Meiji Yasuda J2 League
Season2019
ChampionsKashiwa Reysol
2nd J2 title
3rd D2 title
PromotedKashiwa Reysol
Yokohama FC
RelegatedKagoshima United
FC Gifu
Matches played462
Goals scored1,197 (2.59 per match)
Highest attendance20,486
Niigata - Kashiwa
(9 March)
Lowest attendance2,111
Yokohama FC-Tokushima
(15 June)
Average attendance7,176
2018
2020

The 2019 Meiji Yasuda J2 League (Japanese: 2019 明治安田生命J2リーグ, Hepburn: 2019 Meiji Yasuda Seimei J2 Rīgu) season is the 48th season of the second-tier club football in Japan and the 21st season since the establishment of J2 League.

Clubs

After eight seasons of good success, Kashiwa Reysol had to say goodbye to the first division. The same happened to V-Varen Nagasaki, which came back to J2 after their debut season in the first tier.[1] In their place, Matsumoto Yamaga and Oita Trinita left J2 after getting promoted, while Tokyo Verdy lost the promotion/relegation play-off against Jubilo Iwata. Also another four teams changed category: Roasso Kumamoto and Kamatamare Sanuki left J2, while their places will be taken by newly-arrived FC Ryukyu and Kagoshima United FC will play their first J2-season ever in their history.[2]

The participating clubs are listed in the following table:

Club Name Home Town(s) Stadium Capacity Last season
Albirex Niigata Niigata & Seiro, Niigata Denka Big Swan Stadium 42,300 J2 (16th)
Avispa Fukuoka Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Level5 Stadium 22,563 J2 (7th)
Ehime FC All cities/towns in Ehime[a] Ningineer Stadium 20,000 J2 (18th)
Fagiano Okayama All cities/towns in Okayama[b] City Light Stadium 20,000 J2 (15th)
FC Gifu All cities/towns in Gifu[c] Gifu Nagaragawa Stadium 26,109 J2 (20th)
JEF United Chiba Chiba & Ichihara, Chiba Fukuda Denshi Arena 18,500 J2 (14th)
Kashiwa Reysol Chiba Prefecture Sankyo Frontier Kashiwa Stadium 15,349 Relegated from J1 J1 (17th)
Kyoto Sanga Southwestern cities/towns in Kyoto[d] Kyoto Nishikyogoku Athletic Stadium 20,588 J2 (19th)
Machida Zelvia Machida, Tokyo Machida Athletic Stadium 10,600 J2 (4th)
Mito HollyHock Mito, Ibaraki K's denki Stadium Mito 12,000 J2 (10th)
Montedio Yamagata All cities/towns in Yamagata[e] ND Soft Stadium 20,315 J2 (12th)
Omiya Ardija Saitama, Saitama NACK5 Stadium Omiya 15,500 J2 (5th)
Renofa Yamaguchi All cities/towns in Yamaguchi[f] Yamaguchi Ishin Park Stadium 20,000 J2 (8th)
Tochigi SC Utsunomiya, Tochigi Tochigi Green Stadium 18,025 J2 (17th)
Tokushima Vortis All cities/towns in Tokushima[g] Pocarisweat Stadium 20,441 J2 (11th)
V-Varen Nagasaki Nagasaki Prefecture Nagasaki Athletic Stadium 20,246 Relegated from J1 J1 (18th)
Ventforet Kofu All Yamanashi Prefecture[h] Yamanashi Chuo Bank Stadium 17,000 J2 (9th)
Tokyo Verdy All cities/towns in Tokyo Ajinomoto Stadium 49,970 J2 (6th)
Yokohama FC Yokohama, Kanagawa Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Stadium 15,454 J2 (3rd)
Zweigen Kanazawa Kanazawa, Ishikawa Ishikawa Kanazawa Stadium 20,000 J2 (13th)
FC Ryukyu Okinawa Tapic Kenso Hiyagon Stadium 25,000 Promoted from J3(Champions)
Kagoshima United FC Kagoshima Shiranami Stadium 19,934 Promoted from J3(2nd)
  1. ^ centering on Matsuyama
  2. ^ centering on Okayama, Kurashiki, Tsuyama
  3. ^ centering on Gifu
  4. ^ Kyoto, Uji, Joyo, Kyotanabe, Muko, Nagaokakyo, Kizugawa, Kameoka, Nantan, Kyotanba
  5. ^ centering on Yamagata, Tendo, Tsuruoka
  6. ^ centering on Yamaguchi, Shimonoseki, Sanyoonoda, Ube
  7. ^ centering on Tokushima, Naruto, Mima, Matsushige, Itano, Aizumi, Kitajima
  8. ^ centering on Kofu and Nirasaki

