Image: Suwon Bluewings
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Signed, sealed, and delivered. Minnesota United has their new young attacking piece.
A club spokesperson confirmed to Sota Soccer that Sang Bin Jeong has signed his contract and began training on the side in Blaine on Tuesday, with an official introductory press conference set for 2 p.m. Wednesday at Allianz Field in Saint Paul.
“[He’s] obviously a powerful kid. You can see that he’s got huge legs and very athletic, very quick,” said head coach Adrian Heath. “The kid’s always got a smile on his face. So that’s nice. Even with this weather, he’s got a smile on his face.”
Tom Bogert and Andy Greder both reported last week the 20-year old was en route to Minnesota, with the Loons paying Wolverhampton a $2.5M transfer fee.
Sang Bin enters the roster as part of MLS’ U-22 initiative, and provides immediate wing depth to a lineup that desperately needed more match-ready bodies in that position.
Wolves signed the South Korean in January 2022 and immediately sent him out on loan to Grasshopper Club Zurich in Switzerland.
Sang Bin has played primarily at right wing over his career, which has been largely spent in the K-League with Suwon Bluewings, but does have experience at Center-Forward as well, according to TransferMarkt.
This season, the attacker didn’t made the scoresheet in 148 minutes for Grasshopper’s first team, but did score twice in three runouts for their U-21 side.
“Jeong Sang-bin’s aim at MNUFC is to earn more playing time to compete for a place in the Korea U-23 squad at the Asian Games this year and Olympics next year,” tweeted South Korean football writer Steve Han. “Despite the Asian Games being a non-FIFA tournament, Minnesota have already agreed to release Jeong if he’s selected.”
The largest sample size we have of Sang Bin’s potential impact came during his time with Bluewings in South Korea’s top division in 2021. The then 18-year old notched six goals and two assists in 29 appearances.
In addition to his club experience, Sang Bin has one cap for the South Korean U-23 national team.
“Sang Bin is a young, raw talent, who has done very well for his club and national team whilst still only a teenager,” said Wolves Technical Director Scott Sellars after the signing.
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The Loons Daily newsletter is written by Jeremy Rushing and presented by Sota Soccer, your home for soccer coverage in the North! If you could, please consider supporting our work at Patreon.com/sotasoccer