Wednesday, May 31, 2006

MF Manna from Heaven

Or Niigata. Kojiro Kaimoto has been picked up by Verdy in attempts to resurrect flagging promotion hopes. Kaimoto had his best days in the celica red of Nagoya Grampus 8 a couple of years ago before finding himself in the netherworld of Niigatas bench

Kaimoto might be best known for being the first Japanese national to play in the K-leaguewhen he made his debut for Songnam Ilhwa in 2001.....he started his career for hometown club Gamba Osaka and has notched 5 goals in 79 matches in J1.


Nikkan Sports is reporting that Masa Ono is having his training period extended? (babelfish) postponed? In any case, he's not getting a contract anytime soon.


Meiji university took a trip to Yomiuriland and dropped a 3-2 decision to Verdy. Hiramoto, Saito, and Nagai all notched goals against Meiji U

The first half was stocked with most of the starters from the Bellmare match. The second half had a few Ono's and a guy named Mateus as striker. I give up!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Nick thoughts and a new addition to the buzzards

Well, I guess posting a shutout wasn't enough for Ramos........he went out and got a new player from Kashima, Tatsuya Ishikawa. Ishikawa was a former U-19 national team member. He has 45 career appearances for Kashima notching 3 goals. This season, he only appeared in 3 games but notched 2 assists. He was also born on Christmas, so maybe he can pull a miracle out of his poopshoot and lead Verdy back to J1. He is on loan until the end of January 2007.

Nick also has some thoughts on the Shonan game....he was less impressed with Saito then myself but it's probably because I've been pimping Saito from the start and I want to see the guy succeed.

"Possible Venture into infamy....500 minutes approaches": Well the magic of the perm has shone through again!! Even the constant drizzle couldn`t keep the bouffant down!! The boys managed to get back on track and turned in a creditable performance to boot. They worked hard that is for sure,put in a lot of running hassled and harried and deserved the win. Good strike from Ono and after the question marks over Hiramotos last penalty award,Saturdays was a cast iron,100 per cent certain penalty.Hiramotos speed into the box was impressive before becoming the filling in a Bellmare sandwich!! It was interesting to contrast the penalty style of Basillio and Hiramoto. Basillio is a very cool customer when he reads which way the keeper is going THEN rolls it past him. However,if he ever misses he is going to look a complete idiot!! Not happened yet though. Hiramoto`s penalty was expertly struck and if the keeper had gone the right way I still don`t think he would have saved it.Smashed low and hard into the side netting just inside the post.Excellent and the sign of a player with confidence in his ability. I too didnt think much of the forwards on Saturday. Saito didn`t do much for me,the keeper made a decent stop when Saito was one on one with him,but from Saitos point of view if he`s not gonna score from those positions,he`s not gonna stay in the team.Its his job to score from there and he seems to be guilty of getting in good positions but not finding the net a bit too often for my liking.Then again he was a sight more effective than Maatsura who i thought really struggled to have any kind of influence on the proceedings,the one early strike which just cleared the bar was not much to show for an afternoons work. Its shocks me to say but the defensive side of our game today was the main plus,going forward which has usually been our strong point just didnt happen on Saturday,passes astray,lots of lost possesion and a seeming lack of communication.Bellmare were limited to a few chances which were either missed or dealt with by Takagi,whose comedy moment came when he slipped trying to catch a routine cross,luckily there wasnt a Bellmare striker near. A win was just the tonic required to get out of the losing streak and hopefully it can be the start of something good. Nishigaoka it has to be said is seeming to have a good effect on the team.Its probably because a game played in a tiny stadium with a poor crowd is always gonna have a better atmosphere than one played in a cavernous arena with the same size crowd. Just under 3,000 in Ajinomoto or National Stadium would be difficult to bear but in Nishigaoka it seems ok. I know it was pouring down on Saturday which probably put a lot of people off but 3,000 people!!?? Bellmare isn`t even very far away so I`d have thought they would bring a few more people.I wonder if (assuming we are still in J2) the Verdy management accept we arent ever gonna fill the big stadiums and just go for Nishigaoka and Komozawa.On the plus side the atmospheres would be better but on the minus side it would be akin to officially accepting that we are crap and have poor support in terms of numbers. Also on the minus side there is no roof on either of them!! I`d go for the small stadium option,maybe make it a bit more of a difficult place to come and play. I like Ajinomoto as a venue but unless we are playing Urawa or the Marinos the atmoshphere can be lacking as we are miles from the pitch and rows and rows of empty seats never looks good.Since Ive been going the crowd has probably averaged about between 10-12,000 with the bumper crowds against Urawa/Niigata/Marinos slightly distorting things.These days we are pushing 5 or 6,000 tops and numbers are dwindling rapidly.Maybe the World Cup will put a few extras through the door but I can`t see that much of an improvement before we get out of this division. Small stadiums are the option for me in this situation.Far better for the spectaters and based upon results so far,better for the team.There is still a big gap between us and third but lets hope we can do a bit of catching up. What the hell happened to Hollyhock!!! First they go on an impressive run nullifying us on the way and then they score probably two goals of the season!! I saw the highlights at half time and man one of their boys has THUNDER in his boots. Some strike,miles out rockets one into the top corner just past the goalies despairing dive! Superb! Hollyhock and (especially Montedio) have been doing well recently and could be on the turn. Montedio have had some unlucky results but seem to be coming good recently. Onwards and Upwards!! The Boys march on!!

