SUNSHINE COAST, Australia -- In the opening round of the Chinese Super League last month, two teams -- Shandong Tiashin in orange kit and Zhejiang in white -- battled out an eager contest on Hainan Island in southern China.
A smattering of non-Chinese names dotted both team's starting lineups, and the game zipped about at a decent pace. Shots of focused coaches: check. Close-ups of serious players, pointing, shouting: check. Some slick ball movement, willing off-ball darts into space: check. So far so good.