Here’s my at-a-glance guide to the teams in J1 this season, for The Japan News.
Key addition: Yoshifumi Kashiwa (from Ventforet Kofu)
Three league titles in row not beyond the realms of possibility.
Key addition: Jungo Fujimoto (from Nagoya Grampus)
May not have enough quality up front to improve on last season.
Key addition: Paulinho (loan from Tochigi SC)
AFC Champions League commitments may hamper serious title challenge.
Key addition: Diego Forlan (from Internacional (Brazil))
Addition of Forlan to talented young squad makes Cerezo the favorite.
Key addition: Luis Alberto (from SC Braga (Portugal))
Could struggle after failing to adequately replace key outgoing players.
Key addition: Shusaku Nishikawa (from Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
Expectations to finally deliver glory are high, but may fall short again.
Key addition: Yuki Kobayashi (from Jubilo Iwata)
Overachieved last year, but have potential to compete again.
Key addition: Edu (from Liaoning Whowin (China))
Hard to see them climbing any higher than usual mid-table place.
Key addition: Milivoje Novakovic (from FC Koln (Germany))
Could be surprise package, if key players stay injury free and don’t transfer in summer.
Key addition: Leandro (from Al Sadd (Qatar))
Experienced coach and talented squad makes Reysol dark horse for title.
Key addition: Ryunosuke Noda (from Sagan Tosu)
Season will be determined by how quickly they get out of blocks.
Key addition: Michihiro Yasuda (from Jubilo Iwata)
Overly dependent on Yohei Toyoda’s goals. May get drawn into relegation battle.
Key addition: Michael McGlinchey (loan from Central Coast Mariners (Australia))
Year of transition and no experienced keeper, so mid-table safety would suffice.
Key addition: Akihiro Ienaga (from RCD Mallorca (Spain))
Will likely be involved in relegation scrap despite arrival of some good individuals.
Key addition: Irfan Bachdim (from Chonburi FC (Thailand))
Survived relegation last year, but may not have enough to do so this season.
2013: 25-12-5 (1st in J2)
Key addition: Masaaki Higashiguchi (from Albirex Niigata)
Title challenge not overly likely, but capable of causing many teams problems.
2013: 25-8-9 (2nd in J2)
Key addition: Marquinhos (from Yokohama F.Marinos)
As always, made plenty of eye-catching signings, but may take time to gel.
2013: 20-7-15 (J2 Play Off champion)
Key addition: Kleiton Domingues (from Ituano (Brazil))
Division’s whipping boys on paper. Avoiding relegation would be outstanding success.