With the J-League not readily available on American televisions and YouTube highlights only showing so much, it can be hard to know what to make of New England Revolution trialiast Yuzo Tashiro. The 32-year-old has spent his entire career in Japan but is now looking to join his compatriot Daigo Kobayashi in New England.
To gain some insight on Tashiro, the Bent Musket talked to Onodera Yota, an avid fan of Japanese soccer who has watched the striker on television and in the stadium.
The Bent Musket (TBM): Please give a brief summary of Tashiro's career.
Onodera Yota (OY): He was a promising player when he was a college student. And he joined Kashima Antlars in 2005 season. Afterward he left Kashima, he played well at some J-1 clubs.
And he was selected for Japan national team in 2008 season.
TBM: What formation best fits Tashiro's skills?
OY: He's typical striker. So I think he can play only as central forward.
TBM: What do you see as Tashiro's strengths?
OY: His strengths is jumping ability. He's one of the most excellent "Air battler" in J-League, and often headed the ball into the goal. In spite of striker, he always defend devotedly.
TBM: What do you see as Tashiro's weaknesses?
OY: Weaknesses.. Hmm, he has a habit of getting injury.
TBM: Does having a Japanese player on the roster help increase the team's relevance in Japan?
OY: If Japanese player joined to "European club", Japanese football fans seek some info about the player and try to know about his club.
In all likelihood, many Japanese football fans know only "Daigo plays at a MLS club." If Japanese media report some news about MLS in Japanese, people can know and be interested in MLS.
TBM: How do you think Tashiro would do in MLS?
OY: I think he won't play well at MLS. Surely he's tough and good "Air battler" in J-League. but there are many tall-men in MLS. So I guess he has lost half its strength in MLS.
TBM thanks Onodera Yota for his time. He can be followed on Twitter (@maimaidenden).