Sunday, December 31, 2006


Here's wishing everyone all over the World a happy and peaceful New Year! I give you this photo as a small token of my appreciation for you.........the readers.

Now on to the first post of 2007!!!!!!!

Tomisawa is back but Nagano and Ishikawa are out

Seitaro Tomisawa reupped his contract today, adding depth to the midfield and defense. Having suffered through an injury plagued 2006, Tomisawa hopes to recover and have a more successful 2007.

Two other defenders, Tatsuya Ishikawa and Satoshi Nagano, are heading back to their clubs. Both were on time-limit rentals that expired yesterday. While Ishikawa heads up to J1 to try and impress Kashimas new boss, Nagano goes off to help Pierre Littbarski get Avispa Fukuoka back to J1.

Cheers!Verdy! also had an interesting little rumor about Gilmar Silva Santos possibly joining Yokohama FC next season. Disappointed to see him go if it's true. Ironically, the first time I saw him play was against Yokohama FC and I loved the effort out of the kid. He went for a loose ball that 99% of the forwards in the league would just give up on and got to it and almost created something.

Nanami won't be announced until the new year starts. We probably won't know about Hulk or Tsuzuki or any other transfers for a few days.

Soilent Greens 2007 Resolutions

1. I will try to keep the news on the site as current as possible. That includes game reports in a timely fashion.

2. I'll try to respond to every comment.

3. I will find a way to get Verdy games on TV so I can be more in-depth on my reports.

4. I'll study Japanese or marry someone that can read Japanese so I can better understand the articles and rumors. Way my luck is going with the ladies............I think I better study!

5. I'll try and get to one sattelite game a month so I can give you reports on practice.

6. I will attempt ot get an interview with an actual person playing for watch out Eugene!

7. I will welcome any comments, criticism, or suggestions to make this site more reader friendly.

8. I will try and give you more sources for J League news in English (or Spanish). Especially news about Verdy.

I think that's about it!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

OFFICIAL: Three sign with Verdy

Along with the anticipated signing of Toshihiro Hattori comes the addition of two defenders, both familiar to longtime Verdy fans. Taisei Fujita is back for a second season. It's unknown at the moment if it's a straight transfer or a loan from FC Tokyo like last year. Fujita appeared in 26 games for the club, having some highs and some lows but came on at the end.
The other signing was longtime J League veteran Yukio Tsuchiya. Tsuchiya, after coming over from a stint in Brazil started his J League career at Verdy Kawasaki at the same time Rui Ramos was coming back for his farewell tour in green. Both left Kawasaki at the same time, Rui to broadcasting and Tsuchiya to Vissel Kobe. Kobe was the place where Tsuchiya enjoyed the most personal success of his career. After 6 years, Tsuchiya moved onto Kashiwa Reysol where the bottom dropped out. The penultimate moment of his time at Reysol was a hard tackle on Urawa forward Tatsuya Tanaka which broke the national teamers leg and affected Tsuchiya mentally.
During this time, he crossed paths with Rui, who joined the team as an assistant coach. After the drubbing that Venforet gave Kashiwa in the 2005 promotion/relegation playoff, Rui headed to Tokyo and Tsuchiya went to Omiya.
While at Omiya, Tsuchiya displayed more poise and discipline than when he was a CB for Kashiwa. Teaming with longtime Ardija man Toninho saw the team display moments of strong defense in the middle. Now he heads back to where he began.......sort of. While the franchise is the same, the place they're in now is not only physically miles away and ions away in terms of prestige, standing, and leagues.
Tsuchiya has appeared in 233 J1 matches and numerous cup competitions. This will be his first foray into J2.
Official Team releases

Friday, December 29, 2006

If you wondered......

Where Verdys former Brazilians have ventured off to.......I have an update.

Two weeks ago Basilio joined up with the worst Verdy Brazilian in history at Serie B club Mariliaílio%20e%20Jardel%20como%20reforços.

Marilia currently sit 9th in Serie B at 13 wins 11 losses and 14 draws......much like a certain Green squad that shall remain nameless.

FutebolJapones reports that David Beckham has a secret negotiation with Tokyo Verdy

And I looooooooove Ice Dancing! Nice Joke! Happy Day of the Innocents!

Consadole Sapporo drops a tough one to Gamba Osaka 2-1

Much praise goes out to the Northern boys as they knocked off 3 J1 squads and put a bit of a scare to the 2005 champs. It signified the last game for Masaaki Yanagishita who leaves the coaching reins to former Omiya headman Toshiya Miura. I'm sure we haven't seen the last of Yanagishita.

Don't get comfortable in J1...........

Yokohama FC. It seems the heir to the Flugel name is in financial straits, according to Nikkan Sports

Yokohama FC signed Tamano and Nejime because they were cheap and had some promise. It seems the squad let ten players go, including superstriker Alemon and now are having trouble getting enough money to sign up assist leader Augusto. Could we see a repeat of last years first to worst?

Oh yeah......Urawa beat Kashima so we get to see yet another super important battle between Gamba and Urawa. Well, it beats watching people eat on TV.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ohashi to the ACL......again

In something of an upset, Masahiro Ohashi is headed to J-League bridesmaids and 2007 ACL participants Kawasaki Frontale. Lauded for an accurate free kick and experience in the ACL, Ohashi was a bit of a disappointment for Verdy last year, only appearing in half of the squads games. Ohashi notched 3 goals and ratcheted up 3 assists, usually saving his best performances for decrepit National Stadium.
If you're keeping track in the Tokushima/Thespa Verdy sattelite acquisition battle, that's a no score!

Around the League

The deconstruction of Cerezo continues........

MF Takahiro Kawamura heads out to Kawasaki Frontale from Cerezo after his loan from Jubilo expires

GK Masahito Suzuki goes to bottom feeding Tokushima Vortis after seeing little time for Cerezo last year.

Other moves.......

Another former national teamer from Shimizu S Pulse moves on. This time it's DF Ryuzo Morioka to Kyoto Purple Sanga to partner up with former Nagoya man Akiba.

Montedio Yamagata has been very busy, shipping GK Shigeru Sakurai to Kofu and FW Ryoji Ujihara to Thespa while bringing in FC Tokyo keeper Taishi Endo.

Koji to Kusatsu

Koji Maatsura is headed north to Thespa Kusatsu to join Satoshi Tokizawa. One of the two Vegalta boys to come in with (now) Cerezo Osaka manager Satoshi Tsunami, Maatsura never could advance past the sattelite level only appearing in 2 games. Maatsura spent the end of the season at 4th division club Fagiano Okayama before Kusatsu decided to reunite the Verdy sats.
I'm wondering how Thespa and Tokushima are gonna divide up the rest of the released buzzards.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Nanami acquisition around the corner?

Hiroshi Nanami looks to be the 3rd Verdy acquisition this week. The Osaka version of Nikkan Sports is reporting that Nanami has made up his mind and decided to join Verdy for the upcoming campaign. Nanami was a bright spot for Cerezo Osaka last year after joining the squad in a mid-year loan from Jubilo Iwata. The former National Team member, 4 time best 11, and Asia Cup MVP has a pedigree that rivals anyone in J League. Last year was a bit of a downturn, notching 2 goals and 5 assists in 23 league games. The only details left are whether it will be a straight acquisition or time limit transfer with Jubilo.
Sponichi Annex mentioned the acquisition of Yukio Tsuchiya as well in their article on Nanami. Again, maybe it's just me but I'm not seeing the sense of the move for either Verdy or Tsuchiya. The other two were out of first team action in J1 and were looking for opportunities to keep playing, Tsuchiya is firmly entrenched in the center mid spot (Unless New coach Robert Verbeek has two Dutch upgrades in mind).
Anyhow......Hattori and Nanami are as good as done. Tsuchiya, I can't say, and Hulk and Tsuzuki won't be sorted out until after Emperors Cup.
Cerezo is definetely this years version of Verdy. Super striker Okubo is being solicited again by European squads for his services after returning from Spain last year. Meanwhile, strike partner Akinori Nishizawa has Urawa pursuing the former national team strikers services.
Seems like after the Yokohama FC miracle season, the new thing in vogue is to acquire former national teamers for leadership purposes ala Shoji Jo, Kazu, and Motohiro in point-
Yutaka Akita got picked up by Kyoto Purple Sanga after his release from Nagoya Grampus 8.
Shonan Bellmare is going after lifelong Shimizu S Pulse defender Toshihide Saito
More on J2 when I compile the rest of the transactions.

Yamada bumped for minor league Brazilian player?

It looks like the Adelaide United tryout isn't going as well as planned for EXOTIC TERMINATER........Adelaide United is bringing in Brazilian Defensive Midfielder Diego Walsh from USL (American second division) side Miami FC. Walsh trained with the Reds (Adelaide not Urawa) early in December as part of a loan program between the clubs. Adelaide currently has a partnership with the second division squad and brought in Brazilian legend Romario on a 4 game loan through this relationship.

Walsh has had a less than stellar career, being drafted by MLS (American first division) squad Columbus Crew in 2003 and then moving onto stints with Kansas City and Real Salt Lake before joining the Miami side. Currently Walsh sells tacos to supplement his income. Walsh would fill the position of injured Chinese striker Shengqing Qu.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hiramoto not the only man of Character!!!!

Nikkan Sports reported that Kashiwa Reysol pursued the U-21 defender in hopes of bolstering their J1 defense for the upcoming season. YUGO SAID NO!

Do you sense a culture change?

Hattori picks green!

Nikkan Sports is reporting that Toshihiro Hattori has decided to lace em up next year for the Green and Grey of Tokyo Verdy. The former National Team Defender and lifelong Jubilo midfielder joins the squad after appearing in over 400 games for the Iwata squad. Hattori comes in with hopes of shoring up the defense and providing leadership for a Verdy club struggling to acheive both.