Agreed on Yamagata and Mito..........also the attendance dip has gotta be freaking out Cyberagent who put a ton of lucre into the squad. I think Yokohama will fall hard once the unbeaten streak ends........they can't keep up the pace of 3 goals in 16 games and they don't have an offense.

Thanks Nick, and we'll see how the new guy is used!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Possible Venture into infamy....500 minutes approaches

Verdy came into yesterday's match against Shonan Bellmare with a 474 minute scoreless anchor hanging about their necks. A loss would have dropped them behind Montedio in the 7th position of J2. A loss also would have put them closer to Tokushima than Kashiwa. Dark days indeed in Ruy paradise.

An interesting sidenote to the game brought out a few familiar faces from the ranks of Omiya Nation, including Bolton Dave and his wife, Mrs. Bolton Dave. They came out to see Shin Kanazawa in an increasingly rare appearance and the Bellmare bomber, Satoshi Yokoyama (or as American guy with his kid said when Yokoyama got yanked......that awful #29).


I think this was a first for Verdy this year, as Ramos opted to go with an all-Japan lineup for the starting 11.

GK Takagi
DF Sugawara, Hagimura, Fujita, Togawa
MF Kuba, Nejime, Kanazawa, Ono
FW Maatsura, Saito

SUBS: Hiramoto (56), Nagai (71), Anailson (79), Ono Yuhei (NA) , Mizuhara (NA)


Like the last game held at Nishigaoka (which is my favorite stadium for Verdy games........even if it is a dump...........................I don't see it though, except for the crown in the middle of the field) there was a steady drizzle going. Conditions were slick on the field and not surpisingly the Kanagawa mermaids were better prepared to keep their feet. Most of the early dangerous chances and control of the game was going Bellmares way. It would have been safe to assume that another shutout was coming..........then minute 499 struck. Truth be told, I missed the start of the play................the ball was kicked into the Bellmare end, crossed to a Verdy player who I think was Maatsura (It could have been Sugawara), kicked out to a wide open Captain Ono who deposited a nice blast into the upper corner of the net magically breaking the scoreless streak. Bellmare still controlled most of play but the tide was slowly turning in the home greens favor.

The second half saw much of the same play....Verdy was unable to get passes to the forwards. When the ball got to Saito or Maatsura, they either had to quick pass it out or in the case of Maatsura, they passed it to the other squad. Ramos had seen enough and inserted Hiramoto into the game as a pick-me-up to the lagging offense. Immediately, Verdy was able to start attacking. The additon of Nagai for Kuba 15 minutes later really had the team running on pre-May cylinders as Hiramoto and Saito went on the attack. One breakaway saw Hiramoto pulled down in the box and awarded a PK.................without the specialist Basilio around, there was a bit of a debate about who would step up and take the kick............Captain Ono was originally going to do the deed, thought better of it and gave the honor to Hiramoto, who promptly deposited one into the back of the net. 2-0 Verdy and back in 4th.


GK- Takagi played a masterful game today. It seems like he is actually starting to become a leader on the squad and not the bufoonish sideshow keeper that reared it's ugly head last year. Quick movements and some really nice saves.........he even stopped doing the punches and caught the ball in the second half. Great game.......MOTM (1-10 ranking 1 low 10 high I give him a 7 )

DF- Solid game from the back 4 as well. Good communication, and solid all game....the midfield turnovers did no favors but they repelled almost everything that came their way. Probably the best game of the year. Sugawara was the weak link, struggling a bit with the passes and having the one breakdown late in the game, but the squad as a whole was nails. (6.25.......individually Sugawara would have gotten a 5.5)

MF-Rough game for them, it seemed like thy couldn't complete a pass in the first half to save their lives. 2 new starters this week and a revamped forward line probably didn't help matters. Kuba was the main culprit in the turnovers......offered almost nothing. Kanazawa was strong as a D mid, Ono was decent, and Nejime was pretty much a non-factor. ( Ono-6, Kanazawa-6, Nejime 5.33, Kuba 4.75.....squad gets a 5.25)

FW- Maatsura and Saito were rendered innefective by the bad passing from the mids and the slick conditions. Saito got a nice shot on goal and had some moments when he touched the ball, no mistakes from him. Maatsura seemed nervous and was innefective except for an early shot and possibly the pass to Ono (Saito 5.5, Maatsura 5.....Tandem gets a 5)

SUBS: Hiramoto and Nagai changed the flow of the game with an attacking style. I think Nagai is best suited for this role. (6.5 for the two......Anailson N/A........6.5 total)

RAMOS: Good subbing calls....bad shuffling calls and if Verdy didn't notch the first goal when they did, I think the streak would have continued. (in game 7, pre-game 4......5.5 for the win)


I want the same exact lineup next week, if they win.....I want the same squad again. I don't like the constant shuffling (Have I said this before? Yeah, I think I have.......a million times.). Hiramoto is pretty much a lock for the starting 11 next week...........Basilio will probably be off the bench for the next game and then back as a starter, which means Saito or Maatsura will be banished (maybe both with Morimoto returning from India). Kuba and Sugawara might get dropped as well. Don't do it Ruy. Just stop micromanaging.

Morimoto joined the U-19s in India for a three game friendly against U-19 India and a club team. The result I saw had Japans U-19s go scoreless until Morimoto was removed and his sub put in the goal. EWWWWWWW. Not cool.

Our friend MASA at MASA-NET gave me a heads up about a Verdy exhibition at Tachikawa station in the Alealea building in June. I am definetely going to try and check it out because I won't be getting to any home games in June.

