Sunday, 11 January 2009

Ask Agent Orange

The question of the day comes from Steve in Urawa, who writes, "As an Omiya supporter, who should I root for in J2?"

The first answer that pops off the top of my head is nobody. Spend your time and money on Omiya alone. But, if you really feel you need something to fill the void in between breaks and off games, here is a handy primer to help you choose. Okeydokey?

In no particular order:

Consadole Sapporo

2008 result: 18th J1
Omiya link: Takahiro Takagi and Hiroki Aratani

Fun Fact: Consadole went 18 games without recording a victory. That means they played every team in J1 and could not beat any of them. Thanks Coach Toshiya Miura! Awesome job!

Vegalta Sendai

2008 result: 3rd J2
Omiya link: Kosuke Kitani (2001-2004)

Fun Fact: For the fourth year in a row, Vegalta won the illustrious "Best Team To Not Get Promoted To J1" award. They did, however, top us again in average attendance... probably for the fourth year in a row.

Tochigi SC

2008 result: 2nd JFL
Omiya link: Manabu Wakabayashi (2005-2008) and Yusuke Sato (2000) (pictured below)

Fun Fact: Tochigi did so well in the JFL that the team decided to celebrate by not renewing the contract of the coach and half the team (calm down. I know it's because of financial difficulty). Speaking of their coach, Koichi Hashiratani is not the only one who led their team to J2 and got fired (brother Tetsuji Hashiratani at Verdy... he was going the wrong way).



Thespa Kusatsu

2008 result: 9th J2
Omiya link: Tatsuya Kawahara (loan)

Fun Fact: January 11th is Thespa's annual Dream Match between Thespa and Gunma area J-Leaguers (including Omiya players Keiki Shimizu and Takuya Aoki). I'm not sure whose dream it is to watch Thespa play a pre-season match but hey, Gunma, knock yourselves out!

Shonan Bellmare

2008 result: 5th J2
Omiya Link: Naoki Ishihara, Yusuke Murayama and Tuto (2004-2005)

Fun Fact: Brazilian trio Adiel, Jean and Tuto have combined to appear in over 4378 J-League matches (J1 and J2). A record for foreign players in the J-League!

Yokohama FC

2008 result: 10th J2
Omiya Link: Tomoya Uchida, Yasuhiro Higuchi (2008) (pictured below) and Terukazu Tanaka (loan)

Fun Fact: This is the tenth anniversary of Yokohama FC. Its precursor, the Flugels, had a player who currently plays for Omiya. Here's a hint; his name rhymes with Yasuhiro Hato... give up? It's Yasuhiro Hato! Oh yeah, the tortilla dogs at Mitsuzawa are divine!



Tokyo Verdy

2008 result: 17th J1
Omiya Link: Daigo Kobayashi, Yoshiyuki Kobayashi, Shin Kanazawa and Yukio Tsuchiya (2006)

Fun Fact: Ever heard of the game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon"? Try it with Yukio Tsuchiya and any player in J1 or J2... it works!

Kataller Toyama

2008 result: 3rd JFL
Omiya Link: Hell if I know

Fun Fact: There was a rumor that Toyama surged to third place on a regimen of constant Jazzercize and living off the marrow of small Tanzanian boys. You know who started the rumor? Me. Cause I don't know anything about this team. Yeah, I got nothing.

Roasso Kumamoto

2008 result: 12th J2
Omiya Link: Tetsuhiro Kina (2004) (pictured below)

Fun Fact: If I had to make a list of five players who I hate watching play, Tetsuhiro Kina would be on it. I don't want to talk about why. Oh yeah, Kumamoto's mascot is a pony!



Avispa Fukuoka

2008 result: 8th J2
Omiya Link: Yutaka Takahashi (2004), Tatsunori Hisanaga (2005-2006) and Daiki Niwa (2008)

Fun Fact: Avispa was so poor last year that they had to bring back fired coach Pierre Littbarski to coach a couple of games because they couldn't afford a replacement. Your mama's so poor that she has to seperate two-ply toilet paper to make it last longer. Oh, Snap!

FC Gifu

2008 result: 13th J2
Omiya Link: Nuh-uh

Fun Fact: Gifu only won three games at home last year. There are two Komabas?

Ehime FC

2008 result: 14th J2
Omiya Link: Nope

Fun Fact: Ehime seems to play so-so against everyone in J2. However, when they face Urawa, they seem to bring out their best. The past two years have seen the teams face off in the Emperor's Cup and Ehime won once and took the other game to extra time. That's really cool!

Tokushima Vortis

2008 result: 15th J2
Omiya Link: Uh

Fun Fact: Tokushima has finished last three years in a row, even though new teams have been added to the league. This coming year, with three more new teams, they will attempt to be the first squad to finish 18th in J2. So even though they used to be the team of a pharamaceutical company, it's clear they are not using any performance-enhancing substances of any kind.

Mito Hollyhock

2008 result: 11th J2
Omiya Link: Daisuke Tomita

Fun Fact: Dragons have antlers. I didn't know that.

Cerezo Osaka

2008 result: 4th J2
Omiya connection: Hiroyuki Omata (2004) (pictured below)

Fun Fact: Cerezo is the only team in J2 to use a purple and pink color scheme and they used to be sponsored by a meat company. ROTFL, hahahahaha! Actually, I don't know anyone who has ever ROTFL'd.



Sagan Tosu

2008 result: 6th J2
Omiya Connection: Yoshihito Fujita and Yusuke Shimada (2000-2005, 2007)

Fun Fact: Sagan is the only team out of the original ten J2 squads never to see J1 action. Two words: baby nursery. I cannot reiterate the bad choice in uniforms enough; you dress like a fool, you play like a fool.

Ventforet Kofu

2008 result: 7th J2
Omiya Connection: Kota Ogi (2007) (pictured below) and Hiroshi Morita (2004-2008)

Fun Fact: Kota Ogi is as cute as a button! Seriously, have you seen the guy? He makes Ayumi Hamazaki look butch. I bet he has a Disney voice. Anyhow, go Kofu!



Fagiano Okayama

2008 result: 4th JFL
Omiya Link: Guh

Fun Fact: I don't know what a fagiano is, but if you ever call me that again I will punch you in the throat! Test me, punk!

Thanks for the question, Steve! I hope that clears things up - and as always, GO ARDIJA!

*

2 comments:

Omiya Fan,  11 January 2009 at 19:06  

I could never follow another team - too much time has been invested into Ardija and I have no feelings for other teams except of course derision for Urawa!

Many Japanese swap teams when one is doing well - Gamba to Kashima for example but I could never do that.

I know Steve is a follower of Verdy and has his own blog - maybe it's a cultural thing to follow several teams?

But I'll be a Squirrel for as long as I stay in Japan and after that too.

NipponBasse 14 January 2009 at 05:37  

Haha, awesome reading :-)
I understand Steve though for wanting to have a team in J2 to follow as well. Although I'm a proud pinkhead, i tend to cheer for Urawa and to some extent Gamba as well, just to have someone to follow in J1. Makes it alot more interesting really! I thought Steve were a self-proclaimed fan of Verdy though, considering he has his own blog about them.

Btw, I like your new site! Great layout!

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