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S. Korean defender joins Chinese club coached by compatriot

All News 09:51 July 15, 2016

SEOUL, July 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korean defender Hong Jeong-ho has left the German Bundesliga to join a Chinese football club managed by his compatriot.

Jiangsu Suning, currently second in the Chinese Super League, said on Thursday night via Weibo -- China's largest social networking service -- that they signed Hong from FC Augsburg. The details of his contract weren't announced.

Hong will be coached by fellow South Korean Choi Yong-soo, who left South Korean outfit FC Seoul last month to join Jiangsu.

Jiangsu said they are looking forward to having him on board, introducing the 26-year-old South Korean as an all-around player on defense. Hong's main position has been center back, but he can also play defensive midfielder and even fullback. He will join Jiangsu's foreign stars, which include Ramires and Alex Teixeira.

Hong made his professional debut with Jeju United in the top-tier K League Classic in 2010 and moved to Augsburg three years later. He ends his Bundesliga career with two goals in 56 matches.

Hong was one of the top wild-card candidates for the South Korean Olympic football team for the Rio de Janeiro Summer Games. However, he failed to join the 18-man squad after Augsburg refused to release him for the Aug. 5-21 Olympics. For the men's Olympic football tournament, participants can include three players over the age limit of 23, known as wild cards.

For the 2012 London Games, where South Korea won the bronze medal, he was dropped from the final squad because of a knee injury. He has one goal in 35 matches for the senior national team.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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