Monday, April 30, 2007

WA-Rui says the magic word


Sponichi and Nikkan Sports are both reporting that Rui Ramos might step down if the team loses on Thursday to Mito.

Sports Hochi

Words popped up such as KUBI (Dismissal or Beheading) and YAMERU (Resign). Other interesting factoids. Vegalta Sendai are the only team since Sanfrecce in 2003 and Kyoto in 2005 to start a season with an 11 game unbeaten streak (Both were promoted). More ominous was the factoid that no team has ever lost 5 games in a row and been promoted.......Verdy is at 6.


Tasui posts the highlights for the Tosu affair here.......Fukuda makes a nice save but Verdy fails to clear.......Togawa looks out of his depth and Nagai sends a nice feed in to Kanazawa who steals a goal from Hulk.

Satellites provide a clue to the next game?

Verdy played a game today against Toyo University, winning 2-0 on unlikely goals from Seitaro Tomisawa and Shigenori Hagimura.

Up front, the Verdy squad went with a rotation starting with Yuzo Funakoshi being paired with Hiramoto. Yoshitake, Hiroyama, Inoue, and Iio all took turns playing up top.

In the middle, a lineup of Hiroyama and Sonoda played the wing positions, with Sato and Ono taking the middle.

Finally, the back 4 featured Fujita, Tomisawa, Hagimura, and Ichiyanagi

My speculation is this

FW Hiramoto Funakoshi

MF Kanazawa Yoshitake

Hattori Ze Luis

DF Fujita Hagimura Tsuchiya Fukuda

GK Yoshihara

BENCH: Takagi, Ichiyanagi, Nagai, Tomisawa, Inoue

If he's gonna go out....go out swinging

This is what I'd do

FW Hiramoto Funakoshi

MF Kanazawa Hiroyama

Ono Ze Luis

DF Hattori Ichiyanagi Tsuchiya Fukuda

GK Yoshihara

BENCH Shibasaki, Inoue, Sato, Shibasaki, Fujita

Fast them to death.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A couple of things to look at

So finally, clips of the defeats at Sapporo and Tokushima have sprung up on YOUTUBE

The second goal against Vortis had me in awe of Tsuchiya and in shock at the inept game Takagi had.




Might as well give you a little taste of what happened in Tosu

2-1 loss

The combination of Funakoshi and Iio combined to put up no shots in 90 minutes
Hulk and Diego notched their 4th yellows, thereby forcing them to sit against Mito
Nagai, who usually would sub in for Kanazawa/Sato/Ono instead came in for the Brazilian Buffalo and immediately set up Kanazawa for the equalizer.

In games where Verdy allows 2 goals, their record is 0-1-6

Verdy dropped to 8th place behind Cerezo. If Sagan and Tokushima win on Thursday and Verdy loses by a couple, they will drop to 11th place.

That was the 6th loss in a row for Verdy and WA-Rui Ramos

More to follow tomorrow

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Thespa goes down 1-0 as I post the lineup

Thespa had a gritty 4 shot performance against an equally gritty Cerezo side....who also had 4 shots. Unfortunately Thespa failed........Anyhow.GO THESPA!

The Lineup

GK Yoshihara

DF Fukuda Tsuchiya Togawa Sugawara


Diego Kanazawa

FW Hulk Funakoshi

BENCH: Takagi, Tomisawa,Nagai, Shibasaki, IIO

Frankly the bench leaves me speechless. Hiramoto, Saito, Inoue, and Hiroyama were all left back in Tokyo so they could take Senor NoShots instead. I guess we should also get used to seeing the Brazilian Buffalo playing out of position on the wing for the full 90 minute shift. The good news is that Yoshihara has a chance to steal the keeper position away from Takagi or at least pressure him to play better.

Of note for the home squad is Verdy signee Leonardo, who was with the squad for about 20 seconds.

Anyhow, well see how the team does today with the more eclectic lineup.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Thespa VS Cerezo! And another game

YOUR THESPA KUSATSU comes home after a thrilling 1-0 victory over the gutsy Ehime FC squad. They face a surging Cerezo Osaka in another thrilling match which will feature guts and heart......YEAH THESPA!

The other game

A freefalling Verdy side ventures south to face the only team arguably more disappointing than them in the current campaign. Sagan Tosu has put on a putrid display, neither being proficient on offense or competent on defense. After allowing a more than respectabe 49 goals in 48 games last year, Tosu has already given up 23 in 10. Three times this season, the squad has given up 5 goals to opponents. Theoretically, Verdy and the weapons they possess should have a field day against Tosu.........Unfortunately, we've seen the difference between being excellent on paper and being excellent on the pitch. Tosu enters this game without their big Brazilian offseason acquisition, Anderson, who is suspended because of yellow card accumulation.

Tosu showed signs of life with a hearty 1-1 tie against a slowly evolving Kyoto squad. Verdy meanwhile has many questions surrounding them after a 5 game streak in which they haven't had a lead or shown competence in the back line. A distressing sign for the squad is the injury to MF anchor Hiroshi Nanami, who left after 14 minutes of play. Speculation is that Harutaka Ono will slot into Nanami's spot and play his more natural role as a central midfielder.

Potential Verdy lineup

GK Takagi

DF Fukuda Tsuchiya Ichiyanagi Hattori

MF ZE Luis Ono

Diego Kanazawa

FW Hulk Hiramoto

Bench: Yoshihara, Inoue, Nagai, Sugawara, Fujita

How to beat Tosu

This squad is tailor made to help Verdy break the slump. They have a porous defense that allows oppositions to get off a lot of shots. If Verdy can get an early lead and keep the pressure on, they could theoretically get 7 in this game. IF THEY WANT IT. On the other hand, if Tosu gets the upper hand early, it could downhill fast. Verdy must pressure and get bodies up. Hattori and Fukuda must improve their distribution and clearing. Hulk must recreate the magic of early season. And Diego has to contribute SOMETHING. Anyhting less than 3 points will show that this squad has given up and they might as well blow up the team and start over because there is something fundamentally flawed in their makeup.

Go THESPA-until the Hairdo is shown the door.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Well, the exasperation and irritation at the incompetence of the "MESSIAH" finally hit the breaking point. Instead of writing about how a team with an embarrassment of talent riches could fail so miserably against a second rate club was more than I could bear. Seriously, I don't understand how a team of former National teamers, best 11's from other storied clubs and all-around veterans could appear so flat and out of their depth after blowing 4 games. Do they care? I'm not sure. Does CyberAgent care? I believe they do but have little clue what to do for plan B. Should I care? Should you?

Letting up 2 goals in the first 20 odd minutes after doing the same thing in the last game is pathetic. 5 yellow cards is pathetic after having those issues 2 games ago is pathetic. Being outscored 15-5 is pathetic. Starting a bloated MF in the wrong position and letting him stall the offense is pathetic.

