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Choi Yong-soo leaves FC Seoul


Seoul: Choi Yong-soo has stepped down from his role at the helm of FC Seoul after a poor run of form saw the former K-League champions exit the Korean FA Cup while sitting in 11th place in the current standings.

Choi, who was named AFC Coach of the Year after leading FC Seoul to the AFC Champions League final in 2013, was in his second stint with the club, having rejoined in October 2018 following a year-long spell with Jiangsu Suning in the Chinese Super League.

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The former international striker won the K-League title in 2012 with the club before leading FC Seoul to the final of the AFC Champions League the following season, where they lost to China’s Guangzhou Evergrande on the away goals rule.

Choi’s exploits on the sidelines, however, earned him the AFC Coach of the Year accolade a year after picking up the K-League equivalent and in 2015 he added the KFA Cup to his resume.

However, he departed FC Seoul for the first time midway through the 2016 season to take over at Jiangsu Suning, who he guided to a runners-up placing in both the Chinese Super League and Chinese FA Cup.

Choi quit Jiangsu midway through the following season and was reappointed FC Seoul coach in October 2018, but circumstances at the club were very different to his first stint at the helm.

FC Seoul were forced to face Busan IPark in a playoff to avoid relegation in late 2018 before a third-place finish in 2019 saw the club qualify for the 2020 edition of the AFC Champions League.

But the current campaign has seen FC Seoul struggle, with the club 11th in the standings of the 12-team K-League after 13 games and a 4-1 loss at the hands of Pohang Steelers on Wednesday was the final straw as Choi stood down from the post.

Kim Ho-young, who has worked as an assistant alongside Choi, has taken charge of the team on an interim basis.

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