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FC Machida Zelvia
crest used since 2008
Full name Football Club Machida Zelvia
Nickname(s) Zelvia
Founded 1989; 35 years ago (1989) as FC Machida
Ground Machida GION Stadium
Machida, Tokyo
Ground Capacity 15,489
Owner CyberAgent
Chairman Takehisa Otomo
Manager Go Kuroda
League J2 League
2022 J2 League, 15th of 22

Football Club Machida Zelvia (フットボールクラブ町田ゼルビア, Futtobōru Kurabu Machida Zerubia) commonly known as FC Machida Zelvia (FC町田ゼルビア, Efu Shi Machida Zerubia) is a Japanese football club based in Machida, Tokyo. The club is set to make their debut in the J1 League for the 2024 season following promotion in 2023 as the J2 League champions.


Formation and election to the Prefectural League (1989–2002)

FC Machida is known as the "Brazil of Tokyo" due to the popularity of football in the city; in fact, it has produced the second-largest number of J. League players through its football school. Originally formed in 1977, this school is well known for its development of young talents into professional players. In 1989, in order to retain talent, Machida founded its own top team, which at that time played in the Tokyo Prefectural League.

From non-League to Japan Football League (2002–2011)

In 2003, they became a multi-sport club under the name Athletic Club Machida, and in 2005 were promoted to the Kanto League, having won the Tokyo Prefectural League (First Division). They came first in the Kanto league (Second Division) the following year and were promoted to First Division, where they stayed until promotion to the Japan Football League as champions of the Regional Promotion Playoff Series in 2008.

In 2009, they adopted the current nickname "Zelvia", a portmanteau of the Portuguese words zelkova (Machida city's official tree) and salvia (Machida city's official flower).

The same year, the club declared its intent to be promoted to J. League's 2nd division, and its status of semi-affiliate was officially approved by the J. League. However, its home stadium capacity and light specifications did not meet the J. League's requirements, average attendance did not reach 3,000, and the team's final position of 6th place did not allow for Zelvia's promotion to the J. League.

In 2010, Zelvia appointed Naoki Soma, a former star player who played in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, as its new head coach. The stadium's lighting was renewed, and the club added several J. League players to its roster. Zelvia also announced its partnership with Major League Soccer's D.C. United, which became the first historic partnership between a Japanese and American club. The reborn team beat Tokyo Verdy, its arch-rival from the J. League, in the 2010 Emperor's Cup, but was knocked out by Albirex Niigata in the third round. Soma left at the end of the season and was replaced by Ranko Popović, former coach of Oita Trinita.

Yo-yo years (2012–2022)

The stadium's capacity and conditions were still short of fulfilling J. League criteria, so the club completed another renovation between the end of the 2010 and the start of the 2011 seasons. Zelvia finished the 2011 season in third place after beating Kamatamare Sanuki in the final match of that season, thereby granting them promotion to J. League (Second Division), but were relegated after a bottom-placed finish. They became one of the original J3 clubs after finishing in 4th place in the 2014 JFL season and returned to J2 as 2015 runners-up by beating Oita Trinita in the promotion/relegation play-off. In the first return to J2 in the 2016 season, Machida were able to finish in 7th position, only four points short of the play-offs spot.

In 2017, Zelvia fell off more than a half place down to 15th with fifty points, twelve points up of relegation zone. In the 2018 season, while Zelvia culminated a great campaign by finishing inside the promotion play-offs zone of 4th place, Zelvia were unable to participate in the phase because they did not have a J1 League-level license. The 2019 season also saw the club fell down far on the table as they finished in 18th position, three points up from relegation places occupied by Kagoshima United and FC Gifu.

In 2020, Zelvia finished in 19th. While they were able to conclude their 2021 campaign by finishing in 5th position, Zelvia were once again unable to enter the promotion play-offs because the club still did not have a J1 League club license yet at that time. In 2022 season, Zelvia once again fell far below their position of the previous campaign by finishing in the 15th position.

