Incheon United FC

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Incheon United
Full nameIncheon United Football Club
인천 유나이티드 프로축구단
Short nameIUFC
Founded2003; 21 years ago (2003)
GroundIncheon Football Stadium
OwnerIncheon Government
ChairmanMayor of Incheon
ManagerJo Sung-hwan
LeagueK League 1
2023K League 1, 5th of 12
WebsiteClub website

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



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

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, while Puma supplied the club's kits.

Debut season[edit]

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 as 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 faced first stage winners Busan I'Park in the semi-finals, defeating them 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 90 minutes as Ulsan hit the back of the net five times, with Dženan Radončić netting a late consolation goal for the home side. Sung Kyung-mo replaced Kim 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 season was reproduced in a film, as a documentary "Fly Up" (Korean: 비상) was released on 14 December 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 and 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 16 July 2012, he was officially appointed as the manager of the club.

Meanwhile, Incheon United suffered from a financial crisis. Rumors about the city of Incheon trying to sell the club were published through media. According to the reports, the club had been suffering from a budget deficit for years and the 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] As a consequence, key players were forced out, such as Jung In-whan, 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 sack him after the 2014 season.

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

Kim Do-hoon era[edit]

Former striker Kim Do-hoon replaced Kim Bong-gil on 13 January 2015. In his debut season as a manager, he led Incheon to the FA Cup final, the first cup final for the club. Despite losing 3–1 to FC Seoul, the club was praised by the media and was dubbed the "wolves" for their teamwork and fighting spirit.[citation needed]

Andersen era[edit]

After the departure of Kim Do-hoon, former North Korean national team coach Jørn Andersen became Incheon's manager and debuted in the 15th round against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on 7 July 2018.[9]

2020 season[edit]

Incheon United appointed Lim Wan-sup as their manager for the 2020 season.[10]


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.

Current squad[edit]

As of 23 July 2023

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK South Korea KOR Kim Dong-heon
3 DF South Korea KOR Kim Yeon-soo
4 DF South Korea KOR Oh Ban-suk (captain)
5 MF South Korea KOR Lee Myung-joo (vice-captain)
6 DF South Korea KOR Mun Ji-hwan
7 MF South Korea KOR Kim Do-hyuk
8 MF South Korea KOR Sin Jin-ho
9 FW Montenegro MNE Stefan Mugoša
10 FW Brazil BRA Hernandes Rodrigues
11 FW Guinea-Bissau GNB Gerso Fernandes
13 DF South Korea KOR Gang Yoon-goo
14 DF South Korea KOR Jeong Dong-yun
15 DF South Korea KOR Lim Hyeong-jin
17 DF South Korea KOR Kim Jun-yeop
20 DF Australia AUS Harrison Delbridge
21 GK South Korea KOR Lee Tae-hui
23 GK South Korea KOR Min Seong-jun
25 FW South Korea KOR Kim Min-seok
No. Pos. Nation Player
26 MF South Korea KOR Park Hyun-bin
27 FW South Korea KOR Kim Bo-sub
28 MF South Korea KOR Min Kyeong-hyeon
29 GK South Korea KOR Kim Yu-sung
30 MF South Korea KOR Choi Woo-jin
33 MF South Korea KOR Kim Hyun-seo
35 FW South Korea KOR Ha Dong-seon
37 MF South Korea KOR Hong Si-hoo
38 MF South Korea KOR Park Jin-hong
40 FW Democratic Republic of the Congo COD Paul-José M'Poku
44 DF South Korea KOR Kim Geon-hee
47 DF South Korea KOR Kim Dong-min
50 FW South Korea KOR Kim Dae-joong
55 DF South Korea KOR Kweon Han-jin
66 MF South Korea KOR Kim Se-hoon
77 FW South Korea KOR Park Seung-ho
99 FW South Korea KOR Cheon Seong-hoon

Out on loan[edit]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
DF South Korea KOR Kim Seong-min (to Gimpo FC)
MF South Korea KOR Ji Eon-hak (to Chungnam Asan)
MF South Korea KOR Kim Joon-beom (to Gimcheon Sangmu for military service)
MF South Korea KOR Lee Dong-soo (to FC Anyang)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF South Korea KOR Lee Joon-suk (to Gimcheon Sangmu for military service)
FW South Korea KOR Lee Jong-uk (to Paju Citizen)
FW South Korea KOR Song Si-woo (to Seoul E-Land)

Retired number(s)[edit]

12 – Fans of the club (the 12th Man)


Domestic competitions[edit]



Season-by-season records[edit]

Domestic record[edit]

Season Division Teams 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
2019 1 12 10 Round of 32
2020 1 12 11 Third round
2021 1 12 8 Third round
2022 1 12 4 Third round
2023 1 12 5 Semi-final

Continental record[edit]

All results list Incheon United's goal tally first.

