Erik wins J2 Player of the Year after helping Zelvia to title

Erik wins J2 Player of the Year after helping Zelvia to title

Erik had a massive season at FC Machida Zelvia, leading them to the title with 18 goals and six assists, and now he got a piece of individual silverware to go along with his champions medal - J2 Player of the Year.

The Brazilian was marvelous in 2023, acting as the constant dangerman for the league’s best attack. He was a threat whenever he touched the ball, be it in front of goal or deeper on the pitch setting up his teammates.

With Erik up front, Machida were an unstoppable force. They rushed to the top of the table with a seven-match unbeaten streak to begin the season as Erik captured Konami J2 Monthly MVP honors. He’d win the award again in June as Zelvia dominated, spending all but one week in first place from Matchweek 3 on.

Astoundingly, Erik did all this despite suffering a cruciate injury in August and missing the remainder of the season. He was so outstanding in his 30 matches that his impact carried Zelvia for a full 42-match campaign.

Zelvia hoped that Erik would be their talisman when they signed him in January and he was everything they hoped for and more. He’d scored 21 goals in two seasons with Yokohama F·Marinos, so he was no stranger to Japanese football, but the 29-year-old went to a whole other level in Machida.

Zelvia had ambitions of making the leap to the top flight this season and Erik ensured they’d do just that, with a title to boot. He was the star of the league’s best team, and the best player in all of J2.