Linebacker Rikiya Ishida is among eight Japanese players on three teams who has made the roster to play in NFL Europe for the opening day of the 2005 season next month, the affiliate of the NFL said Tuesday.

Ishida, a former Kwansei Gakuin University student who will be playing for the third straight year in the NFLEL, will be one of three Japanese players with the Amsterdam Admirals making the trip to the Netherlands to start the season on April 2.

Second-year quarterback Kentaro Namiki, a Waseda University coach, will join three others with the Cologne Centurions while former sumo wrestler and Onward Skylark offensive lineman Masakazu Goda will make his debut with the Berlin Thunder. Ishida, who is said to have the best shot at becoming the first Japanese player to make it in the NFL, in currently on the injury-reserved list.

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