Tomorrow marks the first Soilent Green Derby. Why is it named Soilent Green Derby? Because I'm the only one that probably actually gives a rat's ass about this game.
Quick facts for those at home.
Tokyo Verdy has played Omiya twice in league play, both times in 2005. Verdy took a 3-2 victory at the forerunner to NACK5 Stadium, Omiya Koen.
The return match saw a late goal by Tuto tie up the game and give Omiya a point. This was the first game for Verdy after humiliating Real Madrid and Fiorentina in back to back friendlies.
Verdy has one former Omiya player, DF Yukio Tsuchiya, who should expect a real warm welcome from the Omiya faithful after bailing out on the squad for a division 2 team after only one year.
Omiya boasts 4 former Verdy men, including Daigo and Yoshiyuki Kobayashi, Naoto Sakurai, and Shin Kanazawa.
Tokyo Verdy has had a tumultuos break, with two of their 3 star Brazilians, Hulk and Leandro showing up late to training camp after Nabisco Cup action. News reports have implied that one or both might not be on the field at the start of the game as a means of discipline.
El Golazo posted this lineup for both squads
GK Omiya EZUMI Verdy DOI
If you had asked me 2 years ago, I could have easily answered Doi was the better of the two keepers, but Ezumi has been great between the sticks while Doi has been prone to let up a ton once in a while. Doi however usually turns in a good performance against Verdy.
I give the slight advantage to Omiya
DF Tanaka, Tomita, Leandro, Hato OMIYA Hattori, Nasu, Tsuchiya, Tomisawa VERDY
Both teams try out new wing backs in Tanaka and Tomisawa. I think Omiya is stronger in the middle and maybe Verdy has the edge on the wings. Both teams tend to make mental errors....note this is a matchup of 1 and 2 when it comes to own goals.
Slight nod goes to Verdy on this one.....Hattori is better on the wing than either Omiya player and distribution is key.
MF Kobayashi D and Y, Saeki, Fujimoto OMIYA Ono, Diego, Hattori, Sugawara VERDY
Offensively Verdy gets the advantage, Diego and Fukunishi have been in form as of late. Defensively it's a push, Yoshiyuki is the best midfielder of the 8 right now. If Daigo and Fujimoto can get something going, it will be a long day for tired wheels of Ono and Fukunishi. Saeki and Sugawara are both retreads from Vissel who are limited in range and skill......if they weren't wearing different unis, I doubt you could tell them apart.
FW Denis Marquez, Yoshihara OMIYA ???????????? VERDY
Who knows if it's Hulk and Leandro or Hiramoto and Iio. Omiya boasts the more creative player in Denis. Verdy counters with the most prolific one in Hulk.
Sparkplug Tokita OMIYA Kawano VERDY
Both players have come from the depths to be fresh faces on older squads. Kawano might be the best prospect to come out of the youth system, ever and Tokita has improved by leaps and bounds from the start of the season.
Advantage VERDY- Kawano is a truly special player and could be a great one. Tokita is a hustler but can't match what the kid brings.
WARHORSE Saito OMIYA Hiroyama VERDY
I have to give this one to Saito because Hiroyama has struggled with fitness all year, but both players have done whatever it takes to fill in any role for their squad. Saito has been better this year.
Intangibles- Verdy is coming in with secret practices and AWOL Brazilians. Omiya is playing in Kumagaya, where to be blunt, they suck. Add to the fact that they ahve never grabbed a point in J1 against a Tokyo squad in Saitama and you can see trouble is a brewin. Plus Kumagaya sucks.
Coaches Higuchi OMIYA Hashiratani VERDY
Push- both seem to not adapt too much to change, keeping their own styles. They seem very similar so I'm not sure either will have an effect.
Final prediction Omiya gets the win. Daigo gets off the schnide and puts in one goal and 2 assists, including one to Morita. Hulk gets the one for Verdy.