Copa América 2019 Team Preview: Japan

Senor Weaselo

Senor Weaselo

Senor Weaselo plays the violin. He tucks it right under his chin. When he isn’t doing that, he enjoys watching his teams (Yankees, Jets, Knicks, and Rangers), trying to ingest enough capsaicin to make himself breathe fire (it hasn’t happened yet), and scheming to acquire the Bryant Park zamboni.
Senor Weaselo

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Yes, lizard people, we’re covering the Copa América, the CONMEBOL South American lesser footy federation’s championship, where 12 teams will square off to be the best in South America. Which is why I’m covering Japan today.

Not on this map: Rand McNally

Yes, this makes total sense. (Ron Howard: “It didn’t.”)

Interestingly the non-South American teams that normally get invited (Mexico and the United States) were not included. According to Wikipedia three CONCACAF (the North American federation) teams and three AFC (the Asian federation) teams were originally invited to plan a 16-team tourney before becoming this 12-team tourney that it’s been since 1993, but it’s just two Asian squads this time around and the 12-team tourney.

Just as interestingly this is not Japan’s first rodeo in the Copa, but their second. Their first was in 1999. They even earned a point—it was in their third and final game, a 1-1 draw against Bolivia. No, last I checked, Japan has not gone and had crazy continental drift in the last 20 years, though if they did that would be pretty cool. Does that give them an advantage over the other Asian squad, Qatar? Probably. Also being ranked 26th by FIFA as opposed to Qatar’s 55th ranking helps.

Apart from having pretty nice first-choice unis,

Assuming they’re the same as the 2018 Cup. The first-choice blues are based on samurai armor apparently?

looking at the Samurai Blue’s team called up for the Copa, it’s… mostly players making their debuts with the senior club, many of whom are under the age of 23. There are four players with double-digit caps on the 23-man roster, and apart from forward (and I assume captain based on caps and him playing for a team I’ve actually heard of, Foxy Footy) Shinji Okazaki, the entire team has a grand total of 7 goals for the squad. Okazaki has 50. Most of the senior players played in the Kirin Challenge Cup, a tournament in Japan sponsored by the Kirin Brewery Company, a round-robin that this year featured Colombia, Bolivia, and Trinidad and Tobago (Colombia won).

With it almost entirely being the U-23 team apart from the keeper and the star, I imagine the Samurai’ll have a tough time of it in Brazil. Let’s check the group… they are in Group C, with Uruguay, Ecuador, and Chile. According to the FIFA rankings, Uruguay is apparently the superior footy Guay in 6th (though having Bitey ought to drop them a few spots on principle), Chile is 15th, and Ecuador is 59th. So in Wichita you’d expect them to go 1-0-2, finish 3rd in the group and I guess have a chance to sneak in with one of the two 3rd place spots? That would be with the senior team though. The mostly U-23 squad is apparently pretty decent and regularly does well in the Asian competitions in things such as Olympic qualifying (though they don’t have to worry about that this time around because 2020 is in Tokyo), so I wouldn’t say there should be too much of a drop-off, so screw it.

6/17 vs. Chile:
6/20 vs. Uruguay:
6/24 vs. Ecuador:

Sure, let’s say 3 points with a win over Ecuador and a fight with Paraguay over the 2nd of the quarterfinal spots, but Paraguay does get the benefit of playing Qatar in their first match (for maximum jetlag and jitters) so they get edged out. They forget the most important thing.

Wait, wrong show. Sorry, Chairman Kaga.

And we better not forget our most important thing.

Senor Weaselo
Senor Weaselo
Senor Weaselo plays the violin. He tucks it right under his chin. When he isn't doing that, he enjoys watching his teams (Yankees, Jets, Knicks, and Rangers), trying to ingest enough capsaicin to make himself breathe fire (it hasn't happened yet), and scheming to acquire the Bryant Park zamboni.
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UnsurprisedtheeWeeBabySeamusBrick MeathookRikki-Tikki-Deadlyballsofsteelandfury Recent comment authors
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Unsurprised
Unsurprised

I got Wahoo at one of the last ones outside OC left and then raced to LAX. Now the fucking flight seems to be delayed indefinitely. Suck a fuck L.A.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Probably too hot for the planes to take off.

