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Urawa Reds

Urawa Reds is a football (soccer) club from Japan.

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About Urawa Reds

are a professional association football club playing in Japan's football league, J. League Division 1. One of Japan and Asia's best supported teams, the club has been able to boast the highest average crowds for fourteen of the J-League's twenty one season history. In J. League 2008 the team attracted an average gate of over 47,000 in all competitions, which included one game at the smaller Komaba stadium, the highest in both Japan and Asian Football Confederation as a whole. The club moved in J. League 2001 to the newly built Saitama Stadium, and were able to accommodate a sharp increase in crowd numbers between 2003 J. League and 2006 J. League; a period rich in silverware (sport). Its hometown is the city of Saitama, Saitama in Saitama Prefecture, but its name comes from the former city of Urawa, Saitama, which is now a part of Saitama City.


Shin-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries established a football club in 1950 in Kobe, Hyogo and moved the club to Tokyo in 1958. In 1965 in Japanese football it formed the Japan Soccer League along with today's Sanfrecce Hiroshima, JEF United Ichihara Chiba, Kashiwa Reysol, Cerezo Osaka and three other clubs who have since been relegated to regional leagues.

Mitsubishi first won the JSL championship in 1969, as a break in Mazda/Sanfrecce's dominance (and also with the fact that Toyo were in Bangkok, Thailand, competing in the 1969 Asian Club Championship); their runs up the first division were sporadic but steady until the 1980s when they fell into the Second Division. In 1990 they were promoted as JSL 2 champions, and thus were ready when the J-League implementation began in earnest.

Mitsubishi were the first Japanese club to complete a domestic The Treble, when in 1978 they won the title, the Emperor's Cup and the Japan Soccer League Cup.

The club has enjoyed mixed fortunes since the J-League advent. The club finished bottom of the league for the first two seasons of the J-League with an average crowd of under 15,000. In 1999 they suffered relegation to the second tier of Japanese football yet again. The team has since improved in form in recent years, starting with a 2003 victory in the J. League Cup.

In J. League 2006 Urawa clinched their first professional league title by defeating runners-up Gamba Osaka 3–2 on December 2 before 63,000 supporters. This came after two close calls in the previous two years. In J. League 2005, they finished 2nd, one point behind champions Gamba Osaka. In J. League 2004, they finished 3rd in the First Stage and won the Second Stage. Having qualified for the two-match J. League Championship decider, they lost on penalty kicks to Yokohama F. Marinos.

Urawa were back to back Emperor's Cup winners in 2005 and 2006. Winning the title for the first time since establishment as a professional team, they defeated Shimizu S-Pulse 2–1 on January 1, 2006, and retained the title in 2007 with a 1–0 win over Gamba Osaka. This win also completed a Double (association football). In the 2007 tournament they were defeated at the first hurdle by J2 outfit Ehime F.C.

In 2007, despite a seemingly unassailable lead of seven points with four games remaining, Urawa picked up only two points from their final four games. This run included losing at home to Kashima Antlers; the team who would leapfrog Urawa on the final day of the season to claim their fifth J. League title. Following their capitulation in the fourth round of the Emperor's Cup to J2 outfit Ehime F.C, Urawa had to be content with their AFC Champions League 2007 Asian Champions League title. Urawa recorded their first international title after overcoming Iranian team Sepahan F.C 3–1 on aggregate. The victory made them the first Japanese side to win the title since the competition was reorganised from the Asian Champions Cup in 2003. In the FIFA Club World Cup 2007 of the same year, Urawa became the first Asian Football Confederation team to finish in third place, beating Tunisian Étoile Sportive du Sahel side on penalty kicks in the third / fourth place play off.

In 2008, Urawa attempted to win their second consecutive Asian Champions League Title and progressed to the semi finals where they were defeated by fellow Japanese and J-League rivals Gamba Osaka 3–1 on aggregate.

International affiliation

The club is also notable in that former Feyenoord Rotterdam midfielder Shinji Ono began his professional career playing for Urawa. Ono returned for the 2006 season for a second stint with the club. Urawa is affiliated with German club FC Bayern Munich, whose nickname is also "The Reds". Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the chairman of the FC Bayern Munich, announced that "We have been looking for clubs which have potential ability, management stability and cordial confidence. We could fulfill the desire to affiliate with this great club, Urawa Reds." Some other foreign clubs, such as Club Atlético Independiente, Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, VfB Stuttgart, Manchester United F.C, Feyenoord and Hamburger SV, visited Japan and played friendly games at the Saitama Stadium.

In August 2004 in football (soccer), Urawa appeared in a pre-season four-team friendly tournament, the Vodafone Cup, at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United F.C.. The Japanese club, missing key players, lost their first game 5–2 against the Argentinian side Boca Juniors. The second fixture against the hosts, Manchester United, was called off due to a massive electric storm. Some 800 Urawa fans had travelled to the game and were later compensated.


