Tribal Football - Football News, Soccer News, Transfers & Rumours Latest Articles for Vegalta Sendai Tue, 25 Jan 2022 15:41:48 +1100 Tribal Football <![CDATA[Women's football review: World Cup qualifying and the resurgence of Japan's Nadeshiko League]]> <p>Tim Grainey previews World Cup Qualifying around the world and the resurgence of Japan's Nadeshiko League.<p>&nbsp;This week we look at the final Women's World Cup Qualifying Tournament for Africa, South America and Oceania. In October, we will report live from CONCACAF's Gold Cup and follow the UEFA playoffs for one more spot in Canada 2015.<p>Africa<p>Namibia will host the 9th TN Mobile African Women's Championship from October 11 thru 25, which doubles as the 2015 Women's World Cup qualifiers for CAF (Confederation Africane de Football). The eight teams are divided into two groups, with the top two in each group advancing to the semifinals. The top three teams go on directly to the World Cup, with no inter-confederation play-offs as between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL. The group lineups (with FIFA rankings) are:<p>Group A<p>Ivory Coast (64)<p>Namibia (113)<p>Nigeria (35)<p>Zambia (116)<p>Group B<p>Algeria (75)<p>Cameroon (51)<p>Ghana (50)<p>South Africa (56)<p>Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa are heavily favored to advance to Canada, especially since 2011 Women's World Cup participant Equatorial Guinea fell in the second round to the Ivory Coast in a huge upset, with Les Elephantes advancing on aggregate after a 1-1 home tie and 2-2 away tie, with the two away goals providing their ticket to Namibia. <p>Also in Group A, Zambia could be an outside shot to advance; having reached their first African Women's finals, the Shepoplo are trying to do the same with the Women's World Cup. They should find inspiration from their U-17 side which played in the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup this summer in Costa Rica; the first FIFA tournament for Zambia's women's program at any level. The young Zambians finished third in their first round group, behind Italy and Venezuela but ahead of the host nation.<p>Nigeria has called up four home-based players from their silver medalist squad at the U-20 Women's World Cup in Canada last month for a 33 member pre-tournament camp including: defenders Ugo Njoku and Sarah Nnodim, forward Loveth Ayila and midfielder Hailmatu Ayinde. A number of foreign-based players are being called in as well, led by Perpetua Nkwocha of Sunnana SK in Sweden. Nkwocha, 38, has participated in every African Championship except the first one in 1998, and is a four-time African Women's Footballer of the Year (2004, 2005, 2010, 2011). Other players called in from clubs abroad include:<p> Onome Ebi-FK Minsk of Belarus<p> Esther Sunday-FK Minsk of Belarus<p> Osinachi Ohale-Houston Dash of the U.S.'s NWSL<p> Desire Oparanozie-Guingamp of France<p> Francisca Ordega-Pitea of Sweden<p>The Super Falcons defeated a local male team-Yahya Umaru Boys Academy-5-1 last week. Nigeria has participated in all six previous Women's World Cups.<p>In friendly matches ahead of the tournament, Namibia lost to South Africa 2-0 in Johannesburg on August 10 but defeated Botswana 5-2 at home ten days later. <p>In Group B, Algeria looks to supplant Egypt-long the bellwether for women's soccer in North Africa-and is looking to some French-based diaspora with Division II clubs to assist: Benlazar Myriam Benlazar (F.C. Toulouse), Miraoui Lydia Mounia (Claix Football) along with Fayrouz Benyoub and Sabrina Labiod (both of Muret).<p>Defender Nadia Benmokhtar and forward Lilas Traikia-both of Juvisy in Division 1--could also be brought in as well for the tournament.<p>For South Africa, forward Portia Modise, who has over 100 caps for her country, scored three goals in their 4-0 friendly win over Zambia and is key to her team's hopes in neighboring Namibia. <p>Ghana's Black Queens had a two-match training tour of Japan earlier this month. The Ghanaians held the Japanese Olympic team 0-0 on September 10th before losing 5-0 in the second test three days later. Ghana hopes to qualify for its fourth Women's World Cup, after group stage appearances in 1999, 2003 and 2007.<p>South America<p>The 2014 Copa America Femenina wrapped up this past weekend in Ecuador, doubling as the continent's Women's World Cup qualifying stage for CONMEBOL (Confederacion Sudamericana de Futbol). Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador made the final round, which was held in a group format. Brazil won the tournament and will advance to its seventh consecutive Women's World Cup; they were runners-up to Germany in 2007 and finished third in 1999. Colombia advanced to its second consecutive tournament. Ecuador has one last chance for Canada-with a two leg play-in against the fourth place CONCACAF team in November. Argentina finished in fourth and, after two WWC qualifications in 2003 and 2007, will miss out for the second consecutive tournament.<p>Since Brazil won the Copa America Femenina and they already qualified for the 2016 Olympics as hosts, Colombia will advance to Rio as well. All four semifinalists will go to the Pan American Games next summer in Toronto.<p>Significantly, unlike Oceania (see below), the Copa America featured all 10 CONMEBOL members. During the first stage, Colombia won all four matches to capture Group A with 12 points. Ecuador and Uruguay finished second on 6 points with two wins and two losses, but Ecuador had a 0 goal differential to Uruguay's -4. Venezuela had 4 points and Peru 1 point.<p>Brazil and Argentina finished first and second in Group B, each with 9 points from three wins and a loss, with Brazil having a +1 goal difference. Paraguay and Chile tied for third on 6 points and Bolivia lost all four group games.<p>Oceania<p>The OFC Women's Nations Cup, which is also the Oceania Football Confederation's Women's World Cup qualifying competition, will take place at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium in Lae, Papua New Guinea from October 21 through October 25. The winner advances to Canada 2015. Four teams are participating:<p>Cook Islands<p>New Zealand<p>Papua New Guinea<p>Tonga<p>New Zealand is the overwhelming favorites to advance from eleven member Oceania, having made the quarterfinals at the London 2012 Olympics. The Football Ferns are currently ranked 19th in FIFA rankings of women' national teams compared to Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands and Tonga--who are all ranked 133rd and tied with 43 other teams who have been inactive for more than 18 months and not formally ranked. <p><p>There was no preliminary competition-the Oceania Cup tournament was open to those interested but seven other members chose not to enter:<p>American Samoa<p>Fiji<p>New Caledonia<p>Samoa <p>Solomon Islands<p>Tahiti<p>Vanuatu<p>The seven non-participating OFC members all have similar 133rd place rankings.<p>Distance and budget is a huge issue in these far flung island nations, but participating in these confederation events in the future is crucial to spurring the growth of the women's game in their countries.<p>Japan's Nadeshiko League<p>In other news from the region, New Zealand international Striker Sarah Gregorius has left England -where she played on a limited basis last season with FA WSL champions Liverpool and was on Sunderland's books this season in FA WSL 2 - to play with Japan's Nadeshiko League side AS Eflen Saitama in Tokyo. Gregorius scored against England in a 2-1 Kiwi defeat to the Three Lions in a group match at the 2011 WWC in Germany. The 26-year-old Gregorius has been capped 53 times by the Football Ferns. <p>New Zealand played in Japan and lost to the World Champions 2-1 in Osaka in May and she explained to a New Zealand-based reporter how her move came about: "I think that's the best part about playing a global game like football, it takes you to places that you otherwise wouldn't go to at all.It's a really exciting place to be in terms of the way elite women's football is there. Japan are the world champions and have won age-group titles as well, so they are obviously doing something right.The Japanese style of football suits someone like me; they tend to be a little bit smaller and they play very quick and very technical and that's a part of my game I really want to improve on." <p>Other foreign imports to the Japanese Nadeshiko League in the fall will include: American goalkeeper Brittany Cameron (Sky Blue FC to Vegalta Sendai on loan), while forward Japanese international Nanase Kiryu has returned to NTV Belesa on loan from Sky Blue. The Seattle Reign pair of American Beverly Goebel and Japanese national team midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi have returned to INAC Kobe Leonessa. Australian internationals Tameka Butt, Elise Kellond-Knight and Claire Polkinghorne all played there this summer; Butt and Kellond-Knight with Iga FC Junoichi and Polkinghorne with powerhouse INAC Kobe Leonessa. <p>These high profile moves to Japan have helped to mark a resurgence in Japan's domestic league, along with Japan's WWC win in 2011 and second place finish at the 2012 Olympics. Japan has also hosted the unofficial World Club Championship for the last two seasons and is intending to host the mobcast Cup International Women's Club Champion again at the end