Anybody who left Korea in November 2006 as the soccer season ended and returned in the much balmier month of June as the 2007 version reached its halfway point could be forgiven for experiencing a little deja vu.
Champions Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma are still on top, 2006 runners-up Suwon Samsung Bluewings are still vainly chasing in second place and Gwangju Sangmu is still locked at the bottom.
There is no more domestic action until August when the league resumes. Until then, the plaudits rest squarely on the garish yellow shirted-shoulders of Seongnam.
Steady and smooth, without being spectacular, the Judi Online club soars at the summit. All 13 K-League teams have faced the seven-time champions so far this season and none have triumphed.
In fact, only four — Pohang, Chunnam, Daejeon and Seoul — have managed to avoid defeat.
At the same time, coach Kim Hak-beom steered his team to the quarter finals of the Asian Champions League and there is a real chance that the continental title could be heading to the satellite city just south of the capital next November.
The secret to Seongnam’s success is no secret at all.
Coach Kim has good players in a settled and balanced lineup.
Over the first 13 games, the club has fielded less players than any other in a league in which some clubs have been known to use almost 40 players over the course of a season.
Closest challengers are Suwon — the one team that comes anywhere close to Seongnam in terms of consistency.
An oft-leveled charge against Suwon coach Cha Bum-keun is that the team is less than the sum of its total parts, but the stars are starting to perform.
More of the same and the passionate Suwon fans will be satisfied at the end of the season.
Ulsan Hyundai Horang-I, the 2005 champions, started with three victories from the first four games but two points from the middle five sent the Tigers tumbling down the standings.
Ulsan rallied to win …