This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Yokohama FC" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (April 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Yokohama FC
横浜FC
Logo
Full nameYokohama FC
Nickname(s)Fulie
Founded1999; 23 years ago (1999)
GroundMitsuzawa Stadium
Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama
Capacity15,046
ChairmanYuji Onodera
ManagerShuhei Yomoda
LeagueJ2 League
2021J1 League, 20th of 20 Decrease (relegated)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Yokohama FC (横浜FC, Yokohama Efushī) is a Japanese professional football club based in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, part of the Greater Tokyo Area. The club currently plays in the J2 League, which is the second tier of football in the country. The club was formed by fans of Yokohama Flügels as a protest against Flügels' merger with Yokohama Marinos in 1999, becoming the first supporter-owned professional sports team in Japan.[1]

Since gaining J.League membership in 2001, Yokohama FC spent a long time in the second tier of the Japanese football league system. The club gained promotion to J.League Division 1 for 2007 season, as champions of J.League Division 2 in 2006, but were immediately relegated the following season. After twelve years in the J2 League, they returned to the top flight in the 2020 season, earning promotion the previous year. Just 1 year into J1 however, they were relegated back to J2 after finishing 20th in 2021.

Crest

Yokohama FC's crest features a phoenix, symbolizing the rise of Yokohama FC from the ashes of the Yokohama Flugels. The blue ribbon on the top represents the Blue Ribbon Movement, a movement that began at the end of the 1998 J.League season to keep the Flugels alive.

History

Graphical timeline of Yokohama football clubs
Graphical timeline of Yokohama football clubs

Yokohama FC was formed in 1999 following the merger of Yokohama's two J.League clubs, the Flügels and the Marinos. Flügels supporters felt that their club had essentially been dissolved rather than merged with, so rejected the suggestion that they should start supporting Marinos – who had been their crosstown rivals. Instead, with money raised through donations from the general public and an affiliation with talent management company IMG, the former Flügels supporters founded the Yokohama Fulie Sports Club.[2] Following the socio model used by FC Barcelona, the Fulie Sports Club created Yokohama FC, the first professional sports team in Japan owned and operated by its supporters.[1]

For its first season in 1999, Yokohama FC hired former German national team and World Cup star Pierre Littbarski to be the manager and Yasuhiko Okudera, the first Japanese footballer to play professionally in Europe, to be the chairman.[3] The club attempted to gain entry directly into the professional J.League, but the Japan Football Association only permitted entry to the amateur Japan Football League (JFL), at the time the third level of the Japanese football league system, and ruled that the club would not be eligible for promotion into J.League Division 2 at the end of its first season. So, despite finishing as JFL champion in 1999, Yokohama FC finished as JFL champion again in 2000 before being promoted to J.League Division 2.[4]

The club spent the next 6 seasons in J.League Division 2 before finishing as champions in 2006 and gaining promotion to J.League Division 1. In 2007, just the ninth year of its existence, Yokohama FC played its first season in the top flight of Japanese football. After a poor season, the team were consigned to relegation with five games of the season still remaining. Despite their early relegation, Yokohama FC nevertheless decided the final outcome at the opposite end of the table; by defeating title contenders Urawa Red Diamonds on the last day of the season, Kashima Antlers secured the J.League Division 1 title.[5]

In 2018, Yokohama FC narrowly missed out on automatic promotion by goal difference. The team made it to the J2 promotion final, losing to Tokyo Verdy on an stoppage time winner. In 2019, Yokohama finished second in J2 and gained automatic promotion to J1.

After finishing in last place in 2021, Yokohama FC would be relegated back to J2 for the 2022 season.

Fight for promotion in 2005 and 2006

Although they had a dire season in 2005, ending 11th out of 12, they were in the top half of table throughout the 2006 season. On 26 November they finished in the top spot of the J2 League, and hence were finally promoted to the J. League 1.

This success story was so dramatic as to make people somewhat excited in Japan. Yokohama FC's financial situation was so poor that they didn't even own their own football ground or a club house. Players did everything themselves including carrying the goal posts and washing the jerseys.

One of their players, Kazuyoshi Miura, is 54 and a former player, Atsuhiro Miura (one of their main players before his 2010 retirement) was 36 when he last played for the club. These players once played for the Japan national team.

They lost all pre-season matches, even against college students, then also the first official match of the year. After this, they suddenly changed the player-manager to a freshman with little experience named Takuya Takagi, who was 38. At the beginning of the season few expected them to become champions.

