Monday, March 31, 2008

Getting closer

If you believe Sports Hochi......and I usually don' looks like Verdy might be bringing back the big striker Hulk in the next day or two. Good move if it happens.

WINNING 11-March edition

These are Soilent Green's 11 best for March

FW Leandro Vissel Kobe- The striker has had his hand in many things for the Kansai club and is a main reason why they are in the position they are in. 2 months without him is gonna hurt.

FW Marquinhos-Kashima Antlers- Best striker on the team so far. We'll see if it lasts.

MF Yoshizumi Ogawa Nagoya Grampus- The young mid has helped lighten the burden of losing Honda to europe and deserves credit for the fast Nagoya start.

MF Yasuyuki Konno FC Tokyo- The engine that runs the gasman attack. 7 goals is not too shabby.....maybe focus on defense a bit though?

MF Mu Kanazaki Oita Trinita- Like Ogawa, Kanazawa has filled in nicely for the departed Umezaki and injured Ienaga. The retarded turtles are probably the shock team of 2008.

MF Keisuke Kurihara Vissel Kobe- The old man and former Kawasaki Verdy player is quietly putting together a nice season in midfield for the 2nd place squad.

DF-MF Sidiclei Kyoto Sanga- Although Yanagisawa and Watanabe are grabbing the headlines, Sidiclei has been a rock in the middle of the field for the upstart Sanga squad. Definetely worthy of praise for a man Gamba thought was past it.

DF Takanobu Komiyama Yokohama F Marinos- Great start so far and often overshadowed by his more illustrious teammate in D

DF Yuji Nakazawa Yokohama F Marinos- Lazarus of the back 4. Always in the mix and incredibly hyped. He's played up to it so far.

DF Toru Araiba Kashima Antlers- Best player on the best defense so far. God Kashima is scary.

GK- Koji Ezumi Omiya Ardija- Ezumi has stolen points for Omiya by playing like a demon between the pipes. Unbelievable skill shown by a guy who Soilent Green thought didn't have it in him.

Best player for Verdy IMHO- GK Yoichi Doi. Didn't really like the pickup at first but Doi has kept the squad in position to steal points. Allowing only 2 goals while being placed in a Gamba shooting gallery deserves some praise.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

5 shots

5 shots today. 5 little shots. 5 measly shots

22 shots on the season so far........22 shots total.

2 goals....1 on a PK

Today saw Coach Hashiratani run out a lineup without Kaz Iio, instead choosing to line Leandro on the side and pair up Diego with the big donkey. And it worked, sort of. The donkey got his goal but the previously inept Gamba Osaka got 2 on an incredible 19 shots. Lucas AKA Lionel Richie Jr. managed to grab one late to seal the deal for Gamba and send Verdy into relegation territory for the first time this season.

More troubling for the team is that fellow promotion debutants, Kyoto Sanga and Consadole Sapporo both have wins in league play and seem to have their teams in position to at least be competitive. Today's game saw 4 yellow cards for the Verdy side......almost matching the shot total.......which did I mention was a paltry 5 today?

Somebody on the Big Soccer boards asked the question "Are Verdy really that desperate to spend 500000000 yen to get Hulk from Frontale?"

Yes, they are.

The good news is Sports Hochi is reporting that indeed there is interest from the team to sign Hulk. They are currently exploring ways to make this come to fruition. Whether or not Kawasaki wants to deal with Verdy is another matter, but I think the yen is mightier than the possible fan grudge that could happen if Hulk is successful and Juninho still stinks.

Other news from the Hochi is that Rui Ramos is getting a change in title from Executive Director to Managing Director. Why? Who F@#$$$$ Knows?

So if your keeping score at home

Albirex really sucks right now and that makes me sad because I like Albirex and their fans.
Urawa, Gamba, and Kawasaki don't suck as bad as everybody thought.
Chiba is starting to suck like everyone thought they would.
Omiya is not bad but kinda suck at scoring still. Shimizu sucks sometimes. Kashiwa sucks without Fransa. Consadole and Kyoto don't quite suck as much as promoted teams usually do.
Oita sucks even though they don't suck. Nagoya hasn't sucked yet but are due to. FC Tokyo sucks because they are FC Tokyo. Jubilo sucks against everyone except for Gamba and Verdy.
Verdy doesn't have enough offense to not suck. Yokohama F Marinos don't suck very much. Vissel sucks because they are owned by Rakuten and they changed their shirts and they bought their way to respectability and Leandro should come back to Omiya.

Kashima desn't suck at all and if they keep up their pace, the J League will suck this year meaning that in fact Kashima sucks for screwing up the J league.

Kazu Sucks.

Friday, March 28, 2008

You say goodbye, I say hello?

I hate the Beatles and if I never hear another song by them again it would be too soon.

Anyhow, Sports Hochi has a little blurb today saying that Verdy is very interested in the possibility of signing Hulk to the squad.

