Sunday, July 29, 2007

Soilent Green American Style!

Still haven't seen David Beckham play yet but I have been watching some good footy

MLS-FMF Superliga has been everything the A3 championships aren't....good hard fought matches providing entertainment and controversy. Shockingly, CONCACAF club champion and COPA somethin or other champs Pachuca find themselves at the bottom of their group after two disappointing results to MLS squads Galaxy and FC Dallas......meanwhile The Urawa Reds of Mexico, CD Chivas Guadalajara and their merry band of urine throwers find themselves on top of their group after a controversial hand ball goal and dives aplenty.

Meanwhile, Tokyo Verdy had an up and down week, beating the snot outta Cerezo Osaka 4-0. Last night, Verdy went back to the scene of the early season collapse which nearly cost them their season. Like the fateful game in Fukuoka, Rui Ramos chose to start my least favorite player and constant rally killer Kaz Iio, like in that match Iio failed to generate any offense, and like that match Verdy lost 2-1. No Hulk, so Iio probably wasn't first selection but Taira Inoue couldn't do the job?

Another note....check out the Verdy Blog linked on the site and scroll down a bit..........looks like old Verdy forward and resident Urawa crybaby Wahhhhhhshington turned up at Nishigaoka to see his old team crush Cerezo

Speaking of Cerezo, Satoshi Tsunami got hired to assist to the Japan U-16 National Squad....Good Luck to the big man.

Finally Ivica Osim needs to look for a new job after that Abortion of a coaching job he pulled in the Asian Cup.......Seriously, is everything JEF Chiba affiliated with crap right now? Maybe JEF reserves are allright but the rest of it is sinking fast. Hurry up and die already, do the right thing and let yourself get relegated.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hulk in Samurai Blue?

 東京Vのブラジル人FWフッキが20日、日本への帰化と日本代表への思いを口にした。日本語はまったく話せないが「日本代表? それも選択肢の一つ。日本代表のユニホームを着てプレーしたい」。フッキは前節14日の山形戦(西が丘)では終了間際に同点ゴールを決めるなど18得点でJ2得点王。

Sankei Sports is reporting that Hulk would like to obtain Japanese Citizenship even though he doesn't speak the greatest Japanese. While the outcome doesn't look likely and probably would take a looooooong time if it ever happened, it would solve some problems up top for the Japanese National Team.


Tokyo Verdy brought back Verdy legend Satoshi Tsunami as a special advisor. Good move and classy. Here's hoping he helps.


I mistakenly reported that Alemao was at Vasco De Gama at the time of his death.....He was actually a member of of the readers pointed that out to me, Thank You and Mea Culpa.


I'm headed back to the Land of Dog Fights and Steroids tomorrow so I will be erratic in my posting.......just like now so no real difference. Have a good summer and stay safe!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hulk saves the day

Last minute, Torrential rain and big Hulk scores one at the end to steal a point away from Montedio.....good result considring the back 5 were a bit patchwork at best

Didn't see the game

VENDO'S BRUSH WITH GREATNESS......Alright Vendo's brush with Rui

Our friend Vendo from Mito Hollyhock News and Report ran into a bunch of the guys after the Mito is his account

