A-League

A-League: Melbourne Victory Sign Keisuke Honda

NARITA, JAPAN - JULY 05: Keisuke Honda is seen on arrival at Narita International Airport on July 5, 2018 in Narita, Narita, Japan. (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)
A-League: Melbourne Victory Sign Keisuke Honda

One of Japan’s longtime servants to the game of football is now in Melbourne Victory colors. Meet Keisuke Honda, a former Nagoya Grampus, CSKA Moscow, AC Milan and CF Pachuca standout. Honda has 37 goals in 98 appearances for Japan’s Samurai Blue and was named a designated foreign visa player by Kevin Muscat’s Melbourne Victory, alongside Kosta Barbarouses and Georg Niedermeier.

“Signing Keisuke is a triumph for our Club and matches the ambition we have to grow the Melbourne Victory brand and deliver success both on and off the field to our members, fans and corporate partners,” said Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro. “This signing presents a wonderful opportunity for the Victory family and I want to be bold and say that we will be the first A-League club to achieve 30,000 members and beyond. We would like to acknowledge and thank Football Federation Australia and Fox Sports, for helping make today possible.”

“It goes without saying that Keisuke has consistently proven himself at the highest level and we can’t wait to see what he can do in Melbourne,” said Muscat of Honda. “He brings world-class ability and offers great flexibility in the front third of the pitch. It’s obviously an added benefit to have him a part of our AFC Asian Champions League campaign too.”

Melbourne are the defending A-League champions and are one of the most storied clubs in the competition. The Victory will look to begin their 2018-19 season on the right foot when they face Perth Glory, a club that has had form against Melbourne in the past and is now under the tutelage of former Western Sydney Wanderers manager Tony Popovic, in the FFA Cup Round of 32. The match is scheduled for Aug. 7 at 3:30 a.m. PT/6:30 a.m. ET at Dorrien Gardens, the home of Perth SC. Melbourne’s first A-League match is at home to Melbourne City on Oct. 20.

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@joryansalazar

Jo-Ryan Salazar is a writer for The Stoppage Time, a soccer blog powered by Azteca Soccer. A supporter of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996 and a committed supporter since 2002, Jo-Ryan also follows Chelsea FC, Melbourne Victory, FC Tokyo and Paris Saint-Germain. Apart from soccer, Jo-Ryan is an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit in Long Beach, California and also does photography, photo-editing and fictional writing.

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