|East Tokyo United|
|Mascot||Pakka (Jersey #12)|
|Home Stadium||Sumidagawa Stadium|
|Last Season Finish||15th|
A struggling club, of which Takeshi Tatsumi used to be the star and has now returned to as a coach.
Current Season StatisticsEdit
|League Games Played:||24|
|Japan Cup Games Played:||6|
|Total Games Played:||30|
|League Point To Date:||40 points|
|Goals Scored To Date:||40 Goals|
|Top Goal Scorers:||Luigi Yoshida|
|U-23 Olympic Team Player:||Ryo Akasaki|
|All Stars Players:|| Luigi Yoshida|
|Player||Position||# Goal Scored|
East Tokyo United is a small club located in the muncipalty of Taito District in Tokyo. It is typically referred to by its initials: ETU.
ETU has two match kits. The first sports the teams colour of black and red. The second is a white kit typically used for away games. Their match kit is manufactured by Adidas and sponsored by OEDO Express, Circle Donuts, Rolling and Jet Beer. The practice kit of ETU, also made by Adidas, consists of a red shirt and black shorts.
|Match Kit 1||Match Kit 2||Practice Kit|
ETU's home stadium is the Sumidagawa Stadium. Vice-president Nagata owns a store at the Stadium. Katsura Fujisawa commented that it is somewhat small. The Stadium used to be sponsored by the local municipality, Taito District, but they removed their support due to low attendance.
Pakka is the ETU mascot. He is a Kappa and has the jersey with the number 12. He is stated to live in the Sumida River and claims that kids are his enemies. He is usually around for their home games and his image adorns the ETU team bus. During the All Stars Game, Pakka received a red card during the mascots game show for tackling the Nagoya Grand Palace mascot.
ETU was at the height of its popularity and strength while Tatsumi was a player. The team at the time was built around him and so his departure hit the team hard. Tatsumi also held the record of being the only ETU player to have been on the Japanese National Team. Although, Tatsumi was with the National Team only for a short time.
Shortly after Tatsumi left, Fuwa became ETU's manager and it was during Fuwa's time as manger of ETU that ETU was relegated to the second division. Fuwa claims that he could not do a good job with ETU because the club management would not support him properly. Fuwa wanted the club management to help him buy high profile players for his team as Fuwa believes that by importing high-level foreign players, he is able to improve the level of his Japanese players as well and thus raise the level of his entire team. He also believes ETU to be a superficial team because the management is not committed.
ETU suffered through more bad team managers, with the club management being able to do little to assist the team, and lost all their big name players with the exception of Murakoshi, who stayed with the club to honour his responsibility as the captain. It was Murakoshi that spurred the teams return to Division 1, which took four years from the time of relegation. Kuroda was another player who stayed with ETU through its fall to Division 2, having joined the club for his rookie year during the season that saw them relegated.
The season prior to Tatsumi joining the club as a manager was marked by a failed attempt by the club to add more striking power to its arsenal by hiring an ex-Argentine national player by the name of Fernando. Fernando was the previous #7 and was a very expensive player. However, the investment was an utter bust as Fernando could not get used life in Japan and had low moral. Fernando performed poorly and left the club poorer due to his high salary. The club avoided relegation due largely to the efforts of Natsuki, who always scored in the games ETU could not lose. Natsuki was doing so well that he was a serious contender for the title of the league's top scorer. However, Natsuki's injury ended his season early. ETU managed to place 15th on the league ladder and thus, barely avoid relegation (teams placed 16th or below are relegated).
The club started the current season in dire straits. Last season, ETU's average attendance barely topped over 8000. As a result, they lost the support of the municipality: Taito District, from their home grounds. As ETU does not have a parent company, this was a devastating blow. According to President Nagata, the club has bet its very existence on Tatsumi and if he fails to turn things around than it may well spell the end of ETU. Bringing Tatsumi back was Goto's idea, who himself took a huge personal gamble on him. Goto was warned by the Vice-president that if Tatsumi didn't work out, Goto's head would be the first to roll.
