Japanese soccer player “Takashi Usami”, his career and style of play

This time, I introduce the career and play style of Japanese second striker, winger, attacking midfielder and wide midfielder “Takashi Usami” who is a member of Japan national football team.

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Profile

Name:Takashi Usami (宇佐美貴史)

Date of birth:May 6, 1992

Place of birth: Nagaokakyo(長岡京市), Kyoto(京都), Japan(日本)

Height:178 cm、Weight:72  kg

Dominant foot: Right foot

Position: Second striker, winger, attacking midