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J2 Season Preview: The fight for promotion begins now

J2 Season Preview: The fight for promotion begins now

The Meiji Yasuda J2 League is usually a fiery battle for promotion, but it may be hotter than ever in 2022.

Tokushima Vortis, Oita Trinita, Vegalta Sendai and Yokohama FC are the four clubs who suffered the drop from J1 last season and will now be trying to earn their way back into the top flight. They all had to transfer some players away to J1 clubs, but there is no shortage of talent on these squads.

Waiting for them in J2 are some of the top teams from the league last season. Ventforet Kofu, V-Varen Nagasaki and FC Machida Zelvia all just missed out on promotion last season and bring back very good sides. Nagasaki in particular should be one to watch with a high-powered attack that returns Edigar Junio, who scored 15 goals last season.

Tokyo Verdy are one of the most accomplished clubs in the history of the J.League and few teams in the second division can match their attacking prowess. Led by Junki Koike, the top returning goal scorer in the league, they are a defensive improvement from being back in the top flight. To that end, they welcome one of the most anticipated J.League newcomers from Southeast Asia in recent years in 20-year-old Indonesian left back Pratama Arhan.

In addition to the clubs battling for the two automatic promotion spots and playoff place, there are also a couple new teams to J2 hoping not to slip back into J3. Roasso Kumamoto and Iwate Grulla Morioka are making the leap in 2022 after standout seasons in the third division last year. For Roasso, this is a return to J2, while the Tsuru are here for the first time and certainly looking forward to making their mark in the brightest spotlight they’ve ever experienced.

Who will be promoted to J1? Which new stars, young or old, will emerge and become not just local heroes, but targets for the top clubs in the first division? Find out this season in the thrilling Meiji Yasuda J2 League and be sure to join us on YouTube for weekly global broadcasts!

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