of this year. <p>In the past two editions, the invitational tournament has involved European Champions Olympique Lyon, Chelsea of the FA WSL (subbing for UEFA Champions Wolfsburg last year), the Australian W-League Champions and Women's Libertadores Cup Champions Colo-Colo of Chile along with the Japanese league and cup winners. The hope is that FIFA will eventually give the mobcast Cup official World Club status, which would help to attract champions from Africa and NWSL. <p>There is precedence for this strategy; for 25 years before the FIFA World Club Championship (men's) fully launched (1980-2004), the European and South American club champions played a one-off game in Japan (Tokyo and Yokohama) for the Intercontinental Cup, after years of the two-leg contest turning into actual battles on their field and in the stands rather than soccer contests.<p>Japan's domestic league, then known as the L League, which in the early-to-mid 1990's was a major target for top women players (including former American star Brandi Chastain) along with Italy. Now the top international leagues--besides the fully professional NWSL--are Sweden and Germany, with France and England close behind. Japan's league became very domestic focused after the country's economic difficulties. There is some speculation that post-WWC next summer, more Japanese players will move abroad, targeting the U.S., Australia and major European markets. The question will be if more high profile players head to Japan in return and the Japanese League continues to expand its profile on the global stage. Tim Grainey is a contributor to Tribal Football. His latest book Beyond Bend it Like Beckham on the global game of women's football. Get your copy today.<p>Follow Tim on Twitter: <a href= target=new>@TimGrainey</a></p><a href=''>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 10:37:19 +1000 <![CDATA[Sydney FC confirm ex-Socceroos boss Arnold as head coach]]> <p>A-League club Sydney FC have confirmed the appointment of Graham Arnold as their new head coach.<p>The 50-year old former Australia national team boss has signed a deal with the Sky Blues that will run until the end of the 2016/17 A-League season.<p>Arnold recently came back to Australia following a short stint as head coach at J.League club Vegalta Sendai and admitted his excitement at returning to his home city to lead Sydney FC.<p>"I am extremely excited to be here. It has always been my dream as a Sydney boy to coach Sydney FC, in my view the biggest club in the country," said Arnold.<p>"It's a fantastic opportunity and I'm looking forward to working with the players and coaching Sydney FC to consistent domestic success and Asian Champions League qualification."<p>Regarding the appointment of Arnold, who won one Premiership and one Championship with the Central Coast Mariners, Sydney chairman Scott Barlow said: "On behalf of the Sydney FC Board I would like to welcome Graham Arnold to Sydney FC.<p>"Graham is one of the A-League's most successful coaches and has a proven track record of producing high quality, winning football teams.<p>"He brings to the Head Coach's role a wealth of international and Asian Champions League experience and as a former Socceroos Coach, has dealt with the demands of coaching a high profile team."<p>&nbsp;For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: <a href=></a></p><a href=''>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Thu, 08 May 2014 04:07:32 +1000 <![CDATA[Newcastle Jets leave ex-Australia boss Arnold to Sydney]]> <p>Newcastle Jets have ended their pursuit of former Australia head coach Graham Arnold.<p>The Hunter outfit were hoping to install Arnold as their new boss ahead of the 2014/15 A-League season but have opted to close talks with the 50-year old who recently departed Japanese club Vegalta Sendai after a short stint.<p>Newcastle released a statement saying they would no longer go after the former Central Coast Mariners coach which leaves the door ajar for Sydney FC to pursue their number one target to replace Frank Farina.<p>Newcastle revealed that they had 'withdrawn from discussions with Graham Arnold regarding the club's vacant head coach position.<p>'Over the last two months the club has been conducting an extensive selection process for the head coach position which involved a number of domestic and international candidates including Graham Arnold, but after several discussions an agreement could not be reached.<p>'The club will continue the head coach selection process and look forward to making an announcement shortly.'<p>Newcastle's current boss Clayton Zane, who took the reins from Gary van Egmond in January, has stayed on as head coach of the club.