Here is our Prediction for the upcoming 2014 K League Challenge. After an overall successful 2013 season (Full Summary Here) we’re pretty excited in what it new season has to offer. There have been a number of changes both on and off the pitch for every team so it’s going to be different and hopefully better.
Firstly to make it clear, this prediction is our personal view and based on personal knowledge, recent K League news, pre-season transfers (so far), the 2013 season as well as other factors. We’ll try and include as much information as possible about the 2014 K League Challenge, so you can gain a little insight even if you’re unfamiliar with South Korea’s 2nd tier professional football league.
For the 2014 K League Classic Prediction please CLICK HERE.
Changes / New for 2014 in the K League Challenge
So those of you unfamiliar with the recent changes in the K League Challenge structure here in a basic recap:
- Firstly the K League Challenge now features 10 teams (up 2 from 2013).
- The champions will secure automatic promotion to next seasons K League Classic.
- The sides finishing 2nd to 4th will compete in a playoff, firstly the 3rd placed team will host the 4th placed side. The 3rd placed team will progress with a draw or win, therefore the 4th placed side has to win. The winner of the tie travels to the 2nd placed side and the same system is used. If the 2nd placed side progresses with a draw or win. The winner of the playoff faces the 11th placed side from the K League Classic.
- The the K League Challenge playoff winner faces the 11th placed K League Classic side in a promotion/relegation playoff over 2 legs at the beginning of December.
- There is no relegation from the K League Challenge this season.
- Each team will play each other 4 times, giving 36 games in total. (18 home & 18 away).
- The season starts at the beginning of March 2014 and concludes in November.
- Finally there may or may not be a break during parts of the world cup. (TBC)
K League Challenge 2014 Prediction
Here is our prediction for the 2014 K League Challenge season;
Korean Police FC (Ansan Police FC)
Suwon City FC
Firstly with the increased number of sides in the K League Challenge season it makes it a lot more interesting and hopefully more competitive. The 3 K League Classic sides relegated last season may have lost key players but should hopefully bring an increased amount of support. The existing sides had also improved their squads during this post and pre-season period. Here is a very brief insight into each of this seasons K League Challenge 2014 sides:
Korean Police FC (or Ansan Police FC) – After having a year on the road the Korean Police have finally found a home at the WA Stadium in Ansan, and this season will be known as Ansan Police FC. We’re unsure if they are now eligible for promotion but having a home stadium should help them avoid an end of season slump like last year. We feel they’re the front runners for this years title. (1st)
Daegu FC – One of three sides to suffer the heartbreak of relegation from the K League Classic last season. Daegu will be looking to bounce straight back at this first chance. Although they’ve lost a few players, they should be able to mount a strong title bid. (2nd)
Gwangju FC – Last season they started slowly and struggled against the military service sides. But now they’ve settled into this league they will be able to start strong and be closely involved in this seasons title race. (3rd)
Daejeon Citizen FC – Last seasons epic turnaround and improvement wasn’t enough to save them from the drop. However they proved that even when down and out they still had the support to keep the team going. We feel they should be aiming for at least a playoff place. (4th)
FC Anyang – They are now entering their 2nd season as a pro side and hopefully the issues and setbacks both off and on the pitch are now over. They looked strong at times last season (the FA Cup tie vs. Suwon Bluewings was a standout moment), and we feel they can push on a have a solid season. (5th)
Gangwon FC – They finished last season losing to a very strong Sangju Sangmu (Army) side in the relegation playoffs. Sadly we’re not overly confident about them returning to the K League Classic at any point soon, mainly due to location and funding. (6th)
Suwon City FC – Suwon’s second side surprised many people last season with a respectable finish and some impressive results. A few of there players have been signed by K League Classic sides but they should still be able to be competitive this season. (7th)
Bucheon 1995 – Moving up 2 divisions and signing a huge number of unknown players, everybody thought the worst would happen to Bucheon last season. However they had an amazing start and gaining a lot of local and national support. Sadly that early start turned into a very poor middle and end. They’ve signed a few new and interesting players including 2 foreigners. We see Bucheon mid table at best but should grow this season. (8th)
Goyang Hi – Nobody knew what to expect from Goyang last season as they were a bit of a random assortment of players. They found form at times and signed 2 impressive Brazilians who helped to some important wins. Their main issue was the lack of support, a few hundred fans in a 50,000 capacity World Cup stadium made games look and feel depressing. (9th)
Chungju Hummel – They weren’t expected to do much last season and they didn’t, and finished the season at the bottom. As the saying goes “Things can only get better”, however we’re unsure if it will this season as the teams joining the league are stronger than last season. It’s going to be another long season for Chungju in our opinion. (10th)
We’d like to wish all 10 teams a good luck this season. We are sure it will be a close and competitive title race, and it should provide some interesting entertainment during the K League Classic summer break are least. We course have the added bonus of the Winter Olympics (Russia), World Cup (Brazil), Asian Games (Incheon, South Korea) and of course the K League Classic, so this should be a great year of sport.
Useful Links for the 2014 K League Season
Here are our guides to visiting a few K League Classic Teams (sorry some of the information maybe a little dated):
Rokfootball.com – This is the currently the best site to find English speaking fan viewpoints from the K League Classic & Lower.
Soccerway.com – Tables, Results & Fixtures.
Trailofthelionking.com – Maybe the only blog about traveling around Korea and watching sport (mainly football).
If you have any comments, agree or disagree with our Prediction for the K League Challenge 2014 please feel free to let us know. Also if you have any questions about the K League or football (soccer) in Korea in general please let us know, either via email, our Social Media Homes or by commenting below.Tim Modern Seoul firstname.lastname@example.org