First silverware in club history and first promotion to J1 League (2023–present)

On 22 October 2023, after a seven-year run in J2 League, Machida eventually achieved promotion to the J1 League for the first time in the club history with manager Go Kuroda guiding Zelvia to the 2023 J2 League title with 87 points following their 3–0 away win against Roasso Kumamoto in matchweek 39. The club also confirmed their status as champions of second division on 28 October 2023 after Kumamoto defeated Shimizu S-Pulse 3–1.

Zelvia started off their debut 2024 J1 League season on 24 February 2024 against Gamba Osaka in a 1–1 draw with Junya Suzuki scoring their first top tier league goal for the club. Zelvia went on to have a magnificent run in the first few matches leading at the top of the J1 League table with three wins, 1 draw and 0 lost with 10 points.

Home Stadium

Machida GION Stadium

Zelvia currently plays at Machida GION Stadium (Nozuta Stadium). Capacity until 2011 was 6,200, including grassy areas, and has had lighting for night games since 2009. Between the 2010 and 2011 seasons, the stadium was upgraded and is now all-seated. Although the minimum seating requirement for J2 is 10,000, Nozuta fell short of that number. However, under an agreement made with J-League officials, home games where a large attendance is expected will be played at other stadia leased specifically for the purpose, and upgrades to Nozuta were made to meet the 10,000-capacity requirement. The current capacity of the stadium is 15,489.

Kit and colours


Season(s) Kit Manufacturer Main Shirt Sponsor Collarbone Sponsor Additional Sponsor(s)
2019 svolme AbemaTV EAGLE KENSO (Right) odakyu TERADA
Tamagawa University
2020 AQUA RESORT (Left) 25th Anniversary (Right)
2021 ABEMA
TV Video & Entertainment
2022 AQUA RESORT (1st)
Tamagawa University
2023 Adidas CyberAgent TERADA
Tamagawa University
2024 Rudel

Kit evolution

Home kit - 1st
2024 -
Away kit - 2nd
2024 -

Current squad


No. Position Player
1 Japan GK Kosei Tani (on loan from Gamba Osaka)
2 Japan DF Masayuki Okuyama (vice-captain)
3 Japan DF Gen Shoji (captain)
4 Japan DF Jurato Ikeda
5 Kosovo DF Ibrahim Drešević
6 Japan DF Junya Suzuki
7 Japan FW Yu Hirakawa
8 Japan MF Keiya Sento (vice-captain)
9 Japan FW Shota Fujio
10 South Korea FW Na Sang-ho
11 Brazil FW Erik
13 Japan DF Kai Miki
14 South Korea DF Jang Min-gyu
15 Australia FW Mitchell Duke
16 Japan MF Zento Uno
17 Japan MF Shuto Inaba
18 Japan MF Hokuto Shimoda (vice-captain)
19 Japan FW Takaya Numata
22 Japan FW Kazuki Fujimoto
No. Position Player
26 Japan DF Kotaro Hayashi
28 Japan GK Louis Yamaguchi
29 Japan DF Takumi Narasaka
30 Japan FW Yuki Nakashima
33 Japan DF Henry Hiroki Mochizuki
36 Japan MF Yohei Okuyama
37 Japan MF Kosei Ashibe
38 Japan MF Tenshiro Takasaki
39 Chile MF Byron Vásquez
41 Japan MF Takuya Yasui
42 Japan GK Koki Fukui
44 Japan DF Yoshitaka Aoki
45 Japan MF Kai Shibato (on loan from Urawa Reds)
46 Japan MF Ken Higuchi
47 Japan FW Shunta Araki
50 Japan GK Anton Burns
55 Japan DF Daisuke Matsumoto
90 South Korea FW Oh Se-hun (on loan from Shimizu S-Pulse)
99 Japan MF Daigo Takahashi

Out on loan

No. Position Player
32 Japan MF Atsushi Kurokawa (at Mito HollyHock)
Japan DF Mizuki Uchida (at Kamatamare Sanuki)
Japan DF Soichiro Fukaminato (at Kamatamare Sanuki)
No. Position Player
Japan MF Sho Fuseya (at Kataller Toyama)
Japan FW Daiki Sato (at Blaublitz Akita)

Club official

Staff for the 2024 season.

