Friday, February 23, 2007

2007 Preview-Vegalta Sendai



2006 Season 21 wins 14 ties 13 losses 75 goals 43 goals against +32

One of the bigger disappointments from last season was Joel Santana's Vegalta squad. It seemed like Vegalta was able to run up huge numbers against lower level teams only to seemingly falter in every must-win campaign. And predictably, like in every other campaign in which the Sendai squad has faltered, major changes took place.

One of the biggest strengths of last year's campaign was the trio of Brazilians who led the attack. Well, two have left the team. Borges takes his league leading 26 goals back to Brazil. Team assist leader Thiago Nevez is also hitting the road after seeing his playing time disappear near the close of last season. The one who is staying behind is arguably the best of the 3. Lopez will be aided by Four new Brazilians. Somebody needs to tell management that only 3 can play at one time, but that's neither here nor there. The main shake-up is in the net with the release of former National teamer Daijiro Takakuwa (Yokohama F Marinos) ad the arrival of former Sagan netminder Junnsuke Schneider. Schneider will fight it out with 2006 co-starter Kiyomitsu Kobari, who starts the season on IR.

The schedulers did Vegalta no favors when they gave them a starting quinella of Shonan (Away), Cerezo (Away), Verdy (Home), and Avispa (Away). If the team can get through with at least 6 points and build momentum against some of the lower eschelon squads, maybe they can steal one of the top spots in J2 and finally return to the big time. Maybe.

Projected Lineup 4-4-2

GK Junnsuke Schneider

DF Yosuke Nakata

DF Kosuke Kitani

DF Hiroyuki Shibai

DF Keita Isozaki

MF Lopez

MF Jonilson

MF Naoki Sugai

MF Ryan Yong

FW Yuki Nakashima

FW William

Prediction 5th place

4 comments:

Ultranippon said...

I think Vegalta won't be in the top three because they lost their two best players, Lopes and Neves. It's good for Verdy that most of good J2 teams lost key players :D.

SMB said...

Sorry I haven't been able to respond to all your comments....I've been trying to put this stuff out before next week.......I'll probably put it on a page with the player profiles

Ultranippon said...

No problem Steve! good luck with the players profiles and I would like to see a nice post talking about our victory tomorrow against Tokyo Gas! :D

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