<p>&nbsp;For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: <a href=></a></p><a href=''>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Fri, 02 May 2014 04:09:12 +1000 <![CDATA[Former Socceroos boss Osieck linked with Sydney job]]> <p>Former Australia national team manager Holger Osieck is being linked with the Sydney FC coaching vacancy.<p>The German tactician has been out of the coaching caper since losing his role with the Socceroos in October last year but could be set for a return according to AAP.<p>The Sky Blues are on the hunt for a new head coach following Frank Farina's dismissal last week and Osieck is believed to be on their radar.<p>Former Central Coast Mariners boss Graham Arnold, who recently left his role with Japanese side Vegalta Sendai, is at the top of Sydney's wishlist while Sydney United coach Mark Rudan is also a candidate for the job.<p>&nbsp;For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: <a href=></a></p><a href=''>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Thu, 01 May 2014 03:16:12 +1000 <![CDATA[Adelaide United's Galekovic harbours World Cup ambitions]]> <p>Eugene Galekovic admits he would love to be part of Australia's World Cup squad.<p>The 32-year old Adelaide United star picked up his third A-League Goalkeeper of the Year award on Monday after another stellar season with the Reds and is now looking to edge his way into the Socceroos plans for Brazil 2014.<p>However, Galekovic isn't expecting to be selected by Ange Postecoglou who is expected to have Club Brugge's Mat Ryan and Borussia Dortmund's Mitch Langerak as his number one and two for this June/July's tournament.<p>"I'm hoping obviously to be part of the squad," Galekovic told FourFourTwo.<p>"The season is over so I can only keep myself in the best shape possible and hope I do get my call-up. I'll just keep training."<p>Galekovic is one of many chances for the Socceroos' third keeping spot which include Liverpool's Brad Jones, Reading's Adam Federici, Perth Glory's Vegalta Sendai loanee Danny Vukovic, Newcastle Jets gloveman Mark Birighitti and Western Sydney Wanderers veteran Ante Covic.<p>&nbsp;For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: <a href=></a></p><a href=''>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 03:53:45 +1000 <![CDATA[Winless start sees Arnold sacked by Vegalta Sendai]]> <p>Japanese club Vegalta Sendai has ended their relationship with Graham Arnold just six matches into his tenure.<p>The 50-year old former Australia national team and Central Coast Mariners boss is no longer the head coach of the J.League outfit after overseeing a winless run to the 2014 season.<p>Vegalta have drawn twice and lost four times to sit second bottom on Japan's top flight table prompting the board to make a decision on Arnold's future.<p>However, Arnold told SBS that he and the club had settled to mutually terminate his contract after he was unable to agree a direction going forward.<p>"I told the President directly that I felt as if I was coaching someone else's team and in the end I have my standards to uphold," Arnold said.<p>"I left the meeting for them to discuss the direction of the club and they said they needed to consider the sponsors and supporters and I understand that.<p>"In the end it was genuinely a decision that we arrived at together; things weren't working with the changes we'd liked to have made and we agreed to part ways."<p>&nbsp;For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: <a href=></a></p><a href=''>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 04:11:28 +1000 <![CDATA[Perth keeper Vukovic using Vegalta loan as World Cup enhancer ]]> <p>Danny Vukovic admits he will use his five-month loan spell with J.League club Vegalta Sendai as a potential stepping stone into Australia's World Cup squad.<p>The 28-year old Perth Glory goalkeeper will spend the next while with his former Central Coast Mariners boss Graham Arnold in north eastern Japan and is hoping to gain regular first team action in order to turn the head of Socceroos manager Ange Postecoglou in the lead-up to Brazil 2014.<p>Vukovic was grateful to Glory owner Tony Sage, CEO Jason Brewer and the rest of the West Australian club for allowing him the opportunity to join Vegalta who kicked off their 2014 J.League season with a 2-1 loss to Albirex Niigata on the weekend.<p>"I would like to thank Tony, Jason and everyone at Perth Glory for allowing me to take up this offer in Japan," said Vukovic.<p> "It allows me to continue playing at a high level over the coming months and leading up to the World Cup Finals in Brazil. Hopefully this will enhance my chances of selection in Ange Postecoglou's final squad of 23 for the June tournament.