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

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

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.