NEWS

J1 LEAGUE

53-year-old Kazu to make J1 appearance? Yokohama FC face Sapporo’s attacking football / J1 Restart Preview

Upon returning to J1 for the first time in 13 years, Yokohama FC met Vissel Kobe in the opening match of this season. Their lead, obtained through Tatsuki Seko’s goal was cancelled out later, but resulted in a 1-1 draw against the Emperor’s Cup winners. While Yokohama FC feature many youngsters playing in the Japanese top flight for the first time, they are supported by experienced stars such as Kazuyoshi Miura, Shunsuke Nakamura and Daisuke Matsui. They aim to seize the first victory of the season through their solid defense and speedy attacks from the flanks.

Sapporo were defeated 4-2 by Kashiwa Reysol on the opening day. They were vulnerable especially in the first half, when conceded easily. However, in the second half they showed improvement, which led to goals by Takuma Arano and Musashi Suzuki. Although they did not bring in any major reinforcement, the foundation of their passing football built in the past two years under Petrovic still seems very solid, and their attack-minded style is unchanged.

 

J1 LEAGUE

J.League returns on July 4! Introduction to all teams and their key players — Oita Trinita

・Team
The past season was the first year back in the first division for Oita, they took advantage of the momentum after defeating Kashima in the opening match and even joined the title race. Although they slowed down after the summer, they still achieved a remarkable 9th place. 

Katanosaka Tomohiro, the manager who now led Oita Trinita for four seasons, will continue with his possession style of football, this season with 3-4-2-1. Players, including the goalkeeper, move the ball from behind, and the whole team run into space at once. The five-men defensive line remains strong and stable. 

This season, Oita features several talented attackers, such as Chinen Kei, and aim to solve the lack of scoring ability that was a problem last season. In the opening match, they failed to break Cerezo Osaka's solid defense and lost 1-0, but they were well ahead in the number of shots. Improving scoring ability is the key to further chances to join the title race. 

・Key player
Tomoki Iwata
Iwata is a “Tokyo Olympics generation player” that Oita is particularly proud of. He plays as one of the three central defenders and has absolute confidence in one-v-one duels thanks to his speed. Although he is relatively small, he is strong in the air as well. His bold overlaps could also be a big weapon, and he scored four goals in the past season. 

・New signing
Kei Chinen
An Okinawan striker featuring strong physicality, Chinen is expected to be the main source of goals at Oita in 2020. During his time in Kawasaki, he was a jack-of-all-trades and contributed to Frontale winning the championship twice. He is capable of powerful shots, while his skill at holding the ball up front as well can result in scoring chances for Oita Trinita.

 

 

J.LEAGUE News

2020 MEIJI YASUDA J.LEAGUE to be broadcasted more overseas

J.LEAGUE announced that the 2020 MEIJI YASUDA J.LEAGUE will be available for viewing in additional areas below, prior to the resume of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE.

In Thailand, SIAMSPORT already provides J1 matches on their digital platform and MCOT, a free-to-air terrestrial TV station, will also join to provide J1 matches from 4 July. The J.LEAGUE is drawing more attention from the Thai football fans as their players are playing in the league.

In addition, Sportdigital will provide the J1 LEAGUE in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, while SportKlub will cover Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia.

The 2020 season was suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak but it will be enjoyed by a wider range of football fans around the world.

Further announcements may follow upon determination of additional regions and broadcasters during the season.

Region Broadcasting Network URL Subject Competition
China PR K-BALL (China Sports Media) https://www.sportsmedia.com.cn/ MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE,
MEIJI YASUDA J2 LEAGUE
Hong Kong i-Cable http://www.i-cable.com/ MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE
Taiwan ELTA https://eltaott.tv/ MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE
Macau TDM https://portugues.tdm.com.mo/ MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE
Malaysia, Brunei Astro www.stadiumastro.com MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE
Australia OPTUS https://sport.optus.com.au/ MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE
United Kingdom, Ireland Premier Sports https://www.premiersports.com/ MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE
Israel The Sports Channel https://www.sport5.co.il/ MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE
Thailand SIAMSPORT https://www.siamsport.co.th/home MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE
MCOT www.9mcot.com/jleague2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE
Germany, Switzerland, Austria Sportdigital https://start.sportdigital.de/ MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE
Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia SportKlub http://sportklub.com/ MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE
Worldwide excluding Japan
(News rights only)
SNTV https://www.sntv.com/ MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE
* News distribution only

