Kashiwa Reysol is a professional soccer club in the J. League. Their home town is Kashiwa in Chiba prefecture, and their home stadium is the Sankyo Frontier Kashiwa Stadium.
The club was first founded in 1940 as the Hitachi Soccer Club, and they were one of the original 8 teams to join the Japan Soccer League (JSL) when it was first launched in 1965. They have secured championship titles in both JSL’s regular season and the JSL Cup once, as well as the Emperor’s Cup twice.
In 1990, they announced their intention to join the J. League, and in 1993, they changed their name to Hitachi FC Kashiwa Reysol. Together with Fujita (Present day name: Shonan Bellmare), and Yamaha (Presently: Jubilo Iwata), they were recognized as J. League associates.
That year, the team acquired Brazil national team player Careca from Italy’s Serie A team S.S.C. Napoli, but they finished their JFL season in 5th place, and were thus unable to promote to the J. League.
However, the following year, in 1994, thanks to actively strengthening their team with experienced J. League players, they were able to secure second place in JFL by the end of the season, and with that they promoted to the J. League. With 19 goals, Careca stood tall as the team’s top scorer.
During their first year in the J. League, they suffered 10 defeats and had a difficult time overcoming the difficulties in the J. League and finished in last place. In the 2nd stage, under the leadership of a new manager, the team gained new wind under their sails and leaped up to 5th place.
In 1996, they changed their team name to Kashiwa Reysol. Even though they didn’t have stable results like Verdy Kawasaki, Kashima Antlers or Jubilo Iwata, they were getting more chances to fight for first place in stage matches, and in the 1999 Nabisco Cup final against the Kashima Antlers, after the penalty kicks, they rose to the top with a 5-4 score and claimed their first title.
Moreover, in the following year, in 2000, they came in 4th in the 1st stage, and they would have won in the 2nd stage if they could have beaten Kashima Antlers in their final match, but the match ended in a scoreless draw, and they let their chance to win their first J. League championship slip away under their noses.
After that, for a while Reysol was stuck in a slump, and in 2005 and 2009, they experienced relegation to J2. With frequent manager changes and other problems, they fell into a vicious cycle, but things started to turn for the better once they hired Brazilian Nelsinho as manager in the middle of the 2009 season.
When they won J2 in 2010, their momentum didn’t stop and in 2011, they fought for the J1 championship until the very end of the season against Nagoya Grampus and Gamba Osaka, and eventually they made J. League history by becoming the first club to climb back to J1 in one year and then claim the championship title.
Also, including the Hitachi days, in 2012 they won their 3rd Emperor’s Cup, and in 2013 they won their 2nd J. League Cup.
Reysol’s main player, Hiroki Sakai, showed outstanding performance and he transferred to Bundesliga’s team Hannover 96. At the moment, he has grown a lot as a player and occupies a regular position in the French team Olympique Marseille in Ligue 1.
Nelsinho, who had brought several titles for the club, left Kashiwa Reysol in 2014. After 2016, the team’s OB Takahiro Shimotaira took charge as manager, and in 2017 they finished the season in 4th place, as well as successfully earned the right to appear in ACL.
Up until now the team has had famous players like Hristo Stoichkov, who was the top scorer during the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and Brazil national team players Careca, Sampaio, Franca, and South Korea national team player Hong Myung-bo.
The team’s home jersey is yellow and black, and their supplier since 2011 has been Yonex. Their jerseyss have sponsor logos from HITACHI Inspire the Next, Aflac, LAWSON, and others.