Two things standing in the way of signing the big man are the transfer fee of 5 big fat ones (problem) and the lack of a foreign spot (not a problem *COUGH*Francisimare*COUGH*)

The article said that Verdy will elaborate more today. The team would look much better with the big man in the lineup again.

Speaking of lineups, El Golazo picks these 11 for tomorrows game with Gamba

GK Doi

DF Hattori-Nasu-Tsuchiya-Wada

MF Hiroyama-Tomisawa-Fukunishi-Iio

MF Diego

FW (I guess) Leandro

Take a look for Inoue and Hiramoto to be on the bench and the team to switch to two top later in the game. Hiramoto scored 3 against the university squad they had a friendly against last week.

Anyhow, if things work out with Hulk..........we might see the last of the no shot offense.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Deja Vu in Kawasaki?

A while ago, a team called Verdy Kawasaki left the Kanagawa city and headed for Tokyo. Yesterday, a man who for all intensive purposes WAS Verdy last year, packed up and left Kanagawa. Today, Hulk is the most sought after talent in the J League. 2 league ames into the season and the Brazilian has decided that the coupling of him with the rapidly aging Juninho wasn't in the cards. Playing out on the wing, rather than his natural middle position has left the mercurial striker in a very foul mood.

Speculation has already started as to where the big boy is headed.

Here are some options in Japan and out as well.

1. URAWA REDS- Rumors were flying about Hulk being gobbled up by the big red machine. With the early flops of Takahara and Edmilson, you have to say it's a good bet that Urawa will be a player in any bidding war. Add to the fact that they still have one slot open for a foreign allocation and it would be an easy assumption that Hulk lands in red just like another moody Brazilian striker (well 2 actually, Edmundo and Washington both ended up in Urawa)

2. Tokyo Verdy- No discussion of possible destinations would be complete without mentioning the green of Verdy. Hulk had a career year here, he is tailor made for the system and has a great chemistry going with Diego. Dropping either Leandro or Francisimare would not be a huge loss considering what would be coming back in.

3. Omiya Ardija- Yeah, stop laughing. Omiya was in the bidding war for Maki during the offseason and it's becoming increasingly clear that Denis Marquez is not going to be in the plans of Coach Higuchi anytime soon. The service of Marquez to Juninho and Chong Tese is exactly what is needed for Frontale to get their ball rolling again and Hulks pressing style and strength with the ball would be a perfect compliment to the young Pedro Junior up top. It would also allow Kota Yoshihara to use his speed on the wing. A swap of cash and Marquez for Hulk would be a perfect fit for both teams and it would also help a squad that doesn't really get in the way of Kawasaki's championship intentions.

4. Shizuoka squads- Both Jubilo and Shimizu seem to be in ruts. The addition of Hulk would change the complexion and chemistry of both teams. Probably for the better......especially with Jubilo.

5. Middle East- Hulk has been in Japan for 3 years and he has mentioned the fact that he'd like to become a citizen......however there is alot of money to be made in the desert. Ask Rodrigo Gral.

6. Europe- there was talk that Bayern Munich were looking at Hulk as a potential addition. He could probably find a job in the Netherlands or smaller leagues and excel. He might have to wait on that though with the transfer window closed.

As I said before, I didn't think he was gonna fit in with the scorers at Kawasaki and he didn't. I couldn't imagine it would be only a month in though. Good luck to him wherever he lands.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hashiratani Enthusiastic about the Forwards!!!!!!

Or not so much actually. Shintaro Kano of the Daily Yomiuri had an interview with the coach who gave a less than stellar response.

While Hashiratani managed to keep his chin up after the draw, he didn't sound particularly enthusiastic about his team's future prospects for goals, with Verdy next traveling west to face Gamba Osaka in the league on March 30. The manager even seemed to be signaling SOS.
"I thought the boys fought hard for 90 minutes," the former Japan defender said. "But again, we just didn't have enough quality in front of goal.
"All I can say to the players is that we have to work harder in training. If we can get someone new, that would be great but it's not up to me to make that decision; it's the company's.
"All we can do is try to work better with what we're given."

The team did well in the offseason to build up the back 4 but one has to wonder if bringing in a complementary, assist oriented striker and a less than stellar midfielder to serve as a backup was the best use of resources for the team in regards to the foriegn player allocations. Starting to look like the J1 versions of Basilio and Anailson.

Meanwhile throwing the explosive personality of Hulk in the already unstable mix at Kawasaki Frontale has caused the team to arguably be the biggest disaster in the J League thus far. Frontale dropped another game to the lambs of the great north end in Sapporo yesterday, giving them an awful 1 point in 4 matches (League and Cup). Thankfully for them, Urawa has been the main story as front running flops.

The Heat Index
Blazing Hot
1. Kashima Antlers-ridiculous 21 goals in 4 matches and no signs of slowing down soon. Didn't Marquinhos used to play for Verdy?

2. Yokohama F Marinos- The tie against Omiya was predictable.......they haven't won against Omiya since Nabisco Cup 2005.

3. Oita Trinita-Shockingly at the top of the heap when almost everyone left them for dead. They will go as far as Ueslei's ancient legs and crotchety soul will take them.

