History, rivalries, major honours, and more. With the new K League 2 season just around the corner, a quick guide to all 10 clubs set to compete in second tier this year.
Mascot: Dani, Loni | Rivals: FC Anyang | Stadium: Ansan Wa~ Stadium
Following Ansan Mugunghwa's move to Asan, the City of Ansan sought about founding a citizen team and in 2017, Ansan Greeners were born. The Greeners first-ever match was a 2-1 home victory over Daejeon Citizen on the opening day of the 2017 season. In 2019 the Green Wolves recorded their highest finish and narrowly missed out on a place in the play-offs. The Greeners are part of one of the league's budding rivalries, the Line 4 Derby, with FC Anyang, named after the Seoul Metropolitan Subway Line which connections the two cities.
Highest Finish: 5th (2019)
Mascot: Bati | Rivals: Ansan Greeners, FC Seoul | Stadium: Anyang Sports Complex
FC Anyang are one of the founding members of K League 2 having joined, what was then the K League Challenge, in 2013. The Violets missed out on the playoffs in 2014 by finishing fifth which, up until 2019, was their highest ever finish. The Gyeonggi Province club have impressed off the field recently too on account of the renovation work which was done to Anyang Civic Stadium which brings fans closer to the action.
Highest Finish: 3rd (2019)
Bucheon FC 1995
Mascot: Hergun, Borayang | Rivals: Jeju United, Incheon United | Stadium: Bucheon Stadium
Spawned following Bucheon SK's move to Jeju Island, now Jeju United, Bucheon FC 1995 joined K League 2 in 2013 after five years in the Challengers League, now K3. The 2019 season was the second time Bucheon made it into the playoffs, the first being in 2016 when the Reds recorded their highest ever finish. In 2020, not only will they have a first encounter with Jeju United to look forward to, Bucheon will be looking to go one better than 2019 by winning promotion.
Highest Finish: 3rd (2016)
Park Dong-hyuk guided the club to the 2018 K League 2 title.
Manager: Park Dong-hyuk | Established: 2017 | Nickname: The Owls
Mascot: Bwong-bwongi | Rivals: Cheonan City | Stadium: Yi Sun-sin Stadium
Asan Mungunghwa, now Chungnam Asan, and formerly Ansan Mugunghwa, moved to North Chungcheong Province in 2017 before making the transition into a citizen club for the 2020 season. In 2018, Asan won the second division title but were unable to earn promotion due to uncertainties surrounding the club's future. The club have a fresh start ahead of them in 2020 and signed their first-ever foreign players with the acquisitions of Swede Philip Hellqvist and Austrian Armin Mujakic.
Honours: K League 2 (2018)
Daejeon Hana Citizen
Manager: Hwang Sun-hong | Nickname: Purples | Established: 1997
Mascot: Jaju | Rivals: Suwon Samsung Bluewings | Stadium: Daejeon World Cup Stadium
The 2020 season will mark the start of new era for Daejeon following the takeover from Hana Financial Group. One thing that will remain the same, though, is that Daejeon Hana Citizen will be targetting promotion to K League 1. Daejeon are one of only two second division sides to play in one of the World Cup Stadiums. Daejeon World Cup Stadium is where Korea Republic beat Italy in the 2002 World Cup Round of 16.
Honours: K League 2 (2014), FA Cup (2001)
Mascot: Gunhami, Gyeongmami | Rivals: Busan IPark | Stadium: Changwon Football Center
Recently relegated Gyeongnam FC will be looking to bounce straight back and lift a second K League 2 title in 2020. This year, the Reds are under the tutelage of Korean football legend Seol Ki-hyun who is making his first foray into management. Seol returned from Europe and finished his playing career in K League with Pohang Steelers, Ulsan Hyundai and then Incheon United before becoming a coach.
Honours: K League 2 (2017)
Mascot: Gamgyuli | Rivals: Bucheon FC 1995 | Stadium: Jeju World Cup Stadium
Originally founded as Bucheon SK, Jeju United now find themselves in the second tier for the first time in their history. Located on the beautiful island of Jeju off the south coast, the Tangerines boast of one of the most picturesque stadiums in Korea. Jeju appointed Nam Ki-il as the new manager of the team and will be targeting a swift return to the top flight and securing a first trophy under the 'Jeju United' moniker.
Honours: K League 1 (1989)
Mascot: Cheolryongi | Rivals: Pohang Steelers, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors | Stadium: Gwangyang Football Stadium
Owned by POSCO Steel and being located in South Jeolla province, Jeonnam Dragons have rivalries with both Pohang and Jeonbuk. However, after suffering their first-ever relegation in 2018, the Dragons will have to wait before locking horns with their old foes. Jeonnam have three FA Cup wins to their name but will be looking to add a K League 2 title to their collection come the end of the season. Accordingly, the prodigal son, Lee Jong-ho, has returned to fire the Dragons back to K League 1.
Honours: FA Cup (1997, 2006, 2007)
Mascot: Leul | Rivals: FC Seoul | Stadium: Jamsil Olympic Stadium
Since their debut season in 2015, Seoul E-Land have had lofty aspirations but things haven't quite gone to plan over the last couple of years. But, with Korea Republic U20 Head Coach Chung Jung-yong at the helm, and with a hungry, young squad, the Leopards will be looking to impress this season.
Highest Finish: 4th (2015)
Rivals: Suwon Samsung Bluewings | Stadium: Suwon Civic Stadium
Suwon FC were established long before K League 2 began in 2013, competing in the now-defunct National League up until then. Two years later and Suwon had reached the promised land by defeating relative giants Busan IPark in the playoffs. Relegation followed but Suwon are keen to sample the big time once more.
Honours: Playoff Winners (2015), National League (2010)