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Soccer: Stuttgart's Hiroki Ito gets 1st Japan call-up for June matches

This supplied photo shows Japan men's football coach Hajime Moriyasu announcing on May 20, 2022, members of the national squad for four home international matches in June. (Copyright JFA/Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Stuttgart defender Hiroki Ito earned his first national team call-up Friday as Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu named a 28-man squad for four home international matches in June.

    New Europa League winner Daichi Kamada of Eintracht Frankfurt gets a recall alongside AZ Alkmaar defender Yukinari Sugawara and Sanfrecce Hiroshima goalkeeper Keisuke Osako, while Vissel Kobe forward Yuya Osako missed out as he is not fully fit.

    "We hope to raise our level in order to be confident facing any country," said Moriyasu as he prepares his team for the World Cup starting in November in Qatar, where Japan will face Germany, Spain and either New Zealand or Costa Rica in Group E.

    Japan will face Paraguay on June 2 at Sapporo Dome before taking on Brazil -- who have named a full strength squad -- on June 6 at Tokyo's National Stadium.

    Japan will face Ghana at Kobe's Noevir Stadium on June 10 before taking on either Tunisia or Chile, again four days later, at Panasonic Stadium in Osaka.

    Ito nailed his spot in the Stuttgart starting eleven this season, his first in the German Bundesliga. The 23-year-old set up countryman Wataru Endo's dramatic winning header that secured the club's safety in Saturday's 2-1 home win over FC Koln.

    Kamada, who only featured for Japan in the first three of 10 matches in final Asian World Cup qualifying, is back after his strong Europa League performances were key to Frankfurt securing the title Wednesday on penalties over Rangers.

    Celtic utility man Reo Hatate, who received his only senior cap on March 29, was the notable absentee among the overseas-based players.

    Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu is in the squad despite coming off injured in Monday's English Premier League 2-0 away loss to Newcastle.


    Full Squad:

    Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Strasbourg), Shuichi Gonda (Shimizu S-Pulse), Daniel Schmidt (Sint-Truiden), Keisuke Osako (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)

    Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (FC Tokyo), Maya Yoshida (Sampdoria), Shogo Taniguchi, Miki Yamane (both Kawasaki Frontale), Ko Itakura (Schalke), Yuta Nakayama (Zwolle), Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal), Hiroki Ito (Stuttgart), Yukinari Sugawara (AZ Alkmaar)

    Midfielders/Forwards: Genki Haraguchi (Union Berlin), Gaku Shibasaki (Leganes), Wataru Endo (Stuttgart), Ao Tanaka (Dusseldorf), Hidemasa Morita (Santa Clara), Daichi Kamada (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ritsu Doan (PSV Eindhoven), Junya Ito (Genk), Takumi Minamino (Liverpool), Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda (both Celtic), Kaoru Mitoma (Saint-Gilloise), Takefusa Kubo (Mallorca), Takuma Asano (Bochum), Ayase Ueda (Kashima Antlers)

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