Japan U-20 national team coach Atsushi Uchiyama on Tuesday announced his squad for this month’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea.
Amongst the list of 21 players are FC Tokyo U-18 striker Takefusa Kubo, who at 15 years old will be the youngest player in this year’s tournament, as well as Gamba Osaka starlet Ritsu Doan who last month scored his first-ever goals in the J1 League and AFC Champions League.
“We’ve called up 83 players in this two-year cycle, and I believe we’ve chosen our strongest possible list,” Uchiyama reflected during a press conference at JFA House in downtown Tokyo. “We want to play as many games as possible, and we can’t play a fourth match without getting through the group stage.”
The 2016 AFC U-19 champions, who will participate in the tournament for the first time in 10 years, are faced with a challenging Group D featuring South Africa, Italy, and Uruguay. They will take on Honduras U-20 in an international friendly on May 15 before departing for South Korea.
Japan squad for U-20 World Cup
Goalkeepers: Ryosuke Kojima (Waseda University), Go Hatano (FC Tokyo), Louis Yamaguchi (FC Lorient)
Defenders: Ko Itakura (Kawasaki Frontale), Yuta Nakayama (Kashiwa Reysol), Ryo Hatsuse (Gamba Osaka), So Fujitani (Vissel Kobe), Kakeru Funaki (Cerezo Osaka), Daiki Sugioka (Shonan Bellmare), Takehiro Tomiyasu (Avispa Fukuoka)
Midfielders: Daisuke Sakai (Oita Trinita), Koji Miyoshi (Kawasaki Frontale), Tsukasa Morishima (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Mizuki Ichimaru (Gamba Osaka), Keita Endo (Yokohama F. Marinos), Ritsu Doan (Gamba Osaka), Teruki Hara (Albirex Niigata)
Forwards: Koki Ogawa (Jubilo Iwata), Yuto Iwaki (Kyoto Sanga), Kyosuke Tagawa (Sagan Tosu), Takefusa Kubo (FC Tokyo U-18)