FC Ryukyu (FC琉球, Efu Shī Ryūkyū) are an Association football club from the Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. They currently play in Japan’s J2 League.
FC Ryukyu Youth Development System
FC Ryukyu Academy takes pride as a J-League club in Okinawa Prefecture, and aims to develop professional players and human resources who will lead Okinawa Prefecture under the only integrated system in the prefecture.
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FC Ryukyu Soccer School has pride as the only J-League club in Okinawa Prefecture, and aims to develop professional players and human resources who will lead Okinawa Prefecture.
We are developing activities to convey the joy of moving our bodies to children through soccer.
The purpose is not only to improve skills, but also to foster the importance of cooperating with colleagues and the spirit of taking on difficult challenges.
Not only children who are interested in soccer, but also children who are not good at exercising or are not good at exercising can enjoy going to school. We are working with the hope that each and every one of us will grow up vigorously and have big dreams while feeling close to the players of the J Club.
The club first opened its doors in the year 2003. The majority of the players that initially signed with the team were those who had previously played for Okinawa Kariyushi FC but had departed due to disagreements with the club’s management, who were under contract with the Kariyushi hotel chain. During their first season together in 2003, they were able to claim the title of champions in Okinawa Prefectural Division 3 North.
They were promoted directly to Division 1 for the next season, which they won as well, securing their position at the top of the standings. They were members of the Kysh Regional League for the 2005 campaign (Kyu League). They were the first ever Okinawan football team to play in a national league after coming in second place and winning the play-off for the Regional League.
As a result of their success, they were promoted to the JFL. Philippe Troussier, a former coach for the Japan national football team, was hired by the club as their general manager in December of 2007. In January of 2008, Jean-Paul Rabier was selected to fill the role of manager for them.
In January of 2008, they submitted an application for associate membership in the J. League; however, their request was denied at a board meeting of the J. League held on February 19, 2008. In December of 2008, it was disclosed that Rabier would be leaving his position. In January of 2009, Hiroyuki Shinzato, a former coach, was elevated to take over as the team’s new manager.
It was ultimately possible for FC Ryukyu to join the J3 League in 2014. FC Ryukyu made the announcement that they would be partnering with Seoul United, a team from the Korean Challengers League, in January of 2015. The agreement states that each of the teams will compete against one another in a friendly match once per year. It was planned that the first match will take place on March 1, 2015.
FC Ryukyu have made consistent advancements over the past few years, having finished in 8th place in J3 in 2016, and then bettering that result by finishing in 6th place the following year. After playing to a 1–1 tie at Nagano Parceiro during the 2018 season, they were able to secure promotion to J2 with three games left on the schedule.
They then went on to defeat Thespakusatsu Gunma in the following game to win the J3 title with two games to spare. They began their debut season in J2 in impressive fashion by winning four games in a row and topping the league, but as the season went, they struggled more and more until they eventually finished in 14th position.