Photos by Shoji Kudaka
Photos by Shoji Kudaka

Pro soccer squads head to island in prep for upcoming season

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

Okinawa is a training destination for professional soccer players as well as baseball players.

From mid-January through late-February, 21 football teams from Japanese professional leagues (J.League and Nadeshiko or Japan Women’s Football League) along with two South Korean teams (K and WK leagues) will host their preseason training camps in Okinawa.
 
The teams will spend several weeks on the island preparing for the 2019 season, which is slated to start next month.
 
Several well-known players may make an appearance with their current clubs, like Andrés Iniesta with Vissel Kobe and Fernando Torres with Sagan Tosu.
  
With some locations near U.S. military facilities, this is a great opportunity to see some quality soccer for free.
  
kudaka.shoji@stripes.com

Game Schedule

Jan. 30 (Wed)
Sagan Tosu vs. Jef United Ichihara Chiba
Kick-off at 2:00 p.m. 
Venue: Yomitan Athletic Field (near Torii Station) 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.399455, E 127.745315

Gamba Osaka vs. Tokyo Verdy
Kick-off at 2:00 p.m.
Venue: Gosamaru Athletic Field
GPS Coordinates: N 26.258929, E 127.793832

Feb. 1 (Fri)
FC Mito Holly Hock vs. FC Ryukyu
Kick-off at 2:30 p.m.
Venue: Gushikawa Multi-purpose Park (near Camp McTureous & Courtney) 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.357212, E 127.865826 

Feb. 2 (Sat)
Gamba Osaka vs. Jef United Ichihara Chiba
Kick-off at 10 a.m. 
Venue: Gosamaru Athletic Field
GPS Coordinates: N 26.258929, E 127.793832

Gamba Osaka vs. FC Ryukyu 
Kick-off at noon
Venue: Gosamaru Athletic Field
GPS Coordinates: N 26.258929, E 127.793832

Sagan Tosu vs. Tokyo Verdy
Kick-off at 1:00 p.m. 
Venue: Yomitan Athletic Field (near Torii Station) 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.399455, E 127.745315

Feb. 3 (Sun)
Jef United Ichihara Chiba vs. Kyoto Sanga F.C.
Kick-off at 10:30 a.m.
Venue: Nanjo City Athletic Field
GPS Coordinates: N 26.145436, E 127.769817

Feb. 7 (Thu)
Kyoto Sanga F.C. vs. FC Ryukyu 
Kick-off at 2:00 p.m.
Venue: Kochinda Sports Park Soccer Field 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.153633, E 127.714737

Feb. 9 (Sat)
Kyoto Sanga F.C. vs. Gwangju FC
Kick-off at 10:00 a.m.
Venue: Kochinda Sports Park Soccer Field 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.153633, E 127.714737

J.League (Division 1)

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 
Dates: Feb. 1 - 3
Location: Kin Town Athletic Stadium (near Camp Hansen) 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.454779, E 127.913274

Vegalta Sendai 
Dates: Jan. 14 - 29 
Location: Nishizaki Sports Park 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.146818, E 127.660798

Urawa Reds
Dates: Jan. 22 – Feb. 8 
Location: Kin Town Football Center (near Camp Hansen)
GPS Coordinates: N 26.458429, E 127.943065

FC Tokyo
Dates: Jan. 14 - Feb. 9 
Location: Kaigin Field Kunigami (till Jan. 29) & Nishizaki Sports Park (Feb. 2 - 9)
GPS Coordinates: N 26.725281, E 128.161727 (Kaigin Field Kunigami); N 26.146818, E 127.660798 (Nishizaki Sports Park) 

Kawasaki Frontale
Dates: Jan. 31 - Feb. 9 
Location: Kochinda Sports Park Soccer Field & Gosamaru Athletic Field
GPS Coordinates: N 26.153633, E 127.714737 (Kochinda Sports Park Soccer Field); N 26.258929, E 127.793832 (Gosamaru Athletic Field) 

Gamba Osaka 
Dates: Jan. 22 - Feb. 9 
Location: Gosamaru Athletic Field (until Feb. 2) & Nanjo City Athletic Field (Feb. 5 - 9)
GPS Coordinates: N 26.258929, E 127.793832 (Gosamaru Athletic Field); N 26.145436, E 127.769817 (Nanjo City Athletic Field)

Vissel Kobe
Dates: Feb. 10 - 13 
Location: Kin Town Football Center (near Camp Hansen)
GPS Coordinates: N 26.458429, E 127.943065

Sagan Tosu 
Dates: Jan. 20 – Feb. 3 
Location: Yomitan Athletic Field (near Torii Station) 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.399455, E 127.745315

J.League (Division 2)

FC Mito Holly Hock 
Dates: Jan. 28 - Feb 5
Location: Gushikawa Multi-purpose Park (near Camp McTureous & Courtney) 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.358536, E 127.864982 

Omiya Aldija 
Dates: Jan. 16 - 25 
Location: Gushikawa Multi-purpose Park (near Camp McTureous & Courtney) 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.358536, E 127.864982 

Nadeshiko (Japan Women’s Football League)

INAC Kobe Leonessa
Dates: Early Feb. to late Feb.
Location: Cape Zampa Ballpark & Kochinda Sports Park Soccer Field
GPS Coordinates: N 26.436880, E 127.716708 (Cape Zampa Ballpark); N 26.153633, E 127.714737 (Kochinda Sports Park Soccer Field) 

K League 2

Gwangju FC
Dates: Feb. 3 - 22
Location: Gushikami Athletic Park
GPS Coordinates: N 26.131724, E 127.744252

Recommended Content