Naoki Kumata (19-FC Tokyo) has been withdrawn from the Japan men’s soccer team for the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games in China.
The Japan Football Association announced, “Kumata will not participate in the Hangzhou Asian Games due to an undisclosed injury. Kotaro Uchino (19-Tsukuba University) has been named as his replacement.”
Kumata was the top scorer at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-20 Championship 2023. He scored five goals against China, Kyrgyzstan, Jordan and Iraq.
During the November 2022 training camp in Spain, he scored against the Slovakia and France U-20s in an exhibition match. Kumata was hoping to make amends for missing out on the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 at the Hangzhou Asian Games, but it was not to be.
Japan will field an U-22 team in the men’s soccer competition at the Hangzhou Asian Games. The squad will be made up of J-League substitutes and amateurs, just as it was at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games in Indonesia, where Japan won a silver medal.
Five years later, the Japanese runners-up have grown to include seven Europeans in Mitoma Kaoru (26-Brighton), Itakura Ko (26-Mönchengladbach), Ueda Ayase (25-Feyenoord), Miyoshi Koji (26-Birmingham), Hatate Leo (26-Celtic), Maeda Daizen (26-Celtic) and Endo Keita (26-Braunschweig).아톰카지노
Mitoma, Itakura, and Ueda are the only three players in the top five of UEFA’s league rankings. The English Championship (2nd Division), where Miyoshi plays, is one of the world’s top six leagues in terms of market size.
It’s safe to assume that Japan’s potential at the Hangzhou Asian Games could rival South Korea for the title. The omission of Kumata, who has international experience, is a positive for the defending champions, who will be looking to win their third consecutive gold medal.