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Yonemoto injures left knee in practice, could be lost for season

This is certainly not the news Tokyo fans were expecting to hear…

After a hard collision in front of a goal during an intra-team practice game, midfielder Takuji Yonemoto had to be carried off the field by trainers. He was examined today and based on the report on FC Tokyo's website, his injuries very much mirror those that Ishikawa sustained last season (namely, a partial ACL tear on his left knee and meniscus damage).

The difference, however, is that that the two character that form the word “partial” were not present in the team's announcement for Yonemoto's test result, leading us to believe that the dreaded “2nd Year Jinx” has hit last year's Nabisco Cup MVP in the worst of ways.

At worst, this could mean that Yonemoto will have to sit out the 2010 season, which would be a devastating blow to the team and to the young star. While Kajiyama has finally rejoined the team in his practice regimen, he still may not yet be battle-ready and thus Tokyo may be without the pillars of its formation for the beginning of the season.

Formation-wise it's now pretty likely that Matsushita will start, and depending on how ready Kim is, Jofuku could choose to start him at CB and move Konno back to his old position of volante. Hiramatsu could play a factor too… the next week will be a tough one for Jofuku, but despite the severity of the potential loss I still don't think it's as bad as last year's GK situation.

There will be many cranes folded tonight in the capital city. More to come when I have it.

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Match Report: J1 Round 13: FC Tokyo vs. Kawasaki Frontale

J-League Round 13
First Half
1 – 0Second Half
1 – 3

Final
0 – 1

May 24th 2009, 2PM Kickoff at Ajinomoto Stadium (Chofu, Tokyo) Attendance 27,851
GK 20 Shuichi Gonda
DF 25 Yuhei Tokunaga
DF 4 Bruno Quadros
DF 6 Yasuyuki Konno
DF 5 Yuto Nagatomo
MF 10 Yohei Kajiyama
MF 28 Takuji Yonemoto
MF 18 Naohiro Ishikawa
MF 22 Naotake Hanyu
FW 9 Cabore
FW 13 Sota Hirayama
Starting Members
GK 1 Eiji Kawashima
DF 19 Yusuke Mori
DF 4 Yusuke Igawa
DF 17 Kosuke Kikuchi
DF 2 Hiroki Ito
MF 6 Yusuke Tasaka
MF 14 Kengo Nakamura
MF 29 Hiroyuki Taniguchi
FW 34 Renatinho
FW 9 Chong Tese
FW 10 Juninho
Half 40 Tatsuya Suzuki (for Naotake Hanyu)
59′ 2 Teruyuki Moniwa (for Naohiro Ishikawa)
75′ 14 Hokuto Nakamura (for Sota Hirayama)
Substitutes 54′ 11 Vitor Junior (for Yusuke Tasaka)
79′ 18 Tomonobu Yokoyama (for Renatinho)
89′ 7 Masaru Kurotsu (for Chong Tese)
28′ Yasuyuki Konno
54′ Naohiro Ishikawa
Goals 58′ Juninho
65′ Hiroyuki Taniguchi
68′ Renatinho
  Cautions 15′ Yusuke Tasaka
65′ Chong Tese
89′ Masaru Kurotsu
57′ Bruno Quadros Ejections  

Report

This was a great match spoiled by the team’s quick and utter collapse following the ejection of Bruno Quadros 13 minutes into the second half.  Though Tokyo managed to control the flow of the game for most of the first half and into the second, going down to 10 men proved to be the catalyst as Kawasaki took over and FCT quickly became demoralized.  It was painful to watch, quite frankly.  Definitely a case where one decision by the referee can affect the entire game, and nobody likes to see that.  Had Bruno not gotten a stupid red card (I didn’t even bother to check the video; Matsu over at TRSN had no problem with it so it was probably deserved.

On the plus side, the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra live before the game was pretty rad, so there’s that.