Personnel and kits

Club Manager Captain Kit manufacturer
Albirex Niigata Japan Kazuaki Yoshinaga Japan Masaru Kato Adidas
Avispa Fukuoka Japan Kiyokazu Kudo Japan Jun Suzuki Yonex
Ehime FC Japan Kenta Kawai Japan Go Nishida Mizuno
Fagiano Okayama Japan Kenji Arima Japan Kohei Kiyama Penalty
FC Gifu Japan Takeshi Oki Japan Masanori Abe New Balance
FC Ryukyu Japan Yasuhiro Higuchi[3] Japan Kazumasa Uesato sfida
JEF United Chiba Japan Atsuhiko Ejiri Japan Yūto Satō Kappa
Kagoshima United FC North Korea Kim Jong-song[4] Japan Shuto Nakahara Puma
Kashiwa Reysol Brazil Nelsinho Baptista Japan Hidekazu Otani Yonex
Kyoto Sanga Japan Ichizo Nakata Japan Takumi Miyayoshi Puma
Machida Zelvia Japan Naoki Soma Japan Yudai Inoue SVOLME
Mito HollyHock Japan Shigetoshi Hasebe Japan Junya Hosokawa GAViC
Montedio Yamagata Japan Takashi Kiyama Japan Takumi Yamada Penalty
Omiya Ardija Japan Takuya Takagi Japan Genki Omae Under Armour
Renofa Yamaguchi Japan Masahiro Shimoda Japan Hidetoshi Miyuki Finta
Tochigi SC Japan Kazuaki Tasaka[5] Japan Kotaro Fujiwara ATHLETA
Tokushima Vortis Spain Ricardo Rodríguez Japan Ken Iwao Mizuno
V-Varen Nagasaki Japan Makoto Teguramori Japan Masato Kurogi Hummel
Ventforet Kofu Japan Akira Ito Japan Yuta Koide Mizuno
Tokyo Verdy Japan Hideki Nagai Japan Naoya Kondo ATHLETA
Yokohama FC Japan Takahiro Shimotaira Japan Yuta Minami SOCCER JUNKY
Zweigen Kanazawa Japan Masaaki Yanagishita Japan Tomonobu Hiroi Adidas

Managerial changes

Team Outgoing manager Date of vacancy Incoming manager Date of
appointment
JEF United Chiba Argentina Juan Esnáider 17 April 2019[6] Japan Atsuhiko Ejiri 18 April 2019[7]
Albirex Niigata Japan Koichiro Katafuchi 14 April 2019[8] Japan Kazuaki Yoshinaga 14 April 2019[8]
Yokohama FC Brazil Edson Tavares 14 May 2019[9] Japan Takahiro Shimotaira 14 May 2019[10]
Avispa Fukuoka Italy Fabio Pecchia 3 June 2019[11] Japan Kiyokazu Kudo 3 June 2019[12]
FC Gifu Japan Takeshi Oki 16 June 2019[13] Japan Makoto Kitano 18 June 2019[14]
Tokyo Verdy England Gary White 17 July 2019[15] Japan Hideki Nagai 17 July 2019[16]

Foreign players

The total number of foreign players is limitless, but clubs can only register up to five foreign players for a single match-day squad. Players from J.League partner nations (Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, Iran and Qatar) are exempt from these restrictions.

