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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Japan 2014 Men's World Cup Soccer Team


In honor of the 2014 World Cup (football/soccer), here is Japan's kit - otherwise known as their uniforms.

Above is the lovely blue Japan will wear as the home team - seen here modeled by Kagawa Shinji (surname first), a mid-fielder who plays with Manchester United.

It's smart and fashionable and... if you look real close, you will notice that there are sun rays bursting out from the patch above the heart... you know... like the old rising sun flag that Japan used between 1870 to 1945, when it was also known as the war flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.

I don't know if that was the meaning, but the meaning is there as far as I can tell.

Japan is out to do battle against all comers in this tourney. War.

As for the Away kit... it's... an interesting color... what would you call it? Chartreuse? A fluorescent yellowy-green? One thing's for sure, the opposition better wear shades because Japan's future looks bright. Or at least the damn Away kit is.

It, too, sports the sun rays blazing out from the Japan crest over the heart 

I would purchase a Home kit, but while the color is interesting on the Away kit, I'm not sure I would buy one out of respect to everyone else who might suffer retina damage while I walked down the street.

And those socks! It's like something the Wicked Witch of the North might wear if she was sucking back some illicit mushrooms.

Here is Japan's roster for the tourney (surname last):

Position   Player Club
GK Eiji Kawashima Standard Liege
GK Shusaku Nishikawa Urawa Reds
GK Shuichi Gonda FC Tokyo
DEF Masato Morishige FC Tokyo
DEF Yasuyuki Konno Gamba Osaka
DEF Yuto Nagatomo Inter Milan
DEF Maya Yoshida Southampton
DEF Masahiko Inoha Jubilo Iwata
DEF Atsuto Uchida Schalke
DEF Hiroki Sakai Hannover
DEF Gotoku Sakai Stuttgart
MID Yasuhito Endo Gamba Osaka
MID Keisuke Honda AC Milan
MID Shinji Kagawa Manchester United
MID Makoto Hasebe Nuremberg
MID Hiroshi Kiyotake Nuremberg
MID Hotaru Yamaguchi Cerezo Osaka
MID Toshihiro Aoyama Sanfrecce Hiroshima
MID Manabu Saito Yokohama F. Marinos
ATT Shinji Okazaki Mainz
ATT Yoichiro Kakitani Cerezo Osaka
ATT Yuya Osako 1860 Munich
ATT Yoshito Okubo Kawasaki Frontale

Japan is in Group C... featuring Japan, Greece, Cote d'Ivorie, Colombia... and it's a crapshoot. Colombia is a favorite and Japan is considered strong enough to get through - but, who knows... this Group... well, any two teams can make it through this time.

Here is Japan's World Cup soccer schedule for the opening round, playing three games of a round robin against the three teams mentioned above:

Game 1:
June 14 @ 22:00 local time
Estadio Mineirao
Belo Horizonte
Cote d'Ivorie vs Japan

Game 2:
June 19 @ 19:00 local time
Astadio das Dunas
Japan vs Greece

Game 3:
June 24 @ 16:00 local time
Arena Pantanal
Japan vs Colombia

Oh, and in case you were wondering Japan's Men's national soccer team is known as The Samurai Blue. In case you haven't figured out what the picture immediately above is there for, just know that the team and its official Kit sponsor Adidas, will have mascots from the Pokemon anime (cartoon) series accompanying them... such as Pikachu.

Why Pokemon, you may ask? Well, Adidas and Nintendo (the video game giant and publisher of Pokemon) have a partnership to promote Japan's World Cup team.

Andrew Joseph

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