According to the Associated Press on Wednesday, J-League soccer player Mu Kanazaki of Tsu, Japan has tested positive for coronavirus. Kanazaki is 31 years of age and plays for Nagoya Grampus as a forward.
Kanazaki had only played one game in 2020. That was with Sagan Tosu in a 3-0 loss to Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo on February 16. Kanazaki played 76 minutes in the loss.
Kanazaki left Sagan Tosu to play for Nagoya Grampus on March 25. The loan signing will see him play for Nagoya Grampus until January 31, 2021.
The 2020 J-League began play on February 21. All teams played one game before the season was postponed because of coronavirus. Nagoya Grampus battled to a 1-1 draw against Vegalta Sendai. There are now plans to resume the remainder of the season starting on July 4.
Normally, J-League teams play 34 games in a season. It will be interesting to see how many games will be canceled in the J-League this year, or if teams are planning to play 33 games each.
Kanazaki is in his 14th season of professional soccer. He previously played for Oita Trinita of the J-League from 2007 to 2009, Nagoya Grampus from 2010 to 2012, FC Nurnberg of Germany’s Bundesliga from 2012-13, Portimonense in Portugal’s Segunda Liga from 2013 to 2016, the Kashima Antlers in the J-League from 2015 to 2018 and Sagan Tosu of the J-League from 2018 to 2020.
In 452 professional soccer games, Kanazaki has 113 goals and 44 assists. Kanazaki’s finest soccer season came in 2017 with the Antlers when he had 12 goals and five assists.
Internationally, Kanazaki has scored twice for Japan. The first goal came in a game-winning goal on November 12, 2015, in a 3-0 Japan win over Singapore. The second goal came on March 24, 2016, in a 5-0 Japan win over Afghanistan. Both goals Kanazaki scored for Japan came in qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
At the 2018 World Cup, Japan had a Group H record of one win, one loss and one draw. They defeated Colombia 2-1, lost to Poland 1-0, and tied Senegal 2-2. Japan then lost 3-2 to Belgium in the round of 16.
There are currently 16,896 cases of coronavirus in Japan. There are also 900 deaths.