Kawasaki Frontale

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Kawasaki Frontale
Full nameKawasaki Frontale
Nickname(s)Grêmio from Japan
Founded1955; 64 years ago (1955) as Fujitsu SC
1997 as Kawasaki Frontale
GroundKawasaki Todoroki Stadium,
Nakahara, Kawasaki, Japan
ChairmanYoshihiro Warashina
ManagerToru Oniki
LeagueJ1 League
2018J1 League, 1st of 18 (champions)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Kawasaki Frontale (川崎フロンターレ, Kawasaki Furontāre) is a J1 League association football club. The team is located in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo. Their home stadium is Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium, in Nakahara Ward, in the central area of Kawasaki.


The team was founded in 1955 as Fujitsu Soccer Club. It was one of many city clubs that comprised the Japan Soccer League, including Yomiuri (later Tokyo Verdy 1969), Toshiba (later Consadole Sapporo) and NKK SC (now defunct). They first made the JSL First Division in 1977, only to be relegated the next season afterwards and would not return to the top flight until 2000, when they were first promoted to the rebranded J1.

The club co-founded the Japanese second tier three times under its three names: JSL Second Division (1972), Japan Football League Division 1 (1992) and J.League Division 2 (1999).

Old Crest

Fujitsu's club became professional in 1997, and changed its name – "Frontale" means "frontal" in Italian. The club old crest and colours are based on those of Brazilian side Grêmio, because both clubs have cooperated since 26 March 1997.[1] The club joined the second division of the J.League in 1999, and became the champion of the division. But in the next season, it sank to the bottom of division one, and was relegated. In 2004, they were champions of J2 and won promotion to J1 for the second time. With the former rival city clubs out of the way due to relocation or liquidation, Frontale began building its power base in the city.

In 2006 they achieved runner-up position in J1, their highest league position up to that time. In 2007, this club attended the AFC Champions League, and made important success, as the first Japanese club for qualifying its group stage, before Urawa Red Diamonds. But Kawasaki lost in the quarter finals, against Iranian Sepahan, in a penalty shoot-out after two scoreless games.

At long last, after two other second-place finishes in 2008 and 2009, Kawasaki finally won the title in 2017, coming from behind to upstage bitter rivals Kashima Antlers after they were held to a draw at Júbilo Iwata, 16 seasons and 40 years after their first promotion to the top division.

Kawasaki has advanced steadily, and provides players for the Japan national football team. At first, defender Yoshinobu Minowa was selected in 2005. After the 2006 FIFA World Cup, midfielder Kengo Nakamura and forward Kazuki Ganaha became new internationals, especially Kengo Nakamura found his position, and played both in his club and national team till now. Then goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima debuted in East Asian Cup 2008, but he allowed one goal for his J.League teammate, Chong Tese, who plays in the Korea DPR national football team. In May, Shuhei Terada was also selected for the Japan national team.

Records and statistics[edit]


Current Squad[edit]

The Kawasaki Frontale squad for the 2019 J1 League

As of 19 June 2019.[2]

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

No. Position Player
1 South Korea GK Jung Sung-ryong
2 Japan DF Kyohei Noborizato
3 Japan DF Tatsuki Nara
4 Brazil DF Jesiel (on loan from Atlético Mineiro)
5 Japan MF Shogo Taniguchi
6 Japan MF Hidemasa Morita
7 Japan DF Shintaro Kurumaya
8 Japan MF Hiroyuki Abe
9 Brazil FW Leandro Damião
10 Japan MF Ryota Oshima
11 Japan FW Yu Kobayashi (captain)
14 Japan MF Kengo Nakamura
16 Japan MF Tatsuya Hasegawa
17 Japan DF Kazuaki Mawatari
19 Japan MF Manabu Saitō
20 Japan FW Kei Chinen
21 Japan GK Shota Arai
No. Position Player
22 Japan MF Hokuto Shimoda
23 Japan GK Eisuke Fujishima (on loan from Renofa Yamaguchi FC)
24 Japan GK Shunsuke Ando
25 Japan MF Ao Tanaka
26 Brazil DF Maguinho
27 Japan FW Yuto Suzuki
28 Japan MF Yasuto Wakizaka
29 Japan DF Michael Fitzgerald
30 Japan FW Taisei Miyashiro
31 Japan MF Koki Harada
32 Japan MF Kaoru Mitoma (designated special player)
33 Japan FW Reo Hatate (designated special player)
34 Japan MF Kazuya Yamamura
35 Japan MF Zain Issaka (designated special player)
41 Japan MF Akihiro Ienaga

