In the newly created three-nation tournament – named the Women’s Kirin Challenge Cup – the Nadeshiko will play the United States on April 1 at Yurtec Stadium in Sendai and meet Brazil on April 5 at Homes Stadium in Kobe.
The U.S. and Brazil will face each other on April 3 at Fukuda Denshi Arena in Chiba.
“This is something we wanted to have,” said Nadeshiko Japan coach Norio Sasaki, whose side won the Women’s World Cup in July when they beat the United States on penalties.
“Brazil has a different playing style than the others and we haven’t played them at the world championship, so by playing them I hope we can learn what we can do and what we cannot do. It’ll be also nice if we can give a playing opportunity to those players who haven’t played the U.S. before.”
The Nadeshiko will start 2012 with a training camp in Wakayama in February that will be held in conjunction with the younger national teams. They will then head to Portugal to compete in the Algarve Cup from February 29 to March 7.
“If we can develop the game at the junior end of women’s football, we will be able to raise the standard of our team,” Sasaki pointed out.
In mid-June, Sasaki’s side will make a tour to Europe to play a couple of friendly matches as part of their preparations for the Olympics. The Summer Games are slated for July 25 to August 9 in Great Britain.
“I heard we will play strong teams in Europe on our tour, which will be good preparation for us before heading to the Olympics.”