Montedio Yamagata is a J1 soccer club based in Tendō, Yamagata Prefecture in Tōhoku. Officially the club represents all of Yamagata. Montedio is a made-up name incorporating European-sounding words for "mountain" and "god".* They wear blue at home and red away.
The club was founded in 1984 as NEC Yamagata Soccer Club of the Tōhoku Regional League. They won that league four years in a row from 1990 to 1993, entered the Japan Football League in 1994, and assumed the name Montedio in 1996. They entered the new J2 in 1999. They made it to J1 for the three seasons of 2009 to 2011, were relegated, and this year are back up. Their best season was 2010, when they finished 13th in J1. Their best showing in the Emperor's Cup was last year's when they made the final.
The squad includes two Brazilians, Alceu and Diego Souza, a Peruvian, Romero Frank, and a South Korean, Kim Byeom-Yong.
Their ground, ND Soft Stadium, holds 20,000. Tendō has only 61,000 inhabitants, but Yamagata Prefecture as a whole has over a million.
Today Montedio host Vissel Kobe [and lose 0 - 1.]
*I'll say this for Japanese football club names: they make for easy Google searches. There's nothing else on Earth named Montedio Yamagata. By way of contrast, try googling Rangers or United.
AFC Champions League Round of 16 first leg action involving Japanese clubs this week:
Suwon Samsung Bluewings 2 - 3 Kashiwa Reysol
FC Seoul 1 - 3 Gamba Osaka
On Wednesday in the Scottish Premiership playoffs at was Rangers 2 - 0 Hibs.
Yesterday UCD AFC visited undefeated Finn Harps and played to a 2 - 2 draw.
Today: Hibs 1 - 0 Rangers. [Hibs remain in the Championship.]
It's the final of the South Region Challenge Cup between BSC Glasgow and Civil Service Strollers. Nope, I never heard of it either. [BSC win 2 - 0.]
Tomorrow is the last game in the Turkish First League schedule. Karşıyaka, in tenth place out of 18, are safe from both relegation and promotion. Today they host Adanaspor. Following Lig. 1 for a third of a season has had one benefit: now we know that the Turkish word for sport is spor. Adana is a city in the Roman province of Cilicia.
The Sphinx crouches before the Great Pyramid of Giza and asks each passerby, "What is three years old, and has 33 Scottish Cups?" [˙sɹǝƃuɐᴚ :ɹǝʍsu∀]
Today is the moment of truth for Montrose FC. Will they be the first club to fall out of the SPFL via the pyramid playoffs? Brora beat them 1 - 0 in leg one last weekend. Montrose must win by two goals today.
But if Montrose exit the league it won't be for the first time. They left the SFL in 1926, 1939 and 1949, twice when the third division was scrapped, and once for World War Two. As in the song, they get knocked down, but they get up again.
Rangers [1 - 1] Queen of the South. [Rangers advance.]
Alloa [3 - 0] Forfar. [Alloa stay up.]
Gretna 2008 versus East Kilbride in the final of the Lowland League Cup. [East Kilbride win 3 - 1.]
Kayserispor [2 - 1] Karşıyaka
Craigshill Thistle AFC [1 - 3] Harestanes AFC in the Scottish Amateur Football Cup final.
St Mirren were relegated to the Championship last weekend. More on that all of next season.
Scottish League One scoring champion Declan McManus has signed with English League One club Fleetwood Town, the Cod Army.
Apparently there is no playoff between the fifth and sixth tiers this year after all. Threave get a reprieve.
The SPFL's new sponsor is Ladbrokes, the bookie. Setting aside the matter of gambling being harmful and stupid, it should be obvious that the SPFL places itself in a massive conflict of interest by accepting moneys derived from bets on SPFL scores. But in fact the story is breaking the other way, with players accusing the SPFL of hypocrisy for banning them from placing bets on their own games. Whit a world.