Saturday, July 08, 2006

10 to the top

I decided to put together a little guide of guys I think might be on their way out even with their team still in J2......These are my 10 to the top of J league..........1 player for every team not promoted (as of now Kashiwa, Yokohama, and Vegalta will not be added because these squads could all make the trip)

1. VISSEL KOBE- Kunie Kitamoto DF- Good young middle defenders are hard to come by and Kitamoto falls in this category. He will be 26 next year and just coming into the prime of his career so look for a southern squad like Oita or Gamba to swallow him up. At the very least, he'd be a good guy off the bench.

2. CONSADOLE SAPPORO -Shinya Aikawa FW- Working next to Hulk and youngster Kengo Ishii. Could be added to a top flight squad for depth. Keep an eye on him, he's only 23 and if he gets hot he's probably on the move up.

3. MONTEDIO YAMAGATA- Leandro FW- The young Brazilian striker decided to fight through the drop from Omiya and keep working. It's paying off. He's 3rd in the league in goals and high up in assists and Montedio is a credible side right now.

4. SAGAN TOSU- Tatsunori Arai FW- J2 leader in goals is pretty much doing it with a weak midfield. He had a good rate last year as well. The only question is whether or not he wants to leave home. Oita is a place that could be appealing. He's built in the mode of Hisato Sato, small and fast.

5. TOKYO VERDY 1969- Shingo Nejime MF-The way Verdy players have been performing, it could be somebody different in three weeks, but right now Nejime has put in some credible performances in the midfield for team green. I imagine Marcus, Kaimoto and maybe Kanazawa go back to their clubs or find new ones next year, but of the guys on Verdy right now......Nejime is the one I'm tagging to make the jump.

6. MITO HOLLYHOCK-Yusuke Gondo MF- Young anchor of Mito midfield. Have pushed them to respectability. Anderson is the engine of this squad, but Gondo is the one I'm tabbing for the jump.

7. SHONAN BELLMARE-Hide Nakata MF- Maybe you've heard of him, spent some time in Italy and England, had a cup of coffee with the National team. No seriously. Not much quality on this squad......maybe midfielder Yusuke Sato but don't hold me to it.

8. EHIME FC- Tomoya Kanamori DF- credible performance for a beleaguered team. No midfiled to speak of and no depth. Probably nobody goes up but Kanamori is my pick to fly.

9. THESPA KUSATSU- Yusuke Shimada MF- The difference between last year and this year with the spaboys is Shimada. Creative force that sets the table for the squad. Probably could be a good sub off the bench in J1.

10. TOKUSHIMA VORTIS- Koji Kataoka MF- young guy, just turning 20. Solid for a flailing squad. My guess is nobody goes from Vortis unless it's for sattelite action but Kataoka is the prospect to nab.

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