Monday, December 25, 2006

That was quick

The newest member of Verdy is Shonan Bellmare MF Yusuke Sato who had 9 goals and a team leading 10 assists in 45 games for the green and blue. Sato has been in the league since 1997, appearing with Nagoya Grampus 8, Vissel Kobe, his hometown Omiya Ardija, Montedio Yamagata, and Cerezo Osaka before appearing with Shonan. Sato is 29 standing at a sturdy 175cm and 70kg.
I kinda like this move.........good depth pickup.

Returning members for 2007

Verdy has released the list of returnees for 2007

DF 萩村滋則選手 Shigenori Hagimura- BOOOOOOO!
MF ゼ ルイス選手 Ze Luis-I'm shocked, I thought he was done.
MF 菅原 智選手 Tomo Sugawara-Good as a role player
MF マルクス選手 Marcus- Not surprised at all, let's see if he has anything left in the tank
MF 大野敏隆選手 Harutaka Ono- The Captain is back for another go
MF 廣山 望選手 Nozomi Hiroyama- Came on late, glad he's back!
GK 高木義成選手 Yoshinori Takagi- Starter or Backup?
FW 平本一樹選手 MR.VERDY 2006
DF 一柳夢吾選手 Yugo Ichiyanagi- Breakthrough year?
MF 弦巻健人選手 Kenta Tsurumaki- 19 years old, maybe he'll see a little prime time
FW 喜山康平選手 Kohei Kiyama- See Tsurumaki
FW 齋藤将基選手 Masaki Saito- Big Martin is back!
DF キローラン裕人選手 Eugene Killoran- See Kiyama and then see Tsurumaki.......I am gonna try and get an interview with Killoran next season. That is my goal!
DF 海本幸治郎選手 Koijiro Kaimoto- A bit erratic but I like his distribution skills

OK, so 22 players are currently under contract counting the 8 new signings.

FW Elsamni OSAMA
FW Taira Inoue
DF Kensuke Fukuda
MF Junpei Shinmura
DF Kosei Shibasaki
DF Seiji Sonoda
DF Sho Miyasaka
GK Takahiro Shibasaki

Those who were left off or are still unknown

DF Taisei Fujita (FC Tokyo rental)
DF Kenta Togawa (Kashima bound?)
MF Masahiro Ohashi
MF Hideki Nagai
DF Seitaro Tomisawa-WOW, Really?
MF Shin Kanazawa (Omiya Ardija rental)
DF Naoki Mihara
DF Satoshi Nagano (Avispa Fukuoka)
DF Tatsuya Ishikawa (Kashima Antlers)

So if the season started today, the depth chart would be (Starter in Bold)

FW Hiramoto, Saito, Kiyama, El Samni, Inoue
MF Marcus, Hiroyama, Ono, Ze Luis, Sugawara, Tsurumaki, Fukuda, Shinmura
DF Hagimura, Kaimoto, Ichiyanagi, Killoran, Shibasaki, Sonoda, Miyasaka
GK Takagi, Shibasaki

Looks like Verdy needs 10 to 13 players. Especially defense!!!!!!!


My opinion of him just went up by a 1000. Tough decision but the guy chose loyalty over a shortcut!
Give him the Captains band!

Yamada impresses in Adelaide Trial

Well at least he's impressing somebody this year

Merry Christmas Exotic Terminater!!!!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sagan getting cannibalized?

Today's Nikkan Sports reports that Sagan Superstriker Tatsunori Arai is being solicited for his services by Albirex Niigata and .........wait for it......JEF CHIBA ICHIHARA. Before the dings, Arai was the best striker in J2, notching up scores in an inordinate amount. While I'd like to see him don the Orange and Blue of another J1 squad, it would be good for him and Niigata if Albirex wins out. While I'm not seeing the JEF connection, many in Verdyland are pulling for Chiba to sign him so it takes the heat off the Hiramoto bid. Because I don't believe they will bring in both strikers.

Another story floating on the internet superhighway has GK Juunsuke Schnieder headed north to Sendai.

Vegalta is also rumored to pick up 2 players from Botafogo to replace the departing Thiago Nevez and Borges. Lopez has decided to stay, much to the detriment of other J2 squads.

Consadole is also rumored to pick up 2 young Brazilians, pending a physical.....I'll find out more about them later.

So 4th place Sagan is losing players
5th place Vegalta is retooling
6th place Consadole is picking up prospects
7th place Verdy????????

Merry Christmas

Sorry.......only Verdy themed Christmas photo I could dredge up. However it's slightly apprapos. As Verdy enters its 38th year of football existence, it finds itself in a crisis position. The good news is new half owner CyberAgent is willing to open up the pocketbook and go after better quality players. And to be fair, Verdy got a very late start on signing up what amounted to an entirely new squad for last seasons campaign. This year is critical however to the former standardbearer of Japanese club football.

So in an early edition of New Years wishes......I give you the 2007 wish list thread.

1. Promotion to J1- This is a given.......the longer the club stays in J2, the harder it will be to advance to the upper levels. One needs to look only at the struggles of former J1 squads Vegalta Sendai, Consadole Sapporo, and Shonan Bellmare to see that if you don't do it quick, you might get stuck in purgatory for a very long time. Here's hoping that Verdy gets it done.

2. An actual plan for success- Attaining J1 is the goal, but almost as important is how it gets done. A recent theme on Soilent Green has been building a solid young core to push a team across th line. Kashiwa did it, Vissel did it, Yokohama surprisingly went against their past and did it's time for Verdy to do it. Togawa, Fujita, Kanazawa, Hiramoto, on this nucleus with other good young players and a FEW smart older players and you will go far, go for the quick fix and not only will you probably WILL fail for a long time.

3. Fill in the blank,Rui ______ is a Virtue- PATIENCE. Rui needs to show that he has learned lessons from this season and will find a coherent lineup and stick with it.......ESPECIALLY in the middle. Please Rui, show the patience to your team that the folks at NTV/CyberAgent has shown you.

4. Consistent playing time for Masaki Saito- Soilent Greens favorite Verdy player was a minor revelation for the squad last year.Here's hoping that Martin gets a chance to shine, either in green or in another color.

5. Hiramoto has a breakout season- Kazuki showed flashes of talent, perserverance, and leadership at the end of the season and I truly hope he builds on it. His first test will be in taking the JEF offer or not. Honestly, I'm not sure what the right decision is for him. I only hope that he can reach his full potential and show the rest of Japan that he is a quality striker.

6. A full season of Nakano and Togawa manning the centerback position- We saw the start of something special with the teaming of Togawa and Nakano in the center. Two athletic branch defenders teamed with these two would give Verdy a formidable backline.......something Verdy hasn't had in a long time.

7. See 6-Branch defenders

8. A goalkeeper that can either push Takagi or take over the spot- Takagi had a relatively successful season but one thinks that Verdy needs more. The rumored offer to Tsuzuki is an excellent step towards shoring up the position.

9. Success for those that have left the nest- Here's hoping Coach Tsunami, Kuba, Nejime, and the rest of the former Verdistas find a good amount of success for next year. No matter where they go, they're always green.

10. A Merry Christmas to all- Have a safe and happy holidays and a wonderful 2007!!!!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The tranasaction rumor post du jour

CHEERS! VERDY! put together a comprehensive list of all the confirmed and speculated transactions that have or will go down in the offseason.

I'm not going to go into the definite transfers because I've covered them in previous posts. Instead I'll focus on the speculatative ones and give a percentage on what I think will happen.

Goalkeepers Ryota Tsuzuki-Urawa Reds Tsuzuki has fallen a bit out of the first team plans for the 2006 champs after playing the lions share of games in 2005. While it would be a coup for Verdy to pick up the former National Teamer, it seems unlikely given the veritable dearth of quality keepers in J1. If Tsuzuki needs more playing time, he could cross the street and play for small rival Omiya and get the job handed to him. Had some definite rust today in the Quaterfinal match against Jubilo today. He had some nice saves but wasn't even close in the shootout and looked lucky to win today.

Likely pickup 10%

Yusuke Kondo-Thespa Kusatsu Very young prospect who came in for a trial after a year of Sattlelite work for Thespa Kusatsu. Definite project who would come in as the 4th keeper. Good for the future I suppose.

Likely pickup 50%

Hiroshi Nanami-Cerezo Osaka and Toshihiro Hattori-Jubilo Iwata Recent articles have put the former teammates in bidding battles between two squads, their current club and Verdy. It's possible that Verdy could get both, one, or none and it would not be surprising. Of the two, I think Hattori is the more likely one to join up because he looks not to be in future plans for the Shizuoka squad.

Likely pickup BOTH 33% Hattori 60% Nanami 50% NADA 25%

Yukio Tsuchiya-Omiya Ardija (Full Disclosure-I'm a HUGE Ardija fan so this one is gonna be through an orange filter.......BIAS ALERT) Hell let's cut the pretense, I hate this move for two reasons. 1. It kills the Omiya backline. Tsuchiya proved himself to be a formidable force in the backline for Omiya this year. Unlike the others mentioned, Tsuchiya is a prime contributor to the fortunes of his squad. He has a guaranteed role on a J1 side. WHY would he leave to go to a J2 side in a tumultuos state unless they are grossly overpaying him? And where is this money coming from? CyberAgent? NTV? It's not making sense. 2. Tsuchiya has missed a decent amount of time in the past, only topping 30 games once in his career. At 32, it seems unlikely that he or Hattori or Nanami will be able to hold up through a 48 game endurance test. I don't like it.

Likely pickup- NO RULING

HULK-CONSADOLE SAPPORO- Hulk has been rumored to be pursued by not only Verdy but German squad Bayern Munchen as well. This one has some legs to it and I would be shocked if he wasn't in green next season

Likely pickup-65%

There was also some rumors about Verdy players who are currently in flux

Three guys have gotten offers from J1 squads. The most serious one has been Kazuki Hiramoto to JEF Ichihara Chiba. I would rate him as 75% likely to leave. A pair of talented middle defenders, Kenta Togawa (Kashima Antlers) and Satoshi Nakano (Venforet Kofu) have kind of slipped under the radar. Of the two i'd rate Togawa (60% likely to leave) as the one with more upside. Nakano hasn't even made the papers with the Kofu bid so I'd rate this as a 25% chance of exodus.

