Go Kuroda honored as Manager of the J2 League Champions

Go Kuroda honored as Manager of the J2 League Champions

Go Kuroda led the best team in the Meiji Yasuda J2 League all season: FC Machida Zelvia.

The champions were a machine, surging to the top of the table and staying there to earn their very first berth into the top flight. For that achievement, Kuroda has been honored as Manager of the J2 League champions.

Zelvia were coming off of a 15th-place finish when they hired Kuroda for the 2023 season. Kuroda was a legend at the high school level, leading Aomori Yamada High School to a trio of national titles and appearances in the national tournament in 26 straight years, but had never coached above that level. It made Kuroda a risky hire, but he repaid Zelvia’s confidence in him immediately.

Machida began the season with a draw and then won six in a row. They were top of the table in Matchweek 3 and, other than a one-week dip the following month, would never give up the place.

Kuroda’s intricate passing system made Zelvia a joy, unless you were an opposing defense. They scored the most goals in the league and conceded the third-fewest; no team could match their excellence on both ends of the pitch as Kuroda oversaw a juggernaut.

Zelvia clinched their first-ever promotion to J1 with three weeks to spare and their first-ever trophy as J2 champions the following week. Now, Kuroda and Zelvia are ready for the very best Japan has to offer.