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Nadeshiko Japan Announces Squad for 2019 SheBelieves Cup, “High expectations surrounding the chosen players ahead of our first tournament in the year of the World Cup”

16 February 2019

Nadeshiko Japan Announces Squad for 2019 SheBelieves Cup, “High expectations surrounding the chosen players ahead of our first tournament in the year of the World Cup”

On Friday 15 February, Coach TAKAKURA Asako of the Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women’s National Team) announced the 23 player-roster for the 2019 SheBelieves Cup which will take place in the USA from Wednesday 27 February (local time).

While the veterans like KUMAGAI Saki (Olympique Lyonnais) and SAMESHIMA Aya (INAC Kobe Leonessa) featured the squad, YAMANE Erina (Real Betis) returned to the team since last year’s Algarve Women's Football Cup, while ENDO Jun (Nippon TV Beleza) from the U-19 Japan Women’s National Team was also called up as the youngest player on the roster.

As Coach Takakura mentioned, “This will give us a great opportunity to test our strengths against the World’s top teams. I have chosen players with great expectations,” the team featured many young talents, including the players from last year’s U-20 Japan Women’s National Team, who won the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France. The roster also listed young players who were involved in the recent Nadeshiko Challenge Projects and the training camp held in February, as they all earned this opportunity to prove their case to be on the team.

At the 2019 SheBelieves Cup, Japan will face the USA Women’s National Team, the Brazil Women’s National Team, and the England Women’s National Team, who are ranked 1st, 10th, and 4th respectively in the world rankings. The tournament will provide the young players priceless opportunities to face the top-flight teams of the world.

Precautionary measures were taken for the two players, SAKAGUCHI Mizuho (Nippon TV Beleza) and MIYAKE Shiori (INAC Kobe Leonessa), who are making their returns from an injury, as they will only participate in the training camp held in Japan.

Despite the tough tournament schedule, where the team must play three matches with two-day rest between each match, the Nadeshiko Japan will seek to build their team’s foundation to be successful at the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup. Their will be high expectations to see a fusion between the veterans and the players of the new generation to create a chemical reaction to heighten the team to a new level.

The Nadeshiko Japan will hold a training camp at Fukushima Prefecture starting from Wednesday 20 before traveling to the USA. Their first match at the SheBelieves Cup will take place on Wednesday 27 (local time) when they face the USA Women’s National Team.

TAKAKURA Asako, Coach of Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women’s National Team)

As our first tournament in the year of the World Cup, we will be facing three top-notch teams of the world who all employs different styles. This tournament will give us the opportunity to test our current strengths as well as to see what we need to do to win the World Cup, so I personally am looking forward for this event. Each team will certainly carry out various tests ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. We will all try to showcase the American, Brazilian, English, and Japanese style at this tournament. We will also utilise this opportunity to analyse how to contain each other’s styles.

After playing the three matches at this tournament, our tour to France and Germany will follow, which shall give us more opportunities to test out wider range of players. Of course, the core members of the team are already set in my mind. The players are well aware of the team strategy, and rather than setting up a concrete shape of the team, I will leave plenty of space to allow my players to fill in the gap, as I will be depending on my players’ potential to shape-up the team. Including the players involved in the Nadeshiko Challenge Project, I have pooled nearly 50 players to select from and I will select the players who are in their best condition and those who are capable of showing quality performances.

Schedule

Wed. 20 February 17:30 Training (J-Village) *Open to the public
Thu. 21 February 09:15 Training (J-Village) *Open to the public
15:30 Training (J-Village) *Open to the public
Fri. 22 February 09:15 Training (J-Village) *Open to the public
15:30 Training (J-Village) *Open to the public
Sat. 23 February 09:15 Training (J-Village) *Open to the public
15:30 Training (J-Village) *Open to the public cancel
Sun. 24 February 09:00 Training (J-Village) *Open to the public
Mon. 25 February PM Training
Tue. 26 February PM Official Training
2019 SheBelieves Cup
Wed. 27 February 19:05 1st Match vs USA Women's National Team
(Talen Energy Stadium)
Thu. 28 February AM Training
Fri. 1 March PM Official Training
Sat. 2 March 13:00 2nd Match vs Brazil Women's National Team
(Nissan Stadium)
Mon. 4 March PM Official Training
Tue. 5 March 17:25 3rd Match vs England Women's National Team
(Raymond James Stadium)

*Local time
*The schedule is subject to change due to the team condition, the weather, etc.

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