Tag Archives: Ricardinho

New Faces Part 2: Veterans & Foreign Corps.

Finally I've taken the time to write this post!

In addition to the various rookies, Tokyo has brought in 3 experienced players and one rookie with international experience to fill out its squad for 2010.

Masato Morishige

Age: 22
Position: Center Back
Previous Club: Oita Trinita
A physical center back with strong heading ability and fast feed passes, Morishige was one of the few true prizes available during Oita's post-demotion sell-off. Pursued by several teams, he was eventually acquired by Tokyo and is expected by fans and media to have a regular starting lineup spot (mostly occupied last season by Bruno Quadros). His physicality comes with risks as his rough play sometimes results in cards.

Toshihiro Matsushita

Age:  26
Position: Midfielder
Previous Club: Albirex Niigata

Possibly the surprise signing of the offseason, Matsushita is an all-purpose midfielder who brings not only 8 years of playing experience with him but a host of tools that Tokyo lacked in 2009: namely, superior crossing and placekick abilities. He debuted as a rookie with Gamba Osaka following his high school graduation, playing in his first pro match that summer.  He made 14 appearances in the team's 2005 championship season, but spent the first half of 2006 on the bench as the manager favored new signings. Following a 1.5-year rental to Albirex Niigata, he joined the Swans on a full transfer in 2008 and appeared in all 34 games in 2009. He's a threat both offensively and defensively and will likely start the season in the place of the injured Kajiyama.

Ricardinho

Age: 21
Position: Striker
Previous Club: ABC FC (Brazil)

Because no team is complete without a Brazilian forward to provide speed, agility, and an excuse to hold Brazil Day events, the only question following Cabore's midseason departure wasn't whether Tokyo would sign another Brazilian, but who and when. Rumors surfaced of Ricardinho's acquisition in December after word leaked on a Brazilian news site, and Japanese press eventually picked up the story as the team and player headed toward an agreement. Ricardinho is not just fast, but he's young and eager to adjust to Japanese soccer. He also speaks English and has used it to communicate with his new teammates (particularly NT veteran Nagatomo). Ricardinho played for Brazil's U-16 through 20 teams, and spent two years with FC Dallas of Major League Soccer before 2009's loan to ABC FC.

Kim Young-Kwon

Age: 19
Position: Center Back
Previous Club: Jeonju University

Long-awaited by supporters, Kim's signing was delayed as a result of the team wanting to make sure he recovered from injuries sustained in the fall. He's okay, however, and he promises to be a potential force in Tokyo's backfield. He's tall, he's got pinpoint long passing abilities, and came to Tokyo with a ridiculous bowl haircut the likes of which I haven't seen since Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber. If Konno gets named to the World Cup squad, expect Kim to start in his place in the May-June Nabisco Cup fixtures.

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