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22:30Feb 18th2020The J1 opening day is around the corner! Let’s look at the key players of all teams! (Tosu, Urawa, Nagoya)

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The J1 opening day is around the corner!  Let’s look at the key players of all teams! (Tosu, Urawa, Nagoya)

The 2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 League kicks off on February 21.
Ahead of the opening day, let’s look at the key player of all 18 teams.

In this second installment, we look at the three teams who struggled last year and aim for a better season; Tosu, Urawa and Nagoya.

■Sagan Tosu
Achievements in 2019
J1: 15th place
Levain Cup: Group Stage

・Player to watch
FW 44 Mu Kanazaki
A striker who has played in Germany and Portugal, once he receives the ball, usually points straight towards the goal to unleash powerful shots. In addition, his physical strength enables him to be the focal point of the attack, and he works hard as an extra defender as well. After scoring the most goals (7) for his team last season, expectations are high for him to go double-digit in 2020.

■Urawa Reds
Achievements in 2019
J1: 14th place
Levain Cup: Group Stage

・Player to watch
FW 45 Leonardo
Despite being only 22yo, and having a lot of room for improvement, the Brazilian striker was crowned top scorer for two years in a row. First at J3’s Gainare Tottori in 2018, and then with J2’s Albirex Niigata in 2019. He is aiming to net 23 goals in his first J1 season to become the top scorer in three different categories in three years.

■ Nagoya Grampus
Achievements in 2019
J1: 13th place
Levain Cup: Quarterfinals

・Player to watch
FW 25 Naoki Maeda
A left-footed attacker characterized by lightning-fast dribbling and powerful shots. He scored 9 goals last season, more than any of his teammates. His quickness reminds of former Dutch international Arjen Robben as he often cuts in from the right flank and explodes powerful shot with his left foot. Expectations are high for him to be the core of Nagoya’s attack.

 

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