were to rank them: MLB-NBA-NFL-NHL... MLB because of the history of Korean players having performed there... NBA (I talked about this in an answer to an earlier Q) has been steadily popular since Jorda's first three-peat era... NFL games were televised for a bit when Hines Ward (his mother is Korean) played and won Super Bowls, but not any more... NHL was available on cable for a bit but not any more... Hardly anyone cares about hockey here (it's a shame... I am a big fan)

MLB: Koreans obviously love their Dodgers and Rangers because of Korean players there... NBA, probably the Heat withe LeBron and the Thunder with KD...

No, I haven't had a chance to scout Korean restaurants.. I've been scared out of my wits as far security over there and so I am not sure if I want to venture out much haha

SJH5842 karma

Hi there, thanks for doing this AMA. What do you think about Lee Seung-Woo? Do you think he could play for South Korea in the 2018 World Cup?

jeehoyoo2 karma

Thanks for your question. We do have some teenagers playing in Spain now. Lee Seung-woo as you mentioned. His teammate Baek Seung-ho. Jang Gyeol-hee a level below in Barcelona. I can't say I have had a chance to see them play much... And because of the violation of the international rule (Barca having been sanctioned for international transfers of players under 18), they can't play in FIFA-sanctioned events for one year (until next spring, I believe) So that deprives fans of chances to see these kids against good competition... That's a shame... I hope they can keep developing and join the senior national team in four years' time!

MisterE2k141 karma

Does the Korean Soccer team have the same expectations as their run in 2002?

jeehoyoo5 karma

Expectations really soared after that run in 2002... Almost out of control... National surveys say about 80 percent of the Koreans think the team will reach the knockout stage... That's just unrealistic to me... People here are passionate about their national football/soccer team and expectations will always be high...

Thinkyt1 karma

I've got $3.41 in my pocket, and a few pieces of lint, who should I put my money on, in your opinion, to win the World Cup? (and why?)

jeehoyoo3 karma

Like many people, I am very tempted to say Brazil. Playing on the home soil, seems to be peaking just at the right time. Round of 16 could be tough (Spain or the Netherlands) but Brazil's talent will take over. Too much firepower with Neymar, Fred, etc...

The_Happy_Pooper1 karma

You don't really believe Korea has a chance, do you?

Also, do you think Joo Yang is cute?

jeehoyoo3 karma

No, I don't believe Korea has a chance. I'd be very surprised if Korea made it out of the group stage

yesanothernerd1 karma

Hi! Thanks for doing this AmA. Kind of a late question, but I was just wondering if you know of any internet sites or American TV channels that will be streaming the Korea games live?

jeehoyoo2 karma

Hello, thakns for the question. I am not aware of any particular channel that might be streaming Korean games, but I can try to find out for you before the start of the World Cup. Enjoy the World Cup!

Guard011 karma

What do you think of South Korean goalkeeper Kim Yong-Dae? Many dismiss him but I think he's a great shotstopper.

jeehoyoo6 karma

Too bad he didn't make the team this time. Kim Seung-gyu and Lee Bum-young have outperformed Kim Yong-dae of late. Lee is more of an insurance pick because he's been great on penalties. Kim Seung-gyu looked to be challenging Jung Sung-ryong for the top job, but Jung (perhaps finally motivated by having a rival) looks to have regained control of the job.

Guard013 karma

Thanks for answer! Great to finally talk Korean football let alone korean goalkeepers!

Many still think Jung is "incompetent" has earned the nicknamed "gorilla" among the forums I use to browse.

You are right about Kim Seung-Gyu. Many tout him as the future of Korean goalkeeping with Lee Bum-Young slowly behind. Do you think Jung will be the GK for Asian Cup 2015? I think so but that just might be his last big tournament.

I might be biased towards Kim Yong-Dae as he's my favorite Korean footballer but I do realize has was shakey at time during 2011 and 2013. But during the end of 2013, he was regaining form and now it seems the defense is pretty much giving him grief all the time. FC Seoul without Dejan and Adi has been noticable. Do you think FC Seoul will ever be the same without (arguably) two of the best players of Dejan Damjanovic and Adi?

Getting to the final of the 2013 AFC CL (for FC Seoul) was pretty amazing and I will forever kick myself when he was in the South Korean NT in early 2000s and I was still 10-11 years old. I have his FC Seoul jersey which Adi himself helped me get. I cherish it forever.

Thanks for your time!

jeehoyoo3 karma

Hi, the pleasure is all mine. :) I think by the Asian Cup next year, Kim Seung-gyu will probably be the No. 1 guy. Jung's grip on the job is pretty tenuous anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if Kim Seung-gyu actually makes an appearance in Brazil.

FC Seoul... What a great team they had the past couple of years. I loved watching Adi and Dejan play, too. Great professionals. That team will never be the same without those two guys. It's a big shame, really, but this team has done admirable work without them in the AFC CL this year. (Too bad they're playing Pohang though. Only one Korean team will be left after the quarters...)

Guard011 karma

Great. Looking forward to see what Kim Seung-gyu can do. (Slighty, I see it spelled on the Wiki as "Kim Seung-Gyu and you and others do it with lower-case G...., which is the correct way?)

And secondly, do you think the KFA will ever sell jerseys of goalkeepers of the national team? I would love buying a NT jersey of Kim Seung-gyu in the future.

And lastly, do you by the off-chance of 99/1,000,000 happen to know someone who has a Kim Yong-Dae jersey of when he played in the South Koean national team from the early 2000s...


jeehoyoo1 karma

the KFA spells it Kim Seunggyu... They want the first names in one word without the hyphen.. I use the hyphen and the lower case letters because that's our style news articles...

I am sure jerseys of all members on the World Cup team will be available... I will probably ask around when I get a chance :)

You must be a big fan of Kim Yong-dae's :) I don't know anyone personally, unfortunately...

tensaibaka1 karma

I'd like to hear your take on the nationalistic part of the soccer matches featuring Korea vs Japan. Is it blown way out of proportion, or do the fans there eat it up when Korea beats any Japan team? I currently live in Japan, and every time a Korean player does something to show their patriotism (even though it's technically against the rules in international games) after scoring a goal or beating Japan, it's all over the news here.

jeehoyoo6 karma

I am sure Japanese get fired up about facing and beating Koreans in any sports, and it's the same here... Given the history of the two countries, I think Koreans still see themselves as the underdogs, or even David with Japan being Goliath... And nothing gets sports fans here more excited than beating Japan in sports, especially in baseball and football... (WBC, London Olympics, etc)