Football (Japan) Lost In Translation . . . Relaunched 2012!
Japan Football: Zaccheroni, Samurai Blue, and general J chatter
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Important Notice
Dear Friends,

As you know I've been having problems with my computer for a period of time, and I'd tried to get it fixed as well as tried to figure out what was going on with the various problems I've been encountering. My pc died last week, and I am currently in the process of figuring out what new pc to purchase.

Unfortunately, the extent of my computer problems seem to also have included my email account. I will probably never figure out what happened, or how many emails it has affected, but the bottom line is that many emails sent to me were never received by me. And, many emails I sent out were never received. One of the people I consulted with said that maybe I was hacked into, which is a scary prospect even as a possibility.

Since I'd been getting a lot of emails from people via the blog, I can't say who of you were affected in this problem or who was not. I don't save my sent mails, so I am unable to resend all the mails that I had written either.

I deeply apologize to those of you who wrote me and were wondering why I hadn't replied.

Since I can't figure out what went wrong, the simplest thing for me to do was to find a new email address.

New email address: depflightjp(at)mail(dot)goo(dot)ne(dot)jp

If you are expecting mail from me, and have still not gotten a reply, please email me at my new address. If you happen to have a saved copy of the email you sent me previously, you can just re-email me that too. Either way, I am really sorry for the inconvenience. Hopefully this will clear up the whole problem.
We've Won, Now Please Stay
Less than 24 hours after Gamba Osaka raised the Championship trophy this month, their J-league top goal scorere Araujo announced he would be leaving the club and returning home.

Now, inside a couple days of Ventforet Kofu's inspiring play-off ame against Kashiwa Reysol that gave them entrance to the J1 next season, the problems begin.

Bare, who scored six goals in Saturday's game (and the second most goals in the J2 this year), may not be able to remain at Kofu due to financial issues. With his performance this year, I can imagine the offers are coming in from other clubs. Bare himself has not been able to comment because he is not aware of the specifics of these other offers, just that he would prefer to stay at Kofu if he had the choice, all else being equal.

But for Kofu, who are not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination (their next season budget at 1.1 billion yen is the lowest in the J1) will have trouble meeting the offers they are getting.

But here is where the story gets interesting. Kofu had problems in 2000, where financial troubles threatened the existence of the club. At that time a group that supports Ventforet organized to call for help and essentially collected 10 million yen from ten thousand people in and out of their prefecture, assisting in the return of the club from its deficit.

That same organization has spoken up again, saying that they will organize a donations drive to collect money so that Bare can remain at Kofu. Whether it works (in keeping Bare) or not, I think it's pretty cool.
Club World Championship: Sydney v Saprissa
Sydney FC 0-1 Deportiva Saprissa
>>Photos at

These first few years of the CWC (as opposed to the Toyota Cup where only the Euro and S.Am champs played) are bound to be a little awkward and unbalanced. Especially the games between the new participants. The scores could tumble either way, and perhaps had to do with who could hold it together longest.

I expected Deportiva Saprissa to win this game. Their roster is pretty much the Costa Rican national team, and they have a couple amazing players. The experience and stability of Sydney's veteran footballers was clear in the first half, and though I felt their passing was a litte too quiet and lacked pace, they controlled the game. What was interesting was the both teams were built around a clear concept... Saprissa centers itself around the Costa Rican national team maintaining momentum and loyalty, and Sydney being a new club in a new league succeeded this far by lining up players with long careers in the game.

I was surprised Saprissa gave so much of the possession to Sydney in the first half, aiming only for counters. Sydney should have and could have scored in this first half. There were a number of great opportunities, I think Sydney have something like 9 shots. But they failed to convert.

Just after the second half started, Saprissa caught Sydney off with a long feed from the back. It found Bolanos for a chest trap that got him past the defenders followed by a well-timed shot. Wonderful control and body balance for the goal. It was quite an emotional moment for Saprissa, Bolanos balled up on the ground in tears of joy, even some of the bench players rejoicing with tears.

Though Sydney tried to equalize throwing themselves forward, they just could not make use of the chances they set up. The biggest problem from what I saw, if I were to single out something, was that most of the crosses lacked precision, and there was a lot of missed windows for good passing moments because of a lag in decision-making. It got very crazy towards the end, with Sydney putting up a tremendous fight, and Saprissa hanging on.

Sydney manager Littbarksi had warned the team that the kind of fouls they may get away with in the A-league often do not translate internationally; however a one-chance moment when Ceccoli bared his points at the Saprissa goalie sent him off with a red. We saw red again when a Sydney player cut his head and took time stopping the bleeding.

Saprissa showed their nervousness in the first half, but came through with a proper goal in the second and hung onto the lead despite the barrage from Sydney in the dying moments of the game. Sydney, despite being one man down put on a spirited show but perhaps lacked that one player or play that could make a difference all on his/its own. Maybe that was the role Kazu Miura was supposed to play...

This is a new experience for not only the teams but also for us watching. But though there are great differences in degree of interest or knowledge with regard to the 6 teams involved among football fans around the world, the aim of the tournament I think is intriguing.

People say that the future of world football is moving away from the national teams (and things like the World Cup) and towards the clubs. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but I agree I've enjoyed seeing clubs from different parts of the world play each other like this.

Saprissa go on to play the just arrived Liverpool FC.
Sydney will play Al Ahly for 5th place.
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