I also apologize for the dearth and brevity of my recent columns and remarks. I meant to respond to you Nick but I got tied up, sorry. As always, comments are welcome so please send em in. I'm guessing our friend from Spain, ULTRANIPPON, is getting geared up for the World Cup so he hasn't been around in awhile. I'd like to give him congratulations for the Barca Champions league victory! is the schedule for the next three games

THESPA friday in Kusatsu
VEGALTA at the National on 6/7
KASHIWA in Chiba on 6/10

Thursday, May 25, 2006

What do Peter Cetera ballads and the current Verdy losing streak have in common?

Answer: They both suck and it seems like they'll never stop. Verdy went to Tokushima to play Vortis................the bottom dwelling Tokushima Vortis. 10 game unsuccessful streak Vortis....500+ minutes of no goal Vortis.....Jun Tamano can't play for this team Vortis.

Anyhow Jun Tamano and Silvinho led Tokushima against yet another starting 11.


GK Takagi
DF Sugawara, Fujita, Hagimura, Togawa
MF Ohashi, Nejime, Ono, Kuba
FW Basilio, Saito

Subs:Maatsura, Anailson, Nagai

No Hiramoto for this one.....Morimoto was also absent due to Japan U-19 duty in India. Anyhow the breakdown was 17 shots/5 Corners/28 Free kicks for Verdy 8 shots/1 corner/9 free kicks for Vortis........AND THEY STILL LOST 2-0!!!!!!

Hey 474 minutes and counting......HELLO!!!!!!!! Are you hearing me, Ruy? STOP MESSING WITH THE LINEUP EVERY GAME!!!!!!!!!

Basilio was held without a shot. Maatasura and Saito seemed to get chances together. Ono got a quick hook...............Silvinho got both scores for TVortis.

Anyhow..........Verdy plays Bellmare at Nishigaoka on Saturday, maybe they can recover the magic of the Sapporo game. 0-1-5 1pt no goals in the month of May. It's getting ugly.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Ramos has no Clothes-384 minutes+ Montedio vs VERDY

I'm gonna do the preview and the lineups and then I will give the rest of this post to Nick who sums up the game perfectly (No internet till this morning so I'm a bit delayed!)

This post is dedicated to naked Berkeley guy from the 1990's. Naked Berkeley guy wanted to walk around Cal University Berkeley in 1992 as a form of protest. He had others pop up on the campus naked as a form of free speech. In 1993 Berkeley passed a school code saying that nudity in public was not allowed.......naked guy was kicked out of school. Yesterday,he was found dead in a prison cell. Recently Ruy Ramos has been parading around naked as well......and it should be banned, counting the Ulsan game, Verdy has dropped 3 of the last 4 games......they have been out scored 4-0 and are dropping precipitously from the top of the rankings.

Montedio has been sitting in 9th place. They come in led by former Omiya striker Leandro, who notched two goals against Verdy in a fortunate 3-2 victory at Yamagata.

Awww,'s 474 minutes now and Leandro scored the only goal.......6th place, 6 points and 22 goals from a playoff spot. 1-0 loss

Here was Ruy's experiment

GK Takagi (happy birthday)
DF Dedimar (45 min Nejime), Hagimura, Togawa, Fujita(64 Kuba)
MF Nagai (56 Morimoto), Sugawara, Kanazawa, Ono
FW Basilio, Hiramoto

No Anailson...........outshot 14 to 6 and corner kicks were 12 to 5. This team has bottomed out.

Anyhow, here is Nick's view

Just watched todays "festivities" and the good news is Takagi made it to 27 years!! It was the boys birthday today and the commentators seemed especially happy about it,maybe they had a nice bit o` cake.Now I have to say I don`t mind the odd bit of gateaux myself but if the most interesting thing you have to keep saying about a guy is " Well its Takagis birthday today,he`s 27 you know!!Congratulations!!!" something must be amiss.Cake is all well and good but surely a goalies actual performance in the game is more important?? errrrrrrr......So, to the game, for the first ten minutes we looked great, Hiramoto banged one over the bar and had a one on one with the keeper when the ball just seemed to run away from him and the keeper was able to smother it, Nagai hoofed one over the bar and that was it really. I was thinking,summers here,Ive had a long day at work,relax have a beer or two watch the game. Things were going fine till after our initial bright start,the boys couldnt seem to get anything going.After about 10 minutes in,I dont think we had a decent attempt on goal for the next 70 minutes!! The midfield were a big let down today,they just couldnt seem to get through the Montedio boys, Hiramoto and Basillio were pretty much out of the game for 35 minutes up to half time.Montedio controlled things more and more as the game went on and if they were any good ,would have had Verdy 3 or 4 down by half time. Leonardo flashed a header just over the bar and Leandro had one fly past the post.All against a backdrop of stuttering,hesitant stuff from the Boys in Green. Half time came and we were lucky to be going in evens. Wasn`t to be for long though. Shortly after the break, the increasingly more confident forward breaks coming from Montedio,produced a telling cross from the right,somebody (dunno who) had a pop at goal it came back of the foot of the post and fell into the path of Leonardo who shin rolled it into the top corner. 1-0 to Montedio. From this moment on, the boys from Yamagata seemed to invite Verdy to try to break down their defence and hope to catch them on the counter.A cunning plan knowing the difficulty we have had finding the net in the last few games. Anyway the plan was going great till Basillio got through on a slide rule pass!! He controlled it beautifully,taking all the pace of the ball and clipped it over the goalie but unfortunately for the Green Army behind the goal he lifted it a touch too high and it landed tamely on the roof of the net. That was it,our one "clear" chance in 90 minutes of play!! Game Over!!No get out of jail free card!No big brother to come and sort out the bully boys who knicked the ball!! To quote Full Metal Jacket..."Its a big sh*t sandwich and we all gotta take a bite!!" (Apologies nephews if you are reading). Thing is though (and I truly mean this) when the bad times are bad,the good times are FANTASTIC!! So Long Live Verdy The Boys March On!!! Onwards and Upwards (or at least sideways).Im thinking at the minute how long Ramos will last. With the start we had he obviously has a bit of time on his side but if we keep playing as we are ,his days are numbered. Legend or not, the further we sink,the shorter his time.Losing is not so bad if we give a good account of ourselves as against Reysol,Yokohama and even Bellmare,but to lose as we have done in the last two games,coupled with the crap draw with Ehime,the capitulations against Sendai and Kobe and the loss to Ulsan.The Magic Perm may soon be on his way back to daytime telly.What does anyone else think?? I dont think we should get rid at the first sign of trouble but time is limited and the longer you stay in J2 and given the low numbers we are getting (5000 odd today) we could get in a rut.I think if we miss the boat this season,(and lord knows we will need a miracle to get anywhere near the playoffs given the last two performances!!)next season and thereafter will become increasingly difficult.