*Worldwide (excluding Japan and China PR) sales through Dentsu

 

J1 LEAGUE

J.League returns on July 4! Introduction to all teams and their key players — Sagan Tosu

・Team
In 2019, Tosu decided to dismiss manager Lluís Carreras already in May, after a disastrous start of the season. The team managed to improve their form under Kim Myung-hwi and in the end barely avoided relegation by finishing in the 15th Spot.
Kim remained in charge for the 2020 season and adopted a 4-3-3 system in order to play more offensive football. Tosu’s young squad, featuring developing youngsters like Daiki Matsuoka and Fuchi Honda, was reinforced by many signings, including Tomoya Koyamatsu, a player who boasts a speedy dribbling.
Sagan have a lot of potential, in fact, they drew 0-0 with Kawasaki Frontale in the opening match, showing solid defense, while also creating some good chances. Although it is a blow that Mu Kanazaki moved to Nagoya Grampus during the break, experienced striker Yohei Toyota and Tiago Alves are expected to fill his shoes.

・Key Player
Riki Harakawa
This is the fourth season at Tosu for the skillful midfielder, who has been a hot prospect since a young age and took part in the 2016 Olympics. Improving as he gains more experience, he controls the game with his accurate passes and also often scores through his powerful free-kicks.

・New Signing
Eduardo 
The tall Brazilian center back first came to Japan in 2013. After playing for Gainare Tottori, Tochigi SC, Kashiwa Reysol, Kawasaki Frontale and then Matsumoto Yamaga, he joined Tosu this season. He combines excellent aerial strength and skill with precise long-range passes.

 

J1 LEAGUE

J.League returns on July 4! Introduction to all teams and their key players — Sanfrecce Hiroshima

・Team
Hiroshima had a positive season last year, finishing sixth thanks to their possession football, a well-oiled 3-4-2-1 system and young players such as Tsukasa Morishima, Hayao Kawabe and Keisuke Osako who all showed great improvement. However, there were a few games they failed to win due to lack of finishing quality, and that is where they need improvement in order to be serious challengers for the title this season.

As often, Sanfrecce were quiet in the transfer market and there were no major changes to the squad, thus young players will need to step up and play a more important role. The performance of Leandro Pereira, who joined the team in the middle of last season, could be also a key to determine the team’s results.

Hiroshima have beaten Kashima Antlers 3-0 in the opening match. The front three of Leandro Pereira, Douglas Vieira and Morishima all scored a goal, and the defence was very solid. They would want to keep up momentum as they return to the field.

・Key Player
Toshihiro Aoyama
Aoyama is one of the best Japanese holding midfielders and provides high-quality lateral and vertical passes. He suffered because of injuries during the past season, but he is in a fine condition this year.

・New Signing
Ezequiel
A Brazilian attacker with great speed and technique. Although he is only 167 cm tall, he overwhelms the opponents with skilful dribbling, and he is capable to unleash sharp shots. His natural position is attacking midfielder, but he is expected to play as a winger, to take advantage of his ability of pushing forward.

 

J1 LEAGUE

J.League returns on July 4! Introduction to all teams and their key players — Vissel Kobe

・Team
In the past season Vissel Kobe featured the so-called “Big Three”: David Villa, Lukas Podolski and Andres Iniesta, and naturally were a strong title contender, but unexpectedly struggled from the beginning. After replacing the manager twice, they finally improved their form with Thorsten Fink at the helm, and summer signings Thomas Vermaelen and Gotoku Sakai. In the end, they finished eighth in the league, but won the Emperor’s Cup — their first ever title.
Despite Villa hanging up his boots and Podolski leaving the club, Kobe did not sign any world-famous player. Instead, they opted for Douglas, who might not be so well known outside of Japan, but has a great record at Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Shimizu S-Pulse. His performance will be a big factor for their success this season. On the opening day in 2020, Vissel suffered in front of Yokohama FC’s solid defense in a 1-1 draw, but they are certainly one of the teams that could lead this year’s title race.

・Key Player
Andres Iniesta
The Spanish superstar is a world-class superstar that needs no introduction. His dribbling, passes, control, shots… any of his skill is way above the J.League standard. He turned 36 this year, but he will continue to entertain fans with his ever-lasting technique.

・New Signing
Douglas
The Brazilian striker joined Kobe from Shimizu S-Pulse. In 2015, Douglas scored 21 goals to help Sanfrecce to win the league. His strong physicality makes him a great target man, and he often finds the net with his powerful left foot or precise headers.