I didn't know what else to do, so until the Rui era in J2 has ended, this will be a "THESPA KUSATSU" blog..........Why Thespa Kusatsu? I got no friggin clue. Until Rui either rights this listing ship or will see a header and pictures featuring Thespa Kusatsu. Ohhhh, I'll still blast Verdy and give you the same news updates, but it will be blue in protest.

Do the right thing, Ramos.........GET OUT!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Here it is

GK Takagi

DF Fukuda--Tsuchiya--Tomisawa--Hattori

MF Diego--Nanami--Ze Luis--Kanazawa

FW Hulk---Funakoshi

Bench Yoshihara, Hiramoto, Ichiyanagi, Sato, Nagai

No real change

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Going through the motions: Tokushima Vortis vs Verdy

Sometimes this blog writes itself. Today is not one of those days. Verdy begins a three game stretch against the bottom of the J2 barrel after a hellish 4 game schedule which left the squad spiraling downward into 7th place. A disappointing loss was laced with a sliver of hope after Verdy was able to break through for 3 goals against Fortress Consadole before being let down by a porous defense.
Even though Vortis sits in a lackluster 11th place, the squad has shown much improvement over last seasons disaster, especially on the defensive end. Vortis has a better goals allowed average than the more prestigious back 4 of Verdy, limiting opponents to a respectable 11 goals in 9 games. One of the bright spots in the back 4 has been the play of 20 year old former Gamba man Daiki Niwa, who has alternated between defense and the midfield. Offensively, the options are few, but striker Toshiaki Haji has been known to bun somebody for a score.
The biggest question right now is what Ramos will decide to do with a lineup that has been innefective and dysfunctional. Another poor performance resulting in 0 points could be the demise of Verdy's legendary talisman. A poor performance resulting in victory might be even worse, acting as a perfume to mask the stench eminating from poor play, uninspired tactics, and ridiculous team selection.
Soilent Greens Wishlist for the game
GK Yoshihara
DF Fukuda Togawa Tsuchiya Hattori
MF Ze Luis Nanami
Kanazawa Hiroyama
FW Hulk Funakoshi
Bench: Muro, Kaimoto, Sato, Inoue, Hiramoto
I'm not sure if Saito is hurt or just in the doghouse. If Rui isn't going to put Diego in a place where he is effective, then drop him because he's hurt the offense. I thought about messing with the back line but this is the best group available. I'm pushing for two fast wings in the midfield...........Verdy would be in first with two speedsters on the wings combined with power in the middle.
Verdy should win with a decent lineup set up to exploit the less athletic Vortis squad. If they play hungry and get the ball to their offensive weapons it should be an easy Wednesday night. However if they play like the first 20 minutes of the Sapporo match, it will be a long night. Anything less than 9 points is call for a sea change.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Statement Game: Consadole Sapporo vs Verdy

A day after getting a vote of confidence from the braintrust at Verdy Inc., Ramos led his charges into one of the most important matches of the season. A win would put Verdy back into the thick of things in J2. A loss could potentially drop the squad into the netherworld of Thespa, Ehime, and Tokushima.

A statement game. After the first 20 minutes the statement was loud and clear.............WE QUIT. 16 minutes after kickoff, a series of putrid backpasses, poor clearances, and awful goalkeeping led to 3 goals for Consadole. The only thing keeping Verdy in the game was spirited play and good offense from two previously forgotten players in Shin Kanazawa and Youzo Funakoshi. The two fresh recruits combined on the first goal to give Verdy a spark of life.

The second half saw a renewed Verdy attack fight back to grab a tie on a PK by Hulk and the second goal of the day for Kanazawa. Tied up only to see Consadole strike against a porous Verdy defense harkening back to last year. 4-3 and now Verdy sits in 7th.


The most losses in a row last year for a far less talented squad? 4. The most goals allowed in a game? 4.

The good news for Verdy is that the easier part of the schedule is coming up. Granted,no game is easy but facing 4 of the top teams in the league back to back (3 of 4 on the road) is a rough call that will be alleiviated with upcoming games against the bottom three teams in the league. Anyhting short of 7 points might get Ramos fired.

It was amazing how badly the "character" guys played in this match. Tomisawa is always bound to stink up a match but the breakdowns by Tsuchiya and Hattori were incredible. Hattori especially was indefensible.

Speed on the wings, power up top......3 goals, 14 shots. Somehow, I think there is no way Diego gets moved out of his position on the matter how ineffective he is.

I'm guessing Fukuda is probably going to be the scapegoat for yesterday and we will see Kaimoto in his place. Because I'm sure Hattori and Nanami are untouchable as well. I fear Hagimura is coming soon.

Hiramoto made his first appearance which was good. What I didn't understand is the removal of the only effective offensive weapon on the day at a goal down. Why take out Kanazawa when Diego is offering nothing? Again.

The Rui deathwatch is in full effect

The clock is ticking

Better News

The satelittes had a game against Shobi University and were victorious 5-2.

Hiroyama, Inoue, Iio, and Yoshitake (2) all notched goals.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Lineup

I've seen the past week

Not too shabby

GK Takagi
DF Fukuda-Tsuchiya-Tomisawa-Hattori
MF Diego-Nanami-Ze Luis-KANAZAWA


A little more optomistic now

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sack up, it only gets worse! Verdy vs Consadole

