Matsumoto Yamaga FC are a professional soccer club in the J. League, currently playing in J2. Their home towns are the cities and towns around Matsumoto city in Nagano prefecture. The team’s home stadium is the Naganoken Matsumotodaira Wide Area Park General Stadium (nicknamed: Alwin) in Matsumoto city.
The club was originally founded in 1965 under the name Yamaga Soccer Club that consisted of players from Nagano prefecture. The team’s name comes from the name of a cafe that the players frequently visited in front of Matsumoto station called Yamaga. From 1975 they have been playing in the Hokushinetsu Football League and in 2005 they changed their team name to Matsumoto Yamaga Football Club.
In 2010, they were recognized as an associate club of the J. League, but with a 7th place JFL season finish they didn’t manage to promote to J2 just yet. The following year, in 2011, the team was blessed with Yokohama F Marinos legend “Mister Marinos” as the fans called him, the former Japan National Team’s defender Naoki Matsuda. Matsuda joined the team with the goal of pushing Matsumoto Yamaga to J2 and making their name known across the country. However, during training he suddenly collapsed due to cardiac arrest. The sad news of his death shocked the Japanese soccer world.
After his death the team pulled together and didn’t fall below 4th place in JFL. Thus they were allowed to start in J2 from the 2012 season. After their promotion, in 2012, Yasuharu Sorimachi, who was the manager of Shonan Bellmare and the Japan National team for the Beijing Olympics, assumed office as manager and on their third season in 2014, with unrelenting stamina, tough defense and high determination, the team gathered points and eventually pushed up to 2nd place and achieved the promotion to J1.
Unfortunately, they weren’t able to produce any results in J1 and relegated back to J2 in one year. Currently Sorimachi continues to lead the team with the same style and the team are fighting to get back to J1.
Matsumoto Yamaga’s home jersey is green color. It is said that this is because they were aiming to be like the Yomiuri Soccer Club, who were the strongest JSL team at the time, during the 90s, and thus Yamaga chose the same color.The team’s supplier from 2011 has been Adidas. Their shirts have logos of their sponsors EPSON, The Nagano Bank and others.