/

New national soccer team manager Aguirre to arrive in Japan next week

Kyodo

Newly appointed Japan manager Javier Aguirre will arrive in Japan on Aug. 11 and hold a news conference in Tokyo the same day, the Japan Football Association said Monday.

The 55-year-old Aguirre will take the reins for the Japanese side, with his first match at the helm starting with a friendly against Uruguay at Sapporo Dome on Sept. 5.

Aguirre will be the seventh foreign manager of Japan’s national team and first to come from Mexico.

According to JFA technical director Hiromi Hara, Aguirre wants to hit the ground running in his preparations by visiting J. League matches ahead of next month’s friendly while he completes the procedures to take up residence in Japan.

The first major hurdle for Aguirre will be guiding Japan to a repeat triumph in the Asian Cup next year in Australia and earning a berth in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.

Unlike his predecessor Italian Alberto Zaccheroni, Aguirre has a wealth of international experience, having coached Mexico to the best 16 at the World Cup finals in 2002 and 2010.

Under Zaccheroni, Japan crashed out in the first round of the World Cup finals in Brazil with one point from three matches.