The Top Team
Omiya Ardija defeated Albirex Niigata 2-1 in Match 15 of the Meiji Yasuda J.1 League and went on to shut out Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3-0, capturing their first back-to-back wins this season against their two rivals they are in a fierce battle with to avoid being demoted to the J.2 League. However, after losing 1-2 against Yokohama F・Marinos and drawing 2-2 with Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, Omiya Ardija was ranked in 16th place after Match 18 and remained in the relegation zone.
Meanwhile, in the 97th Emperor’s Cup, Omiya Ardija overwhelmed Tonan Maebashi 3-0 in the second round, snatched a victory from Ehime FC of the J.2 League 3-2 in extra time, and advanced to the next round.
Omiya Ardija signed three new players from abroad to reinforce the team toward the second half of the season. The three reinforcements are: FW Marcelo Toscano, formerly with Jeju United (Korea Rep.); DF Kim Dong-Su, formerly with Hamburger SV II (Germany); and MF Cauê Cecilio, formerly with Moreirense FC (Portugal). Meanwhile, FW Dragan Mrdja transferred to Shonan Bellmare.
The Omiya Ardija youth team competing in the Prince Takamado Trophy U-18 Football League 2017 Premier League East drew 1-1 with Ichiritsu Funabashi High School in Match 6. They prevailed in the next match against Shimizu S-Pulse Youth 1-0, but suffered consecutive losses, first to Kashiwa Reysol U-18 1-2 in Match 8 and then to Kyoto Sanga F.C. U-18 0-1 in Match 9. They stand in 9th place with 2 wins, 5 losses, and 2 draws.
Omiya Ardija’s junior youth team taking part in the Kanto Youth (U-15) Soccer League was defeated 1-3 by F.C. Tokyo U-15 Fukagawa in Match 15. They advanced to the quarterfinals of the Kanto Club Youth Soccer Championship (U-15) where they were defeated 0-1 by Kumagaya SC. In the Kanto Youth (U-13) Soccer League, the junior youth won four matches in a row since the league kicked off. Drawing 2-2 with FC Tokyo Musashi in Match 5, they remain in the top spot.
Junior youth players GK Jones Rei, MF Taisei Taniguchi, and FW Tomoya Osawa were named to the Japan U-15 National Team that will tour China from July 10 to 18.
A home game event organized exclusively for the Ardija soccer school students was held just before the July 8 match against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo. About 100 kids out of the fifth and sixth graders attending the soccer school had fun running around on the same pitch that the Ardija top team were to play Consadole afterwards.
Many fourth and fifth graders of the soccer school enjoyed taking part in a summer camp held from July 22 to 24 at Tsumagoimura Sports Park.
The players and staff of Omiya Ardija participated in a fan festival held at NACK5 Stadium Omiya on July 15. The new players who just joined the team were introduced to the crowd, then about 2,500 fans and supporters enjoyed some 30 different events that were prepared for the occasion.
The Iwatsuki Ward Kids Soccer Clinic was held on a rainy June 25. About 150 boys and girls gathered to enjoy football and received tips from the ten U-12 coaches attending.
On July 10, Nobuhiro Kato dropped in at the Saitama Children’s Medical Center in Saitama Shintoshin, meeting with about 90 young patients in the three hospital wards he visited.