Two of the key forces behind South Korean soccer have found new homes with Birmingham City of the English Women’s Professional Soccer Championship (2nd Division).
Birmingham City announced the signings of midfielder Cho So-hyun (35) and forward Choi Yoo-ri (29) on Friday (July 15).
Cho signed a one-year contract with an option to extend for a second year, and Choi signed a two-year contract with an option to extend for a third year.
This is great news for Korean women’s soccer. Korean men’s soccer has seen an influx of European players, starting with Park Ji-sung, the “father of overseas soccer,” while Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), and Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) are enjoying successful periods at world-class clubs.
At the end of last year, the South Korean men’s national soccer team reached the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar for the third time in 13 years.
The South Korean women’s national team is ranked 20th in the FIFA rankings. But the global barrier remains high. At the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in July, the team finished last in its group with one draw and two losses.
The team hired a foreign coach, Colin Bell, to prepare for the tournament, but scored just one goal in three games, a reminder of the level of competition on the world stage.
You can’t really blame the players. The level of professionalism, infrastructure, and number of soccer players in the countries that dominate the world stage is embarrassing to compare.
Of the 23 players who started the World Cup, only Lee Young-joo (Madrid CFF), Lee Keum-min (Brighton & Hove Albion Wimmin), Casey Eugene Fair (PDA), and Yoon Young-gle (BK Hecken) were overseas.
Aside from Ji So-yeon (Suwon FC Wimin), who returned to Korea after a long stint abroad, the u-turns of Jang Seul-ki (Incheon Hyundai Steel) and Cho So-hyun, who played the World Cup without a team, were more disappointing.
That’s why we’re happy to see Choi and Choi Yuri in Europe. It can be very beneficial for them to experience the world stage, grow and learn from it, and then pass on what they’ve learned to the national team. It can help strengthen the national team’s competitiveness and inspire more players to dream of going abroad.
Cho has been an integral part of the South Korean women’s national soccer team with 148 caps for the senior national team, tied with Ji So-yeon (Suwon FC) for the most caps in history. At the last World Cup, she scored South Korea’s only goal in the final group game against Germany. Despite her age, she has once again succeeded in going abroad, setting a good example for the younger generation.
After playing for Suwon Facilities Management Corporation and Incheon Hyundai Steel in the WK League, he first went abroad on loan to Kobe Ainak (Japan) in 2016 before joining Norwegian side Avaldnes in 2018, West Ham United the following year and Tottenham Hotspur from 2021 before his contract ended ahead of the World Cup and he was looking for a new team.
National team striker Choi Yoo-ri, who has played for Hyundai Steel, will be joined on the plane to England by Cho So-hyun, who also has international experience. Choi is a striker who has scored nine goals in 54 games for her country.바카라사이트
Birmingham City may be in the Championship, but they are a team to be reckoned with. They’re a powerhouse, having won the Women’s FA Cup in 2011 and 2012 and finished runners-up in the Women’s Super League (WSL) in 2011 and 2012.
They were relegated to the bottom of the WSL in the 2021-2022 season, but finished second in the Championship in the 2022-2023 season, making them a promotion contender. This season, the team has only drawn one and lost two of their three league games, but the addition of two Korean players has helped them turn things around.