With Glory’s the date home game against Shanghai Shenhua having been switched to April 28th, it means the club will now make its long-awaited AFC Champions League debut on February 18th away at FC Tokyo.
So here’s our guide to the club that finished as runners-up to Ange Postecoglou’s Yokohama F.Marinos in last season’s J-League:
FC Tokyo have only spent one season out of Japan’s top-flight since the turn of the century and have claimed two J-League Cup and one Emperor’s Cup titles in that time.
The second-place finish they recorded in the J-League last year was their highest to date and they spent 22 weeks of the campaign occupying top spot.
Based in Chofu, approximately 20 kilometres west of the city centre, the club play their home games at the Ajinomoto Stadium (known as Tokyo Stadium for ACL games) which hosted eight games during last year’s Rugby World Cup, including Australia’s defeat at the hands of Wales.
Originally formed in 1933 as the Tokyo Gas Soccer Club, they competed under that name until 1999 when they became FC Tokyo.
Arguably their greatest achievement to date came in 2011 when they became just the third second-tier side to win the Emperor’s Cup.
They also claimed the J2 league title that year and have established themselves as a competitive top-flight side in the intervening nine years.
Current Head Coach Kenta Hasegawa has been in charge of the club since 2017 and his predecessors include a Popovic – Ranko Popovic who took the reins from 2012 to 2013.
The men to watch:
One of four Brazilians currently on FC Tokyo’s books, 29-year-old Oliveira was the joint-second top goalscorer in the J-League last term with 14 and is currently valued at $3.5m Australian.
Right-footed and clever on the ball, he plied his trade in both Qatar and Korea as well as his native Brazil before moving to Japan in 2016 when he signed for Kashiwa Reysol.
He is battling a knee injury in time to be fit to face Glory.
One of the J-League’s most consistent right-backs, Muroya has been almost ever-present for FC Tokyo over the last three league seasons and like teammate Oliveira, was named in the J-League Team of the Year last term.
The 25-year-old has also broken into the Japan national team and currently has ten senior caps to his name.
A rugged, uncompromising central defender, Oumari is a seasoned Lebanon international who made his debut for FC Tokyo in last month’s AFC Champions League qualifying win over Ceres Negros.
Born in Berlin, he previously played extensively in Germany for the likes of Rot-Weiss Erfut and FSV Frankfurt and also had a spell in Turkey at Sivasspor.
Equally comfortable playing on either wing, left-footed Leandro scored three goals and contributed five assists for Kashima Antlers last season before joining FC Tokyo on loan for 2020/21.
The ex-Gremio and Palmeiras man previously earned one senior cap for his native Brazil, coming off the bench to replace Ronaldinho against Bolivia in 2013 and marking his debut with a goal.