Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012
Injury-hit FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Homare Sawa was selected among the squad of 21 players for the Algarve Cup being held in Portugal later this month, the Japan Football Association announced on Monday.
Sawa, who withdrew from a national team training camp earlier this month due to a muscle strain in her right calf, has been selected for the Feb. 29-March 7 tournament along with playmaker Aya Miyama and uncapped 18-year-old forward Mai Kyokawa.
Japan, which finished third in last year's Algarve Cup, will open against Norway on Feb. 29, and then play Denmark on March 2 before facing the United States in their final Group B game on March 5 in a rematch of last summer's World Cup final.
The invitational tournament serves as an important buildup for Japan to this summer's London Olympics.