28 August 2014 14:17
Javier Aguirre has named five uncapped players in his first squad as Japan coach, but will be without the services of Shinji Kagawa.
Former Mexico boss Aguirre was named as Alberto Zaccheroni’s successor in July following Japan’s group-stage exit at the 2014 World Cup.
The 55-year-old has selected a number of new faces as Japan look to build towards the Asian Cup next January with friendlies against Uruguay and Venezuela, with only 12 players from the World Cup party named in the 23-man squad.
Sagan Tosu’s Tatsuya Sakai and Albirex Niigata’s Ken Matsubara are named among the defenders, while Vissel Kobe midfielder Ryota Morioka could also earn his first cap.
Yusuke Minagawa of Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Tokyo’s Yoshinori Muto, who has eight goals to his name this season, have been selected in the forwards.
However, Aguirre will not be able to count on Manchester United attacking midfielder Kagawa, who has been left out of the squad after suffering a concussion.
Kagawa picked up the head injury in United’s 4-0 League Cup second-round loss to MK Dons on Tuesday.
Aside from Kagawa, the most notable player to be omitted was midfielder Yasuhito Endo, who will not able to add to his record 146 caps for Japan.
Japan take on Uruguay in Sapporo next Friday before facing Venezuela in Kanagawa four days later.
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liege), Akihiro Hayashi (Sagan Tosu) Shusaku Nishikawa (Urawa Reds)
Defenders: Ken Matsubara (Albirex Niigata), Hiroki Mizumoto (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Masato Morishige (Tokyo), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter), Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart), Hiroki Sakai (Hannover), Tatsuya Sakai (Sagan Tosu), Maya Yoshida (Southampton).
Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Hajime Hosogai (Hertha Berlin), Ryota Morioka (Vissel Kobe), Takahiro Ogihara (Cerezo Osaka), Gaku Shibasaki (Kashima Antlers), Junya Tanaka (Sporting Lisbon)
Forwards: Keisuke Honda (AC Milan), Yoichiro Kakitani (FC Basel 1893), Yusuke Minagawa (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Yoshinori Muto (Tokyo), Shinji Okazaki, (Mainz), Yuya Osako (Cologne).