However, the concrete milestones Tatsumi wants to achieve has never been made clear. Goto started the season identifying that ETU needed to win to survive. Tatsumi himself has only stated that he wises to make ETU strong again and erase its losing mentality. Despite the losing streak at the beginning of the season and the loss against Albireos Niigata, or perhaps because of the losses, ETU has been getting stronger and the team cohesion improving constantly. Meaning that ETU stands a chance of finishing the season extremely strong. Katsura Fujisawa has commented that she believes that ETU will become the centre of a typhoon.
However, ETU's problem isn't just that it generally languishes near the bottom of the league table. Due to the boring nature of their defensive football, they were not popular with the fans. Nor was ETU known to produce upsets. Under Tatsumi's leadership, ETU has started playing a more interesting brand of football and is capable of slaying giants. Being more attractive to fans and potential sponsors is also important to ETU's fortunes.
Then there is also the prospect of National representation. As noted by Goto, there are many clubs that don't like sending players to the national team but for a small club like ETU, national representation is a way of building their reputation. Blanc and Tatsumi appear to have similar coaching styles and the national roaster for the years hasn't been drawn-up for the senior team (all players referred to as national players are from the previous seasons roaster). Yuri Nagata believes that there is a strong possibility of ETU players being called-up due to the closeness she observed between Blanc and Tatsumi. Yuri's belief was partly realised when Akasaki was invited to the Japanese Olympic Team, which has an age restricts and is composed of under 23 players, during their preliminary match against Hong Kong.
ETU entered the league season summer haitu in 10th position with a totally of 24 points. This is a dramatic improvement from their performance last season when the finished in 15th position and thus barely avoided relegation to division 2. ETU is actually tied in points with JEM Chiba, who currently sit in 9th position, and was ranked lower then JEM Chiba due to goal difference. ETU's improvement is undoubtedly a testament to Tatsumi's management.
Despite posting a draw against the reigning champions, Tokyo Victory, in their pre-season friendly, ETU suffered a five game losing streak once the season opened. ETU was humiliated by Javelin Iwata with a score of 4-0 in the first match. This was followed by a loss against Sun Arrow Hiroshima, losing the game 2-0. This was largely due to their defensive line as initially Kuroda and Sugie were apt to lose their spirits when ETU was behind. They also refused to go along with Tatsumi's ideas and were replaced by Kamei and Kobayashi. However, Kamei and Kobayashi were too inexperienced and were continuously outplayed. This led to ETU posting a loss to Shimizu Impulse with a score of 2-1, where Sera scored a mere consolation goal in the last dying minutes of the match. Following this, ETU also lost to Shimizu Impulse once again in a cup match due to Kamei conceding a penalty from a poor tackle, in which Dori managed to save but Kamei's inexperience allowed a second shot on goal leading to their 1-0 defeat. Kuroda and Sugie eventually realised that the problem was them and returned, if only to stop Dori from suffering any more embarrassment from the defensive line.
ETU still posted one more loss, this time against F.C. Sapporo in a cup match, but Kuroda and Sugie displayed the kind of spirit that Tatsumi was looking for and as a result, Tatsumi unveiled the first of his special tactics for the game against Nagoya Grand Palace.
With their first suprising win over Nagoya Grand Palace, a short winning streak followed with triumphs against F.C. Sapporo with a score of 3-1 in a cup match that saw Gino almost attaining a hat-trick, and winning 1-0 against Yokohama Mariners with a goal from Murakoshi.
However, a string of draws started to occur beginning from the game in which Sera sustained an injury in the second cup match against Shimuzu Impulse. ETU drew against Shimizu Impulse, Vanguard Kofu, Montebia Yamagata and Urawa Red Stars all with a score of 1-1. The draws exposed a lack of cohesion in the team, with Akasaki taking issue with Ishihama and Kiyokawa's motivation for playing and their general skill level. ETU ended the string of draws with a loss against Albireos Niigata but according to Sonoda, ETU played much better in the second half and would probably have posted a different result had Gino, who skipped the match due to having some issue with his foot, been on the pitch.
