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Japan Football: Zaccheroni, Samurai Blue, and general J chatter
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Toyota Cup: Al Ittihad 2-3 Sao Paulo
Club World Championships Toyota Cup

Sao Paulo FC 3-2 Al Ittihad
>>Fifa has posted video highlights

Click to Enlarge(Photo from J's Goal: click to see original enlarged)
After the game, the tv cameras caught a shot of the Sao Paulo supporters holding up a sign in Portuguese and Japanese that basically translated to "We Already Knew" (indicating they expected their team to win). But contrary to expectations that Sao Paulo would easily nab this victory that would allow them into the finals, there were portions of the game that may have forced some fans to worry.
...continues
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Japan National Team Schedule
A friend told me that Australia was in the process of negotiating friendlies against England, the Netherlands, and Korea in preparation for the WC a few days ago, and I had been wondering what would happen with the JFA and our national team with regard to friendlies.

The February trip to California is still on, don't worry, and the game against the U.S. national team is still on. And because Japan did not end up in the same group as WC hosts Germany, the scheduled pre-WC game against Germany in Germany is still on as well.

Speaking of our trip to the US next February, the MLS deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidis was visiting Japan this week, and he stopped by what is known in Japan as the "Tryout" -- a player combine where the scouts are gathered for those players who have been let go by their clubs and are independently looking for a new place to go. 97 players applied to take part in this tryout.

>>Interview video of Mr. Gazidis

Now the JFA announced that a week after the US game, Japan will play Finland.

Here is the schedule of next year's events so far. Note I have also included the J-league season as well to give you an idea of how things will be spread out.

February 10: US vs Japan (San Francisco)
February 18: Japan vs Finland
February 22: Asia Cup qualifiers
March 1: Asia Cup qualifiers

March 4: J-league season starts (1st game Gamba vs Reds)

March 30: Possible game against Ecuador

May 6: J1 Round 12, after which J1 will be on hold for two months

May 30: Japan vs Germany (Leverkusen)

June 12: WC: Japan vs Australia
June 18: WC: Japan vs Croatia
June 22: WC: Japan vs Brazil

July: J1 resumes

August 16: Asia Cup qualifiers
September 9: Asia Cup qualifiers
October 10: Asia Cup qualifiers
November 15: Asia Cup qualifiers

December 2/3: J1 final round

Polish, anyone?
Konnichiwa, a Polish website that discusses all things Japanese, has posted an overview article about Japanese football. The article is available in Polish only; but I know some of you who visit this blog are from Poland.

Writer Michał Wojtas and I exchanged some information about football in our countries, and it was great to learn a little bit more about football in Poland. Thanks for getting in touch, Michał, and good luck with the site!

>>Click to see article at Konnichiwa

>>Click to see same article at Pilka (Polish football website where Michał writes mostly about football in Germany)
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