I think that Ruy will get one more year........they won't burn him up right away. The problem is that the top teams have settled lineups, there's not a change from day to day. Vegalta, Kashiwa, and Yokohama have lineups that know eachother. Verdy seems to be pulling guys from off the street and putting them in the midfield. It seems like this team is still confused. The whole Morimoto as third striker seems to put the team out of sorts as well........they move Hiramoto into the distributing role (which he's awful at BTW) when Basilio seems to be the more likely candidate. Hiramoto and Morimoto are a similar type of player, nothing changes when they bring in Morimoto. Neither has the speed of Iio or the hustle and brute strength of Saito. I also hate the Dedi/Fuji/Hagi/Toga back is Verdy's weakest option by far and has been the weakest all season. Aoba and Hiroyama had the back line in a deent place and Ruy pulled the plug...............he's micro-managing right now and his players are extremely tight and making nervous mistakes. It's like he showed them the nearly perfect Sapporo game and told them not to play like that anymore.

It's funny that Nick mentioned brother because Nagai went up against little brother in yesterday's match. And it was Takagi's birthday, and he didn't have an awful game.....the goal wasn't his fault, he was in perfect position for the shot and it took a tricky bounce off the post, Hagimura didn't clear and a opportunistic Leandro poached one for the team in yellow.

The Ajinomoto streak continues:

So far Verdy is 2-1 at the National, 1-0 at Komazawa and Nishigaoka and 0-3 at Ajinomoto.....
4-0-4 total for 8 points.

Next game is on the road to Tokushima to take on the pathetic Vortis side who have a 500 minute scoreless streak going and a 10 game winless streak......something has to give.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Double Barreled Nick

Our friend Nick has some more insights on the week that was in on and you might find an interesting tidbit about the Mito game (Well, more interesting than the game itself!)

