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Incheon United FC is a professional football club based in Incheon, the third biggest city in South Korea. Founded in 2003, the club plays in the K League 1, the top flight of South Korean football. The club is a so-called 'community club', with the Incheon city being the key shareholder. The club's home stadium is the Incheon Football Stadium.

Incheon United
인천 유나이티드
Emblem of Incheon United.svg
Full nameIncheon United Football Club
인천 유나이티드 프로축구단
Neroazzurre (Blue-Black)
Short nameIUFC
Founded2003; 16 years ago (2003)
GroundIncheon Football Stadium
(capacity: 20,891)
OwnerIncheon Government
ChairmanMayor of Incheon
ManagerYoo Sang-Chul
LeagueK League 1
WebsiteClub website



Officially founded at the end of the 2003 season, the move to create a professional club in Incheon had come about in part by the construction of the Incheon Munhak Stadium for the 2002 FIFA World Cup tournament.[1] Incheon city mayor Ahn Sang-soo began the process of creating the club in earnest in June 2003 with the official founding of Incheon FC, and German Werner Lorant was appointed as manager of the team in September of that year, with Chang Woe-Ryong and Kim Si-Seok added to the coaching staff.

A public share issue was launched and ran from October to November 2003, and in December the name Incheon United was adopted.[2] Sponsorship contracts worth a total of $4m were signed with GM Daewoo and Daeduk Construction Company, and a deal was struck with Puma to be the inaugural kit suppliers to the new club.

Debut seasonEdit

Lorant and his coaching staff recruited several high-profile players in a bid to make an impact on the league in the club's debut season in 2004. Goalkeeper Shim Bum-chul was recruited along with talented youngsters Choi Tae-Uk, Kim Chi-Woo and popular Japanese playmaker Masakiyo Maezono. The most high profile of the imports was Turkish international defender Alpay Özalan, recruited from English Premier League side Aston Villa.

The club's first K-League match was a home encounter with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on 3 April 2004 which ended in a goalless draw. Their first league victory came in the third game of the season, also at home, as a Jasenko Sabitovic's own goal gave them a 1–0 victory over defending champions Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma.

Despite that promising start to the year, Incheon recorded just one more victory in the first stage of the season and finished bottom of the table on just nine points. Manager Lorant stepped down as manager at the end of August, and he was replaced in the hotseat by his assistant Chang Woe-Ryong as caretaker manager. Caretaker manager Chang Woe-Ryong made instant impacts on the side as the club finished fourth overall in the second stage of the league season, remaining in the race to claim victory in the stage until the final day.

Title challenge: Fly Up (2005)Edit

Chang was confirmed as permanent Incheon manager in January 2005 as the club prepared to embark on what was to become a memorable season. The team finished runners-up in the first stage of the league season and joint third in the second stage of the K League, qualifying for the post-season championship playoffs by virtue of having the best overall record. Incheon were to face first stage winners Busan I'Park in the semi-final, and they easily defeated the southern side by a 2–0 scoreline to set up a championship final against Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i. In the first leg of the final at the Munhak stadium, goalkeeper Kim Lee-sub endured a torrid ninety minutes as Ulsan hit the back of the net five times in a stunning display of football, with Dženan Radončić netting a late consolation goal for the home side. Sung Kyung-mo replaced Kim Lee-sub in the Incheon goal for the second leg, and though United claimed a 2–1 victory they lost out on the title 6–3 on aggregate, but finished their second season in existence as K-League runners-up. This dramatic season was reproduced in a film, as a documentary film "Fly Up (Korean: 비상)" was released on December 14, 2006[3]

Incheon United also finished the 2005 season with the highest total and average home attendance in the league, with 316,591 spectators in total coming through the gates, an average of 24,353[4]


After a remarkable 2005 season, Incheon United failed to continue its success. Although they reached semi-final in the FA Cup for two consecutive seasons in 2006 and 2007, they failed to make the playoff. Before the 2009 season, Incheon United appointed Ilija Petković, who had managed Serbia-Montenegro in the 2006 FIFA World Cup as their manager and finished 5th in the league, proceeding to the K League Championship. However, they lost to Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma in the first round after a penalty shoot-out.

In the middle of the 2010 season, Petković suddenly resigned due to his wife's health problems. Three months later, Incheon United appointed Huh Jung-moo, who had just led South Korea to the Round of 16 in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as their next manager. In the 2010 season, Incheon United produced their first ever K League Top Scorer as striker Yoo Byung-soo managed to score 22 goals in 28 appearances, becoming the youngest player in the K League history to win the award.