 

J1 LEAGUE

J.League returns on July 4! Introduction to all teams and their key players — Cerezo Osaka

・Team
While Cerezo feature great attacking talents such as Hiroshi Kiyotake (who has played in Spain), Yoichiro Kakitani and Ken Tokura, in 2019, under Spanish manager Lotina, they were the team that conceded the least goals in the league. In addition to the solid defense which helped them climb to the 5th place, they now need to improve their attack this year to hope to win the league for the first time.

Tatsuhiro Sakamoto, who joined from J2 side Montedio Yamagata, could be an important player to help achieve such goal. He is a winger who boasts sharp dribbling and will provide an extra option for the attack. Both Yuta Toyokawa, coming from Belgian side Eupen, and promising youngster Jun Nishikawa as well are players who can make a difference. Cerezo have beaten Oita Trinita 1-0 in the opening match. Since their solid defense seems to be still intact, they surely are contenders to join the title race.

・Key Player
Matej Jonjić
The 187 cm tall Croatian center back supports Cerezo’s solid defense with his incredible aerial strength. He is also highly skilled and plays an important role by distributing long passes as well as scoring headers from set pieces.

・New Signing
Jun Nishikawa
Nishikawa is a high school graduate who, among other clubs, had caught the attention of FC Barcelona. The left-footed attacker, gifted with skillful dribbling and great finishing, already made his J1 debut last season while attending high school. He has enough potential to secure a starting spot in his first season as a professional footballer.

 

J1 LEAGUE

J.League returns on July 4! Introduction to all teams and their key players — Gamba Osaka

・Team
Gamba have been unable to join the title race in the last three seasons, despite fielding talented squads and featuring Japanese stars such as Takashi Usami, Yasuhito Endo and Yosuke Ideguchi. For the 2020 campaign the Osaka club further reinforced the team by signing Gen Shoji and Yuji Ono, to try to win the league for the first time since 2014.

Under the management of former Japanese international Tsuneyasu Miyamoto, Gamba adopt a 3-5-2 system and try to take advantage of the speedy wingers and talented attackers such as Usami and Ademilson. They had a great start of the season, defeating the reigning champions Yokohama F.Marinos 2-1, thanks to solid defense and smart attacking breaks. With great talent in their squad, Gamba's success will depend greatly on the 43-year-old manager’s strategy.

・Key Player
Ademilson
Thanks to his powerful dribbling and sharp finishing, last year the Brazilian striker coming from FC São Paulo FC went double-digit goals for the first time, in his fourth season at Gamba. He contributes to the team not only by scoring goals but he also regularly provides decisive assists.

・New Signing
Gen Shoji
The Japanese international center back returned to Japan after a stint at French side Toulouse. His great defensive ability is supported by his strong physicality, and his passing and vision are clearly above average. After the injury-plagued spell in France, he attempts to make a comeback at Gamba, where he spent his days as a U15 team member.

 

J1 LEAGUE

J.League returns on July 4! Introduction to all teams and their key players — Nagoya Grampus

・Team
Nagoya Grampus seemed to be a competitor for the title race at the beginning of the past season, but gradually ran out of steam. The situation became so dramatic that they had to change manager Yahiro Kazama with Massimo Ficcadenti, who managed to avoid relegation. For this first full season under the Italian, Nagoya signed experienced players such as Hiroyuki Abe and Sho Inagaki. With a reinforced squad, they were mostly dominant against Vegalta Sendai in the opening match, but the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

While Mu Kanazaki returned from Sagan Tosu during the break, the 2018 J1 top scorer Jô left the club right before the restart. There were also some concerns over players’ conditions after Kanazaki and Langerak tested positive for COVID-19 — both have now recovered. In any case, Grampus can always count on speedy attack and solid defence built in the style of Ficcadenti.

・Key Player
Langerak
Langerak is the undisputed regular goalkeeper of Nagoya since his arrival in 2018. The Australian international, capable of crucial saves, tested positive for COVID-19 while the league was on hold, but already recovered and returned to normal training.

・New Signing
Hiroyuki Abe
Abe has three J1 titles under his belt, with Gamba Osaka in 2014 and with Kawasaki Frontale in 2017 and 2018. The Japanese attacker, who boasts powerful dribbling and accurate shots from long distance, already introduced himself to his new supporters with a goal in the first game of the season.

