Road to Vancouver: Sawa makes first Japan cut

Homare Sawa, bidding to become the first player to play in six Women's World Cups, was included in Japan's preliminary squad of 35 players for Canada 2015.

The 36-year-old Sawa, who captained Japan to the 2011 title, had not included in the Japanese team that finished ninth at the Algarve Cup.

She just scored her 150th career goal in Japan’s Nadeshiko League, leading INAC Kobe to a 3-1 win over Elfen Saitama for its fifth straight victory to start the season.

The squad includes three players based in Germany and two in France. Midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi played in the NWSL with Seattle in 2014.

Japan Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (5): Miho Fukumoto (Okayama Yunogo Belle), Ayumi Kaihori (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Erina Yamane (JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies), Rei Takenaka (Vegalta Sendai Ladies), Ayaka Yamashita (Nippon TV Beleza).
DEFENDERS (10): Yukari Kinga (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Megumi Kamionobe (Albirex Niigata Ladies), Azusa Iwashimizu (NTV Beleza), Aya Sameshima (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Saori Ariyoshi (NTV Beleza), Yuri Kawamura (Vegalta Sendai Ladies), Kana Kitahara (Vegalta Sendai Ladies), Saki Kumagai (Lyon/FRA), Tomoko Muramatsu (NTV Beleza), Ruka Norimatsu (Urawa Reds Ladies).
MIDFIELDERS (10): Homare Sawa (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Kozue Ando (FFC Frankfurt/GER), Aya Miyama (Okayama Yunogo Belle), Nahomi Kawasumi (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Mizuho Sakaguchi (NTV Beleza), Asuna Tanaka (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Rumi Utsugi (Montpellier/FRA), Asano Nagasato (FFC Turbine Potsdam), Yumi Uetsuji (Vegalta Sendai Ladies), Ami Sugita (Iga FC Kunoichi).
FORWARDS (10): Shinobu Ohno (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Yuki Ogimi (Wolfsburg/GER),  Yuika Sugasawa (JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies), Megumi Takase (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Kumi Yokoyama (AC Nagano Parceiro Ladies), Karina Maruyama (Speranza FC Osaka Takatsuki), Mana Iwabuchi (Bayern Munich/GER), Mai Kyokawa (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Mina Tanaka (NTV Beleza).
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