Wednesday, October 31, 2007

More baseless speculation

Weekly Soccer Digest jumps into the fray with a comprehensive list of baseless rumors

For your viewing pleasure

Hulk-going to Kawasaki Frontale
FC Tokyo midfielder Yasuyuki Konno going to Gamba
Jubilo Iwata Netminder Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi to Gamba
Gamba forward Magno Alves headed to FC Tokyo (Sports Hochi has him headed to Shimizu)
Oita defender Yohei Fukumoto to Gamba
JEF MF Koki Mizuno off to Urawa or FC Tokyo
Yokohama FC MF Oh Beom Suk, Sanfrecce MF/DF Yuichiro Komano, and Vegalta MF Lopez to Yokohama F Marinos
Albirex FW Edmilson to Urawa

I think we'll know more when Relegation shakes out....Takanori Sugeno has to be getting some notice and if the Yokohama-Verdy pipeline is still flowing, maybe we will see the young keeper in green (actually light the keeper). Sanfrecce is waiting to break open like a purple pinata.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Don't count your victories before they're hatched

Hulk showed up and put in two......but so did Thespa, including one in the final moments to snatch a point away from Verdy.
Two games in a row, the defense has failed to stop a charging squad.....this time they got burned, possibly losing the J2 Championship with this game
3 games to's not over yet.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Kobe gets in on the bidding war

That picture has nothing to do with the headline......I'll get to that later
First- Sports Hochi Yomiuri is reporting that Vissel Kobe is making it priority one to sign Vegalta Sendai man and main Urawa target Lopes to strengthen their back line. Good fit as a distributor and would help feed Okubo and Leandro. Somehow though, the cash splashing by Rakuten doesn't sit too well with me. I think they have more problems with their leadership structure. A team with that much firepower shouldn't be struggling as much as they do. FC Tokyo of the South.
Second-The picture above took place yesterday in Mitsuzawa as J2 debutante Yokoham FC crashed to their 9th loss in a row and 25th in 30 games. The team hasn't scored since the 69th minute of a 2-1 loss to Sanfrecce Hiroshima on the first game of September.......561 minutes and over 6 games ago. Their current coach, Julio Leal has not won in his 8 games as head man.
I was in attendance yesterday as a team laden with misfit Verdy players from yesteryear took to battle against a squad with less misfit Verdy players from yesteryear. The game was decided on a goal from......yes.....a Verdy player from yesteryear against a product of the Verdy youth system.....1-0 Verdy misfit players from yesteryear over even more Verdy misfit players from yesteryear.
The game was played in front of 4,114......2800 came pissed off....were pissed off during the game...and went home pissed off. At the start of the match, The Yokohama Oen were dead silent when the 11 came out for warmups. The game was started with a SAKAMOTO YAMEROO chant (Sakamoto out). 90 minutes of hurricane weather and slick ball later and Yokohama was finished. The end of the game started like the beginning with another out chant. Finally, the man of the moment skulked out to face the angry pale blue mob. I give him credit, there was a lot of anger.
Friend of SG Jesse Fink is back starting tomorrow with his sometimes scathing, always entertaining takes on Australian Soccer. Fox is out, THE WORLD GAME is is the link, which does not seem to work at the moment Anyhow, glad to see Jesse is off his backside and writing again......on his backside, I guess.
Finally- A reasonably similar starting 11 takes the field in an hour against the Spa boys of Thespa in a battle of teams I blogged about. Verdy has a real chance to solidify their promotion aspirations today with a win and stay in reach of a championship.
With Vegalta and Consadole winning and Kyoto crashing out, the race for promotion is starting to take shape. A win would knock Shonan Bellmare out of contention for automatic promotion and put some distance between Verdy and third place Vegalta Sendai before their big clash on November 10th.
P.S. The tWo is getting pounded today 4-0 against Kawasaki Frontale at the half..........I'm hoping for double digits. Down with FCT!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A trophy you really don't want

Yokohama FC just completed the fastest burnout in J league history with a 3-0 loss today to fellow promotion partner from 2006, Vissel Kobe. The truly stunning thing about the fall of Verdy Blue is the thouroughly pathetic results they have put out in 29 games.

The major highlights in this season were wins to crosstown rival Yokohama F Marinos and a tie to Gamba Osaka. Under current manager Julio Real, the baby blues have lost 7 straight, getting outscored 14-1 in the Brazilians short and cloudy tenure as gaffer.

Yokohama FC follows the lead of 2005 J2 Champ Kyoto Sanga in crashing out after 1 year at the top.