 

J1 LEAGUE

J.League returns on July 4! Introduction to all teams and their key players — Shimizu S-Pulse

・Team
Shimizu struggled to avoid relegation last season and finished twelfth. This year, they try to make a comeback with more attack-minded football under Peter Cklamovski, former assistant coach at Yokohama F.Marinos.

The departure of some key players including Douglas and Ko Matsubara was a big blow, but S-Pulse added to the roster top foreign talents in Teerasil Dangda and Valdo. More over, there there are many promising youngsters such as Yugo Tatsuta, Yuta Taki and Kenta Nishizawa, all with big potential.

On the Opening day of the season ,Shimizu took the lead against FC Tokyo, but lost 1-3 after conceding toward the end of the match. While combinations between the players need to improve, the there were glimpses of the good organization the new manager is demanding. If S-Pulse manage to get accustomed to their new style of football early in the season, they could be dark horse in this campaign.

・Key Player
Shota Kaneko
The 163 cm tall attacker poses a great threat from the wing, thanks to his great skill and quickness. He also helps defending with his tireless workload.

・New Signing
Teerasil Dangda
Teerasil is a Thai football hero who has earned more than 100 caps for the national team. He can score in a variety of ways, thanks to a good combination of his aerial strength and technique. He also combines well with his teammates as a skillful target man. Teerasil had a good start of the season by finding the net in the opening match.

 

 

J.LEAGUE News

EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series eJ.LEAGUE cancelled

J.LEAGUE announced to cancel the eSports competition "EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series eJ.LEAGUE", following to the Electronic Arts' decision to cancel all EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series events due to the global pandemic of COVID-19.

Announcement by Electonic Arts Inc.

 

J1 LEAGUE

J.League returns on July 4! Introduction to all teams and their key players — Shonan Bellmare

・Team
Cho Kwi-jae, the manager who led Shonan Bellman for several seasons, left upon accusations of power harassment during the last season. The team’s form was negatively affected by the managerial change, and Shonan were caught in a fight to avoid relegation. Although they managed to survive by winning the playout game, it surely was a tough year for them.

This one as well is also expected to be a difficult season, as many of the core players have left after the struggles of 2019. In fact, Bellman lost at home 3-2 to Urawa Reds in the opening match. However, during some of the match they were capable to show sparks of the aggressive “Shonan Style” football from the Cho Kwi-jae’s era.

New signings left positive impressions, as Naoki Ishihara scored a goal and others, including Akito Fukuta, played a good match. There is room for improvement with fresh talents such as Mitski Saito and Toichi Suzuki developing quickly, and if these youngsters can help leading the team, Shonan might be able to forget last year’s nightmarish season.

・Key Player
Mitsuki Saito
Saito is a young defensive midfielder who grew up at Shonan Bellmare’s academy. Although he is only 166 cm tall, he has great ability at recovering the ball, tireless stamina and  he does not fear physical contact. He also contributes offensively with sharp passes and he is often seen sprinting into the box.

・New Signing
Tarik
The Norwegian international, gifted with great finishing skills is expected to be the main source of goals at Shonan in 2020. The striker has a rich experience in European leagues, having played in the Netherlands and Germany. He is capable of unleashing accurate shots with both feet, while his dedicated defensive efforts can be a great help for his team.

 

J.LEAGUE News

Results of COVID-19 tests

The latest results from COVID-19 testing done by the J.LEAGUE is as per below.

Testing period: 18 June – 21 June
【Results】

Total 3,070
Negative 3,058
Positive*1 0
Testing is ongoing*2 12

*1 confirmed by a doctor
*2 includes unconfirmed due to lack of sampling

■PCR testing are for registered players/team staff in all 56 clubs, referees and other officials until end of the season. The number of samples are up to 3850 per round (up to 60 per team/up to 100 per referees and other officials).

 

J1 LEAGUE

J.League returns on July 4! Introduction to all teams and their key players — Yokohama FC

・Team
Yokohama FC struggled at the beginning of the past season in J2, but things started to click when manager Takahiro Shimotaira took charge after Match-day 13. They registered 19 wins, seven draws and three losses in the following 29 matches, and finished second after Kashiwa Reysol, to earn a spot in J1 for the first time in 13 years.
In addition to young talents such as rookie Yusuke Matsuo, 18-year-old Koki Saito and new signing Kazunari Ichimi, their attacking department also features legendary veterans; 53-year-old Kazuyoshi Miura, 42-year-old Shunsuke Nakamura, 39-year-old Daisuke Matsui and 36-year-old Leandro Domingues.
In the opening match, they managed a 1-1 draw with Andreas Iniesta’s Vissel Kobe. Although the opponents were the dominant side, Yokohama FC picked up a point away from home, thanks to a solid defensive effort. Their last season in J1 ended with an immediate return to J2 and only four wins. This time, the combination of veteran and young talents under Shimotaira must be the key to avoid relegation.

