FC Machida Zelvia

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Machida Zelvia
new crest 2008–
Full name Football Club Machida Zelvia
Nickname(s) Zelvia
Founded 1989; 29 years ago (1989)
Ground Machida Municipal Athletic Stadium
Machida, Tokyo
Capacity 10,622
Chairman Minoru Moriya
Manager Naoki Soma
League J2 League
2017 16th

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[edit]

As of 3 February 2018.[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 Koki Fukui
2 Japan MF Masayuki Okuyama
3 Japan DF Kodai Fujii
4 South Korea DF Jung Han-cheol
5 Japan DF Kota Fukatsu
6 North Korea MF Ri Han-jae (captain)
7 Japan MF Koki Sugimori
8 Japan MF Taiki Hirato
9 Japan FW Koji Suzuki
10 Japan MF Kohei Tokita
11 Japan FW Yuya Nakamura
13 Japan DF Shunsuke Ota
14 Japan MF Ryohei Yoshihama
15 Japan MF Yudai Inoue
No. Position Player
17 Japan DF Koki Shimosaka
19 Japan MF Shuta Doi
20 Republic of Macedonia FW Dorian Babunski
21 Japan GK Toshiyasu Takahara
22 Japan DF Takuya Hashiguchi
23 Japan DF Ryusuke Sakai
24 Peru MF Romero Frank
25 Japan DF Masaya Kojima
28 Japan FW Ryujoseph Hashimura
29 Japan MF Kota Morimura
30 Japan FW Yuki Nakashima
31 Japan GK Kenta Watanabe
32 Japan MF Hiroki Todaka
35 Japan DF Naoki Otani

Out on loan[edit]

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 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 J2 22 7 5,123 1st Round
2017 J2 22 16 4,056 2nd Round
  • Tms. = Number of teams
  • Pos. = Position in league
  • Attendance/G = Average league attendance


  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. ^ "2018シーズン". FC Machida Zelvia. Retrieved 3 February 2018. 
  4. ^ Interview Minoru Moriya. Tokyo Football Magazine. Retrieved on 2010-12-17.

External links[edit]