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All About Seeds

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Part 3 By SOB Football

Son Heung-min (Korean: 손흥민; Korean pronunciation: [son.ɣɯŋ.min]; born 8 July 1992) is a South Korean professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and captains the South Korea national team.[2] Considered one of the best forwards in the world and one of the greatest Asian footballers of all time, he is known for his explosive speed, finishing, two-footedness and ability to link play.

Part 3 By SOB Football


Outside of football, Son is viewed as a symbol of national pride in South Korea for his achievements, and has been listed in Forbes Korea Power Celebrity 40 since 2019, where he ranked third in 2022.[13][14][15] In June 2022, Son received the Cheongnyong Medal, the highest order of merit for achievement in sports given to a South Korea citizen, for his achievements in football.[16] Son has been credited for having raised the profile of Tottenham Hotspur among South Koreans, with the club's marketing and social media strategy catering extensively to Korean supporters.[17]

Son came through the academy at FC Seoul, the same club that former Spurs defender Lee Young-pyo played for.[19] Son was a ball boy in an FC Seoul home match in 2008 when he was a FC Seoul youth player.[20] At that time, his role model was midfielder Lee Chung-yong, who played for Crystal Palace and Bolton Wanderers.[21][22] Apart from his native language Korean, Son is also fluent in German and English. His agent Thies Bliemeister said Son was so determined to make himself a success in Europe that he learned German by watching episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants.[23]

In August 2008, Son dropped out of Dongbuk High School's football club (formerly FC Seoul under-18 team)[24] and joined Hamburger SV's youth academy at age 16 through Korean FA Youth Project.[25][26] A year later, he returned to South Korea. After participating in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, he formally joined Hamburger SV's youth academy in November 2009[27]

On 6 April 2020, while football was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, it was confirmed that Son would carry out his mandatory military service for South Korea.[108] After completing a two-week quarantine on his return to Korea, he served with the Marine Corps for three weeks on Jeju Island.[109]

Son turned down the opportunity to participate in the 2012 London Olympics, opting to concentrate on his club career at Hamburger SV. Son was quoted as saying, "In Korea, an Olympic appearance has a special meaning, but I want to speed up for Hamburg. What matters is to pour all my time into team training."[138] Son did, however, play for the national team in the autumn of 2012 for two 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Lebanon and Iran,[139] and became a regular call-up in friendlies and World Cup qualifying matches in 2013. In the World Cup qualifier against Qatar on 23 March 2013, Son came on as a substitute in the 81st minute and scored the winning goal in the 96th minute.[140]

In recent years, particularly following his prolific success with Tottenham, he has been considered one of the best players in the world and has often been cited as the greatest Asian footballer of all time.[172][173][174][175][176]

In commemoration of the 60-year anniversary of former UCLA coach Red Sanders' death this week, we are re-publishing one of the best pieces we've ever produced here at Bruin Report Online. It's from BRO circa 2002, written by one of the venerable BRO contributors, UCLA football historian and Crank, Charles Chiccoa. It's a personal perspective on UCLA football in the mid-'50s, during what was certainly a golden era for the Bruins in the sport.

At her next class, football program in hand, my wife confronts her mild-mannered teacher with this glamorous pop artifact from his salad days, to which he replies, "So... whose daughter are you?" When he learns that it's her somewhat older husband who's blown his cover and that I'm much interested in Sanders, he's kind enough to set up this lunch date. Enger's the sort of stand-up Bruin who's been known to sit high up underneath the south end zone clock at the Rose Bowl just to avoid Cranks like me making rude remarks about Bruin football coaches. Which brings me to a brief, rude digression...

It was fat city for Bruin fans. At an age when Sanders was still an obscure southern football coach, Donahue, as they say, was "poised for greatness." But Oklahoma's cocky pre-season #1s put a shocking 38-3 whipping on the pre-season #4 Bruins in a nationally televised opener; then rubbed it in as chemically-enhanced superstar, Brian Bosworth, couldn't resist reflecting on the queer nature of UCLA's baby blue colors (the soft label). Two years later Aikman's Bruins, after a brief two week stay at #1, playing at home, blew a three-touchdown lead in the second half to Dennis Erickson's Washington State Cougars then, three weeks later, also at the Rose Bowl, blew the SC game and a Rose Bowl bid. Before he had realized what hit him, Donahue's momentum was stalled. Even though, from that point on, he was able to consistently handle the over-rated Trojans, Terry's Bruins suddenly went from national power to regional also-ran. And "young Terry," no longer young, found himself waving bye-bye to potential greatness as it slipped over the horizon of middle age. Now, however academically distinguished UCLA may be, their athletic tradition is even more distinguished; to the point that not even a boy scout, country-music-lovin' alum like Donahue could long survive five, six, even seven-loss seasons and not have his shirttails catch fire.