Record as J.League member

Champions Runners-up Third place Promoted Relegated
League J.League
Cup
Emperor's
Cup
Season Div. Teams Pos. P W (OTW) D L (OTL) F A GD Pts Attendance/G
2001 J2 12 9th 44 12 (3) 1 25 (3) 58 81 -23 43 3,007 2nd round 4th round
2002 12 12th 44 8 11 25 43 81 -38 35 3,477 3rd round
2003 12 11th 44 10 12 22 49 88 -39 42 3,743 3rd round
2004 12 8th 44 10 22 12 42 50 -8 52 4,219 5th round
2005 12 11th 44 10 15 19 48 64 -16 45 5,938 4th round
2006 13 1st 48 26 15 7 61 32 -29 93 5,119 3rd round
2007 J1 18 18th 34 4 4 26 19 66 -47 16 14,039 Group stage 5th round
2008 J2 15 10th 42 11 17 14 51 56 -5 50 6,793 4th round
2009 18 16th 51 11 11 29 43 70 -27 44 3,535 3rd round
2010 19 6th 36 16 6 14 54 47 7 54 5,791 3rd round
2011 20 18th 38 11 8 19 40 54 -14 41 5,770 2nd round
2012 22 4th 42 22 7 13 62 45 17 73 6,039 3rd round
2013 22 11th 42 15 13 14 49 46 3 58 6,064 2nd round
2014 22 11th 42 14 13 15 49 47 2 55 5,146 2nd round
2015 22 15th 42 13 13 16 33 58 -25 52 5,113 2nd round
2016 22 8th 42 16 11 15 50 51 -1 59 4,892 Round of 16
2017 22 10th 42 17 12 13 60 49 11 63 5,967 2nd round
2018 22 3rd 42 21 13 8 63 44 19 76 6,141 3rd round
2019 22 2nd 42 23 10 9 66 40 26 79 7,061 3rd round
2020 J1 18 15th 34 9 6 19 38 60 -22 33 3,559 Group stage Did not qualify
2021 20 20th 38 6 9 23 32 77 -45 27 4,511 Group stage 2nd round
2022 J2 22 42 3rd round
Key

Honours

Current players

As of 13 July 2022[6]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
2 MF Brazil BRA Rhayner (on loan from Tombense)
3 DF Japan JPN Takumi Nakamura
4 DF Japan JPN Hideto Takahashi
5 DF Brazil BRA Gabriel
6 MF Japan JPN Takuya Wada
7 MF Japan JPN Takuya Matsuura
8 MF Japan JPN Kosuke Saito
9 FW Brazil BRA Kléber
10 MF Japan JPN Reo Yasunaga
13 FW Brazil BRA Saulo Mineiro
14 MF Japan JPN Ryo Tabei
15 FW Japan JPN Sho Ito
16 MF Japan JPN Tatsuya Hasegawa (captain)
17 DF Japan JPN Eijiro Takeda
18 FW Japan JPN Koki Ogawa
19 DF Japan JPN Masashi Kamekawa
20 DF Japan JPN Zain Issaka (on loan from Kawasaki Frontale)
21 GK Japan JPN Akinori Ichikawa
22 DF Japan JPN Katsuya Iwatake
23 DF Japan JPN Hayato Sugita
No. Pos. Nation Player
24 DF Japan JPN Yuya Takagi
25 MF Japan JPN Shunsuke Nakamura
27 DF Japan JPN Daiki Nakashio
30 MF Japan JPN Kohei Tezuka
33 MF Japan JPN Tomoki Kondo DSP
34 DF Japan JPN Taiga Nishiyama
37 DF Japan JPN Ginjiro Ikegaya Type 2
38 FW Japan JPN Yushi Yamaya (on loan from Yokohama F. Marinos)
39 FW Japan JPN Kazuma Watanabe
40 GK Japan JPN Yutaro Nishikata Type 2
41 DF Japan JPN Shawn Van Eerden Type 2
42 MF Japan JPN Yuto Shimizu Type 2
43 DF Japan JPN Hayato Moriya Type 2
44 GK Japan JPN Yuji Rokutan
45 DF Japan JPN Ryusei Nakamura Type 2
46 MF Japan JPN Haru Kiyokawa Type 2
48 FW Japan JPN Ryoya Yamashita
49 GK Germany GER Svend Brodersen
50 MF Japan JPN Kotaro Nagata Type 2
MF Japan JPN Hayase Takashio Type 2

Out on loan

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Japan JPN Issei Ouchi (at Nagano Parceiro)
DF Japan JPN Kyowaan Hoshi (at Iwaki FC)
MF Japan JPN Riku Furuyado (at YSCC Yokohama)
No. Pos. Nation Player
FW Japan JPN Yuki Kusano (at FC Ryukyu)
FW Japan JPN Keijiro Ogawa (at FC Seoul)
11 FW Japan JPN Kazuyoshi Miura (at Suzuka Point Getters)

Colours

As they could not adopt directly Flügels' white and blue strip given its similarity to that of Marinos, Yokohama FC decided to adopt an all-cyan kit, after NKK SC, a former company club which had closed in 1994. NKK SC was based in Kawasaki and played most matches at Todoroki Athletics Stadium, but used Mitsuzawa Stadium on days when the other Kawasaki clubs at the time (Verdy Kawasaki, Toshiba and Fujitsu) used it.