I'll cover more tomorrow.....these rankings are pure speculation, I do not have any inside info so take this with a grain of salt.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Former Verdians on the move

Verdy announced the signing of FC Tokyo backup keeper Takahiro Shibasaki today. Shibasaki has played for 3 squads in 6 years including 3 years in Verdy. Shibasaki played in 3 games having an underwhelming 2.33 1 has been signed. Here's hoping for bigger and better things.

Three to Yokohama?

Well, two have been confirmed. Verdy announced that MF's Shingo Nejime and Jun Tamano have signed up with newly promoted Yokohama FC. Meanwhile, Daijiro Takakuwa has been made an offer by crosstown rivals Yokohama F Marinos.

Around the league

Anderson has left Mito Hollyhock and returned to Brazil

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Rumor Central

Nikkan Sports now has a report about Nanami to Verdy.

The article states that (erroneously reported by me as current Jubilo player) Cerezo MF has stated he is 100% sure he will not go back to Jubilo and his decision will be between Tsunami and Cerezo or Ramos and Verdy.

Another interesting little tidbit is that they are going after Former National Team player and Urawa keeper Ryota Tsuzuki. That would be an incredible move, absolutely approve of this move. Tsuzuki got beat out for the job by Norihiro Yamagishi this season and looks like he has no place on the squad.

So just to let you know

Hattori- Jubilo
Nanami- Cerezo
Tsuchiya- Omiya (I don't buy this one)
Hulk- Consadole Sapporo
Tsuzuki- Urawa Reds

Tsuzuki, Hulk and one of the two old dudes and it's a very merry christmas in Verdy Town!


Littbarski has officially been announced as the new coach of Avispa Fukuoka.

Awesome, now Ruy can go up against another former star of yesteryear who is a little deficient in coaching proficiency!!!!!!

Montedio Yamagata gets Yohei Toyoda on loan from Grampus. the young striker notched 1 in 9 games for the Nagoya squad.

And finally................

Back in business
This is day one of a blog dedicated to one of the most erratic and irritating teams on the face of the earth. Tokyo Verdy 1969 traces it's roots to something or other......hell if I know. Yomiuri had some sort of affiliation with them and then they were based in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan.While in Kawasaki they were the first powerhouse in the inagural J-League. They won 3 J-league cups (92,93,94), Two league championships (93,94) , 5 Emperors Cup titles (84,86,87,96 and the last one).This year they started off by defeating crosstown rival (and crashing bore) FC Tokyo in the final of the 84th Emperors cup, guaranteeing them a spot in the Asian Champions League and raising expectations to unforseen heights.Now they will be taking road trips to exotic places like Ehime and Mito..........instead of playing perennial powerhouse Yokohama F Marinos, they will play powder blue Yokohama FC.If you are looking for detailed footnotes and historical references, there are better places. If you are looking for in-depth coverage of one of Japan's most storied soccer franchises, there are better places. If you are looking for breaking news and hot rumors about the men in snot green, there are much, much better places. However, if you are looking for the literary equivalent of a heckler at the Special Olympics (Which I am completely against........those kids try hard! Unlike the flotsam wearing the buzzard on their badges) This is the place for you.Welcome. Drive by really slowly and ogle the carnage that is.....................TOKYO VERDY 1969

One year ago today, I started Soilent Green 1969. Honestly, I thought that I would run out of steam and stop about 3 months in but here it is. I'd like to thank everyone who has read and posted comments (Especially Nick, Ultranippon, and now Aaron). Special thanks goes out as well to Masa at Masa-Net, Furtho at G!G!O!A! and the many bloggers who document Verdy in Japanese and Spanish. I'm hoping for an improved SG 1969 next year and a much improved Verdy.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Verdy pursues three

The offer for Hattori was just the beginning according to Sponichi Annex as now Verdy has their sights set on former national team midfielder and Hattori's Jubilo squadmate Hiroshi Nanami and former Verdy man and current Omiya Ardija central defender Yukio Tsuchiya in another attempt for Verdy to go for the quick fix instead of developing.

What I could glean from this is Verdy wasn't satisfied with the youth movement so instead they are bringing in seasoned vets to shore up the squad. I think it's a big step backwards. All the teams that were promoted had good YOUNG cores accentuated with veterans for leadership. 48 game seasons wear on players in their prime, can you imagne what's gonna happen to a team of 30 somethings? And it's curious to see guys who are starting members of first division squads taking a step down so they can play in front of 4000 people on Wednesdays in the middle of summer.

I don't get it.

Meet the Coaches

Verdy released the list of coaches for next year

Ramos Manager
Hashiratani Head Coach
Ishiguri Physical Coach
Kikuchi GK coach
and up from Verdy youth

Shiro Kikuhara

No Flavio.......I'm sure he was a good coach but he has the same physique as me and that kind of worried me. Fat Conditioning coaches are like Bald barbers in my book.

Former Verdians on the move

I haven't seen this posted anywhere else so I'm guessing I'm the first of the bloggers to have this.......SCOOP!!!!!!!!,22606,20956022-5006373,00.html

Former Verdy Captain Takuya Yamada is currently on trial at Hyundai A-League side Adelaide United. My guess is that he's doing it to sharpen up after a fairly inactive season at Cerezo. Australia is in session right now so it looks like a tune-up in order to attract some J1 suitors. Fans on the Adelaide United board have been less than enthusiastic about the signing, however.

GK Satoshi Tokizawa is hoping to win the starting spot at Thespa Kusatsu. The 21 year old keeper is definetely in contention now that former starter Takuya Takagi is done with his rental period.

DF Yukihiro Aoba joins up with cellar dwellers Tokushima Verdy....err, Vortis. The 27 year old journeyman is the third man from Verdy to join up with the southern squad.

Allright, that's all for now!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hiramoto gets "Propositioned" by Sato of Chiba

Well it looks like the recruiting has begun amongst the Chiba as Yuto Sato has been calling his former Athens Olympics teammate

Allright fair check out the babelfish translation of said article

Isamu Chiba Sato Isao MF Sato love call Chiba (24) on the 19th, the Chiba older sister with the promontory ground, sent the love call to FW Hiramoto of Tokyo V to which club has put out offer in Tokyo V Hiramoto. It is intimate with the same grade, via lodging together and the like of the Athenian Olympic typical candidacy "(mischievous) character has been similar", that the relation which feels the same smell. "As for the person those which it has (ability) it is. It is the type which is not inside. It tries "communicating. It comes, season Sato? Perhaps Hiramoto's hot line is born, about losing something in the translation! Older sister? intimate? Love call? feels the same smell? WTF?

Maybe the new theme of Chiba could be "soccer practice"

Haven't seen "soccer practice" ?

I'm just gonna apologize to everybody now.....Gay or Straight

Worst post ever!

Morimoto makes the U-21s

It looks like Italy has done wonders for little MO......

Around the League

A big blow to the team just below Verdy happened as Montedio superstriker Leandro leaves Yamagata and joins up with newly promoted J1 squad Vissel Kobe. The Rakuten Reds also signed Brazilian midfielder Botti from ACL champs Jeonbuk Hyundai of the K-League.


Pride of Green reproted seeing seldom used Former Verdy keeper Takahiro Shibasaki at training today..........could he be coming in as a second keeper or third or first?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Hiramoto day 2

My personal take on the Hiramoto situation is this........

1. It hurts Verdy- Good young players (ready to perform) are in short supply on Verdy, and Hiramoto is the best out of all of them. One could make a reasonable argument that he is the best player on the team. This is a double takes away one of the homegrown guys and it takes away an attacking force. While adding somebody the caliber of a Hulk will soften the blow, there is something special about having a fellow countryman being the big attacker on the team......He has been billed as the heir to Kazu.

2. It adds to the long line of talent fleeing Verdy- Something is wrong when one of the vanguards of Japanese football is leaking like the Titanic. Hiramoto would be following in the footsteps of Nakazawa, Kobe Miura, Soma, and Daigo. Is this team headed for Bellmare status? Perennial second division?

3. Hiramoto's prime is coming soon- Next year he becomes 26. Strikers are hard pressed to stay around longer than 33 (Kazu nonwithstanding). It's a little rough for a guy with big aspirations to be playing in the minors when guys like Kazunori Iio, Hiroshi Morita, and Tatsuhiko Kubo stumbled around last year in starting positions for J1. A competitor hates seeing lesser lights trying to shine on the big stages.

4. A challenge might bring out the best in Hiramoto- Many times last year, it looked like Hiramoto was bored or mentally unprepared to play. 48 games against mediocre competition in empty arenas can suck the life out of the best of them. The teams subpar play and a manager who was erratic in his selections and a slaughterer of team chemistry probably added to the frustration and malaise.

5. A good choice could mean National team glory, a bad choice........- All you have to do is look at the fortunes of two of Verdys former young prodigies. Takahito Soma jumped on board front running Urawa and was buried behind Alessandro Santos. Averaging about 9 minutes a game, Soma got his trophy but has virtually disappeared of National team radar. Meanwhile, Daigo Kobayashi joined up with small squad Omiya Ardija and has gained many accolades including a J League best 28 and a small cameo on the National team.

3 teams have been identified as suitors to Hiramoto

1. JEF Chiba- The defending Nabisco Cup champions have been the most credible link to a Hiramoto transfer, putting in an official bid for the strikers services. National coach Osim likes to pick from his former squad, choosing 6 members in friendlies and Asia Cup competitions. JEF boasts one of the best midfields in the league led by Yuki Abe.......maybe. The downside to Chiba is the instability in their coaching ranks. Osim the Junior struggled mightily to inspire the troops after their Nabisco cup triumph, falling to 11th in the league and bombing out of Emperors Cup to second division Consadole.......More of the same?