The end of a horrible stretch of games Verdy comes tomorrow as the little team in green heads to the Northern Kingdom for a clash with Consadole Sapporo. Sapporo is putting on it's best Yokohama FC impersonation, allowing only 3 goals on the season with an iron-cast defense and an offense that scores few but timely goals. Meanwhile, Verdy resembles Consadole of a year ago.....focusing on the exploits of one man.....HULK.
Nishizawa Soda Bruno Quadros Nishijima
Fujita Haga Caue Nishitani
Nakayama Davi
Hopeful Verdy Lineup
Fukuda Tsuchiya Tomisawa Hattori
Sato Nanami Ze Luis Hiroyama
Hulk Diego
Bench: Inoue, Fujita, Hiramoto, Kanazawa, Muro
This lineup won't happen but I think it would be the most effective.
As of today, Verdy has dropped into 7th. Currently Vegalta, Consadole, Avispa, Montedio, Shonan, and Kyoto are all ahead of Rui's dream team. In a twist of irony, Toshiya Miura finds himself inches from the top tier of J2 while his former team spirals into the relegation abyss.
Consadole has used the Yokohama FC formula, a young GK combined with 4 strong defenders to play lights out defense. The offense revolves around the combination of MF Masaya Nishitani and Japan U-20 Seiya Fujita who provide the engine to the offense.
An Idiot's guide to beating Consadole
The only team who had any real success against Consadole are ironically the same squads that beat Verdy. Sanga, Avispa, and Vegalta used their midfield and big forwards to control possesion and bang around Quadros and the rest of the back 4.
Sanga was effective in limiting shots and creating their own in order to notch a 2-0 victory. Granted, both teams have gone in vastly different directions. Miura has been able to make adjustments in order to effectively shut down opposition.
The first key is to shut down the midfielders on the wing......I should copy and paste this to every post I make! Fujita and Nishitani direct the offense, everything goes through these two.
Key number 2 is making the most of the few breaks that Consadole will give you. Consadole has been very disciplined in their defensive play. They don't push too many up top and don't make sloppy mistakes for the most part. Miura dreams of the 1-0 win. You have to strike early and force them to play from behind. If Consadole has to push forward, it's possible to counterattack.
Finally, Verdy has to find a way to create shots. In the past 5 games, Verdy has averaged 6.4 shots a game. 2 of their 3 goals were on penalty kicks, and the defense has been stung with 8 goals.
Depending on the lineup (which scares me), the tactics (or lack therof), and luck (Hah), I'm dubious on the prospects of Verdy claiming 1 point, much less 3. The good news is, Ramos got the vote of confidence so the team should just be raring to go......Huzzah!


Lots of stuff fell through the cracks this week so let's get to it!

First off-Highlights from last weeks stinkfest in highlights of the red cards but some stinkers when it comes to clearance.

Fagiano Verdiama?

Naoki Mihara becomes the 4th player with Verdy connections to put on the shirt of 4th division Fagiano Okayama. Mihara is a 19 year old defender who went through the Verdy youth program before signing with the big club. Mihara never got into the first team so this is a good chance for him to get some competitive footy under his belt.

Sat News

Verdy took on JEF United reserves and the second string of Yokohama FM this week and had mixed results. Shin Kanazawa and Nozomi Hiroyama tallied three goals between the two of them to up end the Chiba squad 3-1. Yokohama stuck it to the lads in green with a mirror result of 3-1. Hiroyama managed to notch the lone goal for Verdy, begging the question......Does Rui even know Hiroyama is on the team?

Rui gets a vote of confidence

Nikkan sports reports that Verdy's chairman gave Ramos a vote of confidence after the recent three game slump. The chairman said that changing the manager now would make things worse.

Drop below Thespa and I think it would be Okada time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Welcome to another blog!

Friend of Soilent Green and ardent Kyoto Sanga fan Goru No Ura from BigSoccer finally got off his purple can and put together a blog on Kyoto Sanga!

I am happy to present to you the Kyoto Sanga blog

Unfortunately, he doesn't have a comment section because I'd give him some stick for Kyoto coming in and beating up poor Rui.

Anyhow, Gora....Welcome to the J Blogosphere

For your perusal

So you think the talent is much better this year than last?

2007 Wins 4 Ties 1 Losses 3 goals for 15 goals against 11 +4

2006 Wins 6 Ties 0 Losses 2 goals for 16 goals against 11 +5

Leading scorers 2007 Hulk 7, Funakoshi 3
Leading scorers 2006 Basilio 7, Hiramoto 6

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Togawa and Nagai out for Consadole

Well, it's gonna be very interesting to see the VooDoo that witch doctor Ramos attempts to perform with the vacant centerback position.

Let's peruse the candidates

Seitaro Tomisawa- If Ze Luis is banged up, I'm guessing Tomisawa will stay in the DMF spot. Had a bit of trouble clearing in the Shonan game which helped contribute to two of the goals.

Koijiro Kaimoto- Actually, he'd move into Hattori's spot and Hattori would presumably move to the center position. Not crazy about this but it would give a boost to distribution from the back and I think Hattori could adapt.

Yugo Ichiyanagi- It'd be a good chance for the youngster that makes sense. Probably zero chance of happening.

Shigenori Hagimura- DING!DING!DING! We have a loser......been waiting to see what excuse Rui uses to get one of his favorite cronies in the starting 11 and this one looks like a golden opportunity.

Tomo Sugawara- Shockingly mediocre in the Shonan game after coming on for Nanami.....2 men down you have to be better on the clearances.

Shin Kanazawa- He's been practicing in the back and having good runs in training. Rui has seemingly forgot about him, though.

Eugene Killoran-Could we see the young Irishman play his match in green? Not likely.

There is also a bench spot up for grabs- Nozomi Hiroyama, Masaki Saito, Kanazawa, Iio, Hiramoto......all possibilities.

I don't dare delve into the mind of's much too murky!

FC Ryukyu signs a Verdy alum

Takuya Sato signed up with FC Ryukyu on the 13th after spending time with Verdy in 2006. Sato makes a homecoming of sorts as he was signed from the Okinawa side at the start of the 2006 campaign. Sato failed to mark last year and probably is at his level of play in Ryukyu.

Good luck!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Behind Enemy Lines: SHONAN-Truly Disapppointed

