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Troussier rests Nakata for Kirin Cup

© Reuters Limited 2001

TOKYO, June 21 (Reuters) - Japan coach Philippe Troussier named a 22-man squad without key midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata on Thursday for the Kirin Cup. The Frenchman had been expected to rest the AS Roma playmaker, who has just completed a championship-winning season in Italy's Serie A.

Troussier replaced Nakata with Paraguay-based midfielder Nozomi Hiroyama for the three-nation tournament, which starts next week and also features Paraguay and Yugoslavia. Japan will contest the Cup with 18 of the squad which reached the final of the Confederations Cup earlier this month, including Shinji Ono, who is set to complete a $4 million move from Urawa Reds to Dutch club Feyenoord.

Hiroyama, currently playing for Cerro Porteno on loan from JEF United Ichihara, joins Hiroshima's Chikara Fujimoto as the only uncapped players in the Japan squad. Troussier, who is without injured Jubilo Iwata pair Hiroshi Nanami and Naohiro Takahara, has dropped out-of-form striker Akinori Nishizawa, recently told he was surplus to requirements by Spanish club Espanyol.

Yugoslavia and Paraguay meet in the first match of the Kirin Cup at Tokyo's National Stadium next Thursday. Japan will take on Paraguay at Sapporo Dome on July 1, before the hosts finish against Yugoslavia at Oita Stadium on July 4.

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