2. Nagoya Grampus 8- Grampus went on a tear after the addition of Frode Johnsen, finishing up 7th. If Hiramoto were to join up, he would be the 3rd striker in a 3-3-4 behind Frodo and young striker Keita Sugimoto. This would mean much more defense with the lack of the 4th midfielder. The team was able to turn it on at the end but it remains to be seen if Sef Vergoosen can remain successful in the J League and actually have the cash and talent laden sleeping giant of Nagoya contend for a title.

3. Urawa Reds- It seems like no matter who is out there, Urawa is linked to them. Probably the least likely coach situation, a relatively deep pool of strikers for a 1 striker scheme, and rumors of adding players like Bare really causes me to brush this off as an option. The positive would be national recognition (8 national team players) and perennial championship contention as well as a reunion with old friends Soma and Washington. The negative would be lack of playing time and long months of Sattlelite league ball.

Rough proposition for everyone involved.


Vegalta superstriker Borges has been targeted by 4 big powers in the Brazilian leagues. Cruziero, Flumenense, Sao Paolo, and Corinthians have all put in bids to take the prolific scorer off of the Sendai squads hands.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Hiramoto getting offers from Chiba

Well, it looks like Verdy might be feeling the effects of losing Tadashi Karai to JEF Chiba after all. The team from Fukuari has put in official papers in order to negotiate with the mercurial striker

One of the things lacking in Chibas chemistry last year was a creative attacker who could team with Seichiro Maki in order to create consistent scoring opportunities. Hiramoto is half that......very creative, rarely consistent. Billed as the man who would take over the mantle of Kazu, the loss of Hiramoto would provide another blow to a franchise who has been rudderless since they tasted victory on a crisp January night in 2005.

But we all knew it was coming.

Urawa and Nagoya were also in play for the services of Prince Kazuki and still might have a say in where he goes.


Reported first by Ultranippon in the comments section, Tokyo Verdy has made a formal to pick up 33 year old former national team midfielder Toshihiro Hattori from Jubilo Iwata.

The Jubilo man played in 29 games for Shizuoka's most famous squad, helping them along to a 5th place finish. The move would help Verdy reinforce the left side of the line.



Kyoto resigned super-striker Paulinho in a bit of a coup. The lanky Brazilian probably had interest from numerous J1 teams after the dramatic fall of last years J2 champs in their brief foray into the upper levels. Paulinho automatically rises to number 1 threat in the second division.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Verdy GM moves to Chiba

Hot off the Verdy blog, Tadashi Karai is on his way out as General Manager of Tokyo Verdy 1969 and on his way in to two time defending Nabisco Cup Champion JEF United Chiba.

Let's see, If I can recall correctly, The GM is responsible for player acquisition and club promotion. So under the Karai regime in 2005, Verdy saw the demise of their J1 membership, the raiding of their young talent, the hiring of a big name coach who is more name than coach, A drop in attendance from a middling 15,000 to a number hovering just under 6,000, The acquisition of players such as Dedimar, Shigenori Hagimura, Tetsuhiro Kina, and Kazunori Iio who helped lead the squad to a 7th place finish.

Umm...........Good Luck?


Nikkan sports is reporting that Cerezo striker Okubo is on the move to Yokohama F marinos if they can hammer out the rental fee. Article here

Sagan Tosu picked up Hiroyuki Ishida from Venforet Kofu. Ishida played in only a few games for Kofu after coming over from Malaysia. The striker is probably best known for his exploits in Australia, appearing for a Sydney squad that was the in the precusor to todays Hyundai A League and then appearing for the Perth Glory.

Things are getting interesting in J2 hot stove league

While Verdy sits fiddling, J2 is burning with transactions and moves all around....

Recently dropped squad Cerezo Osaka brought on a familiar face to lead the flaming pink next year. Recently dropped Verdy Head Coach Satoshi Tsunami is set to take over the reins and try to move the squad up to J1. My prediction is this one is gonna bite Verdy in the posterior. Tsunami was a capable coach who nearly had an underacheiving Vegalta side steal the final playoff spot just two years ago. this reeks of a situation one year ago where a competent coach was allowed to go to rival Kashiwa and lead them back to J1 while Verdy went with a move that was more inspired by PR and less inspired by actual coaching and personnel acumen.

Consadole Sapporo added an old pro from the J2 wars of the past when they signed up former Omiya man Toshiya Miura to take the helm at the Northern Kingdom. Miura is known as a defensive specialist and a man who gets the most out of players who might be lacking in talent. While his team underacheived in the 2006 campaign, no one can say that Miura is not a credible force against other J2 coaches. The Hokkaido verion of Nikkan sports also insinuated that recently released Omiya defender Kazuyoshi Mikami might join the J2 squad in order to tighten up the squad.

Avispa Fukuoka is rumored to be interested in former Yokohama FC coach and World Cup midfielder Pierre Littbarski. Littbarski was rumored to be at the top of the list for the Omiya job but it fell through. Littbarski has popped up at the Emperors cup match between Albirex and Consadole as well as the World Club Championships going on this week.

Shonan Bellmare has come out of the gate as one the busiest players in the transaction market by signing long-time FC Tokyo defender Jean Carlo Witte. Kinda wondering why Verdy let this guy slip hrough their fingers when he was right in their backyard and a definite upgrade on the backline.

Ehime FC added little used Urawa mid Shota Arai and equally underused Jubilo Defender Kohei Matsushita.


Verdy 6-0 Kokushikan University

Hiramoto had a brace, Saito pulled the Hat, and Hayama knocked in the final shot for a big win.

More to come!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Training 2 Meiji university vs Verdy

Verdy knotted up with 3rd place Kanto Daigaku holders Meiji University 1-1

Yugo Ichiyanagi notched the goal on a header from a corner kick.

Tomorrow, the Satellites get it on with yet another University side Tomorrow at the Verdy Grounds.

Also it looks like Kappa is headed to design the Uniforms next season.....check out the catalogue and you will see a certain "Coming to America" Coiffed manager posing in Kappa gear.

More tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Spitting Toda won't be back

Official out of Verdy camp......Kazuyuki Toda is staying with Sanfrecce on a full transfer. After a horrendous first half of the season, Toda (and Sanfrecce) rebounded to drag the team up to 10th. Under a new 3-5-2 system, Toda was the anchor as the loan center defender on a back line.

Oh, yeah He spit on David Beckham while wearing a Verdy uniform............Thumbs up in my book!

More to come later tonight!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Weekly Soccer Digest-Weekly Soccer Magazine final wrap

Weekly Soccer Digest gave Verdy a D grade overall

Forwards were rated a C
Mids were rated a C
Defense and Keepers got a D
Foreign imports got a B (I guess they forgot the first half of the season when Dedimar was mucking it up)

Ruy got a low of E

Soccer Magazine didn't have ratings......both called Kazuki Hiramoto MVP.......I don't really know who would make a better pick than Hiramoto but it still bothers me in a way and I can't quite put my finger on it.......guess he's as good as any. I'll think more about it.

Urawa redux

It looks like there are two schools of thought on Urawa........A. They earned the right to pillage because they do things the right way and B. Too much of a monopoly is bad for the league. Nick raised a very valid point about jealousy being involved in complaints about Urawa Gluttony. I can't disagree with that, I think there is big jealousy on teams who can't come up with funds because of poor management, lack of fan support, lack of sponsors, etc..

My main concern is making the rest of the league into a farm team for two or three superclubs, Ala Premier League or La Liga. I really hope that the league doesn't turn into a SPL clone with Urawa playing the role of Rangers and FC Tokyo or Gamba becoming Celtic with the rest of the league not really having a shot.

J2 transactions

Shonan Bellmare added a couple from J2 and dumped some more

Kashiwa Reysol MF Shota Suzuki and Montedio Yamagata FW Ryuta Hara sign up for next years squad. Brazilian trio Nivaldo, Flavio, and Amarildo get shown the door.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Off Topic: Urawa raiding the coffers of the J League

I don't know where to start on this............In an attempt to strengthen their lineup for the upcoming Asian Champions League, defending Emperor's Cup and 2006 League Champions Mitsubishi Urawa Red Diamond Football Club has been linked to signing Japan National Team member and JEF United Stalwart Yuki Abe and Brazilian striker Bare.

Bare rumor
Abe rumor

I understand the desire for teams to do whatever they can to improve their teams. I applaud the drive to finally take seriously the regions Championship in order to further the league. I also understand the dynamics of a league with a few big fish and alot of minnows. I get it.

That being said, I hate the fact that the J league is starting to go the way of the superclubs. Last year, Urawa signed former Verdy up and comer Takahito Soma. Here's what I said about the deal

Wow, talk about gravedigging. New Emperor's cup champs and all around annoying team, THE URAWA REDS are now trying to pry away future star and team MVP Takahito Soma from the lads in green. As you already know, Urawa took Brazilian goal machine Washington away from Verdy and now they are hungry for young talent. (Rumor found on MASA-NET link to original Japanese article can be found there)
Arguably it would be great for Soma, he's only 24 and playing with Hasebe, Tsuboi, and Santos would instantly get him some national recognition. It really stinks for TV69, however, the one relative strength that they have is their youth. Soma is a building block to the future and it would potentially cripple any hopes for promotion.There's also a possibility of goal scoring prodigy Takayuki Morimoto getting some interest from a big club in Europe.........more on that when I get more confirmation. As of now it's just a rumor.As of now, I don't think they have enough to compete with Ehime much less Vegalta Sendai or the powers in the ACL . the buzzards are circling and they aren't wearing green :( .

Boy, did I miss the target on this one. Soma was turned into the Japanese version of Shawn Wright-Phillips. Another signing, Teruaki Kurobe was relegated to the bench for all but 9 games this season. This coming after he put in good campaigns for Cerezo Osaka and Kyoto Purple Sanga. Sure, it strengthens the short-term depth of the squad, but it cripples the depth of the league.

