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2019 Copa America: Japan profile

Japan team profile: 2019 Copa America key players, roster, coach, winning odds

June 3, 2019 By Ali M.
The Samurai Blue will head to Brazil with a youthful and inexperienced squad. Here's everything you need to know.

Japan's roster for the 2019 Copa America

Japan has opted for a mainly youthful and inexperienced squad for their upcoming 2019 Copa America cameo. The national team manager has stated that his goal for this tournament is to hand the up-and-coming names much-needed experience ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Japan.

As a result, 17 of the 23 players chosen for Brazil 2019 are uncapped. Shinji Okazaki, who is a free agent after leaving Leicester, and Eiji Kawashima of Strasbourg are a few of the experienced figures that made the cut.

Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Strasbourg), Ryosuke Kojima (Oita Trinita), Keisuke Osako (Sanfrecce Hiroshima).

Defenders: Naomichi Ueda (Cercle Brugge), Ko Itakura (Groningen), Tomoki Iwata (Oita Trinita), Yugo Tatsuta (Shimizu S-Pulse), Teruki Hara (Sagan Tosu), Daiki Sugioka (Shonan Bellmare), Daiki Suga (Consadole Sapporo), Takehiro Tomiyasu (Sint-Truiden).

Midfielders: Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Shoya Nakajima (Al-Duhail), Yuta Nakayama (PEC Zwolle), Koji Miyoshi (Yokohama F Marinos), Tatsuya Ito (Hamburger SV), Taishi Matsumoto (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Kota Watanabe (Tokyo Verdy), Hiroki Abe (Kashima Antlers), Takefusa Kubo (FC Tokyo).

Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City), Daizen Maeda (Matsumoto Yamaga), Ayase Ueda (Hosei University).

Who are the key players?

Tatsuya Ito

He currently plies his trade with Hamburger SV in the German second division, but Ito has undeniable potential. The winger was the recipient of the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month award in April last year and can beat players with his lovely dribbling skills. 

Takefusa Kubo

A former Barcelona player, Kubo has made a name for himself at FC Tokyo as an attacking midfielder this season. He has been rewarded with a call-up for the Copa America at the age of 17

Shinji Okazaki

Given the lack of experience in Japan's squad, Okazaki should be a valuable member in the squad. He is currently without a club but the fact that he is Japan's third all-time leading goalscorer is proof of his worth.

Who's the head coach of Japan?

Hajime Moriyasu is the man in charge of the Samurai Blue. After enduring heartbreak at the recent AFC Asian Cup, losing to Qatar in the final, he will be looking for a positive tournament in Brazil.

What are Japan's fixtures at the 2019 Copa America?

 

Match details, result and original broadcast info

Japan 0 - 4 Chile

June 17, 2019 7:00pmEstádio Cícero Pompeu de Toledo (Morumbi) (São Paulo, São Paulo)

This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.

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Match details, result and original broadcast info

Uruguay 2 - 2 Japan

June 20, 2019 7:00pmArena do Grêmio (Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul)

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Ecuador 1 - 1 Japan

June 24, 2019 7:00pmEstádio Governador Magalhães Pinto (Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais)

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What are Japan's chances of winning the Copa America?

Their chances are all but zero. Whether the Asian powerhouse can make it out of their group is a doubt, given that they will have to compete with Uruguay, Chile, and Ecuador. Furthermore, Moriyasu's squad selection hints at an early exit for Japan.

 

 


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