Reysol finished 8th overall last season, but that was mainly due to a poor performance in the first stage. As the season kept on, they looked stronger and stronger, and especially their younger players improved. Reysol got one of the most promising GK’s in the league in Nakamura (21), and in front of him we find Nakayama (20) and Nakatani (20), all 3 players we can expect to see in the Japan NT at some point.
So the team obviously got a lot of talent, but lack of experience especially in their defensive ranks could be a problem though. Ahead of this season they have signed a new fullback in R.Koike, who comes from Renofa Yamaguchi. Also he is 20 though, so left-back Wako (27) is by far the most experienced player in their expected defensive starting lineup.
Their biggest signing however is Ramon Lopes from Vegalta Sendai. He’s a very versatile player, and will add strength to what is already a very impressive attacking lineup. Reysol have without a doubt one of the best attacks in the league, and they got plenty of cover as well with talented players like Otsu, Taketomi and last year’s revelation Ito all likely to be left out of the starting lineup quite often.
Their central midfield however seems to lack a bit of quality, and also depth now that they have sold Akino and Barada, so a lot of the responsibility will fall into the hands of Otani, who had a somewhat poor season last year. But at their best, I think Reysol can beat any team in the league, and could definitely be a contender for a top 4 finish.
8th place ( Stage 1: 7th / Stage 2: 5th )
Predicted finish: 7th – 10th place
Average Goals Per Game 2016:
Home: 3,12 (1,65 – 1,47)
Away: 2,53 (1,41 – 1,12)
Overall: 2,82 (1,53 – 1,29)
Takahiro Shimotaira (2nd year)
DF R.Koike (R)
DF Yoon Suk-Young (S/R)
FW Ramon Lopes (R/I)
DF T.Masushima (R)
DF R.Yamanaka (S/R)
DF M.Yuzawa (S/R)
MF H.Akino (R)
MF A.Barada (S/R)
MF T.Ota (S/R)
FW J.Tanaka (S/R)
(K = Key player, I = Important Player, R = Regular Starter, S = Squad Player, K/I = Key/Important etc)
Expected Starting Lineup 2017:
- Nakamura (I)
- Koike – Nakatani – Nakayama – Wako
- Nakagawa – Otani – Kobayashi
- Ramon Lopez – Diego Oliveira(I) – Cristiano (I)