• Kyodo

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New Japan Football Association President Kozo Tashima said Tuesday that the women’s national team will need to have a coach in place before June, when Nadeshiko Japan will play a friendly against the United States.

The World Cup runners-up are out of this summer’s Olympic Games, but the team will travel to Colorado to play the world champion Americans on June 2, the JFA announced Tuesday.

“We have to decide (on a coaching setup) before then,” Tashima said. “Because it’s a game between national teams, we have to have a well-constructed team.”

The national team is currently without a coach. Longtime head coach Norio Sasaki stepped down last month after Nadeshiko failed to qualify for the Olympics. Japan is currently ranked seventh in the world, while the United States is No. 1.

Asako Takakura, the head coach of the women’s under-20 team, is a strong candidate to succeed Sasaki.

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