Since the establishment of J. League in 1992, the team had used tracked Urawa Komaba Stadium as its home stadium. Due to the increasing popularity of the matches, Saitama City, owner of the stadium, expanded the seat capacity some times. The team used Ōmiya Park Soccer Stadium until the works were complete. In spite of the poor performance of the team, the stadium was filled with faithful supporters, drew an average audience of twenty thousand people.

In October 2001, Saitama Prefecture built new soccer-specific Saitama Stadium in Saitama city. This stadium was used as a venue for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. After the World Cup the club has gradually increased holding its home games in Saitama Stadium and in 2003 the stadium was formally designated as the home stadium. In 2008, only two games were held at Komaba Stadium.


Urawa Reds has used Ohara City Field for its training. In addition to this facility, the club opened the Redsland in 2005, which have three grass fields, one artificial turf field, one baseball field, futsal fields and tennis courts. The Redsland is opened to the public and club members can use the facilities at relatively cheap fees.


Urawa Red Diamonds has a local derby with Omiya Ardija, from Omiya-ku, Saitama city. They first met in the 1987 Emperor's Cup, with Mitsubishi defeating NTT Kanto by 5 to 0 at Nishigaoka National Stadium. The derby first took place in the JSL Second Division in the Japan Soccer League 1989-90, and it wouldn't take place until the 2000 J. League when Urawa was relegated to the second tier again. In 2003 the formerly separate Omiya and Urawa cities merged to become Saitama, Saitama, and since 2005 the derby became a top flight fixture after Omiya was promoted.

During the JSL years and into the 1990s, Urawa's main top flight rivals were JEF United Ichihara Chiba and Kashiwa Reysol, both now based in Chiba Prefecture. Because of their former parent companies' headquarters being all based in Marunouchi, Tokyo, the three clubs were known as 丸の内御三家 Marunouchi Gosanke ("Marunouchi Big Three") and fixtures between them were known as Marunouchi derbies, although the term is falling out of use as they are now based in different prefectures and rarely play home games in Tokyo stadiums.

Rivals further afield include Kashima Antlers, F.C. Tokyo, Yokohama Marinos, Kawasaki Frontale, and, even farther away, Gamba Osaka. Old JSL championship rivalries with Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Cerezo Osaka and Shonan Bellmare have ebbed down as those clubs had nadirs in the second tier.

Women's and Amateur Teams

The club also has Women's association football and amateur teams.
- Women's: Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies in L. League Division 1
- Amateur: Urawa Red Diamonds Amateur in Saitama Prefecture League Div. 1

Record as J. League member

- Tms. = Number of teams
- Pos. = Position in league
- Attendance/G = Average league attendance


Domestic Competitions

Mitsubishi (Amateur era)
- Japan Soccer League Division 1
- - Champions: (4) 1969, 1973, 1978, 1982
- Japan Soccer League Division 2
- - Champions: (1) 1989/90
- Emperor's Cup
- - Winners: (4) 1971, 1973, 1978, 1980
- JSL Cup
- - Winners: (2) 1978, 1981
- Japanese Super Cup
- - Winners: (3) 1979, 1980, 1983

Urawa Red Diamonds (Professional era)
- J. League Division 1
- - Champions: (1) J. League 2006
- - Runners-up: (3) J. League 2004, J. League 2005, J. League 2007
- J. League Division 2
- - Runners-up: (1) 2000
- Emperor's Cup
- - Winners: (2) 2005 Emperor's Cup, Emperor's Cup 2006
- J. League Cup
- - Winners: (1) 2003 J. League Cup
- - Runners-up: (3) 2002, 2004 J. League Cup, 2011 J. League Cup
- Xerox Super Cup
- - Winners: (1) 2006
- - Runners-up: (1) 2007


- AFC Champions League
- - Winners: (1) AFC Champions League 2007


- FIFA Club World Cup
- - Third Place: (1) FIFA Club World Cup 2007

Individual Awards

See Individual Award Winners (Urawa Red Diamonds)


Current Squad

As of August 28, 2011

Image:captain sports.svg

Out on loan

2012 Season Transfers


League history

Excepting two seasons in which they were in the second tier, Mitsubishi/Urawa has always competed in the top flight, thereby being the club with the most top flight seasons total.
- Mitsubishi (Amateur era)
- - Division 1 (JSL and JSL Div.1) : 1965-66, 1988–89
- - Division 2 (JSL Div.2) : 1989-90
- - Division 1 (JSL Div.1) : 1990-91, 1991–92
- Urawa Red Diamonds (Professional era)
- - Division 1 (J. League) : 1993-99
- - Division 2 (J. League Div.2) : 2000
- - Division 1 (J. League Div.1) : 2001-
- Top Scorer: Masahiro Fukuda with 152 goals

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