Soilent Green took it's first foray into the Ancestral home of Tokyo Verdy 1969 to see an old school rivalry take place in historic Hiratsuka Stadium. Both teams have been eerily similar as of late, priding themselves on rejuvenated defenses while looking for answers on offense.
The last time these teams faced off in Kanagawa, Shonan came away with a 3-0 drubbing. One of the players to inflict damage is current Verdy midfielder Yusuke Sato, who notched the final score in the 89th minute to add insult to Verdy injury.
Defying expectations, Rui Ramos decided to go yet again with an experimental lineup, this time pairing out of position MF Tsuyoshi Yoshitake alongside Hulk in hopes of getting someone up front to serve the muscular striker some good scoring chances.
Verdy Lineup
GK Takagi
DF Fukuda Tsuchiya Togawa Hattori
MF Tomisawa Nanami
Diego Ono
FW Hulk Yoshitake
Bench: Yoshihara, Sugawara (62 Nanami),Nagai (59 Ono), Inoue (86 Yoshitake), Sato
The first half was great........if you like seeing centerbacks clearing balls out of the back. Play was really dominated by Tsuchiya for Verdy and Jean and Saito for Shonan. Neither team produced anything dangerous, instead choosing to try and get free kicks by falling down. One humourous exchange saw Adiel fake an injury and go down like he had been shot.....seconds later Hulk performed the same act. As the ball was rolling out of bounds, both Brazilian stars were rolling on the ground in some sort of psychic pain.
The second half kind of had the same feel to it, until referee Masaki Nabeshima took control. 10 minutes in, Kenta Togawa picked up a yellow, 2 subs and 3 yellows later, Verdy found themselves 2 men down and looking at a very daunting task. A mere 6 minutes after Hideki Nagai and Kenta Togawa were shown the door, attacking midfielder Nozomu Kato hit paydirt on a breakaway score. With Verdy forced to push up for the equalizer, Adiel and Daisuke Tonoike were able to score two opportunistic goals late to make for a misleading 3-0 scoreline.
I'm not sure if Ze Luis is injured or he got pulled because of the flub during the Kyoto game. Tomisawa did a decent job in his place until the team got down two men and he was forced to play back. He whiffed on one of the two late goals, leading to an easy put in. Nanami baffles me. He's great on defense but he has really bogged down the offense with some of his ill advised passing.
Did anybody notice Harutaka Ono today? Me neither, he didn't really do a thing today offensively, the good news was neither did Nozomu Kato while he was in so I won't harp on him too much.
Remember when I said Togawa couldn't make a mental mistakes today? There was the game, right there. Hideki Nagai didn't help matters much, but that second card seemed extreme from my vantage.
Yukio Tsuchiya looked great again. Actually his pushing the ball up actually gave Verdy their best offensive chances today as well.
Hulk outshot the rest of the squad 5 to 1 today. There was one moment where he weaved through 5 Shonan defenders only to have the rest of Verdy standing flatfooted, watching him. Yoshitake had the closest thing to a goal with a late isolation on the goalkeeper. He wasn't horrible and did a couple of nice things but seriously, THAT'S THE BEST OPTION AT STRIKER? I'm not sure what Hiroyama and Saito did to piss Rui off but apologize! And nobody at the game seemed to know what the deal was with Funakoshi either.
Fukuda looks a little shell-shocked out there.........his defense is allright but he's not serving up balls well at all. Hattori had kind of a down game on that end as well.
Diego did manage to push into the middle more and had some nice one touch passes with Hulk. It looks like the Brazilians are kind of segregating themselves more offensively from the rest of the squad, which could be part of the problem with the offense.
I think the Rui death watch is about to begin................last year's two straight promotion teams grabbed ahold of the lead early and never let go. I don't the good folks at CyberAgent are soon to forget that after shelling out alot of money for big talent. Considering that former National Team coach and Yokohama F Marinos man Takeshi Okada is still hanging out without a job, I'm not sure I'd get too comfortable if I was Ramos.
That's all for today.....I leave you with this little nugget 5-3-2-2-1-1-1-0

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Kanagawa Brawl: Shonan VS Verdy (post 400)

After two crushing defeats to 2006 relegation victims Avispa Fukuoka and Kyoto Sanga FC, Verdy finds itself staring straight at the well rested and very physical squad from Hiratsuka, Shonan Bellmare.

Shonan was expected to make a push towards promotion after adding some quality back line players. Anchoring the middle of the Shonan defense are two veterans from J1 wars, career Shimizu man Toshihide Saito and former FC Tokyo anchor Jean Carlo Witte. Both have been as good as advertised as Shonan has seen an early season improvement from last years sievelike defense.

The problem with Bellmare this year has been on the offensive side. Last year's big gun, Adiel, has been efficient in setting up the offense but there has been a dearth of targets for the shifty midfielder to get the ball to. Currently Adiel is the only real threat to consistently score for the Sea Kings.

Bellmare seems to be a better offensive squad at home. They've notched all 5 of their goals at Hiratsuka. Verdy meanwhile seems to be less effective defensively on the road, letting up goals in every road contest they've appeared in.

Potential lineups


GK Kim Young

DF Murayama Saito Jean Omata

MF Nakamachi Sakamoto

Adiel Kato

FW Ishihara Hara

Verdy 11

GK Takagi

DF Fukuda Tsuchiya Togawa Hattori

MF Nanami Ze Luis

Diego Ono

FW Iio Hulk

I gotta admit I'm not excited about seeing this lineup at all tomorrow. I don't understand the thinking behind it, I don't know what Rui hopes to accomplish with this lineup. Actually it looks like he did a pre-season version of Weekly Soccer Magazines best 11 and slotted the guys in. I'm gonna take a different approach to today's preview.

What will Shonan do?

1. Bully Hulk- by now, the league is aware that the best way to stop Hulk is to hit him with the biggest central defender you can find. Because Verdy has gone with 2 small forwards in Iio and Inoue, opposition does not have to stay honest with the second striker. they can cheat with a mid or wingback and not pay for it. Jean and Saito will take turns using their physicallity and veteran guile on the mercurial striker and hope he blows a gasket resulting in a red card. If I'm Shonan, I put him on the ground every chance I get.

2. Exploit the wings- El Golazo had a humourous look comparing Kashiwa Diego to the Diego of today. They, like me, questioned his physical condition and his position on the wing. If I'm Shonan, I get Adiel and Kato to attack the sides. Make Tsuchiya and Togawa come all the way out and counterpunch. Ono came back and had a nice game for Verdy offensively. Defensively, the team was punished by the attacking midfielder Taakaki Tokushige who ran roughshod over the wings. For Avispa, Alex had the dangerous runs. the key for Shonan is to get the ball to Adiel and let him use his skill to exploit the wings.

3. Get Takagi moving- Wednesday was a rough game for for the Verdy keeper as he let in 3 goals against an opportunistic Kyoto side. The normally reliable spine of Verdy broke down on a couple of occasions to get the lanky keeper trapped in isolation plays. If Shonan can get some quality shots on goal, they can use the MF to clean up long rebounds and deflections.

What will Verdy do?

1. Try and free up Hulk- If Verdy decides to go with the small second forward, it will be imperative for the two attacking midfielders to clog up the middle. Diego needs to do most of the heavy lifting on this one by taking up space and putting pressure on Saito or Jean to cover him. He also is going to need to be the big target in the middle that is lacking without Funakoshi.

2. Nanami and Ze Luis need to control the middle- The best way to make sure the opposition doesn't score is to not let them have the ball. Ze Luis and Nanami have to make sure they are making good passes and covering the sides when Shonan try to exploit the lack of speed on the middle.

3. Togawa and Fukuda have to be flawless- Shonan would love this to be a 1-0 game. An early mistake by either of the back line juniors and Shona will do all they can to take the air out of the ball. Togawa and Fukuda have to play clean games with no mental breakdowns.

4. Clean up the rebounds- Both sides, get the ball and score on deflections and bounces.

It's very important that Verdy gets the offense back on track tomorrow. Consadole awaits and they don't let up points easily. I will be attending the game and I don't want to see inept play after a 2 hour train trek. Sack up!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Verdy VS Kyoto

3-1 Kyoto.....4th place

The big adjustment was taking out Sato and putting in Ono and keeping Iio up top.

7 shots total. The middle broke down, the midfield couldn't control the ball and the speed of Kyoto looked to be too much for the wings.

