Do you have a home field where you practice or play regularly?
We usually host practices/scrimmages on the weekends at Penn Park in West Philly.
What made you interested in participating in Unity Cup?
It’s a great way to connect with the diverse immigrant community Philly is made up of. We get to meet people from all different walks of life and also share a piece of our culture with them.
What was your favorite moment from last year?
We’ve participated in Unity Cup since the inaugural season. For us, every year we’ve made progress. From going 0-1-1 the first year to going 1-1-1 last year.
How did your team come together?
We have a core group of guys that grew up playing KASA soccer together which is a local Korean soccer league. One of our members, Yoon, was able to keep us in contact and also recruit heavily so that we can participate every year.
Can you tell us a bit about the rest of your team?
We have a wide range of players in different stages of life. Some guys are in college, some just entering the workforce, and some who have been working for some time now. A lot of guys come and go, so it’s been tough for our team to establish an identity/chemistry but we’ve gotten better every year so this year we’re expecting even better results.
What does soccer mean to your community?
Koreans love soccer. I think for us when Korea took home 4th place in the 2002 World Cup, that put us on the map. We want to continue to show the world that we can compete with the best and beat the best.
How do you think soccer in general (and the Unity Cup in particular) promotes inclusivity?
Soccer is a team sport. You rely on every guy on the pitch to do their part; whether it’s defending or chasing down a 50-50 ball. Good teams will expose your weakness on the pitch so it’s important for the team to play well together and have each others backs.
What places or groups in Philadelphia would you recommend to someone if they wanted to learn more about the culture of the country your team represents?
I think you can learn a lot about a country’s culture through their food. If you want to learn more about Korean culture check out my favorite Korean restaurant in Philly, “Seorabol”. They make real authentic Korean food and it’s famous amongst all cultures in the area. Whenever I eat there, there’s always a good mix of patrons dining from Korean to Filipino to Mexican. Another good spot is HMart- a Korean grocery chain.
What’s one thing you wish more people knew about your team’s country?
Korea has been separated since 1953. That’s still pretty recent and a lot of Koreans are still affected by the segregation. The core of our team who’s been playing together for 10+ years, we started with a team called “Tong-Il” – it means reunification of Korea. Recent happenings have made this more of a possibility but we hope to see the peninsula reunified as one Korea.