TOKYO - Bayern Munich-bound striker
Takashi Usami was surprisingly overlooked for Japan's key 2012
Olympic qualifiers this month by under-22 coach Takashi Sekizuka
Sekizuka said picking his squad for the two-leg tie had
caused him sleepless nights but he can expect more if his side
fail to qualify after leaving out teenage sensation Usami.
"I don't want to talk about the players not selected,"
Sekizuka told reporters. "It doesn't mean I won't be looking at
them in the future.
"Everyone want so to play and all the players have their
strong points. Some nights I have trouble sleeping."
Japan face Kuwait on June 19 at home before the return match
in Kuwait on June 23, the winners advancing to the final round
of Asian qualifiers beginning in September.
Sekizuka selected Nagoya striker Kensuke Nagai, the top
scorer when Japan won the gold medal at last year's Asian Games
However, he sprung a surprise by leaving out Gamba Osaka
forward Usami, who was called up to the senior Japan squad for
the recent Kirin Cup involving Peru and the Czech Republic.
"I have chosen players who have been in good form," Sekizuka
said, overlooking the fact Usami had been deemed good enough for
senior Japan duty.
"I have also selected the side based on who I feel can
handle the heat in the away game in Kuwait."
Japan, bronze medallists at the 1968 Mexico Olympics, are
bidding to qualify for their fifth successive Games in London
Goalkeepers: Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo), Takuya Masuda
(Ryutsu Keizai University), Tatsuya Morita (Kyoto Sanga),
Shunsuke Ando (Kawasaki Frontale)
Defenders: Yusuke Higa (Ryutsu Keizai University), Taisuke
Muramatsu (Shimizu S-Pulse), Daisuke Suzuki (Albirex Niigata),
Yutaka Yoshida (Ventforet Kofu), Hiroki Sakai (Kashiwa Reysol),
Mizuki Hamada (Urawa Reds), Gotoku Sakai (Albirex Niigata),
Takahiro Ogihara (Cerezo Osaka)
Midfielders: Kosuke Yamamoto (Jubilo Iwata), Hiroshi
Kiyotake (Cerezo Osaka), Kazuya Yamamura (Ryutsu Keizai
University), Keigo Higashi (Omiya Ardija), Hotaru Yamaguchi
(Cerezo Osaka), Kyohei Noborizato (Kawasaki Frontale)
Forwards: Kensuke Nagai (Nagoya Grampus), Ryohei Yamazaki
(Jubilo Iwata), Yuya Osako (Kashima Antlers), Genki Haraguchi
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