Bad game, stinker, move on....I'm not gonna spend time analyzing it.

Here are the highlights

Edmundo takes New York?

Red Bull New York is looking to acquire the services of former Verdy superstriker Edmundo the Animal.;_ylt=Ar7IevK3xRASyusU0kapuXEmw7YF?slug=ap-redbulls-edmundo&prov=ap&type=lgns If you follow the J league......and I know you do, you might saying to yourself, REDBULL....Isn't that where Santos and Miyamoto went to? Well, yes and no, Red Bull Salzberg is the big sister and precursor to the former Metrostars organization.

The last time a beer drinking monkey and a grizzled tough guy hit America, it was cinematic magic! Edmundo is gonna score Every which way but loose baby!

Monday, April 09, 2007

The most hated man in Kyoto?

You can say alot of derogatory things about Rui Ramos. Hell, I do it on a regular basis. the one area where you can't question the man is his devotion to Tokyo Verdy 1969 and its incarnations. For parts of 1996 and 1997, Rui Ramos plied his trade for Kyoto Purple Sanga during the franchises first rough years. In a controversial decision, Ramos left the Kyoto squad midseason to go back to the team that made him legendary. Kyoto fans were not pleased to say the least.
The last time Ramos squared off against his other former club was in 1998 in the last days of his career. It's actually been 4 years since the two teams faced off and the first with Ramos at the helm.
Kyoto has had a rough start that has people scratching their heads about the makeup of the J2 champs from 2 years ago (Goru No Ura did a great preview 2 months ago...check it out here Even with the bumps in the road and the disappointing string of results to Montedio (1-1), Tokushima (1-1), and Cerezo (2-3), Kyoto finds itself just one point away from the magical top three.
Kyoto built on a dramatic last minute victory over Avispa last week with a 2-0 win against Mito Hollyhock. Kyoto couldn't feel comfortable with the game however after getting a borderline PK call for Paulinho and a (in my opinion) slightly offside second goal by substitute striker Yasumasa Nishino.
Kyoto goes into the match without central defender Kazuki Teshima, who got booted for a second yellow after pulling an attacking Mito player down from behind. This is going to cause a shuffle to a back line that has been less than reliable this season.
Another mystery involves one of Kyoto's two super strikers. Andre missed the last contest against Mito for unknown reasons (to me at least). While Nishino managed to get on the board, I'm sure Verdy would take their chances against him over the power duo of Andre and Paulinho.
Potential Kyoto Lineup
GK Ueno
DF Watanabe Morioka Akita Kakuda
MF Nakahari Ishii Saito Tokushige
FW Paulinho Andre
Gora, if you read this, HELP?
Verdy 11 (Pure speculation)
GK Yoshihara
DF Kaimoto Tsuchiya Togawa Hattori
DMF Kanazawa Ze Luis
Wing Sato Hiroyama
FW Diego Hulk
Bench: Hiramoto, Inoue, Nanami, Sugawara,Takagi
I gotta admit, I'm stumped on both lineups to tell you the truth. The lineup I posted for Verdy is the one I would go with. Not because I'm disappointed with the play of Nanami or Takagi, I'm not. I'd do this because this is the second of three big games. It's a chance to keep some miles off of the old wheels of Nanami and a chance for Takagi to see the game from a different angle. It also gives a chance for guys who have been toiling in the depths of the satellite league, producing reults but not seeing the light of day. I go with speed on the wings to attack the older and less athletic Kyoto lineup. And I go with two strong Brazilians to pummel the aged central defense of Kyoto.
It's a good chance to experiment with Diego. He was effective last year as the hammer in the middle for Kashiwa. In this system he still doesn't look comfortable.
You might notice the name "Hiramoto" on the bench. He's back from injury....slowly. I'd give him a 10 to 20 minute run if the game is going well just to let him get the juices flowing.
Granted, this game is a mystery to me but here are my "POINTS" for beating Sanga
1. Shoot the ball- The offense has been in a funk. Shots have gone from 13,12, and 18 to 6,8 , and 5 in the loss to Avispa. Get the ball, take your shot. Kyoto has a decent offense but you can exploit certain areas. Keep Ueno busy.
2. Beware Paulinho- Don't get too physical in the box because as you saw in the clip, he will go down. And its 50-50 dive call/PK. Actually between him and Hulk, Greg Louganis is crying a little tear of happiness. Oh yeah, he's also a darn good striker and if he's paired with Andre, it's gonna be a long night for the Verdy defense.
3. Take the fight to them- Lately, it seems Verdy has been passive in their approach to attacking. Waiting for a chance to counterattack. Snap out of it. Punch em in the face and take the three points. command the midfield.
I won't get a chance to see this game, but I am travelling to Hiratsuka for the Bellmare wing ding. Probably the wrong choice but I gotta do what I gotta do!
If you see the game and want to report on it, let me know!
Satellite Shenanigans
Verdy took out Hosei University 4-1 on Sunday
Goals were scored by Inoue, Tomisawa, BIG MARTIN and the popular OG.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

CORRECTION:Nick's eyewitness account

Our man Nick checks in with a report from the game and rightfully puts Soilent Green in its place!

Saw the game ,agreements and disagreements.We weren`t creamed by any stretch of the imagination,Avispa had two periods of extreme pressure one in which they scored and one in which they didn`t but for the most part it was an even game.Their first goal was a CRACKER nobodys fault, just an excellent peice of skill (you`ll see when you get the highlights) our goal was dumb luck (and the Aussie defender trying to chest the ball back to his keeper from the 6 yard box...duuuh!!) to be fair to the bloke, he tried his damndest to make up for it, can obviously hit a pass and is full of running.They had more shots than us but the problem with stats is that they are just STATS they don`t show the true nature of the game.A draw would have been fair at the end of the day, however Tomisawa popped up with some kind of penalty offence in the 93rd minute on a fast breakaway that the TV cameras couldnt keep up with(the tv replay was entirely inconclusive...) however the other defenders and Takagi didn`t protest for a second, so unfortunately I can only pressume the ref was on the mark.Up stepped Alex to beat Takagi (though only just...) and the points went South. Takagi still dumbfounds me!! On one hand he made a SUPERB one handed save that looked a certain goal and on the other he punched a waiste height cross straight to an oncoming forward to have a clean strike on goal! He is consistently inconsistent.Not our day today boys,but next week is ours!!GREEN!GREEN!GREEN!GREEN!!ps my agreement is that Iio isn`t up to much,he had one early crack on goal and after that was anonymous at least Funakoshi is anonymous then scores!! At the moment we have one route to goal (Hulk) if he`s knackered, so are we!!

