Celebs hog spotlight at subpar J. League gala

Soccer | From the Spot Dec 11, 2019

Celebs hog spotlight at subpar J. League gala

by Dan Orlowitz

Sunday's J. League Awards should have been an opportunity for the league and its promotional team to take a victory lap after a 2019 season that shattered attendance records and drew unprecedented interest from overseas. Instead, it demonstrated a stunning lapse in the league's understanding ...

JFA takes leap with new women's pro league

Soccer | From the Spot Nov 20, 2019

JFA takes leap with new women's pro league

by Dan Orlowitz

Eight years ago, Japan won the FIFA Women's World Cup and earned its place among women's soccer's elite nations. Now, as the sport known as "WoSo" packs stadiums in London, Madrid, Monterrey and Philadelphia, the country that introduced the likes of Homare Sawa and Saki ...

Japanese clubs chase elusive Tokyo cachet

Soccer | From the Spot Oct 16, 2019

Japanese clubs chase elusive Tokyo cachet

by Dan Orlowitz

A controversial decision by J. League second-division side Machida Zelvia to rebrand as FC Machida Tokyo has dominated water-cooler discussions in the Japanese soccer world this week. The announcement by club owner CyberAgent last Friday at a fan meeting was met with instant disapproval, both ...

Keisuke Honda risks cheapening legacy

Soccer | From the Spot Oct 2, 2019

Keisuke Honda risks cheapening legacy

by Dan Orlowitz

Even in the prime of Keisuke Honda's career, there have been few in the Japanese soccer community who could claim to have a good understanding of what was going on in the mind of the enigmatic midfielder. After a series of increasingly erratic tweets in ...

Moriyasu relies heavily on overseas players

Soccer | From the Spot Sep 4, 2019

Moriyasu relies heavily on overseas players

by Dan Orlowitz

The Samurai Blue are coming from increasingly far away. Head coach Hajime Moriyasu's squad for Japan's Thursday friendly against Paraguay and next Tuesday's Asian joint qualifier at Myanmar in Yangon features 19 Europe-based players — the largest overseas contingent ever summoned for the side. The number ...