Monday, May 10, 2010

TOKYO(AP) Japan coach Takeshi Okada announced a 23-member World Cup squad on Monday, naming four Europe-based players he hopes will give his team some extra attacking strength.

Keisuke Honda of CSKA Moscow, Makoto Hasebe, who plays for Germany's VfL Wolfsburg, Daisuke Matsui of French side Grenoble and Takayuki Morimoto of Italian club Catania were called up along with former Glasgow Celtic and Espanyol midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura, who now plays for the J-League's Yokohama F Marinos.

Japan, which reached the second round when it co-hosted the 2002 edition with South Korea but has never won a World Cup match on foreign soil, will be making its fourth straight appearance in football's quadrennial showpiece.

``This is a team that will never give up, is very fast and will be at a high level of fitness,'' Okada told a news conference.

Japan, drawn with the Netherlands, Denmark and Cameroon in Group E, has had trouble scoring goals in recent matches but Okada is hoping the presence of players such as Honda and Morimoto will solve that problem in South Africa.

Goalkeepers: Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi (Jubilo Iwata), Seigo Narazaki (Nagoya Grampus), Eiji Kawashima (Kawasaki Frontale).

Defenders: Marcus Tulio Tanaka (Nagoya Grampus), Yuichi Komano (Jubilo Iwata), Daiki Iwamasa (Kashima Antlers), Yasuyuki Konno (FC Tokyo), Yuto Nagatomo (FC Tokyo), Atsuto Uchida (Kashima Antlers).

Midfielders: Shunsuke Nakamura (Yokohama F Marinos), Junichi Inamoto (Kawasaki Frontale), Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale), Daisuke Matsui (Grenoble), Yuki Abe (Urawa Reds) Makoto Hasebe (VfL Wolfsburg), Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow).

Forwards: Keiji Tamada (Nagoya Grampus), Yoshito Okubo (Vissel Kobe), Kishi Yano (Albirex Niigata), Shinji Okazaki (Shimizu S-Pulse), Takayuki Morimoto (Catania).


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