Japan – @mtrudeau7
3rd choice GK, Shuichi Gonda
Gonda is 25 years old and plays his football for FC Tokyo. He only has 2 caps to his resume, 1 in 2010 and 1 in 2013.
Backup GK, Shusaku Nishikawa
Nishikawa is 27 years old and plays his football for Urawa Reds. He has 12 caps dating back to 2009, although most were in the earlier rounds of Asian Cup tournament games.
#1, Eiji Kawashima
Kawashima is 31 years old and plays his football for Standard Liege in Belgium, signing for them in 2012. Kawashima is the only Japanese GK who has succeeded by being 1st choice GK in a European League. He has 54 caps, having originally been selected as backup to Seigo Narazaki for the 2010 World Cup. Narazaki had been the starter for years, having been named to 4 consecutive World Cups from 1998 – 2010. Prior to the 2010 World Cup, Japan played a friendly against England on May 30, Kawashima played very well and was then named as starter for the World Cup. During the World Cup he started and played in 4 matches, allowing 3 goals total before losing to Paraguay in penalties in the round of 16.
Kawashima is known to be fluent in the English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese languages, which helps at both club and international level as he is a very vocal goalkeeper. This is known to be one of his strengths, coming from one of his major influences on his style in Gianluigi Buffon, another vocal goalkeeper. His other strengths include his command of the box, his aerial abilities and making reflex saves. However, his weaknesses could be his and Japan’s downfall. One of his major weaknesses is he makes mistakes more frequently than other goalkeepers at the international level. His other major weakness is his limited foot skills/technical ability. It is widely known modern goalkeepers need to be comfortable playing with the ball at the their feet. This has tactical implications because, if pressured, Kawashima is more prone to mistakes.
Goalkeeper, Franklin Pierce College (now University)
12 years high school coaching experience at Bishop Hendricken High School, Warwick, RI
5 years coaching U14 – 17 boys premier level
5 years staff coach for Rhode Island ODP program
Former Assistant Men’s Coach, Bryant University, Smithfield, RI
Former Head Men’s Coach, Johson & Wales University, Providence, RI
Returned to grassroots level, currently coaching U10 premier girls for Bruno United FC, Providence, RI