Good point on the stats.......I also missed it on the PK.....READ HERE

the peno came off a foul by Tomisawa on Alex,it was a deep cross from the left,ball comes across Alex runs through the centre,cross beats everyone but Alex is lieing on the floor in a heap when the camera cuts usual on Japanese "replays" you don`t see the controversial offside/peno/across theline or not decision.The foul for the PK isnt on the highlights reel...

As always, I encourage different points of view and CORRECTIONS so send em in. Thanks again Nick for setting me straight on the game!

Tsunami's squad gets out of their funk against Sagan

Cerezo blog posted rumors earlier about Tsunami possibly being on the chopping block if Cerezo didn't get a result against Sagan Tosu yesterday. It seems the team took the rumor to heart as they overwhelmed the little southern squad. Goals were scored by Ze Carlos, Noriyuki Sakemoto, and Tatsuya Furuhashi to post a convincing 3-0 win. Verdy rental Leonardo got run with two consecutive yellows 17 minutes after being subbed in. The loss helped Sagan post a league worst 11 goals allowed in 6 games as well as putting up a league worst 2 goals scored.

I'll have a preiew of Sanga after the matches today.

The highlights (I suppose)

From what I can surmise........

The first goal saw Yamagata completely undress Fukuda and put a high one just over the outstretched hands of of Takagi. Great individual move and a good lesson for the young man......If Ruy doesn't decide that Shigenori Hagimura could do a much better job first.

Fukuda??? gave a nice feed to Hulk, who sent it to the center of the box and off the chest of hapless Alvin Ceccoli. Ball looked like a rocket. It seems Hulk always brings his game, even when the rest of the squad lags.

The PK came off a hand ball, I think, If you look at the footage of Tomisawa, Alex, and Tsuchiya going up for the header it looks as though Tomisawa gets his hand on it. Stupid mistake and really unneccessary, but his back was turned so you do what you gotta do.

Had to happen sooner rather than later.

Avispa VS Verdy- The test was NEGATIVE

I won't post the lineups again, you can see them above

Verdy entered today with a wonderful chance to distance themselves from an early season favorite who has struggled to get their gameplan together. Rui Ramos decided to change things up by taking out the gigantic talisman, Yuzo Funakoshi. Funakoshi was coming off his worst performance of the season against Leonardo and a Montedio side who used force and muscle to counteract the physicality of Verdy's attack.

Instead, Ramos went with a very small and quick option in former Avispa man Kazunori Iio. On a certain level, it made sense. Avispa is very vulnerable on the wings and theoretically, Iio would be the best person to know how to exploit the weaknesses of a team he trained and fought with for a good amount of time.

Boy, was that a stupid mistake. Unfortunatly by doing this, Avispa was allowed to put their big centerback Shinya Kawashima predominately on Hulk. Without the enormous presence of the 195cm striker, Avispa could focus on the one big presence up front. The new, more frail offense was barely able to put up a fight against the Avispa side, losing the battle in the midfield as well as managing an anemic 5 shots on the whole game. Avispa meanwhile was able to tee up 14 shots. Corner kicks were even more lopsided as Avispa earned 11 of the precious spot kicks to a mere 2 for Verdy. In fact, Avispa had control of the ball for about 60 percent of the game.

Scoring started early in this as Kyohei Yamagata struck gold in the 11th minute of play. Fortunes seemed to be turning in Verdy's favor though when former Sydney FC man Alvin Ceccoli continued his string of misfortune by misplaying a clear into his own net.

Verdy withstood the barrage of Avispa shots until the final minute of play, when Seitaro Tomisawa was whistled for a yellow and Alex was awarded a penalty kick. Not much of a chance for verdy as the great Karmic PK wheel rolled in favor of Verdy opposition today. 2-1 Avispa and very now finds itself in danger of slipping away from a Vegalta side focused on advancement.

Much speculation was done in this column, if anybody has an eyewitness version, please write in and tell us what happened.

Quick Hits

If you've been reading this blog regularly, you already know my feelings about Kazunori Iio. I don't want to harp on him again......obviously, the brain trust sees something in him that I don't. And, I'm not sure if Funakoshi was injured today or just pulled because they were disappointed with his play in the past game. I'm not going to speculate.

What I will criticize is the system that allows the opposing defense to body up on Hulk with no repurcussion from the other striker. If you really want to put Iio in, put him on the wing and move Diego up top or better yet have him come off the bench after pummeling the opposition with two big Brazilians. Start Ono again on the wing if you want a two way player. Give Nagai the start, or GOD FORBID give a look to Hiroyama or Saito who both are more physical and better at ball control than Iio.

Not only did Ramos take an option off the table by putting in Iio, he neutralized the effectiveness of Taira Inoue, who provides a completely different look to Funakoshi off the bench but plays the exact same style as Iio.

I understand wanting to shake things up. Verdy has regressed this season from a high of 5 goals in game 1 to 3,2,2,1 and a fortunate own goal 1 performance today. And judging by the stats, it looks like everybody got manhandled today.

Still, I doubt that I'm the only one who looked at the lineup and saw a slightly built striker with dubious finishing skills and porous control and thought, F@#$, It's gonna be a long day.

The machine was built with one wheel....the only place it could've gone was downhill.

Youtube clips will be posted when I can dredge them up!

Friday, April 06, 2007

The lineups


GK Kamiyama
DF T.Yamagata---Kawashima---Miyamoto---Ceccoli
MF Kudo---Nunobe---Tanaka---R. Yamagata
FW Alex------------Hayashi

Bench---Rokutan--Nagano(ex Verdy)--Miyazaki---Koga---Lincoln


GK Takagi
DF Fukuda---Tsuchiya----Togawa----Hattori
MF Diego-----Nanami----Ze Luis-----Sato
FW Hulk @#$%&!

Bench--Yoshihara--Ono--Tomisawa--Inoue-- Nagai

Iio got the call to the first team. Awful decision. I'm afraid Rui is starting to mess with the lineup again. I fear the changes if Verdy loses today.