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
2023–24 AFC Champions League Play-off round Vietnam Haiphong 3–1 (a.e.t.)
Group G Japan Yokohama F. Marinos 2–1 4–2 3rd out of 4
Philippines Kaya–Iloilo 4–0 3–1
China Shandong Taishan 0–2 1–3


No. Name From To Season(s)
1 Germany Werner Lorant 2003/09/25 2004/08/30 2004
C South Korea Chang Woe-ryong 2004/08/31 2005/01/02 2004
2 South Korea Chang Woe-ryong 2005/01/03 2006/12/28 2005–2006
C South Korea Park Lee-chun 2007/01/04 2007/12/20 2007
2 South Korea Chang Woe-ryong 2007/12/21 2008/12/09 2008
3 Serbia Ilija Petković 2009/01/29 2010/06/08 2009–2010
C South Korea Kim Bong-gil 2010/06/27 2010/08/21 2010
4 South Korea Huh Jung-moo 2010/08/23 2012/04/11 2010–2012
C South Korea Kim Bong-gil 2012/04/12 2012/07/15 2012
5 South Korea Kim Bong-gil 2012/07/16 2014/12/19 2012–2014
6 South Korea Kim Do-hoon 2015/01/13 2016/08/31 2015–2016
C South Korea Lee Ki-hyung 2016/08/31 2016/11/29 2016
7 South Korea Lee Ki-hyung 2016/11/29 2018/05/11 2017–2018
C South Korea Park Sung-chul 2018/05/11 2018/06/02 2018
8 Norway Jørn Andersen 2018/06/09 2019/04/15 2018–2019
C South Korea Lim Joong-yong 2019/04/15 2019/05/14 2019
9 South Korea Yoo Sang-chul 2019/05/14 2020/01/02 2019
10 South Korea Lim Wan-sup 2020/02/06 2020/06/28 2020
C South Korea Lim Joong-yong 2020/06/29 2020/08/06 2020
11 South Korea Jo Sung-hwan 2020/08/07 present 2020–

Shirt sponsors and manufacturers[edit]

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 None
2015 Hummel Incheon International Airport

Shinhan Bank

2020 Macron

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "인천 프로축구단 올해안 창단" (in Korean). Mail Business News Korea. 13 August 2003. Archived from the original on 20 September 2023. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  2. ^ "인천 유나이티드 FC" (in Korean). Hankook Ilbo. 23 December 2003. Archived from the original on 20 September 2023. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  3. ^ "인천, 스크린서도 돌풍... '비상' 1만 관중 돌파" (in Korean). Sportal Korea. 19 December 2006. Archived from the original on 20 September 2023. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  4. ^ "인천-수원, 서울에 이어 관중 동원 2–3위" (in Korean). OSEN. 13 December 2005. Archived from the original on 20 September 2023. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  5. ^ "인천UTD, 새 유니폼 바라보는 팬들과의 온도차" (in Korean). The Asia Economy Daily. 14 February 2012. Archived from the original on 20 September 2023. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  6. ^ "경영난 인천유나이티드FC '매각설 솔솔'" (in Korean). Yonhap News Agency. 13 November 2014. Archived from the original on 25 December 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  7. ^ "또 월급 못주는 인천유나이티드FC" (in Korean). The Kyeongin Ilbo. 10 December 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  8. ^ "'연이은 헛발질' 인천유나이티드, 감독 선임 난항" (in Korean). Sports Hankook. 26 December 2014. Archived from the original on 25 December 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  9. ^ "인천유나이티드 새 감독에 안데르센 전 북한대표팀 감독 선임". Newsway.
  10. ^ "인천유나이티드, 제10대 사령탑으로 임완섭 감독 선임" (in Korean). Incheon United F.C. 6 February 2020. Archived from the original on 6 February 2020. Retrieved 6 February 2020.

External links[edit]