I wanted to amplify this event, from the Japan-America Society:

“Please join us as we celebrate together, creating a Sugita-senshu Cheer Section…

…to support Japanese international soccer star Hina Sugita as she plays for the Portland Thorns. We’re creating a Cheer Section for the home game at Providence Park on Friday May 13th, kick-off 7pm against the OL Reign (Seattle!).”

(FYI, “senshu” means “player”, so it replaces the honorific “-san” for a sports icon like Sugita…)

I purely love the idea of a real Nadeshiko-league fan section hammering the taiko drum for our new midfielder.

(Which leads me back to an old lede; we need player songs. C’mon, capos! You know that you are responsible for getting the songs going – nobody in the stands can start a song with you in front. So YOU have to take the initiative and come up with some player songs. Why don’t we have a quick, memorable Sinclair song? A Menges song? A Smith song? (surely there must be a tune by the Smiths you can use..!)

And now a Sugita song? Ohhellyes! Already got an idea – adapt the old cherry blossom song “Sakura”; Sugita! Sugita! Kicks your ass like Gojira!” Tell me you don’t already love it! The Wasaeda University Cheer Squad says “Hai! HAI!! HAI!!!)

(And I’d pay a premium to see this in the North End. That’s the Wasaeda University Cheer Squad and that’s made of 100% awesome…)

I’ve already got my ticket, and I might even have to drag out my old kendo tenegui to fold down into a hakimachi and get into the right ganbare! spirit.

After just a handful of matches I already adore this player, so I couldn’t resist amping up the opportunity for her to hear her fans cheer her in traditional Nadeshiko ultra style.

So いらっしゃいませ!C’mon on in and join the Sugita-ōendan!

John Lawes
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One thought on “Sugita-senshu!

  1. I really love Sugita’s game. We had a 15 year old Japanese student for two weeks in 2017 and she has been excited by Sugiita playing here. She saw one Thorns game when she was here and the only player I could point out at that time that she might know was Carly Lloyd, who was rather destructive in the WC15 against Japan.
    I am glad to see so many players from Japan play here now and if I can generalize a bit they seem to very nimble, technical, quick, if not fast and very popular with their teammates. Hina fits that profile to a “T.”


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