First ratings of the season kinda delayed, mostly to see how things shake out early on, but can’t wait much longer since we’re nearly into the season’s second month. So, here we go, with a couple of surprises at the top:
1, Gyeonggi Suwon International, South Korea (8-0): Believe it. Danny Kwon and Jacob Son have the Purple Knights off to their best start ever in the Pacific’s best league.
2, Nile C. Kinnick, Japan (9-0-1): Best start in Red Devils’ history fueled by the best players the school has had since Manny Cruz (Class of 2000), including brothers Zach, Brandon and Brady Yoder.
3, Seoul Foreign (8-0-1): Jacob Lunden-Welden, Fred Baertels leading a typically good Crusaders start; what about that tie with Seoul International?
4, Matthew C. Perry, Japan (15-2-1): Pacific’s leading offense with 104 goals in 18 matches.
5, Christian Academy Japan (1-0): Only victory in a scrimmage with Yokota; Knights typically play most of their matches after March 31.
6, Yongsan International-Seoul (4-2): Two victories over reigning Far East Division I champion Seoul American goes to show how competitive KAIAC D-I is.
7, Kadena, Okinawa (1-1): Lowest an Okinawa team has ever opened the ratings in a given season.
8, Seoul American (4-4): Been an up-and-down campaign thus far for the Falcons, but David Voelker and Andrew Clark will keep them competitive.
9, Seoul International (3-4-1): Somebody mark Hiro Watanabe already!
10, Zama American (3-5-3): Gaining traction after a slow start.
1, Seoul Foreign (9-0): Michelle Richardson, Kathy Lee, Sarah Stegner & Co. have Crusaders on typical winning track.
2, Kubasaki, Okinawa (2-0): Whether Dragons can muster more than a goal against Kadena this Friday will be telling.
3, Yokota, Japan (6-2): Solid run of six straight wins, the last five by shutout, after losing first two. Kathryn White’s beasting in goal.
(tie), Nile C. Kinnick, Japan (9-1): Only loss 1-0 last weekend to Yokota in the DODDS Japan tournament; the two have halved their matches thus far this season.
5, Seoul American (4-2-2): Tough to replace Liz Gleaves, but Amanda Jackson and Hannah Nelson are managing.
6, American School In Japan (1-1): This isn’t your champion Mustangs team of last year and 2008, but Joey Yamada and ASIJ are still a handful.
7, Matthew C. Perry, Japan (6-4-1): Coach Rick Stanford calls them the young, rebuilding Samurai. Sam Herritt, Sierra Apple and the Samurai are further along than that.
8, Taejon Christian International, South Korea (5-2-2): Front line of Caroline Lee, Emily Moimoi and Susan Yi is dangerous.
9, Gyeonggi Suwon International, South Korea (4-2-1): Mark up Hanji Kim. Or else. She will smoke you.
10, Zama American, Japan (5-4-1): Did well to start season, including rare win over ASIJ, but injuries are beginning to tell.
Anybody think they can do better? Think my picks are a bunch of hooey? Shout it out! Be true to your school, but remember: You’ve entered THE “No-Hate Zone.”
Ornauer on AFN
Stars and Stripes reporter Dave Ornauer talks about the Pacific sports scene on AFN Radio. (Click on right arrow to play file.)
May 22:Yokota has dominated in first year at D-II spring championsihps.
May 8: Dave Ornauer highlights a few athletes who are participating in the Kanto Plains track and field finals Saturday.
April 24: Dave Ornauer highlights the DODDS Japan soccer tournament with Zama taking aim at the title.