Minnesota United Sign South Korean Attacker Sang Bin Jeong
March 22, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Minnesota United FC News Release
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Minnesota United announced today the club has signed South Korean international Sang Bin Jeong, via transfer from Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers to a three-year contract with a club option for 2026. Jeong will join the club as a U22 initiative signing and will occupy an international roster spot. Jeong will join the Loons pending his physical and receipt of his P1 Visa and ITC.
"When you call Sang Bin Jeong 'dynamic' you've hit the nail on the head. We first spotted him in 2019 playing for the Korean U17 National Team and we've tracking him ever since," said Minnesota United Head Coach Adrian Heath. "Twenty years of age, incredibly athletic, incredibly quick and hard-working. He's really intelligent, has a great football brain and can provide explosiveness in attack - so when you go down the list, he really ticks all the boxes in the type of young and dynamic player we are after. We are delighted to bring in another quality young player, and at the age of just twenty, we know his best years are ahead of him. It's now up to us on the coaching staff to help him integrate into the group to become the finished article."
The 20-year-old joins Minnesota after being on loan from the Wolverhampton Wanderers to Grasshoppers Club Zürich in Switzerland, where he's scored two goals during the 2022-23 Swiss Super League season. Jeong is a product of the Suwon Samsung Bluewings academy where he signed his first professional contract in 2020. During the 2021 season, Jeong played in 30 matches and tallied six goals and two assists. He made 33 game appearances in two seasons with the Bluewings before being transferred to Wolverhampton Wanderers of the English Premier League. Internationally, Jeong has made appearances in the U17 and U23 squads, as well as the South Korea National Team. Jeong made his senior team debut in a World Cup Qualifier in June of 2021 against Sri Lanka where he contributed one goal in the 5-0 victory. He has nine international goals, including eight for the U17 squad.
"Over the last year or so we have been very aware of the Korean market and the quality and mentality of the Korean player and so this deal has been something we have been working on for a quite a while," said Minnesota United Technical Director Mark Watson. "To be quite honest, Sang Bin Jeong was at the top of our list. We think he is the perfect profile for the club, he can play multiple attacking positions and what sets him apart is he has really elite speed, he is at the top level of all the Korean players in terms of quickness and speed. When you look at the group we have put together you can see the balance, we've got some really invaluable experienced players and we've sought out really dynamic younger players to add to the roster. Accessing the U22 initiative has been crucially important for us to build our roster, if you look at Bongohukle Hlongwane and now Sang Bin Jeong, we have really found value in this roster mechanism. We are really pleased to have added a young player of such quality to our group."
As he joins Minnesota United, Jeong would be the only active South Korean national in MLS. Prior to Joeng's arrival, there have been a total of five Korean-born players to compete in MLS:
Hong Myung-bo - LA Galaxy (2003-04),
Lee Young-pyo - Vancouver Whitecaps (2012-13),
Hwang In-beom - Vancouver Whitecaps (2019-20),
Kim Kee-hee - Seattle (2018-19)
Kim Moon-hwan - Los Angeles FC (2021-22).
Kim Moon-hwan is the most recent Korean to score in MLS - scoring on June 26, 2021. Hwang In-beom scored three goals with Vancouver.
Transaction: Minnesota United signs Sang Bin Jeong to a three-year contract with a club option for 2026. Jeong joins as a U22 initiative signing and will occupy an international spot on the Loons' roster.
Sang Bin Jeong
Date of birth: April 1, 2002 (20 years old)
Last club: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Birthplace: Cheonan, South Korea
Citizenship: South Korea
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