First off a super big duper Congratulations to Gamba Osaka who claimed a 1-0 victory over Kawasaki Frontale in the super gynormous Nabisco Cup. Other prestigious winners include JEF Chiba (2 times), FC Tokyo, and Kashiwa Reysol. IMPRESSIVE!
Speaking of the blue turds of Ajinomoto........rumor out of Nikkan Sports is that they will change their strips to mirror Barcelona......great...the term makeup on a pig comes to mind but if it sells more gas shirts, so be it.
YOKOHAMA FC WATCH- The headlopping will begin next month as Yokohama FC trims alot of the dead weight off their roster. 1 in 3 of the current members will be handed their walking papers after a dismal 2007 campaign. The first one that should go but won't (unless he gets a stupid offer from Verdy) is Kazu Miura. However reports say that the team wants him and Atsuhiro Miura to come back to the squad next campaign. Another move should be the job of Julio Leal.....seriously, teams almost accidentally get better after a coaching change but this distinguished gentleman has led his squad to 9 straight losses and a goal tally of 1 in 9 games. He seems to recycle the old boys consistently without giving some of the younger players a chance. 4 games left to avoid being the worst J League team ever............maybe.
SOILENT GREENS VERDY WATCH- More rumors out of Kawasaki have J2's leading goal hawk HULK heading back to Kawasaki after this term. In some sort of weird servitude contract, Kawasaki still retain the rights to the mercurial striker. http://www.sanspo.com/soccer/top/st200711/st2007110404.html
You have to wonder why Verdy isn't putting their hat in the Washington derby during the offseason. Although the man is a consumate crybaby, his strength and scoring acumne in J League games is beyond reproach. And it seems to me that he still has some friends in Tokyo, the fans like him, and he still has some gas in the tank. Team him up with Diego and you have a very physical front two.
Baby birds fly- Tokyo Verdy Junior is participating in the Sahara Cup and are off to a pretty decent 2-1-0 start to sit second. The squad gears up against JEF Junior after they had a match postponed last week because of the typhoonish conditions.
Training Day- Verdy took on Something or other Valente in a run out and won 3-0. Goals were scored by Hiroyama, Hulk, and Funakoshi (Who still is on the team I guess....he got a pass from Saito......where are these guys anyway?)
Finally- The Emperor's cup 4th round kicks off in a mere two hours......my selection to win it all.
KASHIMA ANTLERS......they are in good form and haven't been to ACL in awhile...it's their turn to represent with presumably Urawa so I'm picking them to prevail over Shimizu, Jubilo, and Vissel...........Ehime will be the story of 2007's Cup.