Mitsubishi built the Urawa Reds with a philosophy based on the best elements of Manchester United. A strong youth program, combined with grass-roots support and a family feeling have made the squad THE franchise in Japan and succeeded in every aspect that Tokyo Verdy failed in. While I can't stand the product on the field and loathe the supporters of Urawa (Except for Masa of Masa.Net and a few others) I have a respect for what they have accomplished. I respect the fact that the fans stayed united behind the squad when they dropped to J2 (Unlike the 9000+ that fled the Verdy bandwagon when they took the drop).

What I HATE however is the piracy. Venforet Kofu was a great story this season, defying the odds to not only advance to J1 but survive and shock a few people along the way. Now their main guy is possibly going to be the third to fifth best Brazilian on the squad. Yuki Abe is JEF Chiba, he is the face of the he might become the backup to his fellow national teamers. And where is the impetus to develop homegrown talent. Why should Urawa even bother to develop another Tsuboi or Hasebe when they can steal a player away from Shimizu S Pulse by outbidding them.

Jeremy Walker of FC Japan wrote in his article how great it will be if Urawa gets Bare. He states that all of Japan needs to be behind Urawa in the upcoming campaign (Link is above). I think Mr. Walker should take the proverbial flying leap. If Kawasaki is in the competition, I will pull for them. I will go for any team that puts together a squad through hard work and development and scouting. I cannot and will not root for a squad that bludgeons the rest of the league by pilfering in order to seek more self glory.

With all due respect, I'll pass.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The season is over but the news is not......

Verdy had a practice game against 4th place Kanto Daigaku league squad Hosei University. In a game that was 2 periods of 45 minutes and a third period of 30 minutes, the squad fell 5-4

Goals were scored by Saito, Nagai, Hiroyama, and Mihara.

Hosei was led by FW Inoue who put them up early and gave Verdy fits all game.

The Fallen Hero returns from the Doha Campaign

Yugo Ichiyanagi returned today from Doha. Ichiyanagi notched a goal in the final game against North Korea. The squad finished second in their group and failed to advance to the knockout rounds. It should be noted that Japan went with a purely U-21 squad in a U-23 competiton. Disappointing result for the young samurai.

Found a new blog today

F2FF (From the second floor of Fukuari) is an English blog based on the exploits of JEF Chiba Ichihara. Updated often, it's been around for awhile but slipped through the cracks. Good stuff!


Speaking of JEF chiba, rumors abound about the impending exodus of National team midfielder Yuki Abe. Nagoya Grampus Eight, Urawa Reds, and FC Tokyo all have been linked to bids for the star middleman. By my count, if Urawa is able to steal him away they would have the lions share of National team players...........


Nagoya has also been linked with former Verdy man and National team player Yuji Nakazawa. The big blow to Verdy though would be if the gasmen snatched him up. The return of headman Hara could see the perennial underacheivers finally challenge for top of the table with the addition of Abe. They will still be godawful to watch when they take on Omiya but they will have a ton of talent. And that would show how far Verdy needs to go.

My guess is that he ends up in Urawa though........and Soma will fall a bit further back.

News from the deuce

And the......umm...tier is.....

Vissel Kobe in a flat 1-1 game. Because of away goal rules....Kobe advances. Because they scored 1........on the road, instead of at home. So there you go. Even though they were the third place team in the second division, they had the "disadvantage" of playing on the road to a J1 squad who clawed their way to survival only to fall because they scored their one at home instead of on the road.

Congratulations Vissel for an inspired tie. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

I hate this league

How did the lonely J2 squad do today in the Emperors Cup?

After tying up Albirex Niigata 2-2 after 120 minutes on two Makoto Sunakawa goals, Consadole Sapporo beat the cranes of Niigata 8-7 on penalty kicks. They go on to face Venforet Kofu, who in the upset of the day pummeled #2 squad Kawasaki Frontale 5-2.

Avispa Fukuoka has a chance to redeem themselves when they face off against Urawa in Saitama 2002. Urawa meanwhile is trying to reup with 18 year old Argentina/Spanish striker Sergio Escuedero, who plans on finalizing his Japanese citizenship sometime next year.

Escuerdo-Spain/Argentina Japan
Tulio-Brazil Japan
Santos-Brazil Japan
Nene-exiting Brazil- New foriegn player

Hmm......seems like Urawa is taking a page out of a certain green teams playbook from 10 years ago.

Cerezo Osaka-If Verdy was pink......

The deconstruction of Cerezo Osaka is underway and it looks alot like what a certain Tokyo team did last year.

Just days after the retirement of former National team player Hiroshige Yanagimoto and the dismissal of Takuya Yamada, Cerezo announced that they are severing their ties with foreign imports Bruno Quadros and Pingo. Two other contributors, Jubilo rental MF Takahiro Kawamura and Sagan Tosu rental FW Michiaki Kakimoto are all leaving the squad for higher ground.

Vegalta Sendai let one of their big three Brazilians, Chiago Nevez go away from Sendai.

More Tomorrow.......just got back from Shizuoka and the Omiya/Jubilo game.....WORST......REF.......EVER!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Congratulations Rui....It's a boy!!!!!

An 18 year old boy from Otsu HS by the name of Sho Miyasaka as a matter of fact. Miyasaka agreed to sign with Verdy after graduation in March......Miyasaka is a 190 cm Defender from Kumamoto who started his career by playing YMCA soccer........I played YMCA soccer and I was awful. Anyways, he is known for size and good technical ability, which would be a first for Verdy's backline. Anyhow, that is 7 to the class of 2007.......going the Shimizu route, I like it!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Records against J2 competition and others

Final records

Asian Champions league

Ulsan Hyundai Horang-I 0-0-2 -3

Emperors Cup

Tochigi SC 0-0-1 -1

J2 league 21-8-19 71pts -6

Yokohama FC 1-2-1 4 pts -1
Kashiwa Reysol 1-0-3 3 pts -5
Vissel Kobe 1-0-3 3 pts -2

Top 3 total 3-2-7 10 pts -8

Sagan Tosu 2-1-1 7 pts ---
Vegalta Sendai 2-1-1 7 pts ---
Consadole Sapporo 1-0-3 3 pts -5

Second tier 5-2-5 19 pts -5

Montedio Yamagata 3-0-1 9 pts +2
Ehime FC 2-1-1 7 pts -1
Mito Hollyhock 2-0-2 6 pts -2

Third tier 7-1-4 22 pts -1

Shonan Bellmare 2-0-2 6 pts -1
Thespa Kusatsu 2-2-0 5 pts +5
Tokushima Vortis 2-1-1 7 pts +3

Last tier 6-3-3 18 pts +7

VERDY G Made 196.9

Verdy G reports seeing former Yokohama FC coach Pierre Littbarski at Verdy practice. Littbarski, the former World Cup winner and Sydney FC coach is rumored to be one of the finalists to take over for outgoing Omiya coach Miura. Possible scouting trip? Maybe Martin is heading back to the prefecture of his birth? Hiramoto rejoining Daigo and Yoshiyuki? Or is Littbarski lined up to take over one of the many J2 openings?

We shall see!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

J2 Around the league: Lucky 13

Well, the first leg of Promotion/Relegation went down featuring 16th place J1 squad Avispa Fukuoka featuring the effervescent Kazunori Iio and J2 3rd squatter Vissel Kobe featuring Atsuhiro Miura, another former Verdy guy.....well actually no, Miura got red carded and wasn't available for game 1. First leg took place in Kobe and ended in a 0-0 draw.

My take on the second leg is this.....whoever scores first will win. If Avispa notches first they will bunker in and its not as easy to score on Avispa as you might think. If Avispa goes down early, they will bring the house and counterattacks are possible. I think the pressure is all on Avispa now so I'm gonna say Vissel 3 Avispa 1 and Fukuoka road trips ahead.

Where did they go?

A ton of people have been released in the deuce the past couple of days and I'll try and update as much as possible

Consadole Sapporo- The big loss for Consadole is the exit of Jubilo rental Kenichi Kaga. Kaga played 44 games in the back for Sapporo, notching 4 goals.

Vegalta Sendai- documented in a previous article. Daijiro Takakuwa needs to sign a contract in

Mito Hollyhock- Cut 10 players, all of whom played 10 or more games.....probably poorly.

Thespa Kusatsu- 14 players were shown the door, including arguably their two best players, Yusuke Shimada and GK Takahiro Takagi......both of whom will go back to Omiya.

Montedio Yamagata- A bit of a shock here as young striker Ryuta Hara got dropped from the squad. Hara had a bit of a down year, only notching 5 goals in 26 games.

Shonan Bellmare- Satoshi Yokoyama gets the axe after notching a less than staggering 8 goals for Bellmare. My fondest recollection of Yokoyama was a game versus Verdy in which an American guy says to his kid: "See number 29, he's not a good player". Mehhhh.

Kyoto Sanga- Besides 4000+ fans, their place in J1, and the color purple (Oprah would be pissed!) NOT MUCH

Cerezo Osaka- Takuya Yamada........the angel of death!

More tomorrow....I'm sleepy and I'm not in the mood to comb through Ehime FC drops right now!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The J2 twenty two!

My first and second team squads

BTW-Soccer Digest has their 11 and it's pretty similar to what I was thinking.