・Key Player
Shunsuke Nakamura
The Japanese legend who played in Italy, Scotland and Spain turns 42 this year. Despite his age, the accuracy of his left foot is still intact, as shown in this season’s opening match.

・New Signing
Maguinho
The Brazilian right back joined Yokohama FC on loan from Kawasaki Frontale. He can produce chances with his powerful dribbling and precise crosses, and also shines in one-on-one defending. After an unsatisfactory season in 2019, he aims to redeem himself at his new club.

 

J.LEAGUE News

J.LEAGUE to not implement VAR in the 2020 season

J.LEAGUE announced that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will not be implemented in the 2020 season. The decision has been made at the sixth board of directors held today in consideration of its tight schedule and limited number of referees.

 

J.LEAGUE News

International Japanese players in their J.League Days: #5 Yuto Nagatomo

Yuto Nagatomo was an ordinary football boy during his high-school days, but when he started to play full-back at Meiji University, he developed dramatically and was suddenly called up for the Japan U-22 selection.

He signed a professional contract with FC Tokyo in 2008 while he was still a student at Meiji, and immediately won a starting spot as the season began.

He was called up for the Japanese national team as early as May of that year and represented Japan at the Beijing Olympics in summer.

In his first year as a professional, he scored three goals in 29 league appearances, making a big contribution to FC Tokyo’s positive season.

In 2009, Nagatomo played an important role for both FC Tokyo and Japan, as the national team qualified for the World Cup. To maximize his abilities, he played not only as full back but at times also as wide midfielder. 

FC Tokyo had another good year, they finished fifth in the league and won the league cup. Nagatomo’s impressive performance over the season was widely recognized, and he was selected in the J.League Team of the Year.

He stayed at FC Tokyo for the 2010 season as well, and he was called up for the Japan squad that traveled to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. He played all Samurai Blue’s four games and helped the team advance to the knock-out round.

After displaying impressive performances against world-class opponents, he received an offer from Italian side Cesena and decided to cross the ocean and to begin his adventure in Europe.

Over two and a half seasons in J.League, Nagatomo had helped FC Tokyo grow into one of the powerhouses in the league, especially thanks to his speed and physicality. The fact that FC Tokyo sadly got relegated the year they lost him is another sign to the importance of his presence.

 

 

J.LEAGUE News

International Japanese players in their J.League Days: #4 Shinji Ono

Shinji Ono played for Feyenoord for five seasons and contributed to their victory in the UEFA Cup in the 2001/02 season. He then moved to German side VfL Bochum for the 2007/08 season and later also played for Western Sydney Wanderers, in Australia.

The Japanese attacking genius who brought his football around the world, had started his professional career in 1998, choosing Urawa Reds out of many offers he had received after high school.

He immediately won a starting spot and registered his first professional goal already in his second match. He was also called up for the Japanese squad for the FIFA World Cup in France at the age of 18.

In his rookie year, Ono bossed Urawa’s attack with his extraordinary skill, scoring nine goals in 27 league appearances. As a result, he was awarded the Rookie of the Year prize, and he was also and selected in the Team of the Year.

In 1999, he only saw 14 appearances due to injuries, and Urawa were relegated to J2. Next year, Ono was appointed captain, though he was only 20 years old! Within a season, he led the team to promotion.

Back in the top flight, he was playing an important role for his club, but moved to Feyenoord at the end of the First Stage, in 2001.

After five years at Feyenoord, he returned to Urawa in 2006 and helped the team win many titles such as the 2006 J1 League and the 2007 AFC Champions League.

His second return to J.League was after a stint at Bochum, when he joined his local club Shimizu S-Pulse. Although he could not win any title with them, he provided a huge contribution as a captain, displaying strong leadership.

Ono then spent 2 seasons in Australia (2012 and 2013) before joining J2 side Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo in 2014. He helped the team get promoted to J1 in 2017.

In the summer of 2019 with his game time in Sapporo decreasing, he moved to Okinawa. He is still is a player at FC Ryukyu, and in a good shape at the age of 40. In fact, he made an appearance as a substitute on the opening match of the season.

