Cerezo bring back manager Culpi


Cerezo Osaka, 14th in the J. League’s first division, sacked coach Sergio Soares on Sunday and rehired fellow Brazilian and former manager Levir Culpi.

The club, which beat Yokohama F. Marinos 2-0 at home the day before for its seventh win of the season, also ended a contract with coach Denys, who is also a Brazilian.

Culpi had previously managed Cerezo from May 2007 through last season.

With a team that included current Manchester United player Shinji Kagawa, Culpi led Cerezo to a second-place finish in J2 in 2009. The following year, the club rose to third place in J1 under Culpi.

“Our goal at the start of the season was to compete for a title,” said Cerezo president Masao Okano. “But now our only objective can be to avoid relegation.”

“We have invited back Culpi, a manager who can quickly get players to bring out their best.”