Love gives birth to love, and a mysterious relationship creates a deeper and warmer story.
It was in the summer of 2021 that Kang Su-il (36, Ansan Greeners), the “lucky man on the ground,” miraculously met his American father after 35 years. And a year later, Kang Soo-il had a son. His grandfather named his grandson Kang Daniel. Then, dragged by blood, he crossed the Pacific Ocean last fall and embraced his grandson.
Kang Su-il, who got new parents, a wife and a child in two years, said, “Everything is like a dream, and I am just grateful.” Kang Soo-il, who is undergoing rehabilitation after knee surgery, is in charge of coaching the soccer team ‘Goal Hitting Nurses’, made up of nurses and nursing students from the Ansan area. He is also active as a model for the menswear brand ‘Sling Stone’. Right before the Lunar New Year holidays, I met Kang Soo-il at the Slingstone showroom in Hannam-dong, Seoul.
K2 Ansan player and coach of ‘Goal Hitting Nurses’
Q: Have you seen Kang Soo-il Jr.? Congratulations.
A : “Thank you. I was born on June 20th last year. The name my American father gave me meant to be a wise and courageous person like the prophet Daniel in the Bible. At first, he said he resembled his mother a lot, but these days, I hear a lot that he resembles me. It’s amazing, cute, and on the other hand, it makes my shoulders feel heavy.”
Q: I heard that your American grandfather made a surprise visit.
A : “Last year in October, the church was holding a baby dedication ceremony (bringing a newborn baby to church for the first time to be prayed for), so I went to the pastor’s office, and my father was sitting there. ‘surprise!’ You hid the fact that you came to Korea to do it. I was so surprised and happy, but after my father received Daniel, he showered me with kisses so much that his whole face was covered with saliva. The baby will be stung by the grandfather’s beard, but he can’t speak (laughs). My father laughed and cried while holding Daniel throughout the worship service.”
Q: Did you go with your Korean parents this time?
A: “Sure. We traveled to Jeju Island together and had a good time. The American mother couldn’t come because she was unwell, but she did say hello to her grandson via video call. Her mother said, ‘Just try Daniel coming to America. He said ‘I’ll hold you tight 24/7 and never let you go’. haha.”
Q: Please brag about Daniel’s mother.
A : “My name is Kim Bo-ryun. I hold a soccer tournament for multicultural children every year, and I came there as a volunteer and met him. I had a hard time returning to Korea in 2021, but I had a hard time with a broken nose. At that time, when I saw the beef bones cooked and delivered to Ansan by subway, I thought, ‘I shouldn’t miss this’. The official wedding ceremony will be held after this season.”
In June 2021, Kang Soo-il met his dreaming American father. At the recommendation of an acquaintance who found her biological father through genetic testing, she sent a DNA sample to a genetic testing agency in the United States in late 2020. Then, in the spring of 2021, she was contacted that there was someone genetically matching her. It was Galen Jones, a professor and pastor at a seminary in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. After serving in the US Army in Korea, he returned to the United States and got married, but he had no children for over 30 years.
The first father and son reunion in 35 years was literally a miracle and a gift. There are more than 70 genetic testing agencies in the United States alone, and the two people were tested at the same place. Galen Jones took the test at the recommendation of his father, who said, “If you do a genetic test, you can meet your separated relatives,” he says he actually met some relatives. However, at the time, he was unaware of Kang Soo-il’s existence. He received a call saying, “A person with the same DNA as you is looking for you,” and said, “I don’t have a son. Are you cheating?” he replied.
After returning to Korea after completing his military service in 1986, he sent an invitation and a plane ticket to the mother of Kang Soo-il, with whom he was dating. But her mother didn’t respond. Her father came to Korea again to convince her mother and stayed for a while, and then Su-il Kang came into existence. His father went back to America without knowing this.
Suil Kang sent his mother a picture of her younger days. Pastor Jones, who wanted to do another DNA test, finally said, “I admit that he is my son. A DNA test is not required.”
In June 2021, the Jones couple came over to Korea. The first meeting at the accommodation hotel right after self-isolation. His father ran over and gave his son a hug, while her wife, Cathy Jones, cried for over an hour. Kang Soo-il’s Korean and American parents had a dream-like time watching their son’s game and eating together. Kang Soo-il said, “I have two fathers and two mothers. I still can’t feel it. There were times when I resented and hated my father, but I missed him so much,” she said with tears in her eyes.
Kang Soo- il’s documentary popularity reversed, with 850,000 views
Kang’s story was made into a 15-minute documentary by the YouTube channel ‘UCN SPORTS’ and released on Christmas Eve 2021. The video, which was watched by 20,000 people at the time, suddenly started running backwards at the end of last year, a year later, and as of January this year, the number of views exceeded 850,000.
Kang Soo-il was born in Dongducheon, Gyeonggi-do. Kang Soo-il, who grew up as a ‘Dongducheon thug’ amidst discrimination and contempt for being a “nigger”, becomes a soccer player by chance and, after hard work, joins the professional soccer team Incheon United as a trainee. With his innate physical condition and explosive speed, he rises to become a top striker in the K-League. 카지노
Kang Soo-il, who was selected for the national team in June 2015, left the national team the day before his A-match debut after being informed of the discovery of a banned substance. There was a banned substance in the hair balm that was applied to grow his mustache. Kang Soo-il is punished by a two-year suspension from FIFA and kicked out of his team. He was also criticized as a ‘freak out of mind’ when he got into a car accident while drinking and driving in a fit of anger.
Kang Su-il, who continued his playing career in Japan and Thailand, joined the K League 2 Ansan Greeners in 2021. On August 30, after scoring a goal in a home game, he bowed 90 degrees toward the crowd and made an ‘apology ceremony’. Even while he was suffering from hardships in his life because he could not find his team, he has been organizing events and donations for children of multicultural families through a charity organization he created called ‘Amiteie’.
Kang Soo-il sees this year as his last season as a player. He said, “Thank you for giving me another chance at the Ansan club. As a soccer player, he had fallen into a dark place, but I want to finish my soccer life with the image of being patient and standing up again by living honestly.”
When asked about the point of differentiation as a model, he said, “I think it’s the athlete’s unique and solid image, and the feeling that comes from a different blood. Different looks and skin colors were shackles when I was younger, but I want to show them that if you overcome them, you can become wings.”