Players in bold are players who join midway through the competition.

Club Player 1 Player 2 Player 3 Player 4 Player 5 Player 6 Player 7
Albirex Niigata Brazil Cauê Brazil Franci Brazil Leonardo Brazil Paulão Brazil Samuel Santos Brazil Silvinho South Korea Cho Young-cheol
Avispa Fukuoka Colombia Félix Micolta South Korea Won Du-jae Spain Jon Ander Serantes South Korea Yang Dong-hyen
Ehime FC Austria Mladen Jutrić South Korea Park Seong-su South Korea Woo Sang-ho
Fagiano Okayama Brazil Léo Mineiro Malaysia Hadi Fayyadh South Korea Choi Jung-won South Korea Lee Kyung-tae South Korea Lee Yong-jae South Korea Yu Yong-hyeon
FC Gifu Brazil Junior Barros Brazil Michael Spain Víctor Ibáñez Gabon Frédéric Bulot Germany Jan-Ole Sievers South Korea Ham Yeong-jun New Zealand Ryan De Vries
JEF United Chiba Australia Jason Geria Brazil Alan Pinheiro Brazil Hebert Brazil Kléber Venezuela Williams Velásquez
Kashiwa Reysol Brazil Cristiano Brazil Gabriel Brazil Júnior Santos Brazil Matheus Sávio Brazil Richardson Kenya Michael Olunga
Kyoto Sanga Brazil Juninho Brazil Renan Mota
Machida Zelvia North Macedonia Dorian Babunski North Korea Ri Han-jae Peru Romero Frank South Korea Jeong Chung-geun
Mito HollyHock Brazil Jo Brazil Lelêu
Montedio Yamagata Brazil Alvaro Brazil Jefferson Baiano Brazil Rodolfo
Omiya Ardija North Macedonia David Babunski Spain Juanma Sweden Robin Simović
Renofa Yamaguchi Brazil Renan Uzbekistan Dostonbek Tursunov
Tochigi SC Brazil Henik Brazil Mendes Brazil Yuri South Korea Yoo Hyun South Korea Lee Rae-jun
Tokushima Vortis Brazil Diego Netherlands Jordy Buijs Spain Sisi Thailand Chakkit Laptrakul Uzbekistan Zabikhillo Urinboev
Tokyo Verdy Brazil Jaílton Paraíba Brazil Klebinho Brazil Leandro Brazil Walmerson North Korea Ri Yong-jik Serbia Nemanja Kojić South Korea Kang Soo-il
V-Varen Nagasaki Brazil Caio César Colombia Víctor Ibarbo South Korea Lee Jong-ho South Korea Lee Sang-min
Ventforet Kofu Brazil Allano Brazil Dudú Brazil Éder Lima Nigeria Peter Utaka
Yokohama FC Brazil Leandro Domingues Netherlands Calvin Jong-a-Pin Norway Ibba Laajab
Zweigen Kanazawa Brazil Allan Costa Rica Giovanni Clunie
FC Ryukyu Brazil Ramon Costa Rica Danny Carvajal North Korea Kim Song-sun
Kagoshima United Brazil Lucão Brazil Nildo North Korea Han Yong-thae South Korea Ahn Joon-soo

