Three matches into the 2014 K League Classic football season, FC Seoul is still seeking its first victory and first goal.
FC Seoul has two losses and one tie so far, and it’s been a frustrating start for a club that hasn’t fallen out of the top five since 2007 and won the league title just two years ago.
FC Seoul lost to Chunnam Dragons at home 1-0 in the season opener and was held to a scoreless draw by Seongnam FC. Then on Sunday, FC Seoul fell to Busan IPark 1-0 at Seoul World Cup Stadium, suffering its first defeat to Busan at home in 12 years.
FC Seoul is currently in 11th place among 12 teams in the top division. Incheon United has an identical record but trails Seoul on goal difference.
FC Seoul’s slow start had been somewhat anticipated, for the team’s lineup was decimated during the offseason. Striker Dejan Damjanovic, the league’s top scorer in each of the past three seasons, joined Jiangsu Sainty of China. Midfielder Ha Dae-sung, the former captain, left for Beijing Guoan, also in China. Veteran defensive back Adilson dos Santos, the pillar on the back line for eight seasons, retired and became an assistant coach for FC Seoul.
“We need someone who can finish on offense,” lamented head coach Choi Yong-soo.
In lieu of a front-line striker, Choi has tweaked his formation for this year to allow defensive backs to be more active on the offensive end.
The change has generated opportunities, but FC Seoul has nothing to show for those chances. Against Busan, FC Seoul failed to score despite putting 10 shots on goal and also missed two penalties.
Choi also blamed the sluggish play on fatigue. FC Seoul is one of four K League Classic teams competing in the AFC Champions League, the annual club competition in Asia. Choi’s club had been forced to play a tight schedule in the early going, with three domestic league games and two AFC group stage matches squeezed in a 16-day span. (Yonhap)