I’ve been looking forward to the J League season for a while so I’ve decided to write a pre-season post.

The season proper starts today with the visit if Oita. I did go to a League Cup match last Sunday but it was against 2nd division opposition so I don’t think that counts. In Japan the bookshops sell a number magazines that give player listings for each club in the three J League divisions. I think that it’s pretty much the same team as last season with them conceding few and scoring few.

Last season two players ended up top scorer with 7 goals. A little worryingly one if them, Mizunuma, has gone to current champions Yokohama. Brazilian midfielder Souza has moved to Saudi Arabia. Although he was a good player I don’t think this is such a big loss. Cerezo played better without him last year. When he was in the team there were more sideways passed at crucial attacking moments as he slowed the game down.

A new right winger, Sakamoto, has been signed from a 2nd division club. Another striker Toyokawa has been signed from Belgium. I’m not too sure about him. When he was last in Japan he hardly set the world alight and he didn’t do much in Belgium either.

While one Brazilian midfielder left another, Lucas Mineiro, arrived. He is so new he wasn’t included in the magazine. Little is known about him and new signings tend not to be thrown right into the first tea.

The formation suggest by the magazine is given below. All of these players played a fair amount last season. The lineup for the league cup game was rotated a bit. Cerezo still ran out 4-1 winners. New guy Sakamoto looked quite good but it was lower quality opposition so we’ll have to see.