Friday, March 6, 2009

J2 2009 preview: Yokohama FC


YOKOHAMA FC:
Stadium: Mitsuzawa Stadium (15,064)
Average attendance 2008: 6,793
Last season's finish: 10th


2009 season's transfers:
In:
4 DF Kenta Togawa (Signed from Tokyo Verdy)
DF Shosuke Katayama (Signed from Nagoya Grampus)
DF Terukazu Tanaka (On loan from Omiya Ardija)
DF Tomonobu Hayakawa (Loan Return from JEF United Ichihara Chiba)
DF Ryuji Ito (Drafted from Teikyo High School)
25 MF Yusuke Sudo (Signed from Nagoya Grampus)
MF Daishi Kato (Signed from Kyoto Sanga F.C.)
MF Ken Hisatomi (Drafted from Tokai Univ. Daigo High School)
MF Yoo Hyo-Jin (Signed from Busan Kyotong)
FW Go Nishida (Signed from Hannan University)

Out
5 MF Elizeu (Transferred to Vegalta Sendai)
6 DF Kosuke Ota (Transferred to Shimizu S-Pulse)
8 DF Yosuke Nakata (Transferred to Grulla Morioka)
9 FW Anderson (Released)
13 MF Kunihiko Takizawa (Transferred to Tokyo Verdy)
14 MF Cho Young-Cheol (Transferred to Albirex Niigata)
15 FW Taro Hasegawa (Released)
32 DF Takuya Yamada (Transferred to Sagan Tosu)
- DF Bae Seung-Jin (Transferred to Tokushima Vortis)
- MF Tomoya Uchida (Transferred to Omiya Ardija)

My view on the transfers:
Yokohama have lost a few regulars since last season, including their topscorer Anderson. DF's Ota,Yamada and Nakata are gone as well, all players that were used alot last season. Likewise in midfield, where Elizeu, Takizawa and the talented Cho are all gone. Three new defenders have been brought in to replace the departed ones, so that area of the field should be settled. In midfield Kato and Sudo are new, which in my opinion doesn't hold the same quality as the players gone. Up front Hasegawa is gone as well, which were a solid back-up player.

Preferrable starting line-up:
4-4-2: Koyama - Ono, Yatsuda, Togawa, Katayama - A.Miura, Kato,Sudo,Nejime - Ikemoto / K.Miura - Namba

My view on the team:
Yokohama looks pretty mediocre this season as well, with no players standing out as leaders. The defence doesn't look too bad, but few options in back-up means they can't afford too many injuries. The midfield doesn't exactly oozes quality either, and they might struggle against the better teams atleast. Up front Namba will be the main-man this season, with Ikemoto serving as his partner. Super-veteran Kazu Miura will probably receive some playing time as well, but in the last couple of years he's become more a liability than someone who adds strength to the team.

Player to watch: Daishi Kato

Manager: Yasuhiro Higuchi
Higuchi took over the reigns ahead of this season, and will have a hard task producing good results with the club. With veterans like the two Miura's still in the club pulling strings off the pitch, Higuchi's influence might not be as big as he wants, as the hier-archy that is at Yokohama has caused upstirs with previous managers.

Supporters:
Got a nice group of hardcore-fans, but not the largest in numbers. After Yokohama Flugel's fall, most fans in Yokohama support Marinos instead which means Yokohama FC will only be the club for the hardcore fans, atleast until they are good enough to challenge their city-rivals again in J1.

Where they will finish:
Yokohama doesn't look any better than a midtable team this year as well, and will probably struggle to even make it to the upper half of the table. They got a decent starting lineup though, and will be able to steal some points from the big teams over the season.

9th - 13th

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