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Thursday, March 1, 2007

J. LEAGUE 2007


Kashiwa Reysol

Staff writer

Last season: Promoted as J2 runnerup

Manager: Nobuhiro Ishizaki

Prospects: Going down

News photo
Tadanari Ri, Japan Under-22 striker, is expected to provide goals for promoted Kashiwa Reysol in 2007. KYODO PHOTO

One to watch: Tadanari Ri, Japan Under-22 striker.

There was lots of movement during the winter window -- a team's worth heading one way and the other -- as Reysol tried to assemble a group of players to make sure they don't go straight back down into J2.

Unfortunately, though, what was needed was an injection of quality, and that hasn't happened. Mediocre players have been swapped like-for-like.

Defender Masahiro Koga has been brought in from Nagoya Grampus Eight, but he alone won't be able to stop the top-level J1 forwards from plundering goals against a team that looks likely to be the whipping boy of the league. Reysol will be all but down by the summer.

One bright spot is that Reysol scored a hatful of goals last season -- 84 being the highest amount in the league. Tadanari Ri, recently naturalized and called up to the Japan Under-22s, and team top scorer Diego (21 last season) will no doubt find it harder this year.

See related stories:
Osim Jr. feels the pressure
Captain Sato wants 3rd cup triumph
S-Pulse's Fujimoto eyes national team
Manager Oliveira places faith in forwards
Vissel Kobe coach Matsuda welcomes changing of the guard
German Osieck embraces Reds challenge
Sef tips Grampus young guns

Urawa Reds Kawasaki Frontale Gamba Osaka
Shimizu S-Pulse Jubilo Iwata Kashima Antlers
Nagoya Grampus Eight Oita Trinita Yokohama F. Marinos
Sanfrecce Hiroshima JEF United Chiba Omiya Ardija
FC Tokyo Albirex Niigata Ventforet Kofu
Yokohama FC Kashiwa Reysol Vissel Kobe

J. League Schedule J. League Soccer

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