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Friday, March 2, 2007

J. LEAGUE 2007

TEAM BY TEAM ANALYSIS

Sanfrecce Hiroshima


Staff writer

Last season: 10th

Manager: Mihail Petrovic (Austria)

Prospects: The same as always, wallowing in mid-table oblivion

One to watch: Hisato Sato, nimble national team forward

Takeshi Ono was given the boot as coach midway through last season,and Sanfrecce replaced him with Petrovic. The coach hasn't really been backed in the transfer comings and goings in the break between seasons, though, and so faces 2007 with much the same as before.

Midfielder Kazuyuki Toda -- who spent time at Tottenham Hotspur and is most famous for his bustup with David Beckham in a summer friendly between Real Madrid and Tokyo Verdy -- has now completed a full transfer but has not hit the heights that made him a national team player for a few years.

Sanfrecce has an abundance of young players,but even if they have all the potential in the world,it will do the team no good in the near future.

The savior for Sanfrecce is the forward pairing of Sato and Brazilian Ueslei. Sato was the joint-highest Japanese scorer in the league last season with Kawasaki Frontale's Kazuki Ganaha with 18 goals, while Ueslei notched 16. They will be relied on to repeat things this year if Sanfrecce is not going to get dragged down anywhere near the drop zone.

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

2007 J. LEAGUE TEAM-BY-TEAM ANALYSIS
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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