Another squad to take a plunge after 1 year in the big time saw their chance for promotion slowly fade into oblivion. Avispa Fukuoka dropped a 1-0 decision to the frontrunner for next years bottom dweller (if the championship curse holds true) Consadole Sapporo after playing a man up for over an hour but not cracking the Sapporo defense.

3 big games take place tomorrow with Verdy taking on a dangerous Montedio side in Yamagata. Kyoto goes to Tokushima to play a struggling Vortis squad. Finally the game of the day belongs to 3rd place Vegalta Sendai against a surging Cerezo Osaka squad who is looking to steal a spot in the top 3.

Finally, J1 squads who are on the cusp of falling off the cliff took to battle today in 2 seperate games. Omiya finally broke through against a truly dismal Sanfrecce side, 1-0. Sanfrecce reminded me of last year's collection of has beens and malcontents in Osaka's pink sector with their lacsadaisacal play. Now I'm not saying Omiya deserves to stay up this year but if Sanfrecce is still around after their collection of talent has put out consistently bad performances and low effort then there is something wrong.

Oita on the other hand suffer from youthful mental lapses. The young Trinitans pulled off a respectable 2-1 victory against a surprising Kashiwa side. Kashiwa didn't attempt a shot in the first half.

Finally, congratulations go out to Nagoya's own Chunichi Dragons who swept both Hanshin and Yomiuri to earn the right to get their taints handed to them again by the Sapporo Nippon Ham Fighters......always second except for in my heart.....somewhere Tom Selleck is gently weeping tears of joy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

How would Hulk look in Red?

According to WEEKLY SOCCER MAGAZINE SHA, Urawa is targeting a bevy of J League stars in attempts to bolster their sad, sad lineup that only managed to lose 2 games and advance to the Semi-Finals of the ACL. Included in Urawa's alleged shopping list is FW Hulk, Vegalta super midfielder Lopes, JEF Chiba midfielder Koki Mizuno, and former Urawa Red and current RedBull Salzberg MF Alessandro Santos. Arguably Urawa got the pick of the amateur class in FW Hiroyuki Takasaki as well.

Other rumored moves include Washington to Nagoya Grampus Eight.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Shonan stumble in a J2 rumble

4 million spectators went through Verdy turnstiles.....not too shabby

I gotta say that the team I saw today looks nothing like the one at the start of the season. For 70 minutes, Verdy played the best ball I have ever seen them play, controlling the midfield, shutting off all danger, and creating chances at will. Hulk was the first to notch a goal with a free kick that was earned after getting taken down a few yards outside the box. An in shape Diego tormented the Bellmare defense with fluid runs down the middle, dishing off a textbook pass to a streaking Silva for score number 2. Finally, Tsuchiya put in a header off a nice cross from Hattori. It seems like the squad took their foot off the gas near the end of the game and only a determined Takagi kept the clean sheet for the squad. Hell, even Kaz Iio looked like a player today.

One thing that might help Verdy on their road back to J1 is the shakeup down in Kyoto. Former Verdy man Hisashi of the first Yomiuri/Verdy players to don the blue shirt of Japan....has taken over for Naohiko Minobe. Shonan has pretty much been eliminated.
Finally, we have to say a sad farewell to Jesse Fink and Half time Orange. Jesse, as you might know, is a friend of Soilent Green and wrote a fabulous book called 15 Days in June about the Socceroos march in the 2006 World Cup and the history of Australian Soccer. If you get the chance, pick it up. The photo is courtesy of Jesse via former Yomiuri FC goalkeeper Dennis Boland. I didn't completely get permission so it might come down really quick. Just my little way to honor a good soccer writer! Good Luck Jesse and come back soon!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

True Confessions

I have seen a few people have written posts asking where I am and why I haven't posted.

The short, terse answer is I haven't really cared. It's funny...the team is playing great now, they fought back into second and I can't be bothered for some odd reason. Maybe it's because Ramos is making the right decisions and I can't handle it. Maybe it's because he's winning with guys I really don't like as players. Maybe it's because the team did the entirely opposite thing instead of conventional wisdom and are succeeding.

I dunno.......I just remember sitting in Ajinomoto stadium on a beautiful day when Verdy played Ehime and absolutely not caring about whether or not the team won.

I feel like a fraud.

You guys deserve a blog written by someone who actually cares about the team. I'm not that guy. I'm an Omiya fan. I know that because I've gone to every home game and a couple road games and they sucked (for the most part).......and I have no intention of stopping going to those games.

My dream is that someone out there gets pissed off enough to think......hell, I could a better job than Soilent Green and they write a blog about Verdy.

I will be going to see Verdy play Shonan......maybe my last one for the season.

I'll try to write more.......but no promises.