Korea Baseball Organization
Friday to Saturday, Gocheok Sky Dome, Seoul
The top players in Korean baseball will meet this weekend for the KBO All-Star Game at the Gocheok Sky Dome in southwestern Seoul.
Friday will feature various events including an autograph signing and the all-star game for the Future’s League, the KBO’s second-tier league. There will also be a Home Run Derby featuring top hitters from the upper-level KBO League.
The first day will conclude with a “Ground Party,” during which fans can go down to the stadium’s baseball field and dance to music mixed by a DJ.
During the second day on Saturday, two teams - the Dream All-Star team, composed of players from the Samsung Lions, Doosan Bears, Lotte Giants, SK Wyverns and KT Wiz; and the Nanum All-Star team, comprising players from the Kia Tigers, Hanwha Eagles, LG Twins, Nexen Heroes and NC Dinos - will compete against each other.
Some of the star players on the roster include Bears pitcher Dustin Nippert, the ace Giants batter Hwang Jae-gyun, and Dinos third baseman Park Sok-min and first baseman Eric Thames.
Thames, a top hitter, is also participating in Friday’s Home Run Derby.
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors at Jeju United FC
7 p.m. Saturday, Jeju World Cup Stadium, Jeju
The top-ranked Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors face Jeju United FC after a devastating loss to second-tier league team Bucheon FC 1995 in the Korean FA Cup quarterfinals, the team’s first loss this season.
While Jeonbuk is out of the FA Cup, the team remains undefeated in the K-League Classic. The question is whether the team can recover quickly enough from its morale-bruising loss in time for Saturday’s match.
Jeju United is looking to take its first win in four weeks. The team’s last victory came during the 15th round of the K-League Classic, when it edged the Pohang Steelers 3-1 at home. Since then, it has lost three games and tied one.
Jeju United has a formidable opponent in Jeonbuk scorer Lee Dong-gook, the all-time K-League leader. Although Jeju United has a star striker of its own, Lee Keun-ho, his contribution to the team since joining earlier this season has been lackluster.
In the 16 games that the former national team striker has played for Jeju United since coming on board, Lee has scored only four goals and made three assists despite 30 shot attempts total.
Jeju United has had eight wins, three draws and eight losses so far this season, while Jeonbuk has won 10 games and tied in nine.
FC Seoul at Incheon United FC
7 p.m. Sunday, Incheon Football Stadium, Incheon, Gyeonggi
Incheon United FC has finally worked its way out of the league bottom and hopes to continue the momentum, just as FC Seoul looks to come out of a three-game losing streak in the K-League Classic.
Incheon United’s efforts to reach the FA Cup finals this year again came to a halt after a 4-1 loss against Ulsan Hyundai FC.
Despite having its FA Cup hopes dashed, the team has been playing better in the K-League Classic, with two wins, one loss and two draws in June, and a win and a draw in July.
It also managed to tie in matches against K-League Classic elite clubs such as the Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Suwon Samsung Bluewings.
On the other hand, FC Seoul has been struggling in the league, losing its past three games in the Classic ever since Hwang Sun-hong took over for Choi Yong-soo as coach.
The new skipper was able to clinch his first win with FC Seoul, though it was through the FA Cup and not the league. Hwang will be looking to grab his first K-League Classic victory during Sunday’s match against Incheon United.
At the moment, FC Seoul is ranked second after Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors with nine wins, four draws and six losses. Although it is tied with Ulsan Hyundai FC in terms of records, it is FC Seoul’s offense that is keeping Seoul above Ulsan. Seoul has netted 35 goals this season.
Incheon’s record stands at four wins, seven draws and eight losses.