Before the 2012 season, Incheon United unveiled their new uniform which used blue as the main color and red lines on the shoulder, instead of their traditional blue and black stripes. Although the club explained that the design was created based on the inaugural season's uniform, supporters were furious with the club's decision to abandon their traditional stripes. Incheon manager Huh Jung-moo also lost fans' support as he openly expressed disagreement with the fans' concern over the issue.[5] Huh Jung-moo eventually resigned in the middle of the season after a poor start. Kim Bong-gil took over as a caretaker manager and on July 16, 2012, he was officially appointed as the manager of the club.

Meanwhile, Incheon United suffered from financial crisis. Rumors about Incheon city trying to sell the club to corporate were published through media. According to the reports, Incheon United had been suffering from budget deficit for years, and Incheon city could not afford to spend more on the club because of the 2014 Asian Games.[6] It was also later revealed that the club had been failing to pay the wages for the players on time for two months.[7] The club had to sell key players such as Jung In-Hwan, Jeong Hyuk, Lee Kyu-ro, Han Kyo-won, Kim Nam-il and Ivo. Despite the hardships, Kim Bong-gil managed to save the club from relegation. However, the club decided to fire him after the 2014 season.

Incheon United had planned to appoint Lee Lim-saeng as their next manager, but Lee Lim-saeng eventually refused to take the seat as he was concerned with the club's inappropriate fire of Kim Bong-gil[8]

Kim Do-hoon era: the wolvesEdit

Incheon United appointed former legendary striker Kim Do-hoon as their manager on January 13, 2015. Kim Do-hoon successfully spent his debut season as a manager, reaching the FA Cup final for the first time in the club's history. However, Incheon lost to FC Seoul 3–1 in the final. Incheon United under Kim Do-hoon was praised by the media and was dubbed the 'wolves' for their team effort and fighting spirit.

Yon Andersen CoachEdit

Former North Korean national team coach, Jørn Andersen (55), from Norway, has been appointed to the Incheon United 8th Division. Andersen is the third foreign coach of the Incheon team. Andersen will make his debut with a 15-round away match against Jeonbuk Hyundai at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on July 7th.[9]


Incheon United used Incheon Munhak Stadium, which was built for the 2002 FIFA World Cup from its debut season to 2011. However, as it was built as a multi-purpose stadium, it was too large and did not provide good view to the spectators. From 2012 season, they have been using the Incheon Football Stadium with the capacity of 20,891, which was built for the 2014 Asian Games.


Domestic competitionsEdit


Runners-up (1): 2005


Runners-up (1): 2015

International competitionsEdit


Winners (1): 2017

Season-by-season recordsEdit

Season Division Tms. Pos. FA Cup
2004 1 13 12 Round of 32
2005 1 13 2 Round of 16
2006 1 14 9 Semi-final
2007 1 14 9 Semi-final
2008 1 14 7 Round of 32
2009 1 15 6 Round of 32
2010 1 15 11 Quarter-final
2011 1 16 13 Round of 16
2012 1 16 9 Round of 16
2013 1 14 7 Quarter-final
2014 1 12 10 Round of 32
2015 1 12 8 Runners-up
2016 1 12 10 Quarter-final
2017 1 12 9 Round of 32
2018 1 12 9 Round of 16
  • Tms. = Number of teams
  • Pos. = Position in league

Current squadEdit

As of 16 February 2019

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1   GK Jung San
2   DF Noh Sung-min
3   DF Kim Yong-hwan
4   MF Han Seok-jong
5   DF Kang Ji-Yong
6   DF Choi Jong-hoan
7   FW Song Si-woo
8   MF Yun Sang-ho
9   FW Stefan Mugoša
10   MF Lanre Kehinde
11   MF Park Yong-ji
13   MF Kim Jin-ya
14   MF Yang Joon-a
15   DF Kim Dae-joong
16   DF Lee Yun-pyo
18   MF Park Jong-jin
20   DF Gordan Bunoza
No. Position Player
21   GK Lee Jin-hyung
22   MF Kim Dong-suk
24   MF Lee Woo-Hyeok
25   MF Kim Seok-ho
26   DF Kim Dong-min
28   FW Lee Hyo-kyun
29   MF Kim Bo-seob
30   MF Kim Hyeok-Joong
31   GK Lee Tae-hee
32   DF Myung Sung-joon
33   MF Jung Won-Yeong
36   MF Kim Dae-kyung
39   MF Lim Eun-Soo
40   MF Choi Beom-Kyung
44   DF Kim Jeong-Ho
  MF Rashid Mahazi

