Akira Kaji

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Akira Kaji
Akira Kaji-2.jpg
Personal information
Full name Akira Kaji
Date of birth (1980-01-13) January 13, 1980 (age 34)
Place of birth Minamiawaji, Hyōgo, Japan
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Right back
Club information
Current team
Chivas USA
Number 14
Youth career
1995–1997 Takigawa Daini H.S.
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2001 Cerezo Osaka 24 (0)
2000–2001 Oita Trinita (loan) 75 (3)
2002–2005 FC Tokyo 89 (1)
2006–2014 Gamba Osaka 225 (2)
2014– Chivas USA 3 (0)
National team
1998–1999 Japan U-20 8 (1)
2003–2008 Japan 64 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 August 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 30 January 2010

Akira Kaji (加地 亮 Kaji Akira?) (born January 13, 1980 in Minamiawaji, Hyōgo) is a Japanese professional footballer who currently plays for Chivas USA. He is a specialist on the right-hand side of the pitch playing as a full back or a wide midfielder.

Playing career[edit]

Club[edit]

After graduating from Takigawa Daini High School, Kaji joined Cerezo Osaka in 1998. He made his first league appearance on July 25, 1998 against Avispa Fukuoka. At the club, he found it difficult to break into the first team and was loaned out to J. League Division 2 side Oita Trinita at the start of the 2000 season.

After spending 2 years at Oita, Kaji came back to Division 1 in 2002 to play for F.C. Tokyo. The manager Hiromi Hara made him a regular and assigned a more attacking role. His club won the 2004 J. League Cup by beating Urawa Red Diamonds in the final which ended 0-0 after the extra time. The penalty shoot-out was required and his successful conversion as the last penalty taker for Tokyo finally broke the deadlock.

He was transferred to Gamba Osaka at the beginning of the 2006 season and scored in the beginning league match against Urawa Reds. He was selected as a member of the 2006 J-League Team of the Year.

After eight years with Gamba Osaka, Kaji signed with Major League Soccer club Chivas USA on June 24, 2014.[1]

International[edit]

He was a member of the Japan team for the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship finals where the team finished runners-up.

He gained his first cap for Japan when national coach Zico played him on October 8, 2003 in a friendly against Tunisia. He was rated highly by Zico who made him the first-choice right full-back. He was a member of the Japan team who won the 2004 Asian Cup in China.[2] In a 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup against Brazil, his goal was disallowed by a controversial offside decision.[3] His first goal for the country finally came on August 17, 2005 in a World Cup qualifier against Iran.[4]

He made the final squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals. In a preparation match against Germany just before the tournament, he injured his ankle when tackled by Bastian Schweinsteiger.[5] Zico considered his replacement but decided to keep him. He missed Japan's first game in the tournament against Australia with Yūichi Komano filling in for his place, but he returned to the team and played in the rest of the competition.

After the 2006 World Cup, Zico was replaced by Ivica Osim who also regularly picks him for the national team. He was a member of the Japan team for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup and played all the Japan games in the tournament.

On May 20, 2008 he announced retirement from international football.

Club career stats[edit]

Last update: 20 April 2014

Club Season League Emperor's Cup J. League Cup Continental1 Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Cerezo Osaka 1998 15 0 1 0 1 1 - 17 1
1999 9 0 0 0 0 0 - 9 0
Oita Trinita 2000 34 3 2 0 1 0 - 37 3
2001 41 0 2 0 4 0 - 47 0
F.C. Tokyo 2002 20 1 1 0 6 0 - 27 1
2003 22 0 2 0 6 0 - 30 0
2004 22 0 3 0 1 0 - 26 0
2005 25 0 2 0 0 0 - 27 0
Gamba Osaka 2006 29 1 5 1 0 0 5 0 39 2
2007 28 1 4 1 6 0 - 38 2
2008 26 0 5 0 4 0 11 0 43 0
2009 20 0 5 1 0 0 1 0 26 1
2010 32 0 2 0 2 0 6 0 42 0
2011 30 0 1 0 0 0 6 0 37 0
2012 16 0 5 0 1 0 5 0 27 0
2013 38 0 2 0 - - - - 40 0
2014 6 0 0 0 0 0 - - 6 0
Career total 413 6 37 3 32 1 34 0 521 10

1Includes AFC Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup.

National team career statistics[edit]

[6]

Japan national team
Year Apps Goals
2003 1 0
2004 20 0
2005 14 1
2006 14 0
2007 11 1
2008 4 0
Total 64 2

Appearances in major competitions[edit]

Team Competition Category Appearances Goals Team Record
Start Sub
 Japan 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship Senior 0 3 0 2nd place
 Japan 2003 Confederations Cup Senior 0 Group Stage
 Japan 2004 AFC Asian Cup Senior 6 0 0 Champions
 Japan 2005 Confederations Cup Senior 0 Group Stage
 Japan East Asian Cup 2005 Senior 0 2nd place
 Japan 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification Senior 1 Qualified
 Japan 2006 FIFA World Cup Senior 3 0 0 Group Stage

Goals for Senior National Team[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. August 17, 2005 Yokohama, Japan  Iran 2-1 Won 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualification
2. October 17, 2007 Osaka, Japan  Egypt 4-1 Won 2007 Afro-Asian Cup of Nations

Personal Honors[edit]

Team Honors[edit]

Club
National Team

References[edit]