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NT Squad for East Europe Tour
Zico announced a 21-man roster for the tour of East Europe:

Yoichi Doi -- FC Tokyo
Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi -- Jubilo Iwata
Seigo Narazaki -- Nagoya Grampus

Makoto Tanaka -- Jubilo Iwata
Yoshinobu Minowa -- Kawasaki Frontale
Alessandro Santos -- Urawa Reds
Keisuke Tsuboi -- Urawa Reds
Yuichi Komano -- Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Teruyuki Moniwa -- FC Tokyo

Hidetoshi Nakata -- Bolton
Shunsuke Nakamura -- Celtic
Masashi Motoyama -- Kashima Antlers
Shinji Ono -- Feyenoord
Koji Nakata -- Marseille
Junichi Inamoto -- WestBromwich
Daisuke Matsui -- Le Mans
Shinji Murai -- Jubilo Iwata

Takayuki Suzuki -- Kashima Antlers
Atsushi Yanagisawa -- Messina
Naohiro Takahara -- Hamburg SV
Yoshito Okubo -- Mallorca

This is the most number of players playing for European clubs called up to a Japan national team in our history.

There was talk that some of the core players in defense (Nakazawa, Miyamoto, Kaji) were going to fly directly from the All Stars game to Ukraine for the second game. But Zico said that he didn't want to exhaust the players with a 15 hour flight for one game and has decided to not call up any of the All Stars participants).

The only brand new call was Kawasaki Frontale's Minowa -- who just scored a winning goal, his first, in last weekend's game. He is a 29 year old defender standing 187 cm tall. I was just thinking that it was about time someone from Ardija or Frontale to get a call up, especially with all the All Stars people missing. But I never thought it would be a defender! Though the defense is probably the most thin right now in the above roster.

But probably the most exciting names were Matsui and Okubo's.

Takayuki Suzuki has made a comeback to the squad after getting cut for the EAFF Cup and the Honduras game.

Zico said that he was probable going to start with the group that started against Honduras but change things as the game moves in one direction or the other. He mentioned that the poor start in the Honduras game would be unacceptable in a World Cup game, that they were luckily able to overturn the score in the end but in Germany it would be very difficult.

Tsuboi broke his nose in the last league game, and Tanaka is also carrying injury. Hopefully they will get better soon!

As for who is captain, Zico said he'll be thinking about it as the game approaches. Though I mean... it's obviously going to be Hide (though I don't think the labeling does him any good).

The two Urawa players, Santos and Tsuboi, will first play the Nabisco semi-finals on the 5th and then fly to Europe.

The rest of the team will fly to Europe on October 4.
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2005/09/28(水) 16:18:51 | | #[ Edit]
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