• Kyodo News


Coach Yasuharu Sorimachi on Friday named FC Tokyo striker Sota Hirayama and full international Hiroki Mizumoto of JEF United Chiba to a 23-man squad ahead of the Japan Under-22 national team’s opening qualifier for next year’s Beijing Olympics.

Japan faces either Bangladesh or Hong Kong at Tokyo’s National Stadium on Feb 28, and Sorimachi is expected to narrow down the squad for the qualifier after a warmup match against the United States’ U-22s in Kumamoto.

“I have called up a big group as we have the U.S. friendly and the qualifier, but the players I have picked up have been picked on merit,” said Sorimachi, who also selected Ryutsu Keizai ‘keeper Akihiro Hayashi.

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