First Team 3-4-3 formation

MVP GK Takanori Sugeno Yokohama FC

DF Tomonobu Hayakawa Yokohama FC
DF Kunie Kitamoto Vissel Kobe
DF Ryo Kobayashi Kashiwa Reysol

MF Diego Kashiwa Reysol
MF Atsuhiro Miura Vissel Kobe
MF Lopez Vegalta Sendai
MF Yusuke Shimada Thespa Kusatsu

FW Leandro Montedio Yamagata
FW Tatsunori Arai Sagan Tosu
FW Borges Vegalta Sendai

Coach Takuya Takagi Yokohama FC

Second Team 4-4-2

GK Yuta Minami Kashiwa Reysol

DF Chon Yon De Yokohama FC
DF Kazunari Okayama Kashiwa Reysol
DF Tomoyoshi Ono Yokohama FC
DF Leonardo Montedio Yamagata

MF Adiel Shonan Bellmare
MF Minoru Suganuma Ehime FC
MF Park Kang Jo Vissel Kobe
MF Iwao Yamane Kashiwa Reysol

FW Hulk Consadole Sapporo
FW Shoji Jo Yokohama FC

And if somebody put a gun to my head and said I had to include an MVP for each squad

Yokohama FC Takanori Sugeno
Kashiwa Reysol Diego
Vissel Kobe Kunie Kitamoto
Vegalta Sendai Lopez
Sagan Tosu Tatsunori Arai
Consadole Sapporo Hulk
Montedio Yamagata Leandro
Ehime FC Minoru Suganuma
Mito Hollyhock Anderson
Shonan Bellmare Adiel
Thespa Kusatsu Yusuke Shimada
Tokushima Vortis Jun Tamano

Take it with a grain of salt......I can name about 3 players on Ehime and 2 on Mito so it might not mean alot. I went very heavy on the top three teams because they were far and away the class of the league. Forwards were much easier to identify than the grind it out D Mid or defender so I might have short-changed a couple of people. Sorry.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Coaching shakeup and other tidbits

Former National team defender and Vegalta Sendai headman Satoshi Tsunami (pictured below) is out as head coach of Tokyo Verdy according to (via Verdy blog)
The speculation is that Tetsuji Hashiratani will take over as number 2 man on the squad. The article also said that if the team has a season like last year, the head office will not fail to find a new coach. If memory serves, Hashiratani's brother was the head man for a powerful J2 Kyoto Sanga in 2005 and a pathetic J1 Kyoto Sanga in 2006. If he is added to the squad, look for Ruy to be on the way out. Currently there are 7 openings in J2 for new coaches (Tokushima, Ehime, Mito, Kyoto, Sendai, Sapporo, C Osaka). I'm guessing that outside of Sendai and Sapporo (outgoing Omiya coach Miura is the frontrunner for that job), Tsunami's name will be mentioned.
Morimoto makes the bench for the big club
While he didn't make it out onto the pitch, Young Morimoto managed to get onto the bench in a Serie A game for Catania. A 2-2 tie against bottom table Ascoli is Morimoto's first memory of the big time.
Corrections and Additions
Marcus scored the last goal of the season for Verdy not Silva and it came on a 85th minute pk. Killoran made the bench but did not play while Kohei Kiyama cracked the lineup late.
EL GOLAZO says that.......
Yoshinori Takagi was the team MVP for 2006.......I can't argue with that assessment. Kinda like the old joke about being the most popular guy in a prison shower but Takagi had a pretty good season. Congratulations Yoshinori!


1-1 tie.........Silva scored the last goal of the season for Verdy in a come from behind tie. Didn't see the game, instead I saw former Verdy man big D....Daigo Kobayashi put in a winning shot for 12th place Omiya over Niigata Albirex.

Speaking of former Verdians.........

WASHINGTON notched 2 goals, including the game tying and winning goals for Urawa to give them a long awaited J league crown. The two goals enabled him to tie Magno Alvez for the league scoring title.

TAKUYA YAMADA sat on the bench on Saturday and watched an uninspiring Cerezo Osaka side drop a 3-1 decision to second place Kawasaki Frontale. The loss, combined with a 1-1 tie by Avispa Fukuoka with Venforet Kofu dropped the squad in 17th place. Today, Cerezo decided that Yamada's services were no longer needed. Is the Captain coming back to Verdy?

JORGE YONASHIRO resigned as head man of JFL squad FC Ryukyu. The Okinawan side finished a distant 14th and failed in its bid to advance to J2.

TAKASHI HIRANO got dropped by Yokohama F Marinos.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Is the bloodletting about to begin?

I'll get to the cuts of other squads later but just moments ago Verdy released a list of 11 players who will not be getting renewed contracts for the upcoming adding Hayama, I can make a starting 11 of Verdy cuts

Lets begin!

GK Hiroki "The Cat" Mizuhara

DF Yukihiro Aoba Masayuki Yanagisawa Takumi Hayama

MF Yuhei Ono Shingo Nejime

Masatomo Kuba Tetsuhiro Kina
Jun Tamano

FW Koji Maatsura Ryosuke Kijima

And backup keeper GK Satoshi Tokizawa

Let's start out with the predictable- Along with the retirement of Hayama, the purge of players such as Tamano, Maatsura and Yuhei Ono were fairly predictable because A. They were on loans to clubs worse than Verdy and B. They weren't performing well......although Tamano has picked up his game as of late. Masayuki Yanagisawa never really saw the field after sustaining and early season injury and while he was in, he was average at best. Ryosuke Kijima is another player who never really saw any time with the first team.

The disappointed group starts with Masatomo Kuba. Of all the players cut, I believe he had the potential to be decent, but his lack of consistency killed him. Yukihiro Aoba was good in the back at times but never claimed a spot that was easily available. Shingo Nejime was the other young mid that had flashes of good play but getting beaten out by Kanazawa and Sugawara in the midfield sealed his fate. Finally I would have liked to see Satoshi Tokizawa get a game in the nets but alas it was not to be. Tokizawa, Kuba, and Nejime are all young guys who should get picked up by a team needing depth like Thespa or Ehime, or an enterprising JFL squad looking to advance to the big time.

Finally, my estatic drops are the innefective Mizuhara and the eye bleeding mangler known as Tetsuhiro Kina. You can see the "Highlights" of Mizuhara versus Sagan Tosu here

Tetsuhiro Kina is a big shocker for me considering he always managed to slither his way back onto Ruy's lineup card.....The guy was all hustle but his lack of instincts and talent deficiency made it hard on the eye. It also seemed that he had a knack to start scoring rallies......for the other team. That leaves a more manageable 31 left on the squad.........but if you think the signings and cuts are done........You're crazy!


Calling it a day!

Takumi Hayama calls it quits. The Yomiuri youth product rejoined the squad this year after 2 years in JFL. Hayama didn't see any game action this year and pretty much floated around the fringe of first team status his entire career. Today, Hayama retired.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Turmoil in Talon Town

Numerous dailies are reporting that burly Brazilian coach Joel Santana will not be returning after failing to get Vegalta back to J1. Early in the year, Sendai was one of the most exciting, fast paced squads in all of Japan with a brilliant attack led by Borges, Lopez, and Thiago Neves, but an emotional 2-0 loss at Verdy was the beginning of a downward spiral for the club which saw them eventually drop behind Vissel Kobe and Sagan Tosu. The demanding and emotional fans of Vegalta Sendai are known for putting immense pressure on the front office to change course once success has been missed (just ask Satoshi Tsunami) and this could be another case of that happening. Tatsuya Mochizuki, santana's right hand man for 2006, has been handed the reigns for 2007.
The club also announced that 4 of their out of contract players will not be returning for next year. the most notable name on the list is former Verdy keeper Daijiro Takakuwa. The former best 11 and National Team fringe player was the starter in Sendai for the better part of three seasons before losing his job to dreadlocked former Verdy keeper Kiyomitsu Kobari. you might remember that Kobari had the most embarrassing moment for Vegalta this year when he blew up after Takakuwa had stopped a PK and a do-over but was overturned. Kobari, then the backup keeper went ballistic and picked up a red card. Excuse my French, but what a tool.
That was until the Verdy-Vegalta rematch when Takagi scored the goal from his own box on a freak hop which caught Takakuwa flat-footed. Takakuwa might be the perfect guy to push Takagi next year.
One interesting player that was dropped by Sendai was relatively young D-midfielder Kazuhiro Murakami. The 25 year old has been with the club for 6 years, becoming a regular in the last 3 before falling out of favor late in the season. He appeared in 26 games, notching 1 score.
So if you're keeping track at home.....Sagan-new coach, Consadole-new coach, Vegalta-new coach, Verdy-new pictorial on the same old coach

Monday, November 27, 2006

An eyewitness account of the lost weekend of Verdy

Friend of SG1969 and longtime Verdy supporter Nick checks in with a twofer review of the weekend

Well the end of season is nigh and we are going out with a flicker as opposed to a bang!! It was up to the beatiful city of Sapporo for a bit of footy and relaxation for myself last week.A great time was had by all,even the crap result and crap game couldn`t put a dampener on things. First thing has to be said is that Sapporo Dome has to be one THE best places to watch footy in the world,coming from a dome free country the technology behind the whole set up and the whole sliding in the pitch etc is jaw dropping. From the multitude of restaurants to choose from,the perfect pitch,the Deat Star feel to the place.Sapporo can draw a crowd too...18,000 noisy Hokkaidans creating their own version of Red Hell. On to the game..we were poor,managing only 3 or 4 half chances in the whole game, Hiramoto got clean through in the second half only to run out of pitch,had a couple of good runs but we were looking very shaky anf the Consadole midfield was where the game was won.They dominated our guys,overrunning them time and time again. As for Hulk...Im not sure about him,he did look dangerous and I think he is certainly not shy about shooting,but boy is he a moaner,anytime the ball wasn`t directly handed him on silver platter he was pointing, shouting arguing and generally being the kind of team mate you want to tell to go forth and.....You were right about the first goal,it was a stinging shot from Hulk which Takagi failed to hold (which he should have done as it was hit right at his chest) and the other striker nipped in for the rebound. We tried to press for the equaliser but were unable to break down the Consadole midfield.We never really looked like equalising and hlow and behold the second goal came on a fast breakaway. Crap result,dire game but hey I finally got to Sapporo Dome,site of Englands win over Argentina in 2002!! I still left happy.Which brings us to yesterday. I hate National Stadium.Historic or not its a general pain in the arse. Its further from my house than Chofu,there is no bloody roof,your miles from the pitch and they stop selling beer/food/anything at half time!! Anyway the game yesterday was an improvement on Thursdays encounter.It started off lively as Hiramoto hit the bar and Silva made the keepers fingers sting with a long range effort. The Sendai boys were making their contribution too with their Brazilian mid (the guy with the big hair whose name escapes me) doing the work of 3 men...forget Hulk and go for this guy!! Talk about work rate!! Good on the ball too he fashioned a number of chances for Sendai and wasn`t shy about shooting himself either.Anyhow after the exciting opening things calmed down a bit and the game settled into a good rythmn with chances/shots coming at a good rate. There was even a bit of atmos as every time Takagi touched the ball there was a crescendo of boos coming from the Sendai end. Half time came and went and we were getting closer and closer to scoring, anyhow in the 73rd minute the ball came in from the wing and Silva turned his man beautifully on the edge of the box,bought himself a yard of space and fired a low shot past the diving keeper. Good finish,a goal made and scored by Silva. Things continued in the same way chances falling away at either end. Then with about 10 minutes to go our defensive frailties reared their ugly head after a bit of a scramble in our box,(we must have had 4 or 5 chances to clear it),the ball broke to an unmarked Sendai guy who lashed the ball into the net from about 8 yards out. Overall a draw was probably a fair result,though obviously you want a win for the last home game. Takagi was visibly pissed off too as he got booked for throwing the ball to viscously down towards the centre circle after it had gone in. Strange,Ive seen people booked for throwing the ball away but ner for throwing to where its supposed to go. The ref was a bit of an arse today...Nevermind at least they have dropped The Cat from the bench.the young goalie is lining up these days.

I need a report on Thespa Saturday Nick........Get packing! Aww, just kidding....thank you as always!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Last one out, turn out the lights......Verdy vs Vegalta

In a game for pride, two teams that had high hopes for promotion and success faced off in a battle for self respect. The last time these teams met in historic Tokyo National, The game saw 2 ejections (including the backup keeper), a disputed PK whch was redone three times until Masahiro Ohashi put it away, and a small fan uprising from the visiting Vegalta supporters.

The replay in Sendai saw a miraculous length of the field goal scored off a goal kick by Yoshinori Takagi which made the difference in a 2-1 affair.

Today's game promised none of that.


GK Takagi
DF Kaimoto-Togawa-Tomisawa-Ishikawa
MF Sugawara Kanazawa
Marcus Hiroyama
FW Silva Hiramoto

The first half ended scoreless, although both of Verdy's d mids managed to get booked. Silva managed to break through in the 72 minute of play but moments later MF naoki Sugai managed to knot things up at 1. Final score 1-1

Nick said he would report on Consadole tomorrow, I'm hoping he talks about this game as well.

Kazu goes back to the big show

Yokohama FC did the improbable, beating Sagan Tosu on the road 1-0 and wrapping up the J2 crown. The game was won late on an Alemao goal. Ironically, the team that let him go.....last year's champion Kyoto Purple Sanga gave up a last minute goal to Gamba Osaka and get the hook.

Vissel Kobe came from a 1 goal and 2 man disadvantage to steal a tie from bottom barrel Shonan Bellmare and move a point ahead of Kashiwa Reysol by one point for the final automatic promotion spot. Reysol meanwhile lost a 2 goal advantage at home and fell 3-2 to the resurgent Consadole Sapporo. If Reysol falls into the third position, it would be the third year in a row that they faced off in the pro/rel playoff, beating Avispa Fukuoka in 2004 and dropping to Venforet Kofu and Bare in 2005.

The two teams locked in battle for the last relegation playoff spot, Cerezo and Avispa both lost 2-0 to Omiya and Nagoya (un)respectively.

Avispa takes on Venforet at home while Cerezo welcomes in Kawasaki Frontale. Kawasaki needs a victory in order to guarantee a shot at the 2007 ACL if Gamba falters............An Urawa win would mean that the second place squad in J1 gets a ticket to play teams from China, Korea, and other exotic locations.

More coaching turmoil?

Rumors from Consadole blogs are starting to form about the tenure of Masaaki Yanagishita. Although we have no reports confirming this, it seems the coach will leave after this season because of the teams failure to advance to J1.

Could this push Hulk out of the cold and into Verdy green? Is there a problem with cash in the northern kingdom?

Kusatsu equals Closure

Finally our long soccer nightmare is coming to a close. Thespa Kusatsu equals the end of year one in the Rui era. It also equals the end of year 1 of Soilent Green. I'd like to say a big thank you to everybody who reads the blog and comments on it. It's a pain in the pooper sometimes but I enjoy doing this and I hope it serves a purpose in some small way. Again thanks and stay for the ride next year.

Please play the young guys! Give Killoran a game!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Shoji Jo.......It's time to go

Thursday saw a stunning announcement as former National Team member Shoji Jo decided to call it a career and announce his retirement effective at the conclusion of this year. Jo began his career in 1994 as a member of (then) JEF United Ichihara. Jo is probably best known for replacing an innefective Kazu Miura in the penultimate qualifying game for the 1998 national team squad. The fallout caused Miura to make a scene that is disputed to this day, the eventual ouster of Takeshi Okada, and Shoji Jo scoring the winning goal. Fate would see the two team up for Yokohama FC late in his career.

Jo had his best year in 1998, scoring 25 goals for a Marinos squad. In 2000, He accepted an offer to play for Real Vallodolid. An injury to his knee and ineffectiveness saw him rejoin F Marinos. After a disasterous 2002 term with Vissel Kobe, Former JEF player and German international Pierre Littbarski encouraged Jo to join up with a struggling Yokoham FC side. 149 games and 44 goals later, Yokohama FC finds itself on the cusp of promotion to J1 and the claim as rightful heir of the Flugels legacy. Shoji Jo finds himself beginning a new life.

* A side note: This is the third member of the 1998 national team squad to head off into the sunset this year. Nobuyuki Kojima announced his retirement before the season started and Hidetoshi Nakata announced after the end of the 2006 World Cup.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Ehhhhh.......not so much, Verdy vs Consadole Sapporo

Our man Nick was on the scene for Today's match against the 7th place Consadole Sapporo squad..............hopefully he will grace us with a report on the match.

Unfortunately, dear readers, you will have to bear with my pitiful little soliliquiy based on website reports and the Js Goal ticker.


GK Takagi
DF Kaimoto-Nagano-Togawa-Fujita

MF Tomisawa Kanazawa

Marcus Hirayama

FW Silva Hiramoto

By looking at the stats, it seems Verdy was overwhelmed under an attack led by the number #1 man on Ruy's wish list, Hulk................the man took an astounding 8 shots in todays game and judging by the looks of the scoreline, none were really that close. Meanwhile, Verdy had an attack led by Shin Kanazawa. Shin is my boy, I love the guy, but when Shin is putting up 5 shots, you know the team's offense is having some issues.

Scoring started in the 32nd minute when Shinya Aikawa put one in the net to open the scoring off what I believe was a rebound of a Hulk shot. Trying to shake things up, Rui brought in the always entertaining Tetsuhiro Kina who replaced Nagano. In the 72nd minute, Rui pulled main playmaker Marcus for the other half of the roadkill twins, Hideki Nagai. Finally in the 75th minute Martin Saito came on to try and salvage a result but it was all for naught as Verdy succumbed in the 89th minute off a death blow by GENKI NAKAYAMA. 2-0 final.

The last game of the home season comes for Verdy on the 26th at historic Tokyo National Stadium. I will be watching Cerezo versus Omiya in nearby Saitama but I will have a report on the game after I watch the replay at the godawful hour of 3am.

Come Home Exotic Terminator

Today's action saw the mighty squirrels of Omiya overcome a flagging Oita side to win 2-1 and guarantee J1 participation for the next year. Yoshiyuki Kobayashi scored the tying goal for Omiya. That means that Cerezo Osaka has two choices, win out and hope they can succeed against the third place squad from J2 or watch their fan base wither away like a certain team in green. Verdy's former captain, Takuya Yamada saw a drop in his performance this year as the leagues second worst defense has hovered around the gallows of J1 ineptitude.

One has to wonder if El Capitan would have helped to ensure promotion this year for Verdy had he stuck around. Verdy has gone through D Midfielders like Kappa Zushi goes through stale maguro and Yamada has barely seen the field in a starters role. While the speed is starting to go, the ability to lead from the back and organize are still there and one would think that a mid-table squad looking to regain former glory would be the perfect place for a guy looking to prolong his career just a bit longer. Because the alternatives for ET aren't gonna be pretty.

Takuya Yamada with the captains band? I could live with it. Takuya Yamada getting 4 minutes for a 13th place Sanfrecce Hiroshima next year? Not so much.

Avispa Fukuoka is still fighting, knotting up with 2nd place Gamba Osaka in a gutty little affair. How bad is the offense for Fukuoka? Kazunori Iio is the leading scorer with 4 goals.

Kyoto Purple Sanga lost to Jubilo 3-1 and now sit 5 points behind Cerezo with 2 games to play. Welcome back Purple People!

Yokohama FC knotted up with bottom barrel Tokushima Vortis 0-0 in a home match. Thespa Kusatsu bailed out team Kazu by knotting up Vissel Kobe 1-1. If Kobe falls to the playoff position they can look no further than 12th place Kusatsu for the blame. TK has managed to take 7 points off the Rakuten flagship. But the most disappointing result has to fall to Kashiwa who after winning 2 and tying one against 3 of the top 5 in the league, dropped a 1-0 decision to Montedio Yamagata. Kashiwa has two against Consadole and Shonan........Vissel faces off against Shonan and Sendai.....Yokohama goes up against Sagan and Ehime in a rematch of the season opener which caused the dismissal of their coach and a change in fortunes which have rocked J2. Verdy has to hope that Vissel and Kashiwa go considering the thumpings handed out to them this year.

