Japan’s Nadeshiko

Urawa Reds Ladies wins the 2014 Nadeshiko League Title

Urawa Reds 0 – 1 Albirex Niigata

Niigata: 71’ Sayaka Oishi

Attendance: 5,976

Shots: Urawa 6 – 9 Niigata

Corners: Urawa 11 – 3 Niigata

JEF United Chiba 1 – 1 INAC Kobe

Chiba: 3’ Risa Ikadai

Kobe: 33’ Megumi Takase

Attendance: 3,297

Shots: Chiba 12 – 9 Kobe

Corners: Chiba 0 – 3 Kobe

Yunogo Belle 0 – 1 NTV Beleza

NTV: 55’ Mizuho Sakaguchi

Attendance: 2,194

Shots: Yunogo 11 – 10 NTV

Corners: Yunogo 1 – 2 NTV

Nadeshiko League Final Standing:

#1 Urawa: Pts=24, W=6, D=2, L=2, GF=17, GA=8, GD=9
#2 NTV: Pts=24, W=6, D=1, L=3, GF=13, GA=10, GD=3
#3 Niigata: Pts=18, W=4, D=3, L=3, GF=14, GA=13, GD=1
#4 Yunogo: Pts=17, W=3, D=2, L=5, GF=12, GA=20, GD=–8
#5 Chiba: Pts=11, W=3, D=1, L=6, GF=18, GA=19, GD=–1
#6 Kobe: Pts=10, W=1, D=5, L=4, GF=11, GA=15, GD=–4

Match Updates Thanks to Ken Suzuki


  1. Ken Suzuki 9 years ago

    Please meet the new champs, and see how they are young!!


    • WSU 9 years ago

      Really enjoyed that video, thank you Ken.
      They look such a young squad!! I love the pics of the players meeting their very young fans and the beautiful shots of the stadium and sky.

  2. Ken Suzuki 9 years ago

    Nadeshiko League awards players.

    Best Eleven and MVP.


    From left to right.

    Miho Fukumoto (Yunogo)
    Azusa Iwashimizu (NTV)
    Shiho Kohata (Urawa)
    Ruka Norimatsu (Urawa, also the rookie of the year)
    Saori Ariyoshi (NTV)

    Michi Goto (Urawa: MVP)

    Mizuho Sakaguchi (NTV)
    Aya Miyama (Yunogo)
    Hikaru Naomoto (Urawa)
    Megumi Kamionobe (Niigata)
    Yuika Sugasawa (Chiba, also the golden boot)
    Megumi Takase (Kobe)

    • WSU 9 years ago

      This is great, thank you Ken. I have moved to: http://www.womenssoccerunited.com/japan-nadeshiko-league-2014-player-award-winners/

      Congratulations to the winners.

    • Mia Mon 8 years ago

      slightly confused why MVP isn’t part of the Best XI…unless it’s some sort of special designation and she’s like a shoo-in to the Best XI?

      • Ken Suzuki 8 years ago


        There are always two factions of idea how to select MVP. One is to pick a player who showed the best individual performance. The other is to pick one who contributed most to winning the championship.

        If we follow the first idea then the MVP of 2014 Nadeshiko League is either Miyama or Sugasawa. Miyama carried her team, Yunogo Belle, almost singlehandedly. Now everyone forgets Yunogo was reduced to nine(!) players, of which two were goalkeepers, and unable to form a soccer team in January. They recruited a few eventually and at least one (Asano) turned out to be better than any who had left the team. Still, everyone (myself included) predicted this team would sink to the bottom and could even be relegated. It was Miyama’s miraculous endeavor that not only saved her team but let it win the first stage. Most certainly, Miyama was the busiest of all nadeshikos. She had to cover a large portion of defense on top of fulfilling her traditional role to initiate attack. And, of course, Miyama is the captain of the national team even if the NT acts is not a factor to elect league MVP. Sugasawa won the golden boot, of course.

        If we follow the second idea, which has a much wider support than the first, then MVP should be a player of Urawa Reds. But, then, we run into a problem because no single player stands out from her teammates distinctively. For example, the Urawa’s best goal-scorer is Kira who scored 9 goals, or less than half of Sugasawa’s 20 even though Urawa as a team scored more goals than Sugasawa’s JEF Chiba. Urawa’s style is to let everyone participate in both defense and offense. As a result their achievement, measured in any number, is distributed among players more evenly than in any of their rivals, which in turn means if you picked any single player her record tends to be poorer than that of the star players of other teams. This is Urawa’s strength, not weakness, and it is my personal belief that the Japan’s national team would have no hope in future unless it is rebuilt in the image of Urawa Reds Ladies. See how the Nestle Cup went. Urawa had good chance to beat the all-star Sao Jose while Yunogo was no match at all of Arsenal.

        So, they elected the captain, Michi Goto, as MVP even if her individual performance is nowhere near that of the Best Eleven. Perhaps the best thing that could have happened is to award the entire team as MVP following suit the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Doctors Without Borders, United Nations, or EU, rather than any individuals. But the world is not yet ready to accept a team as MVP. (Anyway, MVP stands for the Most Valuable “Player.”)

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