/my god it’s so hot today

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

It’s all foggy here. I listen to the LAX radios and all the pilots are reporting that they are confused and scared.

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

Also there’s like a zillion Wahoos around. There’s even one at LAX.

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

There was a neat fog over the ocean and even the pier in Santa Monica.

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

Oh. Bitch bitch bitch. But enough about Mark Davis.

theeWeeBabySeamus

So I’ve been waiting for lunch for like an hour. The delivery folks app still saying “order is being prepared, 25 minutes”. It’s said that for about an hour now, if I wasn’t clear about that before.

I want my fucking food. I should gone and got the food and then got fucked up I guess.

theeWeeBabySeamus

Wait….ticker just went down to 15 minutes.
I’m getting a definite semi here.

theeWeeBabySeamus

14

theeWeeBabySeamus

The Donger Has Food!!!!!

theeWeeBabySeamus

The donger does not have napkins, however. Shit.

theeWeeBabySeamus

Hotel shaving towel, ftw.

ballsofsteelandfury

Where did you get food from?

theeWeeBabySeamus

Baja Fresh, delivered by Postmates.

ballsofsteelandfury

That still exists?!?

theeWeeBabySeamus

Apparently. I only ever ate their stuff once before, while still living in PHX. But today I wanted something Mexican-ish but not wait too long. The wait too long part backfired on me, but honesty the black bean nachos are to die for. They put a shitload of guac on ’em too. I got no complaints with the restaurant itself.

ballsofsteelandfury

Are you that baked that you didn’t want to drive the two blocks?

theeWeeBabySeamus

Yup. Nor walk neither.

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

I know a guy who got a DUI while on a bicycle. So if live up to my name about LAPD getting tWBS for public intoxication or something.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Probably too hot for the delivery driver’s car to start.

/my god it’s like hell on earth here today

King Hippo

5 goals and 2 assists for my beloved surfboard, no wonder the side scored 13 total for her. One presumes Sweden just rests their starters next week?

King Hippo

I would also like to thank Senor on behalf of his hirsute Armenian brethren, who won Hippo substantial moneys by beating The Unspeakable Vice in Athens.

King Hippo

That’s just Murrikans being Murrikans, beating the shit out of the defenseless. Especially if of a brown hue.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

“THIS IS FOR THE UNCLE THAT I LOST IN VIETNAM!”

– an undereducated American player

King Hippo

Vikings against the Turks (violence??) on laptop, Murrican snuff film v. the Ladyboys on teevee. Life is…temporarily adequate

SonOfSpam

I picked 5-0 as the final, but I gave Ladyboys’ defense too much credit apparently.

King Hippo

I either had 5 or 6, same problem. I like how muchour side enjoys touching one another, at least.

nomonkeyfun

I haven’t seen Asians take such a beating since the Marianas Turkey Shoot.

nomonkeyfun

I know goal differential can matter, but…

comment image

LemonJello
LemonJello

Is there a Mercy Rule in the World Cup?

King Hippo

yeah it’s getting really not nice

litre_cola

I had 4-0 these must actually be women not the ones who frequent the side streets on Khao San Road.

nomonkeyfun

The biggest margin of victory in womens world cup was when the German’s shat all over the run away Italo-Germans 11-0

King Hippo

not any MOAR

nomonkeyfun

Seriously, stoppage time?

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

I think 50-0 would have been a better guess.

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

Did you know the Byzantine Emperor had Viking bodyguards/personal soldiers? Pretty cool.

The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem

I honestly cannot fathom how Netflix or Amazon Prime Video have not snapped up the rights to either Iron Chef (the real one) or MXC.

ballsofsteelandfury

MXC needs its own channel

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

Cheap fucks.