Lee pays it forward with managerial faith

Professional soccer’s K League 1 Gangwon FC scored the first goal in the opening match of the 2024 season against K League 1 Jeju United at Songam Sports Town in Chuncheon on March 2, just 32 seconds into the match. The protagonist was Lee Sang-heon (26-photo), who was virtually unknown. The 26-year-old has been a force to be reckoned with since the first game, and has been making waves in the 스포츠토토 K League scoring race this season.

Through six rounds, he has scored seven goals to lead the league. Lee was a promising midfielder. The former Ulsan youth international represented his country at the 2017 U-20 World Cup, scoring the winning goal against Portugal in the round of 16. Lee joined Ulsan in 2017 and was expected to have a smooth career, but he was forced to move to K-League 2 Busan I-Park for the 2021 season. In the second division, he showed off his skills with seven goals and three assists in 2022, but he was not given a chance in 2023, appearing in just five games.

It was Kangwon coach Yoon Jung-hwan who reached out to Lee. Yoon was the head coach of Hyundai High School’s soccer team when he recognized the potential of his former student. “He had good decision-making skills and a strong desire for goals,” Yoon said, so he changed his position to forward.

Since then, Lee has lived up to Yoon’s expectations. He has scored a goal in five of his six matches this season, with the exception of one against Daejeon Hana Citizens. He scored a dramatic 40th-minute equalizer to break a 1-1 draw against FC Seoul on March 31, and has now scored multiple goals in two consecutive games on the last three days and seven days. Thanks to Lee’s performance, Gangwon has reversed its underdog status and now has two wins, three draws, and one loss (9-5 points).

One thought on “Lee pays it forward with managerial faith

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