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2023 Preview: Will a New Chapter for Seoul E-Land bring New Hope?

The 2023 season brings a new dawn for Seoul E-Land. After three years under Chung Jung-yong's rule, Seoul has brought in a new manager, new players, and now a new hope. The reset button has been firmly pressed in the capital and fans will expect to see change for the better in this Seoul side. 

The Leopards are now going into their ninth season in the K League and every one of those has been spent in the second division. Is it time that Seoul finally makes that push to the promised land? Michael Redmond looks at what is in store for Seoul fans this year. What to expect from the side and what to look forward to. 

In Park Choong-kyun We Trust

The 2023 season will see a new man pulling the strings at Seoul E-Land. Park Choong-kyun has been a noticeable figure in the K League.  Having played his entire career in Korea at teams such as Suwon Samsung Bluewings, Daejeon Hana Citizens, and Busan IPark. Choong-kyun is more noticeable for his managerial performances with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. As an assistant manager to legendary manager Choi Kang-hee, the pair won four K League 1 titles and an ACL championship with the Jeonju outfit. 
The new Seoul E-Land coaching staff for the 2023 season. 
A short stint in China followed by becoming manager of Hanoi FC and assistant coach of the Vietnamese national team. A manager who knows the style of the K League, with the added experience of managing in China and Vietnam. This is a gaffer who knows how to win and will expect perfection from this Seoul E-Land team. It really feels like the same mistakes from 2020-2022 will not be repeated under his guidance. 

New Year and a New Team

Once again, Seoul has had some winter cleaning. A number of players have made the move out of the capital with some noticeable departures to note. The biggest losses for Seoul would be Kim Sun-min leaving the side as well as Kim In-sung who makes his move to Pohang Steelers. Sun-min will be a big loss in the middle of the park and had the leadership skills that Seoul may be without this year.  

Kim Yeon-su also moves out of Seoul as well as the Argentinan duo of Cadenazzi and Asenjo. Cadenazzi was Seoul's top scorer last year with ten goals and would not have been a bad decision to sign him on once more.

The new captains for the 2023 season: Captain Han Yong-su with vice-captains Kim Won-sik, Lee Sang-min, and Kim Min-kyu

On the other flip of the coin, Seoul has brought in a number of players already this year. A big coup was bringing in Lee Sang-min who was a firm favourite in Ansan Greeners and will take up Kim Sun-min's role. Goalkeeper Kang Jeong-mook makes his return to Seoul after his army duty with Gimcheon Sangmu. 

Outside of Korea, Seoul have brought in Vietnamese forward, Nguyễn Văn Toàn showing Choong-kyun's knowledge of the V League. Seoul have also brought in a Brazilian duo of Renan and Ronan David Jeronimo to both partner upfront. With the inclusion of Tsabusa for another season means that Seoul have filled their foreigner quota for the 2023 Season. 

Mokdong Calling...

For the first time since the 2019 season, Seoul E-Land will start its campaign at home. They will welcome new side Chungbuk Cheongju to Mokdong Stadium before a second game away to FC Anyang. With the season being 36 games before the playoffs, it is important to take a look at some key fixtures throughout the year. 
Mokdong Stadium will be Leoul Park once again for the 2023 K League 2 season
Seoul's first big away game will be Busan IPark at the start of April. The end of April will see a trio of games against, Gimcheon, Seongnam and Gyeongnam. Three teams who will all look for promotion. August also looks busy with all the teams they will play against in contention for at least a playoff spot. 

Seoul's season will end with four tough tests against Gyeongnam, Anyang, Seongnam, and Gimcheon. You can see all the fixtures of Seoul E-Land in English for the 2023 season here

*Do note that fixture times and dates are subject to change* 

Another Roll of The Dice

It was a mixed time for Seoul E-Land in the Chung Jung-yong era. A time that started with much promise and the hope that Seoul could finally make that jump, ended in nothing short of a catastrophe. Many believe that his time at the club was longer than it should have been and a new manager was being called for quite a while from the stands.

Fans now have what they want. They have a manager who is known for winning. They now have a team once again who are able to challenge. They have the backing of the board to bring people into the team to achieve what they have wanted to do for nine years. 

It has been a rollercoaster for fans of Seoul E-Land and questions have to be asked about their patience if Seoul are to have another poor season. With that being said, comparing the other teams around them in the league, Seoul has bought well in the offseason. However, Seoul has had strong teams in the past and failed.

The 2023 season will be the start of the Park Choong-kyun era and the boss will have to have time to adapt the team to his style of play. As long as the players perform for the badge and give 100% every game, then that is more than what fans will ask for.

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