League table

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Promotion, qualification or relegation
1 Kashiwa Reysol (C, P) 42 25 9 8 85 33 +52 84 Promotion to 2020 J1 League
2 Yokohama FC (P) 42 23 10 9 66 40 +26 79
3 Omiya Ardija 42 20 15 7 62 40 +22 75 Qualification to promotion play-offs[a]
4 Tokushima Vortis 42 21 10 11 67 45 +22 73
5 Ventforet Kofu 42 20 11 11 64 40 +24 71
6 Montedio Yamagata 42 20 10 12 59 40 +19 70
7 Mito HollyHock 42 19 13 10 56 37 +19 70
8 Kyoto Sanga 42 19 11 12 59 56 +3 68
9 Fagiano Okayama 42 18 11 13 49 47 +2 65
10 Albirex Niigata 42 17 11 14 71 52 +19 62
11 Zweigen Kanazawa 42 15 16 11 58 46 +12 61
12 V-Varen Nagasaki 42 17 5 20 57 61 −4 56
13 Tokyo Verdy 42 14 13 15 59 59 0 55
14 FC Ryukyu 42 13 10 19 57 80 −23 49
15 Renofa Yamaguchi 42 13 8 21 54 70 −16 47
16 Avispa Fukuoka 42 12 8 22 39 62 −23 44
17 JEF United Chiba 42 10 13 19 46 64 −18 43
18 Machida Zelvia 42 9 16 17 36 59 −23 43
19 Ehime FC 42 12 6 24 46 62 −16 42
20 Tochigi SC 42 8 16 18 33 53 −20 40
21 Kagoshima United (R) 42 11 7 24 41 73 −32 40 Relegation to 2020 J3 League[b]
22 FC Gifu (R) 42 7 9 26 33 78 −45 30
Source: Meiji Yasuda J2 League
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Goals scored
(C) Champion; (P) Promoted; (R) Relegated
Notes:
  1. ^ Only teams that meet J1 license criteria can participate in promotion play-offs. If one or more teams fail to meet the criteria, only eligible teams that finished 3rd to 6th will participate and no replacement teams will be added.
  2. ^ Direct exchange between J2 and J3 is subject to eligibility of J2-licensed teams in top 2 of 2019 J3 League.

Positions by round

Team ╲ Round123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536373839404142
Kashiwa Reysol433224344557666777653322111111111111111111
Yokohama FC182117191318121215121214141213121114141312987645442233334323222
Omiya Ardija8159131610773233333532225455433234565223432333
Tokushima Vortis161114171715911111414101214161412111099111012911121099899998755654
Ventforet Kofu844333125344744344466679877777788867988765
Montedio Yamagata22126555512422112121111244564656422442244446
Mito HollyHock512442231111221213334533356565354675666487
Kyoto Sanga8658771187996555455542111222323646556599878
Fagiano Okayama1812151066101011881112111110889111076678991010977789877999
Albirex Niigata858681389101110810131516141313121112131313910121313131313121211121111101110
Zweigen Kanazawa81619111596687654788997878111011108888101010111112101010111011
V-Varen Nagasaki57101411172020131010129876668781098101211131211111111101010111212121212
Tokyo Verdy182016181814151617181613111010111312121014131211121313111112121212131313131313131313
FC Ryukyu12111145667989991010111413141414151715161619151615141515151515151414
Renofa Yamaguchi172212162120212119151720192021202019171615151515161416141515161414151414141414141515
Avispa Fukuoka211720222022181720171818202119182121212121192119191918191917191818181818181818181816
JEF United Chiba81822212219131516191915171514151615151818171616141517171716181717171717171717161617
Machida Zelvia514182014814149131316151612131516161516161717181819201818171919191919191919191918
Ehime FC871191016191314161517211717191717191717181818171614151414141516161616161616171719
Tochigi SC81921151212171818202022181918171920202020212021202121212121212121212121212121212120
Kagoshima United31013121821222222222221161820211818181919201920212020182020202020202020202020202021
FC Gifu2877911161921212119222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222
Leader and qualification to 2020 J1 League
Runner up and qualification to 2020 J1 League
Qualification to promotion play-offs
Relegation to 2020 J3 League
Source: Meiji Yasuda J2 League

Promotion–Relegation Playoffs

In the first two rounds of the 2019 J.League J1/J2 Play-Offs (2019 J1参入プレーオフ), if the score is tied after 90 minutes, no extra time is played and the winner is the team with the best J2 League ranking. In the final match against the J1 team, if the score is tied after 90 minutes, no extra time is played and the J1 team wins.

