Okubo in squad for Japan friendly versus Iceland

Striker Yoshito Okubo will headline Japan’s squad in an

international friendly against Iceland on Feb. 24.

Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni announced the squad on Friday,

naming only domestic players for the match against Iceland in

Osaka.

Zaccheroni gave first call-ups to five players, including

18-year-old striker Yuya Kubo of second-division Kyoto Sanga.

The 29-year-old Okubo, who played for Japan at the 2010 World

Cup, has not played for the national team since Zaccheroni took

over from Takeshi Okada.

”Toward the end of last season Okubo showed me what a quality

player he is and what he is capable of,” Zaccheroni said. ”I

don’t need to tell you all what a player he is because you all saw

how well he did at the World Cup.”

Striker Hidetaka Kanazono, who scored 12 league goals for Jubilo

Iwata last season, and Vegalta Sendai goalkeeper Takuto Hayashi

have also been given their first call-ups for the national

team.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Takuto Hayashi (Vegalta Sendai), Kaito Yamamoto

(Shimizu S-Pulse), Shusaku Nishikawa (Sanfrecce Hiroshima).

Defenders: Yuichi Komano (Jubilo Iwata), Daiki Iwamasa (Kashima

Antlers), Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka), Yuzo Kurihara (Yokohama F

Marinos), Naoya Kondo (Kashiwa Reysol), Masahiko Inoha (Vissel

Kobe), Ryota Moriwaki (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa

Reds).

Midfield: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki

Frontale), Yuki Abe (Urawa Reds), Chikashi Masuda (Kashima

Antlers), Yosuke Kashiwagi (Urawa Reds), Ryota Isomura (Nagoya

Grampus), Gaku Shibasaki (Kashima Antlers).

Forwards: Naohiro Ishikawa (FC Tokyo), Ryoichi Maeda (Jubilo

Iwata), Yoshito Okubo (Vissel Kobe), Jungo Fujimoto (Nagoya

Grampus), Junya Tanaka (Kashiwa Reysol), Hidetaka Kanazono (Jubilo

Iwata), Yuya Kubo (Kyoto Sanga)