Tuesday, February 20, 2007

2007 Preview- Montedio Yamagata

2006 Season 17 wins 14 ties 17 losses 68 goals 57 against +11

You really do have to feel for Montedio Yamagata. They play hard, struggle, scrape, and bite for every point they can get and still end up falling just short. Never a team to get blown out but not not quite talented enough to turn close losses to ties and ties to wins. Snakebitten.

After hovering near the edges of promotion, Yamagata fell to a deceptive 8th in a close middle of the pack. This season looks like another tough year of scraping and clawing for points. Yamagata already starts out in a hole with the loss of superstriker Leandro to Vissel Kobe. Leandro was the offense last season, notching 23 goals and setting up 7 others. No other Yamagata player scored 6. In his place, Montedio is hoping for some magic from a combination of newcomers Yohei Toyoda (Nagoya Grampus 8), Tomotaka Kitamura (Yokohama FC), and Takuya Yokoyama (Urawa Reds).

Montedio hopes will rely on the defense. Returning for a 4th year is rugged Brazilian centerback Leonardo who chipped in 5 goals and played some excellent defense. A new face for Montedio is one readers here will recognize, Tatsuya Ishikawa,who gets sent out again from Kashima to help out another mid-table J2 squad.

If you're a fan of 0-0 draws......this is the club for you

Projected Lineup 4-4-2

GK Kenta Shimizu
DF Tatsuya Ishikawa
DF Shogo Kobara
DF Leonardo
DF Makoto Kimura
MF Katsuyuki Miyazawa
MF Masaru Akiba
MF Kohei Usui
MF Nobuyuki Zaizen
FW Ryosuke Nemoto
FW Yohei Toyoda

Prediction 9th place

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