Nick has left a new comment on your post "Double Shot-Verdy fights Mito and Yokohama FC": I saw both recent matches,Yokohama on TV and Mito at National Stadium. Pluses and minuses on both really. Starting with Yokohama,we really were unlucky against this lot. We took the game to them from the begining and over the 90 minutes a combination of (in this order) quality goalkeeping,woodwork,last ditch tackling, strange off side decisions and blatant handballs kept us from scoring. For the first 15 minutes we looked good which culminated in a goal mouth scramble whereby Nagai rifled an effort goalward only to see the Yokohama defender stick out an arm to stop it going in. Everybody shouted "Penalty!! " only for the ref to wave Play on...This seemed to bring Yokohama to life and pretty much for the rest of the game the play ebbed and flowed from one side to the other both teams creating and bringing plenty of excitement to the proceedings. Half way through the first half Jo and Kazu combined on the edge of the area and forced a corner.Amidst a cacophony of booing Kazu delivered a quality corner on to the noggin of the giant Tweed who proceeded to nod the ball unchallenged into the net from the edge of the six yard box.i think our defence needs a new radar system as the giants are sneaking through!! Short arses get picked up easily but somehow nobody notices the giants!!! The guy must be 6ft4 and weigh 14 stone!! No Takagi!! No challenge!! From anybody!!! Unmarked Unchallenged GRRRRRRR!!! The Verdy defence strikes again!! After Takagi had got rid of the dunce cap against Ehime he is now firmly back in the corner,sucking his thumb with the Big D cap on!!! Half time came and went and as the match wore on we seemed to be running out of ideas,we needed a score but we fell even further behind. When a former player returns the last thing you want obviously is for him to score....especially when its a 38 year old,greasy slimeball with an ego the size of Ronaldinhos teeth!! So surprise,surprise who pops up with the second,Kazu!!! Git! double git!! Treble Git!! Fair play to the slimester,he had a good game,provided the goal for Tweed and knocked in one himself. More importantly his hair looked great for the whole 80 odd minutes he was on the field. Anyway last 15 minutes Verdy pressed and pressed for a goal,Morimoto had a chance again after a scramble in the box,leathered the ball straight at the keeper unfortunately. Hiramoto climbed well on two occasions for headers only to see the Yokohama keeper react superbly to tip one round the post and the other over the bar. On any other day,we would have either won or drawn but on this day it just wasnt meant to be. Brasilio as stated nearly broke the crossbar with an effort on the edge of the box,Tweed dived in with a last ditch tackle and seemed to do enough to put brasilio off just that little bit.Unfortunately he got injured in the process and had to be taken off.I think one of the reasons behind Yokohamas stingy defence is definately this Giant Hairy Scotsman. He was very comanding in his own box and dangerous at corners/set plays going forward.If hes out for a while I reckon Yokohama defence will definately open up a bit.Togawa also had a fierce drive in the second half,the ball fizzed from about 35 yards out just taking the paint off the left hand post....This brings us to yesterdays debacle... nice day out,dull game,poor result,we are s(t)inking fast at the minute. We offered very little yesterday,dare I say it Mito were worth their victory!! Anderson as in the last game was dangerous and lively and like Bambi on ice!! If anyone came near he was over in a second.Not good to see and completely annoying.A good deal of gamesmanship (cheating) was displayed by the boys from Ibaraki but if you want to wins games that way....Anyway,we struggled to make a worthwhile chance for the entire first half whilst Anderson scored in the ninth minute. He broke free on the left galloped into acres of space was completely unchallenged all the way to the box.Takagi seemed to take an age to come out to close down the angle and by the time he did,Anderson easily slotted the ball home. 10 minutes in 1-0 down 80 minutes to go...not a big deal. However, both teams were to slug it out in the centre of the park,rarely threatening either goal. in the last five minutes we finally managed to put together a period of concerted pressure. Morimoto fluffed an easy chance where his control let him down badly,Hiramoto hesitated criminally with goal at his mercy.He nearly made up for it with the last kick of the match though,forcing a superb,one handed save from the visiting keeper. After this,the whistle blew and it was game over...Then the real interest began!!! Football violence in Japan!! I know there have been a couple of very minor scuffles at Reysol and Verdy after their 7-0,7-1,6-0 sequence last year but yesterday was the first time I had been there to witness it. As the players came over to and accept there customary and deserved booing a scuffle broke out amongst the Verdy supporters. I think maybe somebody was venting their spleen a bit too much,booing a bit too long and too loud and the others took offence. Anyway about 15 people got involved,throwing punches,diving in until a couple of stewards jumped in and the other people around jumped in to calm things down. If you are reading this Ramos the boys arent happy!! Those boys certainly werent anyway. We are so erratic at the moment and if we dont start putting a run together starting next week then Yokohama and Reysol will run away with it and we will have to be content with trying to get in the play offs.At the moment the prospect of another season in J2 is looming very large. 4,076 turned up yesterday,very poor indeed. I think thats the lowest crowd Ive ever seen at Verdy in five years. On yestrdays performance,thr crowds will only get lower as well.Troubled times. Nevermind,on the plus side I managed to sneak in a load of beers in and the weather held together,my daughter had a great time,the wife is scared she`ll turn into a Verdy geek when shes older.Another J2 sign was that the snack bar ran out of food just after half time and closed completely before the end,doesnt pay to stay open for the few people who are actually there...Onwards and upwards The Boys Stumble On!!!

Thank you sir! Good day to you!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Double Shot-Verdy fights Mito and Yokohama FC

No time with work to give you an in-depth report on both games so I'll just give you some quick hits.

Verdy came into the three game homestand coming off of 2 shutouts at the hands of Ulsan Horang-I (ACL 1-0 loss) and Ehime FC (0-0). The good news coming in to the week was that some of the injured players, including wonderboy Morimoto! The bad news is, this team is tired and dragging, having 4 games and an overseas trip in 11 days.


Verdy lineup- GK Takagi DF Ryo Nurishi, Hagimura, Togawa, RICKHIKI MF Nagai, Nejime, Ono, Anailson FW Basilio, Hiramoto Subs: Morimoto, Hiroyama, Kuba

Continuing the trend of an ever changing lineup, Ramos went with new guys Rickhiki and Nurishi in a bit of a baffler. I managed to catch a bit of the game at 2:30 am on NTV but long story short Tweed started the scoring on a quick hit from the second half a front running (and dare I say offside? ) King of Verdy hit again for the miraculous Yokohama FC.

Surprisingly Verdy was the more agressive side, forcing the action against Yokohama. 15 shots were put up against my pick for early season J2 MVP, Takenori Sugeno.....the most dangerous shot was a bullet from Basilio that splintered the crossbar. 2-0 Yokohama FC


Verdy lineup- GK Takagi DF Dedimar, Uemura, Hagimura, Fujita MF Nagai, Nejime, Kanazawa,Anailson FW Basilio, Hiramoto Subs: Morimoto, Kuba, Kina

Ono was the last holdout from the original starting 11. his string of starts was put to rest after an early yellow disqualified him for today's match. Mito came in with a bit of confidence after knocking around Consadole Sapporo 3-1 off the fine foot of Anderson. Verdy's mission; Stop Anderson and get a goal. 9 minutes in, Anderson struck for Mito. 81 minutes of bunkering and few opportunities by both squads would cause Verdy to fail in the second part of their mission. 384 minutes of scoreless soccer for team green. It's slump time.


Takagi is playing well under a very difficult can't keep juggling the back line without a detrimental effect. It looks like the middle is starting to finally take shape with Nejime, Anailson, Nagai, and Ono. It also looks like Ruy is toying with a 3-3-4 setup with the addition of Morimoto. I wasn't crazy about the insertion of 2 new d-backs against a disciplined team like Yokohama FC......I think you do that against a Montedio or Tokushima Vortis, but not against the top team in the league.

