Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Japan surprises with recall of veteran striker
by Mike Woitalla, May 12th, 2014 2:29PM

TAGS:  japan, world cup 2014


[WORLD CUP 2014] Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni included in his 23-player roster for the World Cup 31-year-old forward Yoshito Okubo, who hasn't played for the Blue Samurai in two years, and three defensive players struggling with injuries.

Okubo, who has appeared only once for the Italian coach during his four-year tenure, led the J-League in scoring last season and has scored eight this season for Kawasaki Frontale.

"He's got experience, personality and a nose for the goal," said Zaccheroni of Okubo, who played all four games for Japan at the 2010 World Cup. “He's got experience and quality and while he may be over 30, he hasn't shown signs of slowing down physically. He is also unpredictable.”

Captain Makoto Hasebe, a defensive midfielder who had a knee operation in February, returned to action for the first time in five months last weekend for Nuremberg. Schalke 04 right back Atsuto Uchida has been plagued by a thigh injury since February and Southampton central defender Maya Yoshida has not appeared in an English Premier League game since February because of a knee injury.

World Cup 2014: Warmup Schedule

The 12 European-based players on the roster include AC Milan's Keisuke Honda and Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa, two key players coming off disappointing club seasons.

“Shinji is an impact player for Japan,” Zaccheroni. He always does the job asked. Honda, we know, has the character and power to grab the team by the scruff of the neck. We hope he can do the same again."

Japan Roster (23 Players)
Goalkeepeers: Shuichi Gonda (Tokyo), Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liege/BEL), Shusaku Nishikawa (Urawa Reds).
Defenders: Masahiko Inoha (Jubilo Iwata), Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka), Masato Morishige (Tokyo), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter/ITA), Gotoku Sakai (VFB Stuttgart/GER), Hiroki Sakai (Hannover), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke 04/GER), Maya Yoshida (Southampton/ENG).
Midfielders: Toshihiro Aoyama (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Makoto Hasebe (Nuremberg/GER), Keisuke Honda (Milan/ITA), Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United/ENG), Yoichiro Kakitani (Cerezo Osaka), Hiroshi Kiyotake (Nuremberg), Manabu Saito (Yokohama F Marinos), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka)
Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Mainz), Yoshito Okubo (Kawasaki Frontale), Yuya Osako (1860 Munich/GER).

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Fabian Johnson is on fire    
American midfielder Fabian Johnson is suddenly one of the hottest scorers in Germany. He scored two ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Watching the MLS playoffs has been tremendously exciting. The games in the first round with the ...
Klinsmann: Nagbe is a 'great fit' for national team    
One of the standouts in the MLS playoffs has been Darlington Nagbe, who has helped the ...
What They're Saying: Didier Drogba    
"It's a different challenge [in MLS]. People think it's easy to play there. Believe me, it's ...
What They're Saying: Stocksbridge Park Steels chairman Allen Bethel    
"I can't believe what I've been seeing on Saturday nights. He's always on his own. Why ...
MLS: Sporting KC continues talks with five free agents    
Sporting Kansas City re-signed 12 of the 13 players it had options on -- all but ...
MLS: Orlando City declines option on Hall    
Stemming from the roster moves announced Wednesday, Orlando City SC may not look radically different in ...
MLS: Revs re-sign Kobayashi, send three to Portugal    
New England announced Wednesday it has renewed the options on 14 players, signed midfielder Daigo Kobayashi ...
Sacramento wants to show it's ready to roll    
While efforts by David Beckham's group to find land for a soccer stadium in Miami appear ...
Johnson scores again in Champions League    
Fabian Johnson scored in his second straight game for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the UEFA Champions League ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives