Naoki Soma became the latest top-flight managerial casualty of the young J. League season Wednesday as Kawasaki Frontale announced the dismissal of the former Japan defender just five games into the league campaign.
Assistant coach Tatsuya Mochizuki will take over as caretaker manager until a permanent replacement is found for 40-year-old Soma, who has failed to live up to expectations at Todoroki Stadium since taking his first manager’s job last year.
Soma in 2011 could only manage 11th place in the table at a team normally accustomed to challenging for the title. Frontale are currently 11th after two wins against as many losses and a draw.
“It is a shame I leave the team without having been able to fulfill my ambition,” Soma said in a club statement.
Jose Carlos Serrao was fired on March 26 after Gamba Osaka lost their first five league and cup matches.