Soccer Topics

Endo relishing fourth Asian Cup appearance

Dec 31, 2014

Endo relishing fourth Asian Cup appearance

by Gus Fielding

He turns 35 in January, but Yasuhito Endo, Japan’s most-capped player, says he has no intention of taking his foot off the pedal as he enters his 13th year with the senior national team. Endo has enjoyed an outstanding 2014 season and was deservedly ...

Sawa's mind on World Cup rather than retirement

Dec 31, 2014

Sawa's mind on World Cup rather than retirement

Homare Sawa has long been the face of Japanese women’s soccer, single-handedly carrying the sport years before its national team received the affectionate moniker of “Nadeshiko.” Since making her full international debut at the age of 15, Sawa has appeared in five World Cups ...

Japan players put faith in Aguirre

Dec 29, 2014

Japan players put faith in Aguirre

by Gus Fielding

The Spanish La Liga match-fixing allegations surrounding Japan coach Javier Aguirre may have left a black cloud hanging over the Samurai Blue ahead of their upcoming defense of the Asian Cup, but his players said Monday they have put their trust in him. The ...

Dec 24, 2014

Hasebe stunned by Aguirre claims

Japan captain Makoto Hasebe has admitted he “could not believe” the match-fixing allegations being leveled at national team coach Javier Aguirre, but said Wednesday the players must all pull in the same direction ahead of the Asian Cup. “We all have to move in ...

Dec 6, 2014

FIFA scoffs at claim of discrimination

FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke Friday said it was “crazy” to say the planned use of plastic pitches at next year’s Women’s World Cup was discriminatory. On the eve of the draw for the 24-nation tournament, Valcke indicated that FIFA had no plans to back ...

Dec 4, 2014

U-23 Asian Championship draw held

Japan has been drawn in Group I with Malaysia, Vietnam and Macao for the preliminaries of the Under-23 Asian Championship, which doubles as qualifying for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The draw for the 10 groups, A to J, was held at the ...

Nov 21, 2014

Okudera, Sawa inducted into AFC Hall of Fame

Homare Sawa, who served as Nadeshiko Japan captain when it won the 2011 Women’s World Cup, and Yasuhiko Okudera, who became the first Japanese to play pro soccer in Europe, were among the first 10 players to be inducted into the Asian Football Confederation’s ...

Honda says veterans vital for Japan

Nov 19, 2014

Honda says veterans vital for Japan

by Gus Fielding

AC Milan midfielder Keisuke Honda believes Japan has reaped the benefit of recalling a number of seasoned veterans and says experience will be crucial to the Samurai Blue’s chances of retaining their Asian Cup title in Australia in January. New coach Javier Aguirre used ...

Nov 17, 2014

Socceroos expecting tough clash with Japan

by Gus Fielding

It may only be a warm-up for the upcoming Asian Cup, but Australia captain Mile Jedinak is predicting an intense encounter when the Socceroos take on Japan in Tuesday’s friendly in Osaka. In a long-running rivalry between the two teams, Australia have won seven, ...