Mito outplayed Tokyo Verdy in all ways but the one that counts. Since soccer isn't scored on judging, it's another loss and another three points in the divide between Mito and the rest of the field.Unfortunately I couldn't see most of the game live because there was a massive crowd that filled Hitachinaka's stadium to beyond capacity. Since I was working the gate, I was going hard trying to keep nearly 4,000 fans in order going in and out of a single gate. There was too much to do until the final 10 minutes or so, unlike Kasamatsu which usually can allow watching from whistle to whistle. I had to see the recording at home late night after finishing stadium work.Speaking of that crowd, the final number reached over 5,500 in a stadium that seats 5,000. (Well, "seats" are only in the higher priced section...) It marks the first time in 2007 that Mito's fan count was higher than another J. League game, and was in fact more than twice the size of Ehime's home game against Tokushima.After the game, in the locker room area, I talked with a few Japanese players from both teams and tried to do the same with Hulk, but there was a language barrier there. As I headed back into the main hall from the locker room area, Tokyo coach Rui Ramos came out of the press room and walked just beside me. He seemed kind of shocked to see a white guy working in the back for Mito and after a brief exchange of greetings and the equivalent of "good game" on both sides, I wished him luck for the future. He honestly came off as very nice and personable, but then again he had just won a hard game against a team that had embarrassed him in the last meeting. He seemed in a hurry to leave so I resisted the urge to ask for a picture. I also resisted the urge to ask why he pitched a tantrum on the sidelines after his keeper refused to hold the ball at the end of the game. It was probably for the best.He walked out of the front door to the waiting Tokyo fans who waited for player pictures and autographs. They were rabid and happy just to see them in person. On one hand, I was jealous that Tokyo had a fan base so rabid as to wait more than an hour just to see the players get on the bus. On the other, I felt bad for that fan base that the players seemed so inaccessable and untouchable, as if on a pedestal. I realized that different fan bases enjoy different teams in different ways. Mito's fans feel that they are closer to the team and know the players personally, supporting them one-on-one in addition to as a group. The downside is that if the team loses, the supporters don't just feel bad... The fans feel like losers, too.After my roles were finished and I waited for the rest, those of us who were waiting grabbed a ball and headed out to the field, still pockmarked from the steps and slides of the match, and played around for a bit. A couple of others stood where the Tokyo front line had been less than two hours earlier, while I took goalkeeper Takeda's spot. Although I wasn't up against the top scorer in the division, I wish that Takeda had been as successful as I was for those few minutes.Around three hours after the final whistle, I finally was able to head back to my car to make the drive home. As I put the key into the ignition, the lights on the field went out, and the first half of the season went dark. While no team can be mathematically eliminated from promotion at this point and thus hope must remain, it is clear that Mito is likely is headed to one of its worst season records ever despite playing some of its best quality games. I pondered that for a moment and came to the realization that it didn't matter. I feel so lucky to have this team and plan to do all I can to help it as much as possible.I just kind of wish the wins would come along a little more often.

Nice work Vendo

Friday, July 13, 2007

Weekly wrap

Getting close to Vacation time for Soilent Green (3 weeks in Beckham Valley) So here you go.....


I was in attendance last year as two Brazilian players went down from J1 to J2. Tokyo Verdy had just acquired the services of longtime veteran midfielder Marcus from high flying Kawasaki Frontale. Yokohama FC picked up the services of a young mercurial striker by the name of Alemao from soon to be relegated Kyoto Sanga. On a rain soaked summer night in Yokohama, neither did a damn thing as both teams wallowed in a 0-0 slog.

Marcus would struggle through the rest of the year, hovering between injury, erratic play, and aging legs. Alemao meanwhile, would tear the league apart, scoring about a goal a game and putting the offense of the little blue squad from Yokohama on his narrow shoulders. Irritating to watch at times, theatrical and annoying, there was no doubt about the young man's talent. He wasn't my favorite player but he was impressive.

The close of the season would find both men leaving their squads......Alemao to Vasco De Gama, and Marcus to Yokohama. Last week saw the two intertwined again. Marcus would see the end of his J league career after a disappointing end. Alemao saw the end of his life. While driving in a suburb of Rio De Janiero, Alemao crashed his car and died. He was 23 years old, far too young to be in the grave.

Our friend Cesare wrote a moving piece about the young striker on his Kyoto blog

Here's hoping you and your family find peace, Alemao.


Shinya Yoshihara is out for 6 weeks after getting banged up in the game against Cerezo. That's why you bring in a couple good keepers.


Hulkamania ran wild in Sendai as the green machine thumped Vegalta on the road 4-1. One of the few bright spots in the Rui era has been the domination of the Sendai side. Verdy now holds a 5-1-1 record against the hawks. Call it Tsunami's revenge......(Speaking of which, 2-0-0 against Cerezo as well)


Hagimura is out......back three of Ichiyanagi, Togawa, and Tomisawa with Ono and Sugayama in the middle and Takagi in net, Hattori and Kaimoto on the wings

Could be a shootout.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Half Finished

The season hit the halfway mark yesterday with Verdy finding themselves in 5th place, 6 points behind 2nd place Kyoto Purple Sanga.

Here is Verdy half wrap

BIGGEST WIN: At Kyoto 4-1.......Verdy found themselves in a 7 game morass before taking it to the purple gang of Kyoto. A loss here would have ended all chances of recovering and Verdy behind the two Brazilians came through big.

