First off......news from the gashouse. The team officially announced today that former World Cup squad members Yoichi Doi and Takashi Fukunishi both will not be returning to the club next season. Doi is 34 and saw a sharp decline in the past year. Hitoshi Shiota took over for the FC Tokyo stalwart halfway through this campaign.
Fukunishi seems to still have some life left in him at 31. Tagged as a final piece to pushing FCT to respectability, the squad and the man have both failed to live up to expectations. I imagine a man like ths with Jubilo and NT roots would be attractive to another Tokyo team so I imagine he won't go far.
Also on his way out is two time Gaffer Hiromi Hara. Hara was brought in to steady the squad after a bad 2006 campaign. He failed.
Finally, former FC Tokyo bust Paolo Wanchope announced his retirement after stinking it up in MLS for Chicago. Amazing that this was the same player that shined for Costa Rica against Germany.
Holger Osieck has been rumored to take over the reigns for the ailing Ivica Osim. I think it would be a great move.........for Urawa. Replacing the mundane Osieck with say a much more deserving Gert Engels would be a master stroke for the newly crowned ACL champs. Osieck meanwhile has led a very talented squad to the most joyless championship run ever. You can do better JFA.
Finally, happy trails to longtme Kashima Antler and current Kyoto Sanga DF Yutaka Akita who announced his retirement from the j League. 405 games for the rugged D man.