The test: Verdy vs Avispa

Two of the J Leagues foreign born born legends match up against each other for the first time as Pierre Littbarski leads the Fukuoka squad against Rui Ramos and Verdy in a clash down south. The teams have not met in over 6 years, when a consistently bad Fukuoka squad finally took the drop to J2 in 2001. Touted as one of the early season favorites to regain promotiuon to J1, Fukuoka has shown an ability to beat up on weaker foes (Sagan 5-0, Mito 4-1) while falling just short against stronger opposition (Kyoto 1-2, Vegalta 1-2).
Fukuoka is led by Brazilian attacker Alex, who finds himself trailing only Hulk in the scoring race. Unlike Verdy, Avispa spreads their offense around, with no fewer than 6 players putting thier names in the books. MF Kiyokazu Kudo and Alex both have been impressive in setting up the offense, both have 3 assists on the season.
Avispa has taken on a bit of the injury bug lately. MF starter Tatsunori Hisanaga is out after scoring in his Avispa debut.
Potential Avispa lineup 4-4-1-1
Ryuchi Kamiyama
Yamagata Kawashima Miyamoto Ceccoli
Nunobe Kudo
Miyazaki Koga
Keys to the match
1. Exploit Ceccoli and Yamagata- If you believe the reports, the best bet for Verdy would be to attack on the sides. It looks like Ceccoli, the Australian Midfielder playing out of position, and Yamagata give up alot of space.
2. Use the size advantage- Except for Kawashima (who stands at 188 cm), the back line is undersized. If Fukunishi can wear down the big man, Hulk and the midfield should be able to muscle their way to getting some points. This is a game that Diego needs to come through in. His big frame should be used to force a chance or two. Avispa has one of the weaker keepers in the league in Ryuchi Kamiyama.......pressure him and he will crack.
3. Control possesion- It could be a long day for Verdy if Kudo and Alex get extended looks at the ball. Everything thrives on these two. Shut down one or both and force guys like Lincoln to become playmakers. The center 4 (Tsuchiya, Togawa, Ze Luis, and Nanami) have been the strength of Verdy so far and if they stay in form it should be allright. If I'm Littbarski, i tell my squad to go after Togawa.......He really needs to step up this game.
4. Feel free to use the bench liberally- Last week, Rui did the right thing in taking out the big man and putting in the speed team. I'm still pushing for another attacker like Hiroyama on the bench instead of Ono but the formula has been working so I can't complain too much. About 60 minutes in, the speed of Inoue will be too much for a softer defense.
5. Control Tempo- Don't get into a running game with these guys. Avispa probably will come out on fire after dropping a heartbreaker to Kyoto. Weather the storm early and let them punch themselves out. Early on it seems that Avispa won't stay in it mentally for 90 minutes. Don't believe me? 5 of Avispa's 6 goals allowed have been given up in the second half including 2 late ones to Vegalta and Kyoto which led to losses.
Verdy has played well enough to get wins at home against muck-it-up squads. Now they face a team that wants to attack. This is a test and Verdy needs to answer it.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A very brief preview of games for Week 7

Time crunch......sorry

Pink Derby Cerezo vs Sagan- Two of J2's most disappointing squads take the field for a battle of bottom dwellers. Both teams are relatively punchless up front especially after losing star strikers. Sagan has settled down defensively after a dreadful debut. Cerezo is still on their 2 goal a game pace.

2-1 Cerezo

Yamagata vs Ehime- Yamagata tries to bounce back after a couple of disappointing results. Ehime just tries to scrape up what was left of their confidence.

2-0 Yamagata

Shonan vs Tokushima- So, Shonan is not as bad as they have been playing and Tokushima aren't as good yet Shonan keeps embarrasing me. Shame on you Shonan.

1-0 Tokushima

Mito VS Kyoto- The last minute win against Avispa means nothing if Kyoto can't get a result in Ibaraki. Mito has been dreadful at home against talented clubs and Kyoto is talented.

3-0 Kyoto (sorry Vendo!)

Vegalta vs Consadole- Game of the weekend 1 vs 2(b). Vegalta seems to be on a roll and have far more weapons than Consadole have seen all year. Surprisingly Vegalta has yet to win at home this year. Consadole meanwhile has a great scoreless streak going at the moment, albeit against the weaker sisters of J2. Consadole hopes to prove that they truly belong in contention for promotion and a win here would go a long to proving that.

Not gonna happen

3-1 Vegalta

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

El Golazo's winning 11 for March

El Golazo has their 11 best in the month of March

Best Coach-Toshiya Miura SG Comments-Never thought I'd say this about Miura but I agree, he's done a great job of getting apreviously offensive squad to buy into a defensive mindset.

System 4-4-2

FW Hulk (VERDY 6.7) I don't think anybody in their right mind would disagree with this selection. 2 more games and he ties the Verdy and J2 record for consecutive goals scored.

FW Genki Nakayama (Consadole Sapporo 6.0) It's a little difficult justifying an offensive player for a team scoring 1 goal a game. Better than the 2 Kyoto strikers or someone from Avispa or Vegalta or even big Fukunishi? Really?

MF Adiel (Shonan Bellmare 6.33), Jonilson (Vegalta Sendai 6.08), Tadahiro Akiba (Thespa Kusatsu 6.38), Ryan Yong Gi (Vegalta Sendai 6.58) All these players are good ones, and it's hard to argue against any of them but I think Lopes deserves some consideration in this.

DF Alex (Avispa Fukuoka 6.1), Yukio Tsuchiya (VERDY 6.5), Yushi Soda (Consadole Sapporo 6.17), Toshihiro Hattori (VERDY 6.3)- Leonardo of Montedio gets a bit of a raw deal here because in Avispas system Alex is more of a MF than a DF

GK Junnsuke Schneider (Vegalta Sendai 6.08) This one kind of bothers me, I think Takahiro Takagi's 5 consecutive shutouts are far more impressive than the performances of Schneider. Heck, Schneider might even be behind the other Takagi as well.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Kurokawa goes to Niigata

Do you remember this man? He was a Verdy keeper last year who did not get a chance to see the light of day and eventually got shipped to JEF United Ichihara Chiba. Well former Verdy backstop Takaya Kurokawa is now off to Albirex Niigata to add depth to the backstop position.
Kurokawa was hanging out with the Japanese Soccer College when he got the call to join up with the majestic cranes of Niigata. Only 25, it was a minor shock when the rest of the league seemingly left him for dead after being an Olympian only 3 short years ago.
Another former Verdian still floating out amongst the unemployed is young midfielder Masatomo Kuba. This one is a little less surprising, given the abundance of similar type (small, fast attacking midfielders) players but Kuba has some skills and might be worth a look for teams with smaller squads.
Other former Verdy guys still looking for opportunities are Ryosuke Kijima, Takuya Yamada and Takashi Hirano

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Verdy vision and attendance

Highlight from the game is here

Attendance figures

Giggs has info on this year's attendance

Verdy up 2000+ from last season

順  team this year last year change
01 Vegalta  15,736. 14,453  +1,283 △
02  Consadole 10,612. 10,478   +134 △
03  Avispa   8,449. 13,780  -5,331 ▼
04  VERDY  8,136  5,705  +2,431 △
05  Sagan  7,983  7,465   +518 △
06  Cerezo   5,762. 13,026  -7,264 ▼
07  Kyoto  5,628  9,781  -4,153 ▼
08  Shonan   5,053  5,365   -312 ▼
09  Yamagata  4,593  5,085   -492 ▼
10  Tokushima 4,284  3,477   +807 △
11  Ehime 4,106  4,139.    -33 ▼
12  Mito   3,097  3,017.    +80 △
13  Thespa  2,669  3,736  -1,067 ▼

So Verdy has had the biggest bump in attendance after losing the most fanbase last campaign. Mito also inches past the free falling Thepsa support squad to become the second least biggest team in J2.