Position Name
Manager Japan Go Kuroda
Assistant manager South Korea Kim Myung-hwi
First-Team coach Japan Shin Yamanaka
Japan Hikaru Mita
Japan Daiki Ueda
Goalkeeping coach Japan Nobuyuki Furo
Physical coach Japan Toru Yamazaki
Technical staff Japan Yasuhiko Nishimura
Analyst Japan Sota Kinoshita
Chief doctor Japan Takahiro Fujisawa
Japan Keisuke Irako
Chief trainer Japan Yasuyuki Sasaki
Trainer Japan Yuta Hamada
Japan Shin Osawa
Physiotherapist Japan Takuro Yoshitake
Interpreter Japan Go Murakami
Japan Ken Takahashi
South Korea Lee Seong-ang
Chief manager Japan Naoya Watanabe
Kit manager Japan Hiroyuki Kawakita
Sub manager Japan Yuto Suzuki
Nutrition management advisor Japan Jun Hamano


  • J2 League
    • Champions (1): 2023
  • Kanto Soccer League Division 1
    • Champions (2): 2007, 2008
  • Kanto Soccer League Division 2
    • Champions (1): 2006
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Football Tournament
    • Champions (2): 2011, 2015
  • Japanese Regional Football Champions League
    • Champions (1): 2008

Managerial history

Manager Nationality Tenure
Start Finish
Sadao Shigeta Japan Japan 1991 1995
Shoji Komoda 1996 2002
Minoru Moriya 2003 2007
Tetsuya Totsuka 1 February 2008 31 January 2010
Naoki Soma 1 February 2010 31 January 2011
Ranko Popović Serbia Serbia 1 February 2011 31 January 2012
Osvaldo Ardiles Argentina Argentina 1 February 2012 17 November 2012
Yutaka Akita Japan Japan 26 November 2012 25 June 2013
Naoki Kusunose 25 June 2013 31 January 2014
Naoki Soma 1 February 2014 31 January 2020
Ranko Popović Serbia Serbia 1 February 2020 31 January 2023
Go Kuroda Japan Japan 1 February 2023 present

League and cup record

Champions Runners-up Third place Promoted Relegated
Season Div. Teams Pos. P W D L F A GD Pts Attendance/G J. League Cup Emperor's
2009 JFL 18 6th 34 14 12 8 38 30 8 54 1,886 Not eligible
2010 18 3rd 34 19 4 11 71 44 27 61 3,503 3rd round
2011 18 3rd 33 18 7 8 61 28 33 61 3,515 2nd round
2012 J2 22 22nd 42 7 11 24 34 67 -33 32 3,627 4th round
2013 JFL 18 4th 34 18 7 9 51 44 7 61 3,174
2014 J3 12 3rd 33 20 8 5 59 23 37 68 3,134
2015 13 2nd 36 23 9 4 52 18 34 78 3,766 4th round
2016 J2 22 7th 42 18 11 13 53 44 9 65 5,123 1st round
2017 22 16th 42 11 17 14 53 53 0 50 4,056 2nd round
2018 22 4th 42 21 13 8 62 44 18 76 4,915 3rd round
2019 22 18th 42 9 16 17 36 59 -23 43 4,718 2nd round
2020 22 19th 42 12 13 17 41 52 -11 49 1,302 Did not qualify
2021 22 5th 42 20 12 10 64 38 26 72 2,577 2nd round
2022 22 15th 42 14 9 19 51 50 1 51 3,243 2nd round
2023 22 1st 42 26 9 7 79 35 44 87 7,426 Round of 16
2024 J1 20 TBD 38 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 TBD TBD
*Pos. = Position in league; P = Games played; W = Games won; D = Games drawn; L = Games lost; F = Goals scored; A = Goals conceded; GD = Goals difference; Pts = Points gained
  • Attendance/G = Average home league attendance
  • 2020 & 2021 seasons attendances reduced by COVID-19 worldwide pandemic
  • Source: J. League Data Site

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: FC Machida Zelvia para niños

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