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Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010

Takahata won't return to Frontale

Kyodo News

Kawasaki Frontale said Tuesday that manager Tsutomu Takahata will step down this season with the expiration of his contract.

According to sources, former Japan defender Naoki Soma, who steered FC Machida Zelvia in the lower tier Japan Football League this season, is likely to be Takahata's successor.

Takahata, 42, took the helm of Frontale for the second time this season following his stint in 2008.

But Kawasaki are in sixth ahead of the final match this Saturday and have not qualified for the Asian Champions League, needing to finish in the top three. Frontale failed to win any titles after crashing out in the Nabisco Cup and Emperor's Cup.

The 39-year-old Soma, who had a stint with Kashima Antlers and represented his country in the 1998 World Cup in France, was capped 58 times and scored four goals for Japan. FC Machida finished third this season in the JFL.

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