Coming in next week is Montedio Yamagata, who is coming off a 2-1 victory over Thespa. Verdy needs to stop the fall that now sees them looking up at May 27th opponent Shonan Bellmare.

As always....reports are welcome!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Training Match- Sattlelites Vs Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo

Wednesday saw the third team in Tokyo visit Verdy in Yomiuriland for a training match. Some familiar faces were on hand as some of the injured came back for this match.

The starters were FW Iio and Ohashi, MF Kina,Tsurumaki, Sato, and Yuhei Ono, DF Sugawara, Dedimar, and Fujita and GK Kurokawa

The subs in the second half were Killoran, Yanagisawa, and Maatsura

The game ended 3-1 Verdy as the b side jumped out to an early 3-0 1st half lead on goals from Tsurumaki in the 9th minute, and Uemura header off an Ohashi corner in the 16th minute and an Iio PK.

Sagawa grabbed one back in the 10th minute of the second half.

If history serves as a guide, 2 or 3 of these guys might be starting against Mito tommorrow.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Comprehensive reports tommorrow

I have been busy with work.......I'll have the Yokohama FC game and a report on the Sattlelites tommorow. Sleep time tonight!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Former Verdy player rankings!

Ahhh days of are stats and rankings for former Buzzards in Japan from Weekly soccer digest (WSD) and Soccer Magazine Japan (SMJ)


WASHINGTON 10 goals 2 assists 6.27 WSD 6.38 SMJ
Takahito Soma 5.5 WSD 5.75 SMJ

Washington is in the perfect position for his skills........a strong midfield behind him that allows him to cherry pick. Soma on the other hand can't get a sniff behind Golden Boy Santos......I think he should have signed in a place that would have highlighted his skills. I know he wanted to try for the national team but this isn't how it's gonna happen for him.


DAIGO KOBAYASHI 6 goals 6 assists 6.14 WSD 6.0 SMJ
Yoshiyuki Kobayashi 5.44 WSD 5.64 SMJ

Far and away, the best player Omiya has ever had. Clutch free kicks........He's already doubled his total of goals from 2005 while keeping a steady pace in assists. Soma should take a lesson from the tale of Daigo. The other Kobayashi has been far less impressive.


Atsushi Yoneyama 2 games 38 minutes
Tadamichi Machida RELEASED

Two non-factors for the first place squad in J1.


Takashi Hirano 5.50 WSD 5.25 SMJ

Limited action in Yokohama........maybe Croatia doesn't look so bad.


TAKUYA YAMADA (is an Exotic Terminater) 5.78 WSD 5.67 SMJ

Awful team, but they are looking a bit better with ET in the starting 11. Two relegations in a row? They are on a pace to finish worse than Vissel!


Kazuyuki Toda 1 assist 5.65 WSD 5.65 SMJ

Mercenary on a team that likes to pack it in. Not pretty and until recently not effective. Needless to say he's not one of my favorities.


Kentaro Hayashi 5.95 WSD 5.85 SMJ

Nice pickup for the underdogs from Kofu......had a couple rough matches recently but a consistent contributor and one of the better players on VK. I thought he would flop but hayashi is coming through.


Jun Tamano 5.83 WSD

Dropped from the first team of the worst club in J2. Ramos might have known what he was doing with this one.

And just for fun


KING KAZU 3 goals 1 assist 5.73 WSD

The old man still has a bit left in the tank I suppose! 2 PK goals.

I wonder what happened to Machida.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

More from Nick

You know him, you love him, the outspoken Verdy fan from (I guess) Eng-er-land.............without further ado......NICK!

Nick has left a new comment on your post "180 minutes-Ehime FC vs TOKYO VERDY 1969": Saw the game on TV yesterday and we had a repeat of last time these two teams met.Boring! Boring! Boring! A very poor showing from Verdy the only player to have a good game was Takagi!! He kept us in the game especially in the second half.He must have had 4 or 5 one on ones with the opposition and he stopped all of them!! Great performance by the man in pink!!Very assured and boy was he ragging on his defenders. Defenders were nowhere again,Fujita was inches away from putting into his own net when under no pressure from anybody,the ball came over from the left there were no Orange attackers in the box but he still felt it nessecary to sidefoot it away to "safety",unfortunately he scuffed it and it rolled a couple of inches past the post!! (still reckon the tape recordng strapped to a cardboard lion is a viable option...) First half we were very poor,created a few half chances,Hiramoto nearly had the ball in the net but it was cleared off the line,Saito ran about a lot but didn`t get much of a sniff. Second half Anailson and Nagai came on and things improved a little we carried a bit more of a threat but again not much. Ehime were coming forward more and more and as I say we would have lost by 3 or 4 if not for Takagi!! Have to get a result against Yokohama next week.Onwards and Upwards the Boys march on!!

Wow.......TAKAGI is the man of the match! Thanks much for the report, Nick!

180 minutes-Ehime FC vs TOKYO VERDY 1969

Ahhh yes, finally the rematch that everybody was waiting for has happened..............GHHHHH. Actually, the March affair was actually one of the more boring games in the league to date, but they scheduled it again, so here is the report!

SIDE NOTE: Our friend Depflight at Lost in Translation has a wonderful post on cartoonist Tatsuki Nohda, the man behind the mikan! You can see it here:

Ehime FC came in sitting in 9th place. The Mighty Mikan came off of two consecutive ties to bottom table squads Thespa Kusatsu and Montedio Yamagata. Tokyo Verdy meanwhile returned to Japan yesterday after an unsuccessful ACL roadtrip to Ulsan.

