Youngsters Ritsu Doan, Tatsuya Ito among call-ups for Japan’s upcoming friendlies

Twenty-year-old Ritsu Doan and 21-year-old Tatsuya Ito were among the 23 players named Thursday by the Japan Football Association to the national squad for the upcoming international friendlies against Chile and Costa Rica.

The two matches will be Japan’s first following its round-of-16 exit from the World Cup in Russia last month, and the first time new head coach Hajime Moriyasu takes charge of the senior men’s squad since he replaced Akira Nishino at the end of July.

The squad will feature new talents after veterans Makoto Hasebe and Keisuke Honda retired from international soccer following the World Cup.

In addition to Doan (Groningen) and Ito (Hamburg SV), 19-year-old defender Takehiro Tomiyasu of Sint-Truiden and Sanfrecce Hiroshima defender Sho Sasaki, who is 28, are first-time selections.

Only six of the 23 were on the World Cup squad, including Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka) and Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds).

Japan plays Chile at Sapporo Dome on Sept. 7 and Costa Rica at Panasonic Stadium in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, four days later.