<p>"I would have loved to have finished the season with Glory but due to the transfer window closing in Japan, this isn't possible. I hope our fans understand why I have made the decision to accept this offer and I want them to know I'm sincerely sorry that I won't be here to see the season out."<p>Vukovic will compete with current number one Kentaro Seki, Japanese veteran Shigeru Sakurai and American Daniel Schmidt for the gloves at Yurtec Stadium Sendai. He joins former teammate, New Zealand midfielder Michael McGlinchey, who is on loan from the Mariners.<p>From a national tea perspective, Vukovic is up against Club Brugge's Mat Ryan, Borussia Dortmund's Mitch Langerak, Liverpool's Brad Jones and Adelaide United's Eugene Galekovic for one of three goalkeeping spots for the Brazil 2014 roster.<p>&nbsp;For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: <a href=></a></p><a href=''>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 02:32:58 +1100 <![CDATA[Ipswich defender Smith left out by New Zealand for Japan friendly]]> <p>Ipswich Town's Tommy Smith was overlooked by New Zealand caretaker boss Neil Emblen for next month's friendly with Japan.<p>The 23-year old defender, who is the All Whites vice-captain, has been given permission to remain with his club as the eighth-placed Tractor Boys chase a spot in the English Championship's top six which would give them the chance to gain promotion to the Premier League.<p>Emblen said: "I'm sympathetic to Tommy's situation. His club agreed to release him but Tommy feels this is an opportunity to prioritise his club who are fighting for promotion for the first time in a while.<p>"You either want to play and make the effort to come back like all the other boys or you run the risk of someone else playing well."<p>The All Whites take on top-ranked Asian side the Blue Samurai in Tokyo on March 5.<p>New Zealand squad for Japan friendly<p>Goalkeepers<p>Glen Moss (Wellington Phoenix, captain)Jacob Spoonley (Team Wellington)<p>Defenders<p>Ben Sigmund (Wellington Phoenix)Bill Tuiloma (Olympique Marseille)Storm Roux (Central Coast Mariners)Michael Boxall (Wellington Phoenix)Andrew Durante (Wellington Phoenix)<p>Midfielders<p>Michael McGlinchey (Vegalta Sendai)Chris James (unattached)Ryan Thomas (PEC Zwolle)Tim Payne (Blackburn Rovers)Cameron Howieson (Burnley)Tyler Boyd (Wellington Phoenix)<p>Forwards<p>Shane Smeltz (Perth Glory)Marco Rojas (VfB Stuttgart)Jeremy Brockie (Wellington Phoenix)Kosta Barbarouses (Melbourne Victory)Chris Wood (Leicester City)<p>&nbsp;For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: <a href=></a></p><a href=''>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 03:04:50 +1100 <![CDATA[Sydney FC linked with ambitious move for Celtic's Rogic]]> <p>A-League club Sydney FC are believed to be showing interest in Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic.<p>The 21-year old Australian international was granted permission by Hoops boss Neil Lennon to join J.League outfit Vegalta Sendai on loan but with that move unlikely to happen, the Sky Blues have signalled their intent.<p>The World Game reports that Sydney owner David Traktovenko is hoping to lure Rogic back to the A-League with a lucrative multi-year deal even though he penned a four-and-a-half-year deal with the Scottish giants 12 months ago.<p>It is also believed that Sydney will pay out the four months remaining on veteran Brett Emerton's contract to make Rogic their marquee man.<p>&nbsp;For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: <a href=></a></p><a href=''>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 02:26:13 +1100 <![CDATA[Agent of Celtic's Rogic has contingency if Vegalta move falls over]]> <p>Tom Rogic's proposed loan move from Celtic to Vegalta Sendai may not go ahead after all.<p>Despite Hoops boss Neil Lennon granting permission for the 21-year old Australian midfielder to join the J.League club on loan, it appears as though Sendai officials are unwilling to sign off.<p>New Sendai boss Graham Arnold is keen to reunite with Rogic so the former Central Coast Mariners young gun can gain some much-needed game time ahead of this year's World Cup but the Japanese outfit reluctant to bring him for just nine games.<p>However, Rogic's agent Daniel Berman suggests there could be other possibilities for the Socceroos hopeful.<p>"We have contingency plans in place," he told The World Game.<p>&nbsp;For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: <a href=></a></p><a href=''>Read more on Tribal Football</a> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 03:06:54 +1100