Seoul with ‘Gidong Magic’ wings, is the squad reform also gaining momentum with ‘Kim Gi-dong’s color’?

Seoul made K League attendance history in the 2023 season. The club surpassed 400,000 (439,000) cumulative fans for the first time in the K League since the start of paid attendance in 2018. With an average attendance of 22,633, the team broke the record for the highest average attendance in a single season in Korean professional sports, surpassing the previous record of 21,901 held by the Lotte Giants in 2008.

However, the results were disappointing. The club was in contention for a spot in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) at the start of the season, but their form dropped off dramatically midway through the campaign, leading to the resignation of head coach Ahn Ik-soo in August.

Seoul tried to stabilise their fortunes by appointing head coach Kim Jin-gyu as acting head coach, but it wasn’t easy. Even at their most favourable position, Seoul failed to finish in the top six and ended up in Final B for the fourth consecutive year. They finished in seventh place.월카지노

Seoul quickly looked for a new coach to lead the team and prioritised Kim Ki-dong, one of the hottest names in the K League.

Kim is one of the hottest coaches in the K League in recent years. Kim took over at Pohang in 2019 and led the team to finishes of 4th-9th-3rd-3rd until the 2022 season.

Kim signed a new three-year contract with Pohang ahead of this season. The club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and is determined to win the title. Kim Ki-dong proved himself to be the perfect fit by finishing runner-up in the league and lifting the FA Cup.

Naturally, the interest in Kim Ki-dong has only increased. Chinese teams, including Shanghai, have also approached Kim Ki-dong, and Seoul has even set up a negotiating table. “It is true that we are in talks,” Seoul said on 11 November.

With negotiations literally “in progress,” there was a chance that Seoul might not sign him, but the talks reportedly moved quickly. The two sides came to an agreement on the broad strokes, and Kim Ki-dong is expected to take over the reins of Seoul next season.

Seoul made a “storming signing” last season. The likes of Kim Sang-hyeop, Willian, Kim Kyung-min, Park Soo-il, Lee Si-young, Hossam Iash, and Choi Cheol-won joined the squad. However, their ‘versatility’ was not so wide. Despite the size of the squad, there were only a limited number of players on the pitch, and naturally, the gap was felt even more when there was a departure from the main squad.

On top of that, Seoul has 16 players set to become free agents after this season, the most in K League 1 along with Suwon FC and Jeonbuk Hyundai. The free agents range from veterans like Ki Sung-yong, Ko Yo-han, and Ji Dong-won to youngsters like Lee Tae-seok, Baek Sang-hoon, and Baek Jong-beom.

At a time when the squad needs to be reorganised, Kim Ki-dong’s arrival provides a clear path forward.

“Kim Ki-dong has a clear tactical style,” says one KFA official. He also has a clear colour scheme for the squad. In a situation like Seoul’s, where there is a need to clean up, the squad reshuffle could gain momentum based on his style.”

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