J1 League 2024 Team Guides
Urawa Red Diamonds are one of the 10 original teams from when the J1 League was formed in 1993 and outside a temporary blip in 1999, they have been a mainstay in J1.
They are one of the most popular teams in Japan bosting the highest average attendance which helps them generate the most income of any club in Japan! On the pitch, they have also enjoyed frequent success, especially in the cup competitions. They have won the Emperors Cup a record 8 times and are current reigning Asian Champions League having won it 3 times in total (also the most of any Japanese team).
In the league, though they are regularly in the top 5 of the table, they only have a solo J1 league title, winning it back in 2006. More recently, the club has been undergoing changes with a new manager and back office staff coming in during the off season.
Urawa had a very busy 2023 season, playing a total of 60 games which was the most of any team in J-league history! The high point of the year was undoubtably their Asian Champions League triumph at their home stadium against Al-Hilal in May.
Domestically the season ended poorly. Fatigue from all the games caught up with Urawa and they lost 2 of their final 3 games leading to a 4th spot finish, agonizingly just missing out on ACL qualification. They also lost in the league cup final despite being heavy favourites against Fukuoka.
The team boasted the best defensive record in the league, conceeding just 27 goals all season. Their two centre backs (Scholz and Hoibraten) were consistent rocks with experienced keeper Nishikawa rolling back the years and being one of the best performing keepers in J1.
Up front, Urawa seriously lacked creativity and were far too predictable. This is highlighted by their top scorer, Jose Kante only scoring 8 goals with a defender Scholz being the second top scorer! Players like Bryan Linssen and Alex Schalk struggled and despite being one of the most impressive teams in the year, 2023 felt a little bit of a disappointment.
2023 Top Scorer: Jose Kante
DF Rehito Inoue (from Kyoto)
DF Yodai Sato (from Gamba)
DF Hironori Ishihara (from Shonan)
DF Tomoya Ugajin (from Gifu)
MF Ryoma Watanabe (from FC Tokyo)
MF Samuel Gustafsson (from BK Hekken)
MF Yusuke Matsuo (return from loan)
FW Thiago Santana (from Shimizu)
FW Naoki Maeda (from Nagoya)
FW Ola Solbakken (from Roma)
DF Takahiro Akimoto (→ Leuven)
DF Takuya Ogiwara (→ Dinamo Zagreb)
DF Takuya Iwanami (→ Kobe)
DF Tomoya Inukai (→ Kashiwa)
DF Yuta Miyamoto (→ Kyoto)
MF Yuichi Hirano (→ Cerezo Osaka)
FW Jose Kante (→ Retirement)
FW Kasper Junker (→ Nagoya)
(Please note these are the main transfers as of 06/02/2024
Squad depths for each team which are updated weekly can be found on Patreon here)
A very busy window for Urawa and imo, a highly successful one too. The major area they needed to reinforce in was in attack and for me they have done this and then some! Santana is a proven J1 league goalscorer and has already impressed in preseason. Players like Matsuo, Solbakken and Maeda add much needed flair.
There is also a new manager (Per-Mathias Høgmo) who has brought in Gustafsson from his old club. Per is known for his attacking and high octane football and thats exactly what Urawa need. The defense remains robust and the theres been the addition of excellent depth with players like Inoue and Ishihara.
With so many changes, there are of course unknowns, including the formation that Urawa will play. Saying that, for me, they are the club to watch out for in 2024.
Key Players for Sorare
Name: Alexander Scholz
Great peak scorer. Got 100 points 7 times last season.
Suits the matrix and is on penalties!
50% of his last 40 games resulted in scores >60
Can easily stack with Hoibraten and/or Nishikawa
Name: Thiago Santana
L15 average: 60
Was the J1 league top scorer in 2022
Is a sure starter and main striker for Urawa next season
Has impressed in pre-season
Name: Atsuki Ito
L40 average: 54
Main CM for the team entering his peak years
Scores >60 points in 35% of games
Slight risk of move to Europe though these links have cooled recently.
J1 League and Sorare
Urawa have signed Samuel Gustafson who doesnt have a card on Sorare. I expect BIG things from him so watch out for his upcoming auctions (dont bid against me please and thanks)
New to J1 League? I have done a review of the 2023 J1 League season and Sorare which can be found here
I have a Patreon service which offers:
J1 League Squad Depth info for each teams (live document updated with transfers and news!)
Calendar analysis for all leagues on Sorare
Keeper tracker and defender rankings
Predicted lineups and strategy info each GW in the J1 League
Transfer Rumours and analysis
Access to an Exclusive Discord Server
Monthly giveaways including SRs, Rares and Limited cards!
More info about the Sorare Tactics Patreon can be found here !
Sorare Tactics Discord
Click above for the J1 League Sorare Discord channel, you can keep up to date with the latest info and get other peoples opinion in the community!
ALSO THANK YOU FOR READING THIS FAR!
I AM GIVING AWAY THE BELOW URAWA RARE CARD. TO HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN, RETWEET THE BELOW TWEET BY 10th FEB 2024