There was someone who said Cerezo should have been banned from the ACL unless they had their “strongest team” play in the competition. But as those who have followed Cerezo news and games (something a person who calls him/herself a journalist must do before saying something) know, Cerezo have suffered from many injuries at least partly because of tough schedule. Ryuji Sawakami had been sidelined since January due to tibial stress fracture but he’s finally come back in game action yesterday, with a fine goal.

Sawakami started for Cerezo Osaka U-23 against Y.S.C.C. Yokohama yesterday. It was soon after the game started when he scored his first goal after he returned from injury. The goal was created in the 9th minute from a cross by right fullback Masaki Okino who received a quality through pass from Toshiki Onozawa.

Currently, Kenyu Sugimoto, Yoichiro Kakitani, and Yang Dong-Hyun compete for two striker positions in the first team. Sawakami, a 24-year-old striker who is in his 3rd professional year after graduating from Osaka University of Health and Sports Sciences, needs to join that competition or he may be loaned out to gain more first-team experience.