The Osaka Gold Villicanes announced earlier today that they will be leaving the Kansai Independent League and will likely join the Mie Three Arrows in the Japan Future League. Osaka is set to begin negotiations with the JFL on 10/20.
Tough break for the Kansai Independent League. Not only do they lose Eri Yoshida (who could still make a return to the league with a different team), but they also lose their inaugural champions.
=== Update 10/19/2009 @ 7:41pm JST
The Kansai Independent League is currently wondering how Osaka leaving the league will affect its current sponsor situation. The league just recently made visits to all their sponsors to inform them that they would be playing another full year with 4 teams and it is still not known how they will react to the league running with only 3 teams.
"This is a challenge we can't back down from. If we maintain our focus and remain committed to our goal, I think we'll be able to get past this hurdle," said current league rep, Takeshi Kimura.
=== Update 10/20/2009 @ 4:10pm JST
Osaka held a press conference to announce that they submitted a formal application to join the Japan Future League today. The JFL will now take about a week to decide whether or not they'll allow the team to join the league.