Nadeshiko Japan

Nadeshiko Japan head coach Norio Sasaki has announced his squad for the two friendly matches in Canada on October 25 and 29.

Out of the 21 players called, 16 were the 2011 veterans. It is a news Homare Sawa has not been selected.

Japan squad:


Miho Fukumoto,
Erina Yamane


Yukari Kinga,
Azusa Iwashimizu,
Aya Sameshima,
Saori Ariyoshi,
Yuri Kawamura,
Saki Kumagai


Kozue Ando,
Aya Miyama,
Nahomi Kawasumi,
Megumi Kamionobe,
Mizuho Sakaguchi,
Asuna Tanaka,
Rumi Utsugi,
Asano Nagasato


Shinobu Ohno,
Yuki Ogimi,
Yuika Sygasawa,
Megumi Takase,
Mana Iwabuchi

Thanks to Ken Suzuki

  1. Ken Suzuki 7 years ago


    I replied to your message two weeks ago.

    In my personal view Sawa has already “abdicated” from the post of “Nadeshiko Queen” (even though she still has my full respect.) If I were in the Sasaki’s position I would not call her anymore. But, at the same time, I believe he will call her after all.

    • Skip Newhall 7 years ago

      Ken — Thanks SO much for your reply! [Kindly forgive me for missing it earlier.] You say that, in Sasaki’s shoes, you would not call her any more. Would that be because of her age alone, or has her performance declined lately? As recently as May 23 in a match against China she headed an incredible goal near the end of a match against China. See

      Her goal occurs at about 2:15 into the clip. To me, she still seems a super world-class player.

  2. Mia Mon 7 years ago

    curious, no players from Urawa. i think Ken won’t be so pleased about that :p

    • Ken Suzuki 7 years ago

      HA! Correct, and I have a suggestion. Why not a training match against Urawa Reds before flying to Canada? It will reveal how smart (or stupid) this NT coach is.

      In fact, it is simply beyond the capability of N.S. to make new talents functioning part of his team. All “his” veterans are actually what he inherited from his predecessors.

      • Gina West 7 years ago

        Looking back now, it seems strange… Do you remember (I think) after London 2012, Norio took a really young squad to the Algarve Cup. The performance was less than expected for Japan but at the time I thought at least he is preparing for the future… Now it seems the 2015 squad will feature most of the 2011?

        • Ken Suzuki 7 years ago

          It is anything but strange. It is not what he tried to do. It is what he COULD do. Calling new, young players is no more than a tiny fraction of a task to make them functioning parts of team. The most important job of any manager of any organization is to build a system to make use of and benefit from the largest pool of talents. In the case of Nadeshiko Japan, the elders who won the cup in 2011 and silver in 2012 have long history of working together and built their own, and unique, way which youngsters have poor knowledge of. This is particularly true of Urawa players whose team has no 2011/2012 veteran. And this is where the coach should step in. The secret to form a functioning team with all generations is a know-how to be developed, not a result of natural process which can evolve by itself. Good coach knows it and works on it. Otherwise, how Sylvia Neid could call seven players from the 2012 U20 team for the 2013 Euro, let five of them (Marozsan, Maier, Cramer, Leupolz, Lotzen) play in semi-final and final, and won the title? Germany may have excellent young talents. Still, we are not seeing absolute predominance of Germany over Japan in the recent U20s and U17s. Besides, it is more a feature of Nadeshiko League than Frauenbundesliga that young teams like Urawa Reds and NTV Beleza are in upper positions. (I went to the Urawa vs. NTV on July 26 and saw the average age of starting eleven was 20.7 for Reds and 22.4 for Beleza. Reds deployed two teenagers, NTV four.)

          Maeda is not the only coach to disappear, not even the first.

          • Skip Newhall 7 years ago

            Ken —

            I posted this question to you a few days ago. I would very much like to get your opinion:

            Homare Sawa was not on the Nadeshiko team that played the friendly match against Canada last week. She is one of Women’s Soccer’s all-time great players, but I have a worry: She turned 36 in September, which means that she will be almost 37 for next year’s Cup. Does that make her too old for the team now, regardless of any other considerations of how great a player she is?


            Skip Newhall

  3. Asa 7 years ago

    Thank you Ken

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