Monday, February 26, 2007

2007 Preview- Shonan Bellmare

2006 Season 13 wins 10 ties 25 losses 61 goals 87 goals against -26

I don't know if you remeber the COCOON craze of the 80's. It was a putridly sappy movie where a group of old people stumbled across aliens and felt young again and had sex. It propelled Steve Guttenberg to "superstar" status, showing that he could not only suck in slapstick movies about police officers, he could also suck in roles involving touchy-feely situations.

Well to simplify this painfully long metaphor, COCOON=Yokohama FC, and now the new craze in J2 is signing up stars of yesteryear to shore up the team and propel them to the holy grail of all second division clubs.......promotion.

This year's Yokohama happens to dwell in Kanagawa. The legendary underacheivers Shonan Bellmare crashed to a distressing 11th place finish, falling behind teams like Mito and Ehime. Going into their 8th season in the second tier, something had to give and management answered.

The biggest loss to the club was midfielder Yusuke Sato, who takes his 9 goals and team leading 10 assists to Verdy. Brazilians Nivaldo and Fabio, and FW Satoshi Yokoyama were among the 9 other minor contributors to get their walking papers.

The team goes into the campaign led by MF Adiel, one of the few bright spots from last year. Big changes start in the back with the additions of Jean from FC Tokyo and lifetime Shimizu man and 98 World Cup member Toshihide Saito. Another former World Cup 98 member makes a homecoming after an extended absence......No, not Nakata, DF Akira Narahashi. Narahashi found himself a victim of a new youth movement in Kashima after years of quality play in the back for Antler Nation. Like Verdy, if the old legs hold up Bellmare might be something special this year......if not, trouble. Offensively, the team gets a couple of new guns up front. Michiaki Kakimoto returns after a nightmare stint in Osaka for Cerezo. Bellmare is hoping that Kakimoto can regain the form that netted him 15 goals from two years ago. Ryota Hara joins from Montedio Yamagata after a disappointing 2006 campaign.

This was a really tough one to call.

Projected Lineup 4-4-2

GK Tomohiko Ito
DF Nobutaka Suzuki
DF Toshihide Saito
DF Jean
DF Akira Narahashi
MF Adiel
MF Koji Nakazato
MF Koji Sakamoto
MF Nozomu Kato
FW Michiaki Kakimoto
FW Ryota Hara

Prediction 4th place

1 comment:

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