Miyaichi omitted from Japan's squad for 2012 London Olympics

The Arsenal striker was widely expected to be a part of Takashi Sekizuka's roster after making his international debut, but instead was a surprising omission
Ryo Miyaichi was among several unexpected omissions on Monday as the Japan Football Association announced their selections for the 2012 London Olympics.

In addition to the Arsenal starlet, Utrecht attacker Yoshiaki Takagi and Kashima Antlers forward Yuya Osako were also left off of coach Takashi Sekizuka's squad.

"We looked at their performances and their positions, and we discussed a lot of things in coming up with our list of 18 players," Sekizuka told reporters when asked about Miyaichi.

With none of the J-League's current top five teams represented, Japan's roster for London is comprised of mostly mid-table players as well as five players based in Europe. Hiroki Sakai and Hiroshi Kiyotake made the cut two days after playing their final matches before moving to the Bundesliga, as did Stuttgart defender Gotoku Sakai and Hoffenheim attacker Takashi Usami.

The most unexpected name on the list may have well been striker Kenyu Sugimoto, who plays for J-League Division 2 leaders Tokyo Verdy. JEF Chiba defender Kazuki Oiwa also made the list as a back-up.

The JFA's controversial over-age selections were again at the forefront, with defenders Maya Yoshida and Yuhei Tokunaga selected while goalkeeper Akihiro Hayashi will travel to London as a back-up player. Tokunaga's FC Tokyo will send three players, the most of any J-League team.

Japan's Olympic selection will play New Zealand in a July 11 friendly before departing for London, where they will play Spain, Honduras, and Morocco in Group D.

Japan's selection for the 2012 London Olympics (Back-up players in italics):
Name Club
Shuichi Gonda FC Tokyo
Shunsuke Ando Kawasaki Frontale
Akihiro Hayashi Shimizu S-Pulse
Yuhei Tokunaga FC Tokyo
Maya Yoshida VVV Venlo
Kazuya Yamamura Kashima Antlers
Daisuke Suzuki Albirex Niigata
Hiroki Sakai Hannover
Gotoku Sakai Stuttgart
Kazuki Oiwa JEF Chiba United
Hiroshi Kiyotake Nurnberg
Taisuke Muramatsu Shimizu S-Pulse
Keigo Higashi Omiya Ardija
Hotaru Yamaguchi Cerezo Osaka
Takahiro Ogihara Cerezo Osaka
Takashi Usami Hoffenheim
Takuji Yonemoto FC Tokyo
Kensuke Nagai Nagoya Grampus
Yuki Otsu Borussia MG
Manabu Saito Yokohama F. Marinos
Kenyu Sugimoto Tokyo Verdy
Ryohei Yamazaki Jubilo Iwata