 

 

J1 LEAGUE

J.League returns on July 4! Introduction to all teams and their key players — Yokohama F.Marinos

・Team
The unique and entertaining style of football Yokohama FM have been working on under Ange Postecoglou blossomed last year, during the manager’s second season in charge. Especially in the final part of 2019, F.Marinos overwhelmed the opposition and won the league for the fourth time in their history, their first championship in 15 years.

To defend the title this year, they added top players in each position, while keeping most of the squad from the previous season. In addition to the signing of Ado Onaiwu, who has developed dramatically at Oita Trinita, Yokohama FM announced the return of Jun Amano who had moved to Sporting Lokeren on loan last summer, as well as the signing of former Kashiwa Reysol defender Ryuta Koike, also returning from Belgium. With these reinforcements, the squad seems even stronger than in the last season.

The goal is to achieve the double by winning both J.League and AFC Champions League; however, the season started with a 2-1 loss at home at the hands of Gamba Osaka.

・Key Player
Marcos Júnior
The Brazilian attacker scored 15 goals in his first season in Japan, and was crowned as the joint-top scorer with his teammate Teruhito Nakagawa. His top skills and positioning are a key factor in Yokohama’s attacking football.

・New Signing
Ado Onaiwu
Onaiwu had a breakthrough season last year during his loan spell at Oita Trinita, where he scored 10 goals, and has the potential to turn into a goal-machine with the reigning champions. He boasts great physical ability to work as a target man, as well as strong eagerness to point toward the goal.

 

 

J1 LEAGUE

J.League returns on July 4! Introduction to all teams and their key players — Kawasaki Frontale

・Team
In 2019 Kawasaki won the Levain Cup for the first time, but failed to defend their league title and finished fourth due to a poor start of the season. They adopted a new 4-3-3 system this year to further improve their chances to win back the title.

Many of the new signings are rookies, a sign that the club considers their existing squad strong enough. The midfield, featuring Ryota Oshima and Akihiro Ienaga, is one of the most dominant in the league, and Frontale have great firepower up front in Leandro Damião and Yu Kobayashi.

In the past season Kawasaki failed to win several matches they dominated; accordingly, it is crucial for them to improve the quality of their finishing. However, the problem continued in the 2020’s opening match against Sagan Tosu, which ended in a scoreless draw. The first game after the break will be against Kashima Antlers, and will be a good test to see if Frontale can manage some improvement.

・Key Player
Leandro Damião
The former Brazilian international was crowned as the top scorer at the London Olympics. His full potential was not on display in the first season with Frontale, as he scored only nine goals. However, his powerful and accurate shots were a constant threat to the opponents. In addition to attacking ability, he shows great dedication by tirelessly chasing the ball to contribute to the team’s defensive effort.

・New Signing
Miki Yamane
Coming from Shonan Bellmare, Yamane can play in any position in the defensive line. At Kawasaki, he is likely to play as right back, where Frontale lack depth. Not only he is capable of stopping the opponents with powerful defense, but also can produce chances with aggressive overlaps and accurate crosses.

 

J1 LEAGUE

J.League returns on July 4! Introduction to all teams and their key players — FC Tokyo

・Team
FC Tokyo had a great start last season and was one of the protagonists of the title race until the very end. Although they finished below champions Yokohama F.Marinos, the second-place finish marked the best campaign in the history of the club.

In order to win the league for the first time, the capital’s club added to the roster two Brazilian attackers, Adailton and Leandro, whose capabilities are well proven in J.League. The attacking top-three, that also includes Diego Oliveira, will be the most powerful weapon of the team this year. Indeed, FC Tokyo have beaten Shimizu S-Pulse 3-1 on the opening day with each of the Brazilian stars scoring a goal.

Moreover, the squad features international-level talented players such as Kento Hashimoto and Sei Muroya. The third year under manager Kenta Hasegawa could be the one where they achieve their goal, especially if they successfully improve their direct style of football.

・Key Player
Diego Oliveira
An all-round striker, gifted with speed, skill and strength, Diego Oliveira often completes FC Tokyo’s counterattacks by beating the opposition’s defensive line with quick movements and finding the net with powerful strikes. Another of his characteristics is tireless pressing, to help his teammates in the defensive phase.

・New Signing
Adaílton
The Brazilian winger, who joined from Jubilo Iwata, provides accurate crosses after beating the opponents’ defenders with explosive dribbling. Although his finishing leaves something to be desired, his eagerness toward the goal is always a threat.