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Friday, March 5, 2010
2010 J. LEAGUE PREVIEW
Team-by-team previews of the 18 teams competing in the first division.
Last season: J2 champion
Sendai's promotion was no surprise after coming close in recent years, and last season's run to the Emperor's Cup semifinals was further proof of Makoto Teguramori's side's potential.
Vegalta scalped three first-division teams before Gamba denied them a place in the final, and those beaten opponents are hardly likely to be looking forward to visiting Yurtec Stadium in the league as well.
At the heart of Vegalta's fluid attacking style is North Korean midfielder Ryang Yong Gi, who will be keen to show what he can do after staying put at Sendai despite offers from bigger clubs in the past.
New arrivals have been low-key, but Teguramori seems justified in placing his trust in a group of players who have served him well so far.
With plenty of goals scored and few conceded last season, Vegalta are in as good shape as can be heading into the new campaign. That doesn't make survival a given, however, and if the first-division sides who struggled last year can buck up their ideas, Sendai will have to work hard to avoid being left behind.