Japan coach names three new players
Alberto Zaccheroni has called up three new faces to the Japan squad for June's Kirin Cup alongside 11 Europe-based players.
Gamba Osaka forward Takashi Usami, Kashima Antlers defender Daigo Nishi and midfielder Kosei Shibasaki from Kawasaki Frontale have all been named for the first time in the 23-man party that will play games against both Peru and Czech Republic.
Inter Milan defender Yuto Nagatomo, Schalke defender Atsuto Uchida, Stuttgart forward Shinji Okazaki, CSKA Moscow midfielder Keisuke Honda and Wolfsburg midfielder Makoto Hasebe are also included.
Japan will face Peru on June 1 in Niigata before taking on the Czech Republic a week later in Yokohama. The duo will also meet in Nagano on June 4.
"After we withdrew from the Copa America, we have three matches to assess our players before going in to the World Cup qualifiers in September and we have two out of the three in the Kirin Cup,'' said Zaccheroni, who guided Japan to Asian Cup glory this January in Doha.
"The results are important but more importantly, I want to see the development of our team and also get to know the players. It's a great opportunity to see some unfamiliar players in these occasions.
"I am hoping that the players who have been selected this time can show their growth and give me a hard time deciding my team for the games.''
Asked about opponents Peru and Czech Republic, the Italian added: ``They
obviously have two different styles but they have one similarity, which is a
"Peru always play as hard as they can and Czech Republic played very well
against Spain recently. I hope we can learn something by playing two teams who have a different styles.''
Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Lierse), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Albirex Niigata), Shusaku Nishikawa (Sanfrecce Hiroshima).
Defenders: Yasuyuki Konno (FC Tokyo), Yuzo Kurihara (Yokohama F Marinos), Masahiko Inoha (Kashima Antlers), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan), Tomoaki Makino (Cologne), Michihiro Yasuda (Vitesse Arnhem), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke), Maya Yoshida (VVV Venlo).
Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Makoto Hasebe (Wolfsburg), Kosei Shibasaki (Kawasaki Frontale), Ryota Moriwaki (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Hajime Hosogai (Augsburg), Akihiro Ienaga (Mallorca), Daigo Nishi (Kashima Antlers).
Forwards: Ryoichi Maeda (Jubilo Iwata), Tadanari Lee (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Kunimitsu Sekiguchi (Vegalta Sendai), Shinjo Okazaki (Stuttgart), Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow), Shinzo Koroki (Kashima Antlers), Takashi Usami (Gamba Osaka).