J-League Soccer

Tokyo Verdy kick-off team photo

Soccer became popular in Japan following the creation of the professional J-League and then the hosting of the Soccer World Cup in 2002.

I was invited to a match between Tokyo Verdy and Tokushima Vortis on the weekend at Yoyogi National Stadium, and was able to stand on the touch line to take photos as an accredited press member. It was a really good experience to see the game up close and take some photos of the action.

J-League Soccer Balls, up close

Thank you to Tokyo 2016 Olympic / Paralympic Games Bid for organizing this for me. Here is their report on the Tokyo 2016 Bid Events that took place at the game.

Tokyo Verdy team coming out onto the pitch
being on the touch-line made for some great close ups
The Vortis number 13 makes his move up pitch
The official Press pass to get in to Yoyogi Stadium
pre-match photograph of me getting ready for the match. Nikon at the ready
Once on the touchline I got to line up with the other photographers
some of these cameras had good lenses on them
action shots of the match
Holding off the tackle
this Verdy player is taking the defence on, but who is the Vortis guy in the mask?
players positioning for a free kick. number 20 in the mask is there again
and that's a goal

Being part of the Press contingent we were able to get the half-time report from the 2 teams. Looks like Verdy is trying to get its defense to take more care of the long ball and counter attacks from Vortis, while the Vortis team say they must run harder than the opposition team or they cannot win.

half time comment sheet

There were some great Tokyo 2016 Olympic / Paralympic Bid events held before the match and at half-time, including ladies in Tokyo 2016 Yukatas, large scale Shodo display, Olympic banner parade, medal presentations and more.

You can see the full report I wrote about the Soccer and Tokyo 2016 Olympic events here.

Tokyo2016Today.com Olympic Report by Shibuya246

Verdy went on to win 4-0 and advance up the league table. They were ranked 5 in the J2 league coming into this game and will want to finish strong to try and elevate themselves to the main J-league division for next year.

The final result, a strong win for Tokyo Verdy
The Tokyo Verdy keeper clears a ball
The Vortis keeper moves fast to clear his line
children march the Verdy flag off
There was some strong fan support for the home team
The players thank their fans for the loyal support
The Hero interview after the match
The losing Vortis coach gives his explanation of what went wrong in the post-game interview

I really enjoyed going to this match and taking photos from the side-line. I look forward to another similar event in the future.

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Comments (7)
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  • Manuel

    I wonder how the Tokyo Verdy team got their name, as their jerseys are green and "verdy" is the phonetic transcription of the Brazilian pronounciation of the word for green in Portuguese. Brazil, football, Brazilian-origin Japanese…

    • Shibuya246

      They have renamed themselves a few times including the '1969' in their team name and previously having Yomiuri in the name etc. not sure about the Verdy part. sounds like it could be for the green uniform. anyone else know for sure?

  • whipcracker

    I originally saw some of this article on friendfeed. And you were in one of their pictures, the one with you and two of the young ladies wi the 2016 yakatas. Don't really follow soccer that much. More of a football fan, being raised in Green Bay Wi, Go pack. We do have a MLS team in the area FC Dallas.
    As usual looks like fun. That #20 from the other team probably had some type of facial injury so he needed the mask for protection. Actually it makes him look like Bruce Lees character Kato from the show " The Green Hornet" what do you think?

  • pratyk

    It must be fun isn’t it, & seem to enjoy it.

  • Shibuya246

    Yes, it was a lot of fun. 🙂