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
44 Brazil FW Caio César (at V-Varen Nagasaki)
Japan GK William Popp (at Oita Trinita)
Japan DF Jefferson Tabinas (at FC Gifu)
No. Position Player
Japan MF Koji Miyoshi (at Royal Antwerp)
Japan FW Shuhei Akasaki (at Nagoya Grampus)

International Players[edit]


World Cup players[edit]

World Cup 2010
World Cup 2014
World Cup 2018

Managers (1997– )[edit]

Manager Nat. Tenure
Kazuo Saito  Japan 1997 (resigned in halfway)
Jose  Brazil 1997 (till the season end)
Beto  Brazil 1998–99 (resigned in halfway)
Ikuo Matsumoto  Japan 1999 (till the season end)
Zeca  Brazil 2000 (resigned in halfway)
Toshiaki Imai  Japan 2000 (after Zeca, resigned)
Hiroshi Kobayashi  Japan 2000 (till the season end)
Yoshiharu Horii  Japan Jan 1, 2001 – June 30, 2001 (resigned in halfway)
Nobuhiro Ishizaki  Japan July 1, 2001 – Dec 31, 2003 (after Horii)
Takashi Sekizuka  Japan Jan 1, 2004 – April 30, 2008 (resigned in halfway, by sickness)
Tsutomu Takahata  Japan May 1, 2008 – Dec 31, 2008 (till the season end)
Takashi Sekizuka  Japan Jan 1, 2009 – Dec 31, 2009 (returned)
Tsutomu Takahata  Japan Jan 1, 2010 – Dec 31, 2010 (returned)
Naoki Soma  Japan Jan 1, 2011 – April 11, 2012 (sacked in halfway)
Tatsuya Mochizuki  Japan April 12, 2012 – April 22, 2012 (interim)
Yahiro Kazama  Japan April 23, 2012 – December 31, 2016
Toru Oniki  Japan February 1, 2017 –


Kawasaki Frontale (Professional Era – 1997 to present)

Fujitsu SC (Amateur Era – 1955 to 1996)

League history[edit]

  • Kanto Football League: 1967–71 (as Fujitsu)
  • Division 2 (Japan Soccer League Div. 2): 1972–76 (as Fujitsu)
  • Division 1 (JSL Div. 1): 1977–78
  • Division 2 (JSL Div. 2): 1979–91
  • Division 2 (Japan Football League (former) Division 1): 1992–98 (as Fujitsu : 1992–95; Fujitsu Kawasaki : 1996; Kawasaki Frontale : 1997–98)
  • Division 2 (J.League Div.2): 1999
  • Division 1 (J.League Div.1): 2000
  • Division 2 (J.League Div.2): 2001–04
  • Division 1 (J.League Div.1): 2005–

Total (as of 2011): 10 seasons in the top tier, 30 seasons in the second tier and 5 seasons in the Regional Leagues.


Frontale's rivalry with FC Tokyo is known as the Tamagawa Clasico (using the Spanish word "Clasico" as used in derbies in Spain and Latin America). The two clubs first met in 1991 in the old Japan Soccer League Second Division and were rivals for promotion to the J.League in the 1990s. They co-founded the new J2 in 1999 and were promoted together the same year, and although Frontale were immediately relegated, they were promoted again in 2005 and have regularly met since then.

Frontale also has a Tamagawa rivalry with Tokyo Verdy 1969, which was originally also based in Kawasaki and moved to Chofu, Tokyo in 2000. The two were co-founders of the JSL Second Division in 1972 and, although spent 20 seasons (1979 to 1999) in separate tiers, rekindled the rivalry in the late 1990s as Kawasaki fans deserted Verdy to support Frontale, seen as a more community-focused club, and since then their fortunes have reversed as Frontale is a top flight mainstay while Verdy sunk into the second tier beginning in 2005.

Other rivals include Kashima Antlers, Urawa Red Diamonds, Yokohama F. Marinos and Shonan Bellmare.


  1. ^ was a former New Zealand international, however is now a naturalized Japanese citizen as of 2013.[3]


  1. ^ "川崎フロンターレ、「グレミオ」と姉妹クラブ関係を締結". pr.fujitsu.com. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  2. ^ "川崎フロンターレ オフィシャルWEBサイト". 川崎フロンターレ オフィシャルWEBサイト.
  3. ^ "Football: All White says sayonara for now". NZ Herald. 17 August 2014.

External links[edit]