Japan coach Takeshi Okada plans to call up emerging Catania striker Takayuki Morimoto for his first international cap to beef up the Blue Samurai's firepower.
Okada described the 21-year-old as powerful and "strong in front of goal" on Thursday as he outlined his likely squad for friendlies in the Netherlands next month. Japan will play the Dutch - ranked third in the world behind Brazil and Spain - in Enschede on 5 September and Ghana in Utrecht on 9 September as part of their preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
Morimoto, who moved to Catania in 2006 after three seasons with J-League side Tokyo Verdy, has scored nine goals in 42 Serie A games. Okada, who has ambitiously set Japan the target of a semi-final spot at South Africa 2010, is expected to call up 22 players for the Dutch tour with around six Europe-based players.
He is scheduled to formally announce his squad on 28 August. Apart from Morimoto, Okada said: "There is little possibility that I will call up untested players. We will go straight forward with what we have tried so far."
Despite qualifying for South Africa, Japan lacked punch up front, going down 2-1 away to Australia in their final qualifier and only drawing 1-1 with unfancied Qatar at home.