Out on loanEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
  MF Park Se-jik (to Asan Mugunghwa)
  DF Park Myung-soo (to Gyeongnam FC)
  MF Kim Do-hyuk (to Asan Mugunghwa)

Retired number(s)Edit

12 – Fans of the club (the 12th Man)

Coaching staffEdit

Senior coaching staffEdit

Position Name
Manager   Yoo Sang-chul
Coach   Park Sung-chul
  Lim Joong-yong
Goalkeeper Coach   Kwon Chan-Soo
Scout   Shin Jin-won
Trainer   Lee Seung-jae
  Lee Dong-won
  Yang Seung-min
Translator   Chun Ji-hun

Youth coaching staffEdit

Position Name
U-18 Head Coach
U-18 Coach   Jeon Jae-ho
U-18 Goalkeeper Coach   Yoon Jin-ho
U-15 Head Coach   Woo Sung-yong
U-15 Coach   Lee Sung-gyu
U-15 Goalkeeper Coach   Lee Sun-hyung
U-12 Head Coach   Kim Tae-jong
U-12 Coach   Choi Jae-young


# Name From To Season Notes
1   Werner Lorant 2003/09/25 2004/08/30 2004
C   Chang Woe-Ryong 2004/08/31 2005/01/02 2004
2   Chang Woe-Ryong 2005/01/03 2006/12/28 2005–06
C   Park Lee-Chun 2007/01/04 2007/12/20 2007
2   Chang Woe-Ryong 2007/12/21 2008/12/09 2008 After overseas coaching training, returned.
3   Ilija Petković 2009/01/29 2010/06/08 2009–10 After being appointed technical advisor (2009/01/29), he was promoted to manager.
C   Kim Bong-Gil 2010/06/27 2010/08/21 2010
4   Huh Jung-Moo 2010/08/23 2012/04/11 2010–12
C   Kim Bong-Gil 2012/04/12 2012/07/15 2012
5   Kim Bong-Gil 2012/07/16 2014/12/19 2012–14
6   Kim Do-hoon 2015/01/13 2016/09 2015–16
7   Lee Ki-hyung 2016/09 2018/05 2016–18 Was made caretaker, then hired after avoiding relegation.
C   Park Sung-chul 2018/05/11 2018/06/08 2018
8   Jørn Andersen 2018/06/09 2019/4/15 2018–2019 Former coach of North Korea
9   Yoo Sang-chul 2019/5/14 Present 2019–

Shirt sponsors and manufacturersEdit

Year Kit Supplier Main Shirt Sponsor Secondary Shirt Sponsor
2004   Puma GM Daewoo Daeduk Construction Corp.
2005 None
2007 Shinhan Bank
2009 Incheon Bridge Shinhan Bank
2010 Shinhan Bank None
2012   Le Coq Sportif
2013 Incheon Government Shinhan Bank
2014 Shinhan Bank Lotte Department Store
2015   Hummel Incheon International Airport

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "인천 프로축구단 올해안 창단" (in Korean). Mail Business News Korea. 13 August 2003.
  2. ^ "'인천 유나이티드 FC'" (in Korean). The Hankook Ilbo. 23 December 2003.
  3. ^ "인천, 스크린서도 돌풍... `비상` 1만 관중 돌파" (in Korean). Sportal Korea. 19 December 2006.
  4. ^ "인천-수원, 서울에 이어 관중 동원 2–3위" (in Korean). OSEN. 13 December 2005.
  5. ^ "인천UTD, 새 유니폼 바라보는 팬들과의 온도차" (in Korean). The Asia Economy Daily. 14 February 2012.
  6. ^ "경영난 인천유나이티드FC '매각설 솔솔'" (in Korean). Yonhap News. 13 November 2014.
  7. ^ "또 월급 못주는 인천유나이티드FC" (in Korean). The Kyeongin Ilbo. 10 December 2014.
  8. ^ "'연이은 헛발질' 인천유나이티드, 감독 선임 난항" (in Korean). Sports Hankook. 26 December 2014.
  9. ^ 주, 성남. "인천유나이티드 새 감독에 안데르센 전 북한대표팀 감독 선임". Newsway.

External linksEdit