Morimoto wins first call-up

Catania striker Takayuki Morimoto has been called up for the first time for his country for friendlies against the Netherlands and Ghana, the Japan Football Association announced on Friday.

Morimoto, who moved to the Italian side in 2006 after three seasons with J.League side Tokyo Verdy, has scored nine goals in 42 Serie A games. He also netted in the season-opener last weekend against Sampdoria.

Japan coach Takeshi Okada has described the 21-year-old as powerful and "strong in front of goal."

Japan will play the Netherlands in Enschede on 5 September and Ghana in Utrecht on 9 September as part of their preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa.

Espanyol midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura, Junichi Inamoto of Rennes, Makoto Hasebe of Wolfsburg and the in-form Keisuke Honda of Dutch side Venlo will join Morimoto from European clubs.

First-choice goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki will miss the Dutch tour after fracturing a finger during a J.League match last week. He needs ten weeks to fully recover.