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Thursday, March 1, 2007
J. LEAGUE 2007
TEAM BY TEAM ANALYSIS
Last season: Promoted as J2 runnerup
Manager: Nobuhiro Ishizaki
Prospects: Going down
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.