Kit evolution

FP 1st
2001
2002
2003 - 2004
2005 - 2006
2007 - 2008
2009 - 2010
2011 - 2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
2022 -
FP 2nd
2001
2002
2003 - 2004
2005 - 2006
2007 - 2008
2009 - 2010
2011 - 2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
2022 -

Coaching staff

Role Nat. Name
Manager Japan Shuhei Yomoda
Assistant Manager Japan Tomoyoshi Ono
Assistant Manager Japan Tatsuro Takenaka
First Team coach Japan Tomonobu Hayakawa
First Team coach Japan Keiji Kuraishi
First Team coach Japan Seiya Takeuchi
Goalkeeper coach Brazil Adauto
Athletic Coach Japan Masahiro Watanabe
Athletic Coach Japan Fumihiro Funahashi
Athletic Coach Japan Yuki Katase
Athletic Coach Japan Shingo Ebata
Interpreter JapanBrazil
Japan
Gabriel Minamoto
Ryohei Ikeda
Academy Staff Japan Yusuke Ogura
Kit Manager Japan
Japan
Takaya Amimori
Yuto Nakahata
Technical Director Japan Kenji Fukuda

Manager history

Manager Nationality Tenure
Start Finish
Pierre Littbarski  Germany 1 February 1999 31 December 2000
Yoshikazu Nagai  Japan 1 January 2001 10 September 2001
Yūji Sakakura  Japan 11 September 2001 15 September 2001
Katsuyoshi Shintō  Japan 16 September 2001 31 December 2002
Pierre Littbarski  Germany 1 February 2003 31 January 2005
Yūsuke Adachi  Japan 1 January 2005 6 March 2006
Takuya Takagi  Japan 7 March 2006 27 August 2007
Júlio César Leal  Brazil 28 August 2007 31 December 2007
Satoshi Tsunami  Japan 1 February 2008 31 January 2009
Yasuhiro Higuchi  Japan 1 February 2009 31 January 2010
Yasuyuki Kishino  Japan 1 February 2010 18 March 2012
Takahiro Taguchi  Japan 18 March 2012 21 March 2012
Motohiro Yamaguchi  Japan 21 March 2012 31 January 2015
Miloš Rus  Slovenia 1 January 2015 14 September 2015
Hitoshi Nakata  Japan 14 September 2015 1 December 2015
Miloš Rus  Slovenia 1 December 2015 15 June 2016
Hitoshi Nakata  Japan 16 June 2016 15 October 2017
Tomonobu Hayakawa  Japan 15 October 2017 17 October 2017
Yasuhiko Okudera  Japan 19 October 2017 23 October 2017
Edson Tavares  Brazil 24 October 2017 13 May 2019
Takahiro Shimotaira  Japan 14 May 2019 8 April 2021
Tomonobu Hayakawa  Japan 8 April 2021 31 January 2022
Shūhei Yomoda  Japan 1 February 2022 Current

Mascot

The Yokohama FC's mascot is named Fulie-maru, an alien-bird like figure. Supposedly, in a way, he is supposed to be a tribute to the Yokohama Flugels' mascot, Tobimaru, a flying squirrel.[7]

References

  1. ^ a b Ichiro Hirose (2014). スポーツ・マネジメント入門 [Introduction to Sport Management] (in Japanese). Toyo Keizai. p. 123. ISBN 4492502602.
  2. ^ John Horne, Wolfram Manzenreiter (2013). Japan, Korea and the 2002 World Cup. Routledge. p. 101. ISBN 0415275636.
  3. ^ Kumi Kinohara (27 July 2000). "Yokohama FC struggling to survive despite JFL success". Japan Times. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Interview with Tomio Tsujino" (PDF) (in Japanese). Yokohama City. 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  5. ^ Andrew Mckirdy (2 December 2007). "Inspired Antlers squad captures J.League title". Japan Times. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  6. ^ "選手・スタッフ" (in Japanese). Yokohama FC. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  7. ^ A brief history of J.League mascots | Mascot madness in Japanese football, retrieved 2022-04-07