That's all......Happy Japanese Labor Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Another Branch grows from the Verdy tree

Sagan Tosu announced the retirement of their headman, Ikuo Matsumoto effective February 1st, 2007. While Matsumoto did a fantastic job with the scrappy Tosu squad and it affects next year, that's not the reason I'm posting this.

The man taking his place might be familiar to Verdy fans......Yasuyuki Kishino. Kishino, who currently holds the number 2 slot in the Tosu pecking order, retired from Yomiuri Verdy in 1990 to take on a postion as a coach in the vaunted youth program. From 1992-2004, Kishino took on various coaching positions in the Verdy family, including Satellite team manager on numerous occasions. In 2005, he joined Sagan as Matsumoto's right hand.

The Lads get run out of Sahara

Well, Verdy youth had a bit of a mess in the Sahara cup. Matched up in a 4 team pool with Youth powerhouses Urawa, Yokohama F Marinos, and FC Tokyo, Verdy needed a result in their final match against Gasmen youth in order to grab one of the 3 spots.........3-0 to FCT.

Oh well....the lost season continues.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

For your perusal.....

I have failed to mention these sites in the past and finally ot around to adding them to the link list but they deserve a bit of an introduction.......

Orange Blue- Nice site about Albirex Niigata, former home of good Verdy defender Koijiro Kaimoto and bad defender Shigenori Hagimura. Good site-Good guy!

Shrimp with Yokohama FC- If you want factoids about King Kazu and the rest of pale blue, this is your place. No in-depth coverage or opinions, which i'd like to see more of but it's a good site!

Consadole Ole!- Just found this one....about Sapporo and Spain? Interesting site......

Two Teams/One Ball- A site about Vegalta Sendai and Kawasaki Frontale. Counting Grampalogue, GGOA, and Masa-Net, that makes 9 teams are covered by English language sites. 22 more to go!!!!!!!!

Another site of interest is out of Australia

This site is run by Fox soccer journalist Jesse Fink. One of his readers had this to say about him Who the hell to you think you are Jesse Fink, your a nobody, who has done nothing
High praise indeed!!!!! Spelling nonwithstanding. I bring up Mr.Fink because he is writing a book about Australians overseas and includes a section on goalkeeper Dennis Boland, who played for Yomiuri Nippon FC in in the mid 70's...............the precursor to Today's Tokyo Verdy 1969. He also was gracious enough to send me some pictures of the old badge and team photos from the 70's which I will share with you once I get permission.

Anyhow, it's good to see that Australia has some quality media writing about their league. America unfortunately has to endure the error strewn bile of Fox America's Jamie Trecker..........First Bill O'Reilly and then Jamie Trecker.......Why do you hate us Rupert Murdoch?

Get to Writing Jesse.........I'm ready for a new book!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Deja Vu? Verdy vs Tosu

Fell asleep before I could catch the 3:40 am replay but it sounds like another epic battle went down. I was watching Junior High School kids sing the same song 7 times......EXACTLY HOW I LIKE TO SPEND MY SATURDAYS!!!!!

Anyhow, here's the lineups


GK Takagi
DF Kaimoto-Ichiyanagi-Nagano-Fujita
MF Tomisawa
Sugawara Hiroyama
FW Hiramoto Silva

Bench: Mizuhara-Kina (38 min)-Kanazawa-(45 min)-Nagai (80 min) Saito

We'll keep it brief.........Silva started off the scoring in the second minute to give Verdy a 1-0 lead.......I guess the Tosu squad smelled weakness in the middle and put two up in a 6 minute span........Sugawara comes out and MY FAAAAAAAAAVORITE verdy player Kina comes in, one minute later Tomisawa evens up the score. 2-2 at the half.

Kanazawa comes in for the ineffective Ichiyanagi, who I think is starting to buy his own hype a touch. 80th minute sees the exit of Marcus and the entrance of Mr. Nagai. 5 minutes later, the penultimate goal occurs when Hiramoto puts one in the net in the 85th minute.....(it looks like he split two defenders and put it past the Sagan keeper. )

3-2 Verdy in another tight game.

Quick Hits

Revoverdy has a funny story about how Hiramoto went to training thinking he wasn't going to play yesterday and found out he was a starter! Good thing he showed up........unlike the middle of the season.

The table for the last twelve games looks like this so far

1. Yokohama FC 6 wins 1 tie 2 losses 19 pts
Tokyo Verdy
Sagan Tosu

4. Kashiwa Reysol 5 wins 2 ties 2 losses 17 pts
5. Ehime FC 5 wins 2 ties 3 losses 17 pts

6. Vissel Kobe 5 wins 1 tie 3 losses 16 pts

7. Consadole Sapporo 4 wins 3 ties 2 losses 15 pts

8. Vegalta Sendai 2 wins 4 ties 3 losses 10 pts

9. Tokushima Vortis 2 wins 3 ties 5 losses 9 pts

10. Thespa Kusatsu 2 wins 2 ties 5 losses 8 pts

11. Montedio Yamagata 1 wins 4 ties 4 losses 7 pts
12. Mito Hollyhock 2 wins 1 tie 5 losses 7 pts

13. Shonan Bellmare 1 win 2 ties 6 losses 5 pts

Revoverdy also has a tip about two Brazilians training with the squad, a defender named Bruno and a forward named Leandro

Anyhow a Thursday encounter against lone J2 emperor's cup representative and all around good guys Consadole Sapporo. Will Hulkamania run wild?

Until then.......see ya!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Splashing around like baby ducks!!!!! Verdy vs Yokohama FC

Well, I went out to Mitsuzawa in the pouring rain.........And it was worth every wet minute! Took a 2 hour trip from Saitama to Yokohama and got to the stadium a bit late so I missed out on the gift bags. But I did however discover flour tortilla wrapped hotdogs.....the best stadium food in Japan!!!!!! You put one of those things in front of a fat guy, it will disappear faster than Rickhiki from the first team.

Anyhow, let's get to the game!!!!!!

Verdy Lineup

GK Takagi
DF Kaimoto-Togawa-Nagano-Fujita
MF Sugawara Tomisawa
Marcus Hirayama
FW Kaimoto Silva

I'm not going to get into a big play by play because it was wet and I couldn't make notes. I'll just tell you that Marcus scored on a stellar free kick......low and to the far post that went screaming over the slick turf and fell right in. Near the end of the half, Tomoya Uchida was the fortunate benificiary of a loose ball after a scrum in front of the box, left alone, he put in an easy shot past Takagi. the second half saw not one, but two possible takedowns in the box, one on Silva (i believe...could be wrong ) and a worse shot on Hiramoto. Both could have been easily called PK's for Verdy but the ref said play on. I'm glad they did, and here's why.......Hiramoto got the ball back on the left, took it past one Yokohama DF, took a shot, stayed on his feet, drove past the second defender......went in on a an isolation on Sugeno and scored. All talent and determination. It's something that everyone involved with Verdy knows Hiramoto has in him but seldom uses. In my opinion, Hiramoto has National Team talent and a JFL head and it kills me to watch him play.

Fujita played a patchy game on the branch, Burning people but losing the ball on the endlines. He did manage to draw a yellow on a horrible dive which made me laugh out loud. Alemon was less proficient at his diving skills. The last dangerous attempt happened on a Silva breakaway where he lost the ball, got it back and flipped it up over an out of position keeper across the goal line only to be whistled for a high kick that shouldn't have been called. The officials were really poor today.

Quick Hits
Nagano looks a lot like Hagimura.....physically not skillfully.....he played a really good game. Alemon didn't really get a shot off. Game was really entertaining......very physical and intense which surprised me considering Verdy had nothing to play for. No subs today which was a good call by Ramos.....the team played well. Back 4 was possibly the best I've seen performance wise all year. I really like Hirayama slipping back to his natural position.......not many shots but the breakaway was always there and the team countered well. Disciplined is the word that comes to mind. I still want to see the little used guys get a run but I'm happy to see the team play well. NO CORNER KICKS *O* unbelievable! I didn't even notice......usually that means the team is not functioning offensively but that wasn't the case today.


I'm calling it a three team race for both promotion and relegation......while Omiya and Sanfrecce are still a few points away from being truly safe and Sagan still is mathematically able to qualify, it would take an outlandish rush/collapse for either scenario to happen.

Anyhow Cerezo and Avispa both dropped results (Jubilo 3-2 Cerezo) (Sanfrecce 2-0 Avispa) while Last years J2 Champ, Kyoto Purple Sanga tied with cinderella squad Venforet Kofu 1-1

Avispa leads the pack on a 1 goal advantage on differential over Cerezo. Kyoto trails by 3 points.

Meanwhile, the loss to Verdy kept Yokohama at 83 points and the second automatic promotion spot. In the game of the day, Kashiwa went to Kobe and won 4-3 in a back and forth affair that saw Kashiwa take the lead 3 times only to see Vissel match them at every turn. Finally diego put one away in the 43rd minute to steal the win on the road and put them 2 points away from the top. Three teams seperated by a point each.

I'm gonna call it Cerezo versus Vissel in the playoff......they've had two chances to really salt away the top spot and failed to do so. I think Kashiwa will end up with the top spot.

The Emperor Has No Clothes?

The Verdy related blogs have been going crazy about the possibility of Nike ending it's uniform sponsorship with Verdy. My japanese is too poor to get an accurate translation but I guess something is going on with Urawa that has caused speculation that Verdy will lose them as supplier............So next year will Verdy be in the Kaepa mud flappa unis of Consadole? Umbro? Mizuno? Adidas? Le Coq Sportif (I don't think I could handle a chicken on the uniforms)? Puma? Maybe another US company like Champion? Reebok?

Next up for Verdy is a game against Tosu in the last game of the year at Ajinomoto. I have to watch Junior High kids sing. I won't be there.