ETU's next game was against the mighty Osaka Gunners, who were at the time undefeated and on top of the league table in both points and goals scored. ETU was widely expected to lose against them, with any chance of an upset victory being largely dismissed due to the fact that ETU did not have a history of upsets. The Gunners did go 2 goals up in the first half, with their dangerous striker Kubota leaving Sugie in the dust. However, the second half saw Tatsumi's plans come into effect and Osaka's playing style was put into disarray. ETU took advantage of this and scored two goals thanks to Akasaki and Sugie, with the latter having an assist from Gino during a set piece. Tatsumi then owned to Matsubara that he had intended to win the match 2-1 and hadn't planned for the need to score a 3rd goal. However, Tatsumi went on to say that he was relying on Sera to not let ETU stop at a draw - which is where many of ETU's fans were expecting it to stop as it is the norm for ETU. Sera did go on to score the 3rd goal to post a win.
Following the victory against the Osaka Gunners's ETU posted a win against Oita Triplex and a draw against JEM United Chiba in their following two league matches.The draw against JEM United Chiba was unavoidable as ETU could not field its best line-up as Akasaki was away on national duty and Kuroda missed the game due to suspension from accumulating too many yellow cards. In addition, Murakoshi received a yellow card in the game against JEM United Chiba and as a result did not play in the game against Kawasaki Frontier due to accumulation of yellow cards across league matches but was still available for Japan Cup matches. ETU also won all their remaining Japan Cup preliminary matches, thus qualifying for the quarter-final stage of the Japan Cup. At the end of the Japan Cup match, Gino asked to be rested.
ETU's next league match was against Kawasaki Frontier, which ETU lost 2-1. The game against Kawasaki Frontier was unusual in that the starting line-up consisted of a number of veteran players (Kenji Hotta, Tatsuo Ishigami and Yoshinori Sakai) who had lost their starting positions under Tatsumi. Tsubaki, despite being a rookie, was the match captain in Murakoshi's place. Tatsumi later revealed that he had actually made the starting line-up selection based on which players worked the hardest during a Curry Fest he organised just before the game against Kawasaki Frontier. Tatsumi reasoned that players who think their job is to only kick a football will not help a club progress and for the club to progress, players have to think that they are not only playing with 11 players but the whole club.Possibly because of the way Tatsumi selected the starting line-up, despite the loss, the game against Kawasaki Frontier was a confident booster for the older players and saw Ishigami return fully to the starting line-up in place of Ishihama.
ETU won its next match 3-0 against F.C. Sapporo, which saw the return of Murakoshi after his red-card suspension, thanks to a penalty kick from Hotta and a goal from Sera. In addition, Sakai forced Sapporo to score an own goal - as such, Sakai would be the one attributed with that goal.
ETU also won their 15th League match against Wissel Kobe 2-1. The game against Wissel Kobe also saw the return of Gino to the starting line-up. Gino had been rested during the game against Kawasaki Frontier and F.C. Sapporo. ETU next played Kashima Wanderers and walked away with a nil-nil draw.
ETU's 17th League match was a derby against Tokyo Victory which resulted in a draw. ETU opened the scoring thanks to a goal from Tsubaki and went into half-time in the lead. However, Tokyo Victory's Mochida came on the field in the second half and turned the tide of the game, allowing Victory's Mikumo to score the equaliser.
Following the 17th League match, the League season entered the customary summer hiatus - which ETU entered sitting in 10th position on the league table with 24 points. ETU sat behind JEM Chiba, who also have 24 points, in the league table due to goal difference.