4. Kyoto Sanga FC- who knew that Elevator Sanga would be the hot squad in the Kansai area. Even when they get down, they manage to claw their way back. Could make some noise in the Nabisco Cup.

Sunny Outlook

5. Nagoya Grampus- Pixy has his boys off to a fine start and wins over Kobe and Urawa don't hurt at all. We'll see if they remain the Grampus of old or if the new gaffer has instilled some fighting spirit.

6. Vissel Kobe- Back to Back wins over Kawasaki and Urawa would be remarkable in any other season but this isn't any other season. If Leandro and Okubo are able to kick it up a notch, they have an outside chance to contend for the title.

7. FC Tokyo- Odd team, FC Tokyo. They look respectable right now but wait a few weeks and they will go cold again. Victories over Jubilo and Niigata really pose more questions than answers and getting run out at Shimizu doesn't look good. However Cabore and Emerson look like real players.

Cool Breeze

8. Shimizu S Pulse- Another up and down squad. Opening day disappointment against Oita followed by wins against less than stellar Chiba and FC Tokyo.

9. Omiya Ardija- Much improved over last seasons snorefest. Troubling signs involving their second half collapses to Albirex and Kyoto on the road. However, the home scoreless streak continues. Big tests against Shimizu and Nagoya ahead.

Cold Front

10. Jubilo Iwata- even though the squad has won twice, one wonders if this a team capable of competing in the upper levels. Filled with big names and NT perenialls. I think the crush will be on once the heart of World Cup qualifying starts. Smells like Sanfrecce.

11. Kashiwa Reysol- I'm sorry but you should never, ever let a lead go when your a man up against a team like Chiba. Ever. Not happy with you Kashiwa......not at all.

12. Gamba Osaka- Eeks in on the gutty performance in Korea. Somebody did something to Bare after his crushing of the Dynamo in Hawaii. Maybe he got the cursed tiki from one of the Brady boys and now he has to go find Vincent Price to take off the voodoo........or something like that.

This group sponsored by Kappa who could possibly see all three of their squads in J2 next year.

13. Tokyo Verdy-Scoring is nice and it helps you stay in J1. Try to find someone that can actually do it. Shades of Omiya 2007.

14. Consadole Sapporo- Big win yesterday against Kawasaki. Unfortunately that didn't come in a match that counts (league wise) so they are the early front runners to take the plunge. Takagi is back though so the dude with the really awful mullet can step away from the goal.

15. JEF Chiba- Kuse has the team playing a tight, lock down, drag out type of game which has netted them a creible 2 draws. Good talent. We'll see if he can keep them above water.

Blizzard Conditions

16. Urawa Reds- The fans are pissed, the team is dysfunctional, the coach has been sacked. Yep, I'm in Heaven!!!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately we saw signs of them coming out of their funk with a hat trick by Edmilson against Kyoto in a 3-3 draw.

17. Kawasaki Frontale- Wow...........not pretty at all. I thought that Hulk wasn't gonna be a good fit but man........didn't think it would be this bad. The Tokyo tie was bad, the Kobe thrashing was worse, but that loss against Consadole had to take the cake.

18. Albirex Niigata- Omiya wishes they could play Niigata every week.....drubbings at the hands of Oita and FC Tokyo aren't helpful either. Should be helped by the eventual return of Richardes but will it be too late for coach Suzuki?

Fit to be tied

The scoreless streak continues as Coach Hashiratani and the lads went out to a 0-0 draw with the always tough Shimizu S Pulse.

Verdy opted to go with the behemoth Yuzo Funakoshi up top in place of Leandro in a bizarre one top formation. However, the team did manage to get off 12 shots to Shimizu's 8.

The tie puts the team last in the 4 team group


Shimizu 4pts 1-1-0 +2
FC Tokyo 3pts 1-0-1 0
Jubilo 3pts 1-0-1 0
Tokyo Verdy 0-1-1 -2

Next up for team green is a visit to out of form side Gamba, who find themselves in the same precarious position as Verdy early on in the season. A win would do wonders for the confidence of Tokyo's other squad.......hell, a goal would probably boost their spirits immensely.

Anyhow, if you have any thoughts or views on the game, as always feel free to post them here!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hagimura sees red as Verdy stumbles

Another 2-0 loss is in the books as Verdy drops one to Jubilo at Ajinomoto

Personally I don't care about Nabisco Cup at all and think if you aren't using it to either A. Blood young players in live competition or B. Trying to straighten out some sort of team defect then the whole thing is a waste of time

Hell, FC Tokyo won one of these stupid competitions important could it be?

Anyhow, I'm still not in the mood to write but I will post little snippets here and there and let you talk about the seems there still is a desire for you guys to connect with eachother and since I started this monster, it's the least I can do.

BTW......I don't think one top with a non-scoring forward is the best idea. Not sold on Leandro and I'm wondering where Chubbymoto waddled off to after his first successful foray into Verdy green.