Enough about the past, lets get to this Citrusy sweet smorgasbord of soccer.....Bon Appetit!


GK 35 Yusuke Kawakita
DF 15 . Ryota Moriwaki 5. Shingo Hoshino 7.Tomoya Kanamori 13.Eigo Sekine
MF 23. Hideto Inoue 25. Yojiro Takahagi 27. Minoru Suganuma 8. Kazuhisa Hanaoka
FW 33. Toshiya Tanaka, 24 Yuki Tamura
SUBS: FW 22 Hirokazu Otsubo (65min Tanaka), 19 Yuya Nagatomi (72min Tamura), MF 18 Kenichi Ego (89 min Suganuma)


GK 21 Takagi
DF 2 Hagimura,3 Fujita, 4 Togawa, 20 Hiroyama
MF 7 Ohashi, 32 Kuba, 23 Nejime, 11 Ono
FW 25 Hiramoto, 39 Saito

SUBS: MF 10 Anailson (Half-Ohashi), 8 Nagai (Half-Kuba), FW 9 Basilio (66 min Hiroyama)
GK 1 Mizuhara, MF 15 Kanazawa


Really not much to the first game, there were no bookings. No goals. For either side. Again, Ehime had the shot edge and from the stats, it looks like they controlled the game flow. 0-0 draw, the most hated score in soccer!


It looks like a very tired squad came into Ehime and did just enough to steal a point on the road. It's not really fair to evaluate what happened considering they were coming off an international trip. I'll just say good job to the defense for preserving the shutout.

Basilio made an appearance...................that's a good sign. it looks like Verdy went to a 3-4-3 late in the game, pulling Hiroyama and having Basilio go up top with Saito and Hiramoto. It might be a posibility with the return of Morimoto that the 3-4-3 is used, at least in late game situations. It is a classic conundrum to choose between putting your best 11 on the field or shoring up a weak spot with an extra player. Personally, I prefer the 4-4-2, especially since Verdy has had trouble in the back but if a choice is between Fujita or Morimoto.........well, let's just say I'm glad I don't have a bad perm right now!

Dedimar made an appearance in the ACL but got dropped for the Ehime game, Iio and Aoba as well. Again, tired squad so I can't make too much of this.

After 1/4 of the season......Verdy finds themselves firmly in 4th at 22 points.

A rough patch awaits as Yokohama FC visits on May 10th to Ajinomoto stadium.

I'll try and catch that game on NTV at 2 am, Thursday morning! If you have a game report let me know!

UPDATE/OFF TOPIC: Our friend Masa at Masa-Net reappeared today.........he's been busy but he's not gone! Great news indeed!

The curse of the ratings continue! Vegalta tied Bellmare 2-2 and Mito scorched Consadole Sapporo 3-1.......It always happens!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Soilent Green Rankings-APRIL

THE EAGLE HAS RISEN........................Vegalta Sendai has truly been the team to beat in J2 circles, going an astounding 5-3-0 for the month of April. Meanwhile, Tokushima Vortis has seen the bottom drop out of their season. Some teams rise, others fall, but one thing remains certain..........Ruy Ramos has a really bad perm. Anyhow, let's go to the board!

1. VEGALTA SENDAI (April points-18, Season 24, Goal differential +17) Sendai has been the perfect storm of big offense and strong defense. In April they had a plus goal differential of 13, only allowing 2 goals. Borges, Lopez, and Thiago Neves have been perfect in the role of foreign helper, leading the offense while keeper Daijiro Takakuwa has been impenetrable in between the pipes. They tend to win big as well, 5 of their games have been victories by 3 goals or more.
Coming up-Shonan Bellmare

2. YOKOHAMA FC (April points-14, Season 22 +1 game, GD +8) The shock team in J2. After the purging of their coach and the ascension of Takaki, it looked like the team was headed into the bowels of the second division. An amazing display of defense led by GK Takenori Sugeno has put Yokohama FC near the top of the table. A potential problem in the future is the possible loss of team captain and defensive anchor Steven Tweed to Dundee in the Scottish Premier League. They need to find some scoring as well......1 goal a game isn't going to cut it forever.
Coming up-Tokushima Vortis

3. KASHIWA REYSOL (April points-12, Season 25, GD +10) Two fortunate meltdowns by opponents Tokyo Verdy and Consadole Sapporo have helped Kashiwa barely keep their grasp on the top position in J2. A twelve game run without a break probably had a part to play in their losing steam. MF Tatsuya Suzuki has been key in facilitating attacks for Chiba's other team. GK Minami and the back 4 have stumbled a bit after a stellar start
Coming up-Thespa Kusatsu

4. TOKYO VERDY 1969 (April points-12, Season-21 +1 game, GD +2) Big Green has been the perfect example of one-dimensional. The offense has been spectacular and the defense has been, well, not so much. I think this reflects the coaching of Ruy. He has also been erratic, showing flashes of brilliance on-field and nervous and erratic decisions off of it. Basilio and Hiramoto have been stellar , ranking 1 and 2 in goals scored. Hopefully, the starting 11 in the Consadole game (minus Iio) can get some time together and see what they can do. Consistency is the major need for Verdy.
Coming up-Ehime FC

5. CONSADOLE SAPPORO (April points-11, Season-17 GD +3) Dumb mistakes have cost major culprit has been Hulk, who instead of turning Green when he gets angry, turns red. 2 cards have led to 4 missed games. They had a recent rough patch where they went 0-1-2 against Verdy, Kashiwa, and Sendai, but have managed to feast on bad teams. Haven't come close to playing their best.
Coming up-Mito Hollyhock