  1st Round
01 Dec
    2nd Round
08 Dec
    Final
14 Dec
                           
  J2 (4) Tokushima Vortis 1  
  J2 (5) Ventforet Kofu 1         J1 (16) Shonan Bellmare 1
        J2 (4) Tokushima Vortis 1     J2 (4) Tokushima Vortis 1
        J2 (6) Montedio Yamagata 0  
  J2 (3) Omiya Ardija 0    
  J2 (6) Montedio Yamagata 2  


1st Round


Omiya Ardija0–2Montedio Yamagata
Report Shinozuka 73' (o.g.)
Yamagishi 82'
NACK5 Stadium Omiya, Saitama
Attendance: 10,942

Tokushima Vortis1–1Ventforet Kofu
Buijs 37' Report Utaka 39'

2nd Round


Tokushima Vortis1–0Montedio Yamagata
Kawata 53' Report

Final


Shonan Bellmare1–1Tokushima Vortis
Matsuda 64' Report Suzuki 20'

Top scorers

As of matches played November 24th, 2019.[17]
Rank Player Club Goals
1
Brazil Leonardo Albirex Niigata
28
2
Kenya Michael Olunga Kashiwa Reysol
27
3
Japan Hiroto Goya V-Varen Nagasaki
22
4
Nigeria Peter Utaka Ventforet Kofu
20
5
Brazil Cristiano Kashiwa Reysol
19
6
Norway Ibba Yokohama FC
18
South Korea Lee Yong-jae Fagiano Okayama
8
Brazil Kléber JEF United Chiba
17
Japan Kazunari Ichimi Kyoto Sanga
10
Japan Junki Koike Tokyo Verdy
16
11
Japan Koji Suzuki FC Ryukyu
15
Japan Hayato Nakama Fagiano Okayama

Attendances

Pos Team Total High Low Average Change
1 Albirex Niigata 304,445 20,486 8,777 14,497 −2.8%
2 JEF United Chiba 203,725 14,950 5,885 9,701 −1.6%
3 Omiya Ardija 199,040 12,090 5,874 9,478 +2.8%
4 Kashiwa Reysol 198,887 13,056 6,415 9,471 −16.9%
5 Fagiano Okayama 198,331 17,288 5,298 9,444 +9.8%
6 Montedio Yamagata 174,064 18,721 5,415 8,289 +22.5%
7 Ventforet Kofu 173,742 15,665 4,870 8,273 +12.0%
8 Kyoto Sanga 164,845 14,069 3,385 7,850 +38.6%
9 V-Varen Nagasaki 162,476 11,924 4,872 7,737 −31.1%
10 Yokohama FC 148,280 12,937 2,111 7,061 +15.0%
11 Avispa Fukuoka 146,639 12,028 3,578 6,983 −21.3%
12 FC Gifu 139,526 11,787 4,212 6,644 −3.1%
13 Mito HollyHock 127,824 9,874 3,886 6,087 +23.3%
14 Kagoshima United 121,493 7,955 4,079 5,785 +43.2%
15 Tokushima Vortis 120,460 10,526 3,870 5,736 +14.8%
16 Renofa Yamaguchi 112,601 12,105 3,662 5,630 −8.1%
17 Tokyo Verdy 112,789 8,545 2,331 5,371 −9.5%
18 Zweigen Kanazawa 109,386 13,070 2,543 5,209 +15.0%
19 Tochigi SC 108,105 8,426 3,725 5,148 −9.0%
20 FC Ryukyu 100,409 12,019 2,428 4,953 +57.4%
21 Machida Zelvia 99,077 8,814 3,009 4,718 −4.0%
22 Ehime FC 79,373 7,874 2,540 3,780 +19.6%
League total 3,315,234 20,486 2,111 7,176 +1.8%

Updated to games played on 24 November 2019
Source: J. League Data
Notes:
Last year in J1 League Last year in J3 League

Notes

References

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