The summer break period was marked by an "All Stars" game between the Japanese Stars and the World Stars from various teams in the league. Tatsumi was invited to join the coaching team for the Japanese Stars, with Natsuki and Gino included in the Japanese Stars line-up. The game was won by the Japanese Stars 3-1.
Near the beginning of the summer break, Ishihama departed the ETU line-up for Vanguard Kofu. After Ishihama's departure, ETU leaves for their summer training camp, during which the ETU players are subjected once again to Tatsumi's unusual training methods.
Following the end of the summer break, ETU's first league match was against F.C. Sapporo. Sapporo took an early lead but ETU soon equalized thanks to a goal from Murakoshi. The game is won by ETU thanks to a goal from Natsuki.
Following ETU's win against Sapporo, their next league match was against Wissel Kobe. During the match Tsubaki fell for a feint and thus Kobe was allowed to take the lead 0-1 in the first half. ETU was unable to equalize and the game went into the half-time break with Kobe in the lead. However, ETU manages to equalize in the second half thanks to Kiyokawa and thus the match against Kobe ends in a 1-1 draw.
ETU's next match was against Montebia Yamagata, against whom ETU took the lead during the 1st-half thanks to the goal from Sera but Gino failed to capitalise on an opportunity during the 2nd-half and Yamagata quickly equalised. However, late in the 2nd half ETU substituted in their new recruit #17 - Gabriel. Gabriel began to disrupt Yamagata's with his stylish play and soon, ETU started making attempts at goal. It was during one of these attempts that Natsuki was fouled violently by a Yamagata player in the penalty area. This resulted in ETU being awarded a penalty kick and Natsuki selflessly handed-over to Gino, who is the more accurate and consistent performer in front of the goal. Gino easily scored and the game ended 1-2 in ETU's favour.
ETU's 22nd league match was a home game against Kawasaki Frontier. Once again, ETU had to face Kawasaki Frontier without Murakoshi - this time awarding the Captain's armband to Sugie. ETU won 4-2 against Kawasaki Frontier, a huge upset that saw them featured on the cover of Football magazine.
ETU's 23rd game saw them face JEM United Chiba in an away match. Chiba opened the scoring and held the lead for someone time as Tsubaki's attempts are goal failed to find the back of the net. The score was finally equalised Akasaki in the second half. Murakoshi scores from a header with an assist from Gabriel in the last few minutes of the match, winning the match 2-1.
ETU's 24th match was against Sun Arrow Hiroshima, which had previously bested ETU in an away match near the start of the season. ETU scored within the opening minutes thanks to a goal from Sera in which Tsubaki aggressively delivered. Near the end of the match, Sakai is knocked in the face by an opposing defender in the penalty area which awarded ETU with a penalty kick. The kick is taken by Akasaki who scored to end the game defeating their opponents 2-0.
After Tsubaki's return, ETU then played their 25th league match against Urawa Red Stars
|#||Opponent||Score||Winner||Home Game||ETU Scorer|
|1||Tokyo Victory||2-2||Draw||Yes||Luigi Yoshida|
ETU's total point count for league matches is currently 40 points from 25 matches with 9 matches to play.
|#||Opponent||Score||Winner||Home/Away||ETU Scorer||Man of the Match|
|1||Javelin Iwata||0-4||Javelin Iwata||Home||None|
|2||Sun Arrow Hiroshima||0-2||Sun Arrow Hiroshima||Away||None|
|3||Shimuzu Impulse||1-2||Shimuzu Impulse||Away||Kyohei Sera|
|4||Nagoya Grand Palace||2-0||ETU||Away||Daisuke Tsubaki|
|5||Yokohama Mariners||1-0||ETU||Away||Shigeyuki Murakoshi|
|6||Urawa Red Stars||1-1||Draw||Home||Yotaro Natsuki|
|7||Vanguard Kofu||1-1||Draw||Away||Yotaro Natsuki|
|8||Montebia Yamagata||1-1||Draw||Home||Yusaku Sugie|
|9||Albireos Niigata||0-1||Albireos Niigata||Away||None|
|10||Osaka Gunners||3-2||ETU||Home||Ryo Akasaki|
|11||Oita Triplex||1-0||ETU||Away||Yotaro Natsuki|
|12||JEM United Chiba||0-0||Draw||Home||None|
|13||Kawasaki Frontier||1-2||Kawasaki Frontier||Away||Yoshinori Sakai|
|14||F.C. Sapporo||3-0||ETU||Home||Kyohei Sera|
|15||Wissel Kobe||2-1||ETU||Away||Yotaro Natsuki Unspecified|
|17||Tokyo Victory||1-1||Draw||Home||Daisuke Tsubaki|
|19||Wissel Kobe||1-1||Draw||Home||Kazumi Kiyokawa|
|20||Montebia Yamagata||1-2||ETU||Away||Kyohei Sera Luigi Yoshida|
|22||JEM United Chiba||1-2||ETU||Away|
|23||Sun Arrow Hiroshima||2-0||ETU||Home|
|24||Urawa Red Stars||0-1||Urawa Red Stars||Away||None|
|25||Nagoya Grand Palace||1-2||Ongoing||Away||Luigi Yoshida|
Japan Cup MatchesEdit
ETU has qualified for the top eight, quarter-finals, of the Japan Cup through Group C. This is the first time they have qualified in three years. ETU played a total of six games during the Japan Cup preliminaries, twice against each of the other teams in their group.
|Final Position||Team||Total Points|
|#||Opponent||Score||Winner||Home Game||ETU Scorer||Man of the Match|
|1||Shimizu Impulse||0-2||Shimizu Impulse||Yes||None|
|2||F.C. Sapporo||0-1||F.C. Sapporo||No||None|
|3||F.C. Sapporo||3-1||ETU||Yes||Ryo Akasaki|
2 x Luigi Yoshida
|5||Yokohama Mariners||3-0||ETU||No||Satoshi Tanba|
|6||Yokohama Mariners||1-0||ETU||Yes||Luigi Yoshida|
Since Tatsumi took over, the ETU regulars cannot be classified as either "ageing" or "young", as about half the squad is in their early to mid-twenties and the other half late-twenties and above. Dori is their oldest starter at 33 but this is normal for a Goalkeeper as it is a position that peaks later, benefiting from experience. Tsubaki is their youngest starter at 20.
During their match against ETU, a number of Osaka Gunners players comments on the speed competent in ETU's playing style. Hiraga commented on ETU's attacks being speed-based, and Shimura commented on the difficulty of containing ETU following a ball steal due to the number of fast ETU players. However, it must be noted that Tatsumi favour players who are both fast and have stamina, so stamina is also a key component in ETU's playing style under Tatsumi.
Shigeyuki Murakoshi is the captain of ETU and has been so for many years. He was briefly stripped of his captaincy under Tatsumi but soon restored to it after Tatsumi carried his point about Murakoshi no longer having to be the defacto coach of the team. While Murakoshi was stripped of his captaincy, Gino was the reluctant match captain but this was done as part of Tatsumi's strategy and Gino has shown no ambitions for the captain's badge.
When Murakoshi missed the game against Kawasaki Frontier due to accumulation of yellow cards, Tsubaki lead the team into the match as captain. However, Kuroda was appointed "shadow captain", after he spoke aloud his desire to be the captain in place of Tsubaki, and was the one who actually organised the player huddle at the start of the match. Kuroda is typically the player who takes charge when Murakoshi is either absent or has been forbidden from taking control. However, Kuroda does not command the loyalty of the players in the way Murakoshi does. As a result, Kuroda's efforts at leadership are often either mocked, typically by the older players, or outright subverted, usually by Akasaki and the younger players.
|6||Shigeyuki Murakoshi (Captain)||Midfield|
Front Office ManagementEdit