Japan U-20 women’s squad for World Cup named
Forward Yokoyama Kumi of Okayama Yunogo Belle on Thursday was named to the Japan Under-20 women’s squad to play in the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, which will take place in Japan from August 19 to September 8.
The 21-member squad also features NTV Beleza defender Muramatsu Tomoko and Urawa Reds Ladies midfielder Naomoto Hikari.
Playing in Group A, the young Nadeshiko will play Mexico on August 19 and New Zealand on August 22 - both at Miyagi Stadium - and Switzerland on August 26 at the National Stadium in Tokyo.
“I cannot wait for the start of the tournament,” said Japan Under-20 women’s coach Yoshida Hiroshi. “I hope many people come to the stadium to watch good matches.”
Defending champions Germany will play in Group D alongside 2008 champions the United States, two-time runners-up China and Ghana.
Nigeria - the runners-up in 2010 - will play Brazil, Italy and the 2010 bronze medallists Korea Republic in Group B.
Group C will feature DPR Korea Norway, Argentina and Canada.
In the 16-team biannual tournament, the top two teams from each group will advance to the quarterfinals on August 30 in Tokyo and August 31 in Saitama.
The semifinals will be held on September 4, and the final and the third-place playoff will take place on September 8 at the National Stadium in Tokyo.
“The United States and Germany are strong contenders,” Yoshida said. “But we have good potential to win the tournament.”
In the run-up to the World Cup, Japan will play the Canada Under-20 side in a warm-up friendly on August 13 at Azuma Sogo Undo Koen Sports Park Stadium in Fukushima.
Goalkeepers―TAKENAKA Rei (INAC Kobe Leonessa), IKEDA Sakiko (Urawa Reds Ladies), MOCHIZUKI Arisa (NTV Menina)
Defenders―SAKAMOTO Riho (Urawa Reds Ladies), KINOSHITA Shiori (NTV Beleza), NAKAMURA Yushika (Kanto Gakuin University), HAMADA Haruka (Speranza FC Osaka Takatsuki), TAKAGI Hikari (WASEDA University), WADA Naoko (Urawa Reds Ladies) MURAMATSU Tomoko (NTV Beleza), DOKO Mayo (NTV Beleza)
Midfielders―FUJITA Nozomi (Urawa Reds Ladies), SHIBATA Hanae (Urawa Reds Ladies), TANAKA Yoko (INAC Kobe Leonessa), NAKADA Ayu (INAC Kobe Leonessa), NAOMOTO Hikaru (Urawa Reds Ladies), NAKASATO Yu (NTV Beleza)
Forwards―NISHIKAWA Asuka (FC Takahashi Kibi International University), YOKOYAMA Kumi (Okayama Yunogo Belle), TANAKA Mina (NTV Beleza), MICHIGAMI Ayaka (Tokiwagi Gakuen High School)
Coach―YOSHIDA Hiroshi (Japan)