Kawasaki Frontale

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Kawasaki Frontale
Full nameKawasaki Frontale
Founded1955 as Fujitsu F.C.
1997 as Kawasaki Frontale
GroundTodoroki Athletics Stadium,
Nakahara, Kawasaki, Japan
ChairmanShimpei Takeda
ManagerNaoki Soma
LeagueJ. League Division 1
Current season

Kawasaki Frontale (川崎フロンターレ, Kawasaki Furontāre) is a J. League Division 1 association football club. The team is located in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo. Their home stadium is Todoroki Athletics Stadium, in Nakahara Ward, in the central area of Kawasaki.


Founded in 1955 as Fujitsu football club. The club was one of many city clubs that comprised the Japan Soccer League, including Yomiuri FC (later Tokyo Verdy 1969), Toshiba (later Consadole Sapporo) and NKK F.C. (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 to date. 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 F.C., in a penalty shoot-out after two scoreless games.

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.

Record as J. League member

Season Div. Tms. Pos. Attendance/G J. League Cup Emperor's Cup Asia
1999 J2 10 1 5,396 1st Round 4th Round - -
2000 J1 16 16 7,439 Runners-up 4th Round - -
2001 J2 12 7 3,784 Quarter-final Semi-final - -
2002 J2 12 4 5,247 - Quarter-final - -
2003 J2 12 3 7,258 - 4th Round - -
2004 J2 12 1 9,148 - 5th Round - -
2005 J1 18 8 13,658 Group Stage Quarter-final - -
2006 J1 18 2 14,340 Semi-final 5th Round - -
2007 J1 18 5 17,338 Runners-up Semi-final CL Quarter-final
2008 J1 18 2 17,565 Group Stage 5th Round - -
2009 J1 18 2 18,847 Runners-up Quarter-final CL Quarter-final
2010 J1 18 5 18,562 Semi-final 4th Round CL Group Stage
2011 J1 18 11 17,340 2nd Round 4th Round - -
  • Tms. = Number of teams
  • Pos. = Position in league
  • Attendance/G = Average league attendance


Current Squad

As of January 22, 2012 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 Rikihiro Sugiyama
2 Japan DF Hiroki Ito (captain)
3 Japan DF Yūsuke Tanaka
4 Japan DF Yusuke Igawa
5 Brazil DF Jeci
6 Japan MF Yusuke Tasaka
7 Japan FW Masaru Kurotsu
8 Japan DF Takanobu Komiyama
9 Japan FW Takuro Yajima
10 Brazil MF Renato
11 Japan FW Yu Kobayashi
13 Japan MF Koji Yamase
14 Japan MF Kengo Nakamura
15 Japan DF Yuki Saneto
16 Japan MF Jumpei Kusukami
No. Position Player
17 Japan FW Rui Komatsu
18 Japan MF Kyohei Sugiura
19 Japan MF Kosei Shibasaki
20 Japan MF Junichi Inamoto
21 Japan GK Yohei Nishibe
22 Japan DF Akito Fukumori
23 Japan MF Kyohei Noborizato
24 Japan DF Yudai Tanaka
25 Brazil MF René Santos
26 Japan FW Koya Tanio
27 Japan GK Shunsuke Ando
28 Japan FW Junichi Tanaka
29 Japan GK Shun Takagi
30 Japan MF Ryota Oshima
33 Japan DF Shun Morishita

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 DF Jun Sonoda (to Machida Zelvia)
Japan FW Yuki Natsume (to Tochigi S.C.)

2012 Season Transfers

International Players


World Cup players

World Cup 2010

Managers (1997– )

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 2001 (resigned in halfway)
Nobuhiro Ishizaki  Japan 2001–03 (after Horii)
Takashi Sekizuka  Japan 2004–08 (resigned in halfway, by sickness)
Tsutomu Takahata  Japan 2008 (till the season end)
Takashi Sekizuka  Japan 2009 (returned)
Tsutomu Takahata  Japan 2010 (returned)
Naoki Soma  Japan 2011~

League history

  • 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 F.C. 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.


External links