Japan Under-23 hero Asano beginning to blossom

Soccer Feb 1, 2016

Japan Under-23 hero Asano beginning to blossom

by Shintaro Kano

Takuma Asano was named the Best Young Player of the 2015 J. League season. It may not be long before he becomes the best player in the league, period. To a hero's welcome of 500 fans at Haneda international airport, Asano and his Japan teammates ...

Soccer Jan 28, 2016

Minamino leaves Japan squad ahead of Asian Under-23 final

Austria-based striker Takumi Minamino will leave Japan's Under-23s before they play South Korea in the final of the Asian Under-23 Championship in Doha on Saturday, the Japan Football Association said on Wednesday. Minamino's club Salzburg requested his early release after Japan booked its spot at ...

Gamba striker Usami hopes to play for Japan in Rio

Soccer Jan 27, 2016

Gamba striker Usami hopes to play for Japan in Rio

Gamba Osaka striker Takashi Usami said he is eager to go to the Summer Games again, making his pitch to play for Japan at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics as one of three overage players each team will be allowed. "If I'm needed, I'm there," ...

Japan qualifies for Rio Games with dramatic win over Iraq

Soccer Jan 27, 2016

Japan qualifies for Rio Games with dramatic win over Iraq

Japan qualified for its sixth successive Olympics in men's soccer in dramatic fashion as Riki Harakawa struck a stoppage-time winner for a 2-1 victory over Iraq in an Asian Under-23 Championship semifinal on Tuesday. Yuya Kubo opened the scoring midway through the first half before ...

Japan sweating on trio's fitness ahead of Rio qualifier

Soccer Jan 25, 2016

Japan sweating on trio's fitness ahead of Rio qualifier

The fitness of Japan captain Wataru Endo, Yuta Toyokawa and Masashi Kamekawa will be a game-time decision for Tuesday's Asian Under-23 Championship semifinal against Iraq, according to the Japan Football Association. The trio trained apart from the team on Sunday. Endo complained of discomfort in ...

Kubo ready to shoulder burden in make-or-break Iran clash

Soccer Jan 21, 2016

Kubo ready to shoulder burden in make-or-break Iran clash

With the fitness of striking partner Musashi Suzuki still uncertain, all eyes will be on Yuya Kubo to deliver when Japan's Under-23 side takes on Iran on Friday in the quarterfinal of the Under-23 Asian Championship. "It's important to be on the pitch at crucial ...

Suzuki, Matsubara may miss Japan's quarterfinal match against Iran

Soccer Jan 20, 2016

Suzuki, Matsubara may miss Japan's quarterfinal match against Iran

Japan forward Musashi Suzuki and defender Ken Matsubara were battling to be fit on Wednesday for their Asian Under-23 Championship quarterfinal clash with Iran on Friday. The 21-year-old Suzuki, born to a Jamaican father and a Japanese mother, played the whole game against North Korea ...

Japan Under-23s down Saudis to stay perfect in Doha

Soccer Jan 20, 2016

Japan Under-23s down Saudis to stay perfect in Doha

Japan defeated Saudi Arabia 2-1 on Tuesday to wrap up the group phase with a perfect record at the Asian Under-23 Championship, the final regional qualifier for this summer's Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Already assured top spot in Group B and a quarterfinal meeting with ...

Kubo urges Japan Under-23s to find voice in Rio qualifying

Soccer Jan 11, 2016

Kubo urges Japan Under-23s to find voice in Rio qualifying

Communication within the squad will be crucial for Japan's Under-23 side heading into the U-23 Asian Championship, Young Boys striker Yuya Kubo said Monday. "The tougher the competition gets, the more important to work as one," said the 22-year-old ahead of the tournament that is ...

Japan's U-22 team beats Costa Rica in friendly

Soccer Jul 1, 2015

Japan's U-22 team beats Costa Rica in friendly

Goals from Gakuto Notsuda and substitute Takeshi Kanamori gave Japan a boost toward next year's Under-23 Asian Championship as Makoto Teguramori's side defeated Costa Rica 2-0 in a friendly on Wednesday. Notsuda broke the deadlock late in the first half for the under-22 national side ...