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SOCCER | Japan's FIFA World Cup Roster Features an Influx of Youth

Samurai Blue manager Hajime Moriyasu made 19 first-time selections out of 26 players for the upcoming 32-nation tournament in Qatar.

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Japan national team manager Hajime Moriyasu announces the roster for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup on November 1 in Tokyo. (Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

This article first appeared on SportsLook, JAPAN Forward's dedicated sports website.

In selecting Japan's 2022 FIFA World Cup roster, men's national team manager Hajime Moriyasu assembled a squad that will rely heavily on tournament debutantes.

The Samurai Blue's prospects at the quadrennial tourney will be greatly impacted by how the 19 first-time selections perform on the pitch in Qatar.

Moriyasu, who has led the national team since July 2018, unveiled the 26-man roster on Tuesday, November 1.

The three most-capped players are defenders Yuto Nagatomo (137), captain Maya Yoshida (121) and goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima (95). Kawashima, who competes for French Ligue 1 club Strasbourg, is the oldest player at age 39.

Yoshida (German Bundesliga's Schalke 04) and defender Hiroki Sakai (J.League's Urawa Reds) are set to play in their third World Cup. Nagatomo and Kawashima await their fourth appearance.

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Read the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Ed Odeven

Follow Ed on JAPAN Forward's [Japan Sports Notebook] here on Sundays, in [Odds and Evens] here during the week, and Twitter @ed_odeven, and find him on JAPAN Forward's dedicated sports website, SportsLook.

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