The J1 opening day is around the corner! Let’s look at the key players of all teams! (Kashima, FC-Tokyo, Yokohama F・M)

The J1 opening day is around the corner! Let’s look at the key players of all teams! (Kashima, FC-Tokyo, Yokohama F・M)

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 final installment, we look at the players to watch for title contenders Kashima Antlers, FC Tokyo and Yokohama F.Marinos.

■Kashima Antlers
Achievements in 2019
J1: 3rd place
Levain Cup: Semifinals

・Player to watch
FW 36 Ayase Ueda
The youngster joined Kashima from a university team last season, two years ahead of the schedule, and already scored four goals in 13 appearances.  The U-23 Japanese international, aiming to make a big impact at the Tokyo Olympics, is a typical striker who intelligently overcomes defenders with great positioning and quickness.

■FC Tokyo
Achievements in 2019
J1: 2nd place
Levain Cup: Quarterfinals

・Player to watch
FW 9 Diego Oliveira
An all-round striker, gifted with strength, speed and skill. He had the best season of his career last year, scoring 14 goals and helping the team to fight for the title. His dynamic sprints towards the goal are a nightmare for defenders, and he doesn’t neglect to contribute when the team needs to defend.

■Yokohama F.Marinos
Achievements in 2019
J1: Champions
Levain Cup: Group stage

・Player to watch
FW 23 Teruhito Nakagawa
The last season’s top scorer was also selected in the Team of the Year and awarded the MVP. He is now the absolute star of the reigning champions. With skillful dribbling that shred the opponents’ defense, accurate crosses and deadly shots, Nakagawa is marked to make a difference this season as well.


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