FC Machida Zelvia

Machida Zelvia
Full name Football Club Machida Zelvia
Nickname(s) Zelvia
Founded 1989
Ground Machida Municipal Athletic Stadium
Machida, Tokyo
Ground Capacity 10,622
Chairman Minoru Moriya
Manager Naoki Soma
League J2 League
2016 7th

Football Club Machida Zelvia (FC町田ゼルビア Efu Shi Machida Zerubia) is a Japanese football club based in Machida, Tokyo.

Old FC Machida crest, used till 2008


Machida is known as "Brazil of Tokyo" due to the popularity of football in the city; it has, in fact, produced the second-largest number of J. League players though its football school. Originally formed in 1977 by Machida's football federation, this school is well known for its development of young talent into professional players. In 1989, in order to retain that talent in Machida, F.C. Machida established its own top team, which, at that time, played in the Tokyo Prefecture League.

In 2003 they became a polideportivo 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 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 (a grassy plant commonly used in football pitches).

The same year, the club declared its intent to be promoted to J. League's 2nd division, and its status of semi-affiliatiate 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 result of 6th place did not allow for Zelvia's promotion to the J.League.

In 2010, Machida 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 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 football club.[1] The reborn team beat Tokyo Verdy, its archrival from the J. League, in the 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.

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 start of the 2011 seasons. Machida 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),[2] but were relegated after a bottom-placed finish. They became one of the original J3 clubs after finishing at 4th place in the 2014 JFL season and returned to J2 as 2015 runners-up by beating Oita Trinita in the promotion/relegation playoff.


Machida Zelvia currently plays at Machida Municipal Athletic 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 still falls 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 future upgrades to Nozuta will be made in order to meet the 10,000 capacity requirement.

Current roster

As of 3 February 2016.[3]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Japan GK Keisuke Naito
2 Japan DF Satoru Hoshino
3 Japan DF Shinnosuke Hatanaka
4 Japan DF Kai Miki
5 Japan DF Kota Fukatsu
6 North Korea MF Ri Han-jae (captain)
7 Japan MF Hiroki Todaka
8 Japan MF Tatsuya Yazawa
9 Japan FW Koji Suzuki
10 Japan MF Kohei Tokita
11 Japan FW Yuya Nakamura
13 Japan MF Ryuto Otake
14 Japan MF Shohei Yokoyama
15 Japan MF Yudai Inoue
No. Position Player
16 Japan DF Shingo Arizono
17 Japan MF Takafumi Suzuki
18 Japan MF Taisuke Miyazaki
19 Japan DF Ryota Matsumoto
20 Japan MF Junto Matsushita
21 Japan GK Toshiyasu Takahara
22 Japan GK Kyohei Shimazaki
24 North Korea DF Kim Song-gi
27 Japan DF Tomoya Fukuda
29 Japan MF Kota Morimura
30 Japan FW Yuki Nakashima
37 Netherlands DF Calvin Jong-a-Pin
38 Japan FW Satoshi Kukino
39 Japan FW Kentaro Shigematsu

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Japan GK Sota Chiba (at Saurcos Fukui)
Japan MF Yuta Inagaki (at MIO Biwako Shiga)
Japan MF Keisuke Endo (at Fujieda MYFC)
Japan MF Takuya Kakine (at Grulla Morioka)
Japan FW Shota Saito (at Tokyo 23 FC)



Season Div. Tms. Pos. Attendance/G Emperor's Cup
2009 JFL 18 6 1,886
2010 JFL 18 3 3,503 3rd Round
2011 JFL 18 3 3,515 2nd Round
2012 J2 22 22 3,627 4th Round
2013 JFL 18 4 3,174
2014 J3 12 3 3,134
2015 J3 13 2 3,766 4th Round
2016 J3 22 7 5,123 1st Round


  1. D.C. United to partner with FC Machida Zelvia
  2. McKirdy, Andrew, "Ardiles ready to face new challenge", Japan Times, 6 March 2012, p. 18.
  3. "2016シーズン新体制&新背番号のお知らせ". FC Machida Zelvia. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  4. Interview Minoru Moriya. Tokyo Football Magazine. Retrieved on 2010-12-17.

External links

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