30 April 2007

The Upcoming Tokyo Verdy Match

The Golden Week matchup on Thursday in Tokyo may prove to be the most important and exciting match for both teams this leg. Mito, of course yet to record a victory, meets a much richer, more successful, historically important, and at least on paper, a much stronger team. Verdy, though, has been on an even worse run than Mito recently, without a win or draw in the last six games. It seems that everybody outside the Verdy organization knows the blame is to be placed on coach Ruy Ramos and his highly questionable fielding and strategy.

This time, though, Ramos has no choice but to field a team weaker than usual... With accumulated yellow card violations, two of Tokyo's most valuable imports (including Hulk, the top scorer in J2) are being forced to sit out, and Ramos will need to field an entirely new strategy with his questionable methods. Although, while losing two important players would usually be a detriment, being forced to employ new ideas may result in coming up with one that turns the tide for Tokyo.

I am not usually one to predict a win for Mito even if I feel it is the case, but this is the time I am most hopeful for a Mito win. Last year, in a similar situation, Mito picked up a 4 - 1 win over Verdy, and knowing that Mito can't go forever without a win, it seems so likely that Mito can take advantage of Tokyo's difficulties with both Ramos and the two sitting stars.

If Mito continues to be unable to capitalize on chances, Tokyo seems likely to win or perhaps provide the fourth scoreless draw of the season for Mito. If Mito can actually pull off its full potential as was the case in that other game last year, I think it would be hard for the Tokyo team playing as they have been to win this match.

As the meat of the season comes forth it is clear that this is a turning point for both teams. Mito can take advantage of Tokyo on the skids to start fresh with a new strategy to move up the standings, or Tokyo can take this chance against what is considered the weakest team in the league to halt the skidding and prevent a 7 game losing streak in a push to get back to the top. The unfortunate result of poor play on both sides, the scoreless draw, would undoubtedly disappoint pretty much everyone except the most pessimistic of either side's fans.

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