Japan have called up former Torino striker Masashi Oguro and two young defenders for their opening Round 4 FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Bahrain.
Oguro, 28, who is now with Tokyo Verdy after leaving the Italian outfit, was chosen along with Kashima Antlers' Atsuto Uchida, 20, and Kyoto Sanga's Hiroki Mizumoto, 22. The young defensive duo recently returned from the Beijing Olympics, where Japan were eliminated after losing all three games in the group stage.
"The three players have experience with the national team and understand our playing concept," Japan coach Takeshi Okada said in a statement.
"After a training camp in Japan, we want to go to Bahrain in a good condition and see a good outcome of the first match with these players," he said.
Japan, three-time Asian champions, and Bahrain play the opener of the Asian final qualifying round on 6 September. Japan were drawn with Australia, Bahrain, Uzbekistan and Qatar in Group A and are bidding to claim one two places to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa.