The Top Team
The second stage of the Meiji Yasuda Seimei J1 League has completed half of the 17 matches to be played, and the Omiya Ardija top team is at tenth place with 3 wins, 2 losses, and 4 ties. Between Match 2 (against Jubilo Iwata) and Match 6 (against Vissel Kobe) Omiya’s record was 3 ties and 2 losses and they failed to capture a single victory. In Match 7 the injured Akihiro Ienaga returned to the frontline and scored the winning goal to bring the team’s first win in 6 matches. In the next match against Yokohama F Marinos, Omiya lost steam toward the end of the game and missed a victory, but won a close game in the next Vegalta Sendai match 2-1 to mark their second home game win in a row. Now that they have accomplished their goal of 48 points in one year, they are ready to burst into a last spurt to finish the season.
The Omiya Ardija youth team competed in the 40th Japan Club Youth (U-18) Football Championship and advanced to the final 16, but failed to make it through to the quarterfinals. Hoping to repeat last year’s performance by reaching the final, Omiya’s youth team finished at the top of their group with 2 wins and 1 tie and went up against Shimizu S-Pulse in their first knock-out stage match. However, the Omiya youth could not bounce back from the goal they conceded in the 32nd minute and was defeated 0-1.
Meanwhile, the Omiya Ardija junior youth team participated in the 31st Japan Club Youth (U-15) Football Championship and advanced to the final round with a record of 1 win 2 ties. In the first final round match they beat FC Tokyo U-15 Fukagawa 3-1, but lost to Mitsubishi Yowa SC Sugamo Junior Youth 0-3 and was knocked out at the final 16.
Match 5 of the Meiji Yasuda Seimei J1 League 2nd Stage against Albirex Niigata took place on July 23, and on the same day students from Omiya Ardija Soccer School and Albirex Niigata Soccer School played a friendly match at the NTT East Shiki Ground. 35 fourth to sixth graders participated from Omiya.
On August 8, an event called “Fureai Soccer” was held at the Kamaishi Municipal Ballpark in Kasshicho, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture to support the restoration efforts of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Head Coach Hiroki Shibuya, Coach Hisashi Kurosaki, and 14 top team players from Omiya Ardija participated in the event along with 35 young boys from Kamaishi City’s football club. They all had fun playing football despite the rainy weather.
Ardija’s ambassador, Tashi Tsukamoto, has been taking on various challenges since 2012. This year he will travel from NACK5 Stadium Omiya to Ogi City, Saga Prefecture on a bicycle. He will start the roughly 1,200-kilometer road trip on September 4, planning to arrive in Ogi City on the 11th.
The first international exchange program of the fiscal year 2016, “JCB Presents Omiya Ardija Soccer School in Myanmar,” was held on July 30 in Yangon, Myanmar. The local children enjoyed football, taking part in the first tournament-format competition organized by the program.