Japan announces experimental squad for Iceland friendly; Yuya Kubo and four others earn first call-up

The all-domestic squad features five players who could potentially earn their first international cap, as well as several veterans with national team experience
The Japan Football Association (JFA) on Friday announced their 25-player squad for next Friday's international friendly against Iceland at Nagai Stadium in Osaka.

Because February 24 is not a Fifa-sanctioned match day, the JFA declined to invite any Europe-based players and all call-ups are presently active in the J-League.

First-time invitations include Vegalta Sendai goalkeeper Takuto Hayashi, Nagoya Grampus midfielder Ryota Isomura, Kashima Antlers midfielder Gaki Shibasaki, Jubilo Iwata striker Hidetaka Kanazono, and 18-year-old Yuya Kubo from J2's Kyoto Sanga.

Defenders Masahiko Inoha and Tomoaki Makino and midfielder Yuki Abe received their first call-ups since returning to Japan from Europe.

The announcement also marked Samurai Blue comebacks for FC Tokyo's Naohiro Ishikawa and Vissel Kobe's Yoshito Okubo, both of whom will wear the Hi no Maru flag for the first time since 2010.

Meanwhile, veterans Yuichi Komano, Yasuyuki Konno, Yasuhito Endo, Kengo Nakamura, and Ryoichi Maeda will still allow supporters to see some familiar names in the lineup.

The JFA is expected to announce their roster for the February 29 World Cup qualifier against Uzbekistan next week.

Japan roster against Iceland (February 24 at Nagai Stadium, Osaka)

Goalkeepers: Takuto Hayashi*, Kaito Yamamoto, Shusaku Nishikawa

Defenders: Yuichi Komano, Yasuyuki Konno, Daiki Iwamasa, Yuzo Kurihara, Naoya Kondo, Tomoaki Makino, Ryota Moriwaki, Masahiko Inoha

Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo, Kengo Nakamura, Chikashi Masuda, Yosuke Kashiwagi, Ryota Isomura*, Gaki Shibasaki*

Forwards: Naohiro Ishikawa, Ryoichi Maeda, Junya Tanaka, Yoshito Okubo, Jungo Fujimoto, Hidetaka Kanazono*, Yuya Kubo*

*first call-up

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