Zaccheroni, Usami get acquainted


Japan soccer coach Alberto Zaccheroni looks set to put Takashi Usami’s debut on hold, hinting Tuesday that the highly rated teenager would not be ready to face Peru when Japan kicks off the three-nation Kirin Cup exhibition tournament on Wednesday.

Borrowed from Japan’s Under-22 side that will face its Australian counterpart in an Olympic qualifying warmup as part of Wednesday’s doubleheader, Usami has caught Zaccheroni’s eye, but the Italian said he needed more time to look at the 19-year-old striker after handing him his first callup.

“It is difficult to rate someone after just two days of training,” Zaccheroni told a news conference Tuesday.

“As I have already said, he has a tremendous amount of talent for a 19-year-old. He is an Olympic player more than a senior international right now but he has a bright future, but how far he develops will be down to the effort he puts in.”

“I called him up because we have a period of 10 days together and I can get to know him better.”

Usami, who has drawn the attention of some of the world’s top clubs including Bayern Munich, said, “The coach has taken a good look at me and can see my strengths and weaknesses.”

“I have only been with the team for two days and have to become more accustomed to the setup.”