Even though I was coughing up stuff up greener than the new Verdy unis, I decided to go out to Yomiuriland and catch the training match between Verdy and Gunma FC.
I'm not gonna do a huge play by play because it was a glorified practice in which Verdy won 3-0
Goals were scored by Hulk on a PK that Hiramoto earned (didn't see it), Hiramoto (barely saw it) and Nagai (left before he did it).
If you want details (in Japanese) check out this http://ameblo.jp/revoverdy/entry-10024854300.html
Here are my thoughts on the "game"
GK's - It was very hard to judge them because Gunma got nowhere near the goal in the 45 to 50 minutes of action that I saw. The Gunma keeper was having a nice game, even with the three muffs.
Tsuchiya and Tomisawa- I was a little stunned to see Tomisawa with his new "SALARYMAN" haircut. Seriously, he looked like he was going on to the company compared to last years Ali G do that he was sporting. The combination is already really solid and the wisdom of Tsuchiya will do nothing but help the development of Tomisawa. They controlled the middle of the pitch the whole time they were out there.
Togawa and Ichiyanagi- Defense started to crack when these two came in......gave serious flashbacks to the nervy days of last year. There's a huge drop between first team and second team this year.
Nanami has a cannon for a leg.......he rocketed a shot from pretty good distance that went just high.
Sato looks decent but I think he's the odd man out when Diego is finally match fit. He has a low, flat corner kick. Good pace on the wing and he covered really well. Never out of position during this game.
Hiroyama looked great on the wing. Kanazawa was another one who looks like he came into camp prepared to push for a starting spot. I especially liked the heel kick over his shoulder to Nagai who was offsides. Nagai seemed to kill alot of drives during this game. He's in decent shape but he killed all momentum.
Diego is really wide right now so it looks like he didn't do much during the offseason......he didn't play but was lumbering around in practice. Little worried about that.
Finally, I'd like to focus on Hulk.....this was my first real chance to see him in action up close and he impresses in both negative and postive ways.
First the negatives-
Hulk is very deliberate in his moves.........Everybody knows he's gonna shoot......everybody knows he's gonna pass. Just too methodical. He also was jawing alot with the sad little defender for Gunma. Dude, let it go....seriously. Hulk was already trying to fight and it's only been two practice games.
Now the positives- The guy is strong, fast, and very skilled. He has a cannon shot and good moves. There was one instance when Kaimoto put up an errant cross and Hulk hustled from the middle box to the near sideline, ran it down, outmaneuvered two Gunma players dribbled to the middle, set up Nagai with a nice pass in the middle, saw Nagai blow it, got the errant ball, took a rocket shot and forced a corner.
Seriously, this guy is Dynamite.....loud, exiting, dangerous and liable to kill you if you aren't careful......and when I say kill you, I'm talking about both Verdy and their opponents.
A postscript-Two of the people sitting near me at the practice field brought their cute little dog with the Verdy bandana that looked just like Takagi's dog.............OHHHHHHHHHHHH, how precious, so cute!!!!! Then the idiots decided that the dog couldn't see so they stood up right in front of me and held the dog up over the fence so the dog could see. THE DOG DOESN'T CARE ABOUT VERDY!!!!!! It's true. The dog wants to eat and go mark it's territory, not watch soccer. Then the two geniuses decided that they needed to take pictures in front of the fence so that the dog was in the foreground and the game was in the background. they had the dog in a little carrier so they didn't even walk the dog to the game.
Leave the dog alone.