WORST LOSS: Ehime 1-0......some will say the 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Mito was the worst loss and it's hard to argue against them. I will contend however that outshooting and out powering little Ehime while not finding the net was a killer. Ehime robbed points from Verdy. It was the game that caused me to stop writng for a month.

MVP: Hulk 13 goals 8 assists, constant threats, powerful runs in the box.

Surprise of the year: Shigenori Hagimura, the guy has done the most with his chances after a dreadful season in 2006.


What about Rui? I still say he is overmatched as a coach and he does things that I disagree with. I would have fired him......that being said, he did institute the switch to 3-5-2 that jumpstarted the 2007 campaign and put the squad back in contention for promotion...that he deserves credit for.

Changes? Tsuchiya will be back so Togawa probably loses his spot. Funakoshi is back as a starter, although I'm not quite sure why. Possibly the adddition of another big name from the past and maybe a replacement for Ze Luis, who has disappeared completely.

Mystery?????? What happened to Masaki Saito? Did he die? Where is the guy?

Forecast for the second half- If everything breaks right, 3rd place and a chance to play against JEF Chiba for the last spot in J1.

J2's upcoming crisis

Next year will see the inclusion of up to 3 more teams into the ranks of J2. While the number of squads has made for a tidy if bit long 48 game schedule, the addition of 2 more teams could throw a huge monkey wrench into the works. 15 teams would mean the loss of 18 games on the schedule, down to a paltry 28 games. Lacking a cup situation would mean loss of revenue and less chances for players to see meaningful playing time.

Therefore Soilent Green proposes something completely different and possibly really stupid......the two tiered season.

Unlike the two stage mess that was in the J league, this two tiered system would have a purpose........

STEP 1- The 28 game preliminaries
STEP 2- The final rounds
Each team would get a home and home series against every opponent in J2. At the end of the 28 game season teams would be classified into two groups......the promotion group and the cup group. The promotion group (top 8) would play another 14 game home and home set against the other 7 top finishers. The cup group (bottom 7) would play a 12 game set against the other also rans in their group. Instead of promotion, the cup group would play for a monetary prize and a cup, so even the smallest fish could have dreams of winning something.

Scheduling would be a difficulty, arranging travel plans and putting out advertisements would be done on an unfortunate truncated schedule. However, every team has a competition to play in so venues could be reserved at the start of the the season.

The second problem with this is the age old question of cheapening the season versus making every game count. Don't know where I stand when it comes to this. I don't mind playoffs, especially since the Colaship and other various leagues have a playoff system in place in relation to promotion. The one problem I do see with this is the devaluing of performance in the earlier stages. Kashiwa had a monster start last year and a bit of a dropoff in form near the end. In my scenario, a loss in form could doom a team who consistently performed well during a majority of the season.

Just a thought.....all I know is Thespa vs Tokushima is Booooooooring right now!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Lucky 7

To start this week's edition of Soilent Green, we start with the long awaited arrival of FOSG Jesse Fink's book on the socceroos and former Yomiuri FC goalkeeper Dennis Boland. Titled 15 days in June, it details the rise of a new power in Asian football. I've gotten through the first three chapters and it is a fast and interesting read. Not sure where you can buy it in Japan or Europe..(probably Amazon or E-Bay). Anyhow, congratulations on the new book Jesseand here's hoping you come to Japan and write 1 and a half long damn years in Tokyo.....How Rui messed up a sure thing!
Today, Verdy ventures to Ibaraki prefecture to take on Vendo's own Mito Hollyhock. posted this as the potential lineup, and it seems that there is an Albirex tinge to the lineup. The key to the game will be effective counter-attacking, Mito love to push the ball lately and a hawk like Hulk could put his stamp on the game.

Three Brazilians, Hulk and Diego for Verdy and new signing Biju for Mito did not appear in the last contest. Another thing in Verdy's favor is the fact that last year the teams split the season series two apiece with road teams winning all the games.

Reversal of fortune? Possibly.


Well, as of today there is still no movement on the transfer of Atsuhiro Miura. Spots Hochi has thrown Yokohama FC back into the mix in regards to making a move on the longtime pro. Makes sense, considering he was one of the best players in Flugel history and has connections up the ying yang to the Yokohama squad.