Verdy dropped to JFL?

Ahhh, late April Fools......couldn't think of a title for the Montedio game.

Anyhow, Verdy took the field against a scrappy Montedio side bound and determined to stop the Goal scoring machine known as Hulk. Was it a case of the Irresistable Force meeting the Immovable object or would this game confound all expectations?

Let's get to it!

Verdy Lineup


Fukuda Tsuchiya Togawa Hattori

Sato Ze Luis Nanami (Tomisawa) Sato(Nagai)

Funakoshi (Inoue) Hulk

It only took 4 minutes for Hulk to make his mark as the burly goal hanger split the defense and drove into the box. Montedio stalwart Leonardo grabbed the striker by the arm in the box and pulled him into the onrushing keeper for a yellow and a penalty. Montedio netminder Kenta Shimizu had no chance as Hulk calmly put it in. The rest of the half would see more of a wrestling match as both teams were content to grab and hold.

The second half looked much like the first until the 60 minute mark, when Taira Inoue and Hideki Nagai were inserted for Sato and Funakoshi. Quick bursts of speed and harassment of the Montedio keeper were the weapons of choice for the energetic young Inoue, who nearly broke through in the 80th minute. Inoue managed to get the ball free from Montedio and take a shot that was deflected by Shimizu. Inoue managed to get the rebound and shoot on a goal free of the prone Montedio keeper. A heady play by one of the back 4 denied Inoue a chance for glory but another deflection went to the trailing Nagai. Unfortunately, Nagai hesitated and wound up his shot, allowing Montedio to deflect the third and stay out of danger.

On the other side, Yoshinori Takagi dove to make an outstanding save on a rocket shot by Montedio striker Tomotaka Kitamura. 1-0 final and a perfectly clean sheet at home for Verdy

Quick Hits

Diego did look more lively and in control. His moves weren't so telegraphed and he was distributing much better. Nanami was having a nightmare of a game offensively however as he sprayed errant passes left and right.

Leonardo is one strong dude. He was manhandling Funakoshi and knocking the snot out of Hulk all game. He's a really good centerback who the refs let get physical. That being said, I liked the game Funakoshi played today. He didn't get any shots but he was always in the mix and wore down the center so Inoue could hit with quick bursts.

The one thing I absolutely LOVED today was the second striker (Funakoshi and Inoue) constantly rushing the keeper when Montedio backpassed to him. Inoue was close to prying the ball loose for an open net on one occasion. I don't understand why teams don't do it more. I think it serves a purpose DEFENSIVELY because it rushes the keeper into a quick decision and messes up the distribution.

The field was really slick on the visitors end.

Takagi looks like a completely different keeper.......And I'm not talking about his bleach blond Madonnaesque haircut either. The guy is commanding his box and you can see the confidence. His punches have a purpose unlike last year and he hasn't really been out of position.

Hulk didn't want to pass was the worst game I've seen him play so far. He was still a monster on his one man drives but it would have been nice to see him dish off to the open man a coule of times.

Finally, my man of the match was DF Kensuke Fukuda. He was constantly getting my attention with his forays into the defensive middle, breaking up plays and covering for Togawa and Tsuchiya. Great game by the youngster.

Next up is a battle with Fukuoka down south. A very important contest for 2 reasons. One, it would push Avispa back even deeper into the abyss of J2. Secondly, Vegalta and Consadole battle it out on Sunday.

Former player sightings

Yuhei Ono signed with lower division squad Fagiano Okayama on March 30th. Ono becomes the third Okayama man with ties to Verdy, joining Kohei Kiyama and Kenta Tsurumaki.

J2-Around the Horn!!!!!!

Here are some brief reports for the 5 games I did not see.

Saturday- Consadole VS Cerezo- Consadole's Caue scored one late in this game as Sapporo stretched their cleansheet streak to 5 full games. Satoshi Tsunami's men managed to get 11 corner kicks out of this affair but could not seem to crack the defense of Toshiya Miura and friends. 1-0 Consadole

SpaceMaruMaru has an in depth report in both Japanese and English here:

(This is a great site dedicated to Consadole as well....I'll give you a link to it later!)

Thespa VS Shonan- Looking at the scoreline, you could have taken a nap, talked on your keitai, gone to the snack bar, shopped for souveniers, and read a book for the first 89 minutes of the contest and you wouldn't have missed much. Minute 90 however was a cracker as Thepsa struck not once but twice to score the upset over the hapless Bellmare. Mr. Thespa, Nobuhito Toriizuka had the deciding goal. FW Ryoji Ujihara put the exclamation point in moments later.

Sunday Games-Tokushima VS Mito- Not really sure what happened in this was a 0-0 deadlock. Maybe our friend Vendo will have more details later.

Ehime VS Vegalta- I always seem to call one predicted score right on the button and today this was it. Ehime was crushed into Mikan Juice by Vegalta 4-0. Hiroki Bandai chipped in two and Ryan Yong Gi had 2 assists as Vegalta made a statement after a disappointing 1-1 tie. Yuki Nakashima and Lopes also contributed with a goal and an assist. Vegalta held their thin lead over Verdy with the win. 4-0

Game of the DAY- Kyoto VS Avispa- A closely contested battle which went down to the final minute. After Paulinho and Avispa's Seiji Koga each notched goals in the second half. The game looked like it would end in a one all tie but Kyoto's other big Brazilian striker Andre hit in the 44th minute of the second half to seal the deal. 2-1 Kyoto and a sigh of relief for Sanga fans everywhere.

I'll have the report of Verdy's 1-0 win tonight or tomorrow.

So here are the standings

Vegalta 6 games 4-2-0 14 pts +8 GD
VERDY 5 games 4-1-0 13 pts +10 GD
Consadole 6 games 4-1-1 13 pts +4 GD
Kyoto 6 games 2-3-1 9 pts +2 GD
Thespa 6 games 2-3-1 9 pts +1 GD
Avispa 5 games 2-1-2 7 pts +6 GD
Shonan 6 games 1-3-2 6 pts -2 GD
Tokushima 6 games 1-3-2 6 pts -3 GD
Montedio 5 games 1-2-2 5 pts -1 GD
Ehime 6 games 1-2-3 5 pts -6 GD
Sagan 5 games 1-1-3 4 pts -6 GD
Cerezo 5 games 1-0-4 3 pts -5 GD
Mito 5 games 0-2-3 2 pts -6 GD