In 2019, Shonan managed to survive through the relegation playoffs. Although expected to be facing a difficult season, as many of the core players have left, in the opening match, the team showed an encouraging revival of their famous “Shonan Style.” Despite losing 3-2 to Urawa, they gave Urawa Reds a hard time. New signings gave positive impressions: Naoki Ishihara scored a goal, while Fukuda Akito and Oiwa Kazuki also supported the team with their dedication. It showed the hope in the future.
Sendai, on the other hand, started the season under new manager Takashi Kiyama. In the opening match, they drew 1-1 with Nagoya. It was a tough game, but they their tenacious defense held on and earned them one point. However, the team seems to have a problem up front, and it is good for the that Takuma Nishimura returned to action during the suspension period and is available. There are indeed great expectations for this young striker who returned from Europe.