Since there's no avoiding it, I finally broach the subject of Sanders' drinking. Certain odd characteristics attach themselves to certain public figures: Elvis's Nutty Buddys, Hitler's crummy drawings, Martin Luther's piles. These are curiosities I need to get past before we move on to more substantial things. I kick it off with a story from Jon Arnett. "Jaguar Jon," of course, was the great SC and Rams running back, and a prickly personality to boot; a genuine Crank who, in later years, became the author of a notorious letter to the SC administration (one of a truckload, no doubt) rightfully questioning the fitness of Larry Smith to lead the sacred USC football crusade. So, Arnett claims that one night while being recruited by Sanders at a fancy local restaurant, Jon's sensibilities were shocked to observe the great coach passed out at the table, his head resting in his salad. The two old Bruins treat this as the usual Trojan agitprop - you know, like their Sam Gilbert routine, which it may well be. But after you've heard a few of these stories... Since, on this particular subject, there's virtually nothing on the record (we're not talking Brad and Angelina here), I like to deal with it this way: Except as his drinking touched those close to him and doubtless hastened his death, this personal indulgence may not have been as significant as some of us remember it being. Sanders' football practices were models of organization, he was always present to run them, and whether or not he showed any deleterious effects from drinking, certainly his teams did not. And even though his drinking was no secret, it wasn't as if he was advertising it either, thought it charming, say, in the tradition of "The Rat Pack." Dean Martin (really the most formidable Rat Packer) once parodied himself to hilarious effect as "Dino," the drunken seducer, in Billy Wilder's "Kiss Me Stupid." Sanders, on the other hand, was never less than apologetic after any public incident. He obviously considered it an embarrassment to his players and to UCLA.

Next, Enger and Farhood set about disabusing me of my infatuation with Sanders' single wing. Above all, they preached, "This was a coach who pressed defense, field position, and the kicking game." Both have been coaches in their time and Enger, in particular, is given to such coachspeak as "the less options you give to a player, the less likely he is to make a mistake." In the early fifties, because of the Korean War, the colleges briefly returned to a stripped-down, one-platoon game and, contrary to the way it was done at most schools, including SC, Sanders simply converted his defensive line into his first string line. Thus, someone like Dave Levy, later to become a top McKay assistant, went from a first-string offensive lineman to a lowly third stringer.

And since most successful coaches understand that good things happen while exploiting your best players on "game day," he was more careful with them. Only coaches with a weakness for out-thinking themselves employ their stars as decoys. Sanders loved coaching, loved his sport, knew his game's history and traditions inside and out, and took particular delight in team nicknames. One day, on campus, he spotted Enger who was playing for the Orange County Rhinos, thanks to the conference penalties. "Who are you playing this week?" Sanders yelled across the street. "Petaluma," Enger yelled back. "What are they called?" "The Leghorns." "I like it," yelled a delighted Sanders. He also liked Texas A&M's "Twelfth Man" tradition, and one afternoon at the Coliseum he got the chance to try out his own version. In the first quarter, with backup Doug Peters out of the game, Sanders loses his All-American fullback, Bob Davenport, to an ankle injury. George Martin is his third stringer. In the second quarter he calls for Ken Perry, his fourth stringer, only to discover Perry hasn't been suited up. Okay. He then sends an assistant over to the rooting section to have an announcement made for Perry to come out of the stands, a la' Texas A&M, whereupon Perry's brother comes down from the rooting section to inform them that Ken's at home washing his car. Well, son, call him up and get him down here! Which he does. Perry gets the message, jumps in his car, and arrives late during halftime. Since the managers haven't brought Perry's uniform he has to put on Davenport's extra jersey. Finally "UCLA's Twelfth Man" is good to go and, early in the third quarter, "outlined against a blue gray October sky," a lone figure emerges from the vast Coliseum tunnel wearing Davenport's famous number 27. The crowd goes wild, believing he is Davenport, even though, come to think of it, the great fullback does look a bit stunted since his injury. When Perry finally enters the game, he promptly sprains his ankle (The trainers didn't have time to tape him.) So much for traditions that don't travel well. 041b061a72


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