6. SHONAN BELLMARE (April points-11, Season-18 GD -2) They are not good or bad.....perfect place for them is the middle. On any given day, they can beat Vegalta or Verdy, tie Kashiwa or Tokushima, or lose to Mito. Yusuke Sato has been instrumental in setting the table on offense, but Satoshi Yokoyama has virtually disappeared after getting off to a hot start.
Coming up-Vegalta Sendai

7. SAGAN TOSU (April points-11, Season 15 GD -2) Not a particularly strong team but they represent themselves well at home. A four game unbeaten streak helped propel them to respectability and the far edges of promotion. They also boast the leading scorer not in green by way of Tatsunori Arai (6 goals 2nd in the league).
Coming up-Vissel Kobe

8. THESPA KUSATSU (April points-9, Season 12, GD -6) The past three games have seen the defense tighten up, posting shutouts in all 3. It's not hard to imagine how bad Thespa's defense would be without the stellar play of GK Takahiro Takagi. The addition of Chika into the back line has really helped as well.
Coming up-Kashiwa Reysol

9. MONTEDIO YAMAGATA (April points 9, Season 10 GD -7) For awhile there, it looked like Yamagata had figured out their problems. their penultimate match was a 3-1 drubbing of Kashiwa in Kashiwa. However, a recent stretch has seen them drop 2 of 3 and tie a less than impressive Ehime squad. The 2 L's , Leandro and Leonardo have shown flashes but haven't been consistent, much like the team.
Coming up-BYE

10. VISSEL KOBE (April points 7, Season 16 GD -1) Stuart Baxter still hasn't got his squad playing consistent roundball. It seems like Kobe follows up a good game with a bad loss. Atsuhiro Miura has been the most consistent player on an inconsistent squad. Baron has been a non factor.
Coming up-Sagan Tosu

11. EHIME FC (April points 6, Season 12 GD -6) For the talent they have, they have been respectable. No depth to speak of, but they always play hard and put themselves in position to steal games. Keisuke Hada and the back 4 have really stepped it up. No real scoring threat to speak of and they get hurt by not having any foreign imports to help.
Coming up-Tokyo Verdy

12. MITO HOLLYHOCK (April points 5, Season 12 GD -7) Started off well, but a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Vissel sent the little dragons of Ibaraki into a funk. Probably not a good sign that DF Takafumi Yoshimoto has scored almost half of the teams goals at 4. Will they always be Kashima's ugly little sister? (Thanks OF!)
Coming up-Consadole Sapporo

13. TOKUSHIMA VORTIS (April points 3, Season 10 GD -9) How bad is Jun Tamano? He gets run out of Verdy by retread Hideki Nagai (Which I criticized voiceferously.........I'd like to take it back) and now can't even get on the field for the worst squad in the second division. Especially bad on the road (1-0-5 for a big total of 3 points) and mediocre at home (1-4-1 7 points at home). Shinji Tanaka might be the next coach to go if form stays the same.
Coming up-Yokohama FC

High risers-Vegalta Sendai (MARCH 8/APRIL 1)
Mighty fallers-Tokushima Vortis (MARCH 5/APRIL 13)
Holding steady-Tokyo VERDY (MARCH 4/APRIL 4)

The season is at the quarter mark and the cream is starting to rise to the top. More questions than answers for the three relegation victims of 2005.

Look for another ranking in the first week of June!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Been awhile...........Ohisashiburi!

Lots of news all in one thread............Here we go!

As you might know, Verdy was eliminated by a 10 man Ulsan squad 1-0. Quick thoughts on this.....didn't see the game but it looked like Ulsan went with a 5 man back and packed it in. Crappy soccer but hey scoreboard so they got what they wanted.

Probably for the best that Verdy got eliminated. The first,second, and third priority for the team is to get back to J1 and taking jaunts to Saudi Arabia in July probably wouldn't help the sqaud at all in that quest.

The starting 11 was the same as Sapporo except for Ohashi, Dedimar, and Hiramoto. Saito came on as a sub and drew the red card on Ulsan defender and Captain Young-Kyoul You.

Here is a link to the AFC game report


Looks like the side injury isn't as serious as it appeared....he suited up for the match in Korea. Unknown whether or not he'll be starting against Ehime on saturday.


VerdyBlog has more info on mystery midfielder looks like he is an 18 year old Brazilian who came from Guarani FC.

It's the second story Japanese.

Nihon Daigaku Training match


Morimoto notched 2 goals in the game on Tuesday. Another Mystery foreigner popped up in the match, this time a striker with no known name.

So keeping count.............................Basilio, Dedimar, Anailson, RickHiki, Killoran, Je Chun Moon, Adan, and mystery foreign striker (link from the Verdy blog)

Another Blog(S) Bites the Dust

PRIDE OF GREEN, a Verdy site run by a true Verdy fan named Yoshikazu shut down on May 1st....................the guy was a maniac, showing up at seemingly every function, game, and training match. If I needed info on training matches, I'd check there first. He was the one who had the Adan story and pictures first.

MASA-NET, Our friend Masa at Masa-net seems to have stopped writing. Although I depise the Reds and everything they stand for, Masa is a good guy who put out information on the Reds, J-League and finally Tomi Maric in Germany at a breakneck speed (Often in three or four languages). It was a must read for me and I hope he comes back to write about the J-league again very soon.

Yoshikazu and Masa..........Honto Ni Arigato Gozaimasu......please come back soon and write again!