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Friday, March 2, 2007
J. LEAGUE 2007
TEAM BY TEAM ANALYSIS
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.