Soccer / J. League | ON THE BALL Dec 3, 2002

J. League experiencing minor changes

by Kumi Kinohara

The 2002 J. League season was completed on Nov. 30 after Jubilo Iwata won the league title for the third time by sweeping the two stages, and Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Consadole Sapporo both got relegated to Division Two. Jubilo's unprecedented success, however, resulted in the ...

Soccer / J. League | ON THE BALL Sep 17, 2002

Reds fans need to be patient

by Kumi Kinohara

In a post-match press conference at the Sept. 8 J. League game between the Urawa Reds and Vegalta Sendai at Saitama Stadium 2002, a seemingly irritated local reporter voiced an opinion to Reds manager Hans Ooft. "I didn't see any communication among your players when ...

Soccer / J. League | ON THE BALL Aug 17, 2002

Japanese players need to be more creative

by Kumi Kinohara

"I get the impression that the players are too mechanical," said Masakuni Yamamoto, Japan's Olympic team coach, in delivering a strong message to Japanese players and soccer officials after holding his first training session with the under-21 squad Tuesday. Many soccer critics, including former Japan ...

Soccer / J. League | ON THE BALL Jun 4, 2002

Japanese refs owe debt to predecessor

by Kumi Kinohara

Toru Kamikawa made his World Cup debut on Saturday when he officiated the Ireland-Cameroon game in Niigata in Japan's opening game. It was a nice appointment by FIFA. He became the fourth Japanese referee to serve in the quadrennial tournament. Kamikawa looked very calm and ...