Miyachi earns Japan recall for friendlies in Europe
Wigan Athletic winger Ryo Miyaichi has an opportunity to claim a second cap for Japan after he was recalled for this month's friendlies against France and Brazil, the Japan Football Association said on Thursday. The 19-year-old winger, on a season-long loan at Wigan from Arsenal, joins Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa and CSKA Moscow's Keisuke Honda in a 23-man squad that features 13 Europe-based players. Eintracht Frankfurt forward Takashi Inui, who has scored three goals in the Bundesliga this season, was also called up. Asian champions Japan play France in Paris on Oct. 12 and Brazil in Wrocklaw, Poland four days later. Defenders Yuzo Kurihara, Atsuto Uchida and Yasuyuki Konno all return after missing last month's 1-0 home win over Iraq in a World Cup qualifier through suspension, a match Miyaichi sat out when he was overlooked. "Playing strong teams from Europe or South America gives Japan valuable experience for the improvement of the team," Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni said in a statement. "There are not many big changes to the squad but picking it was difficult," the Italian added. "There are more players who I wanted to call up. It shows the depth in Japanese soccer." Japan, who are six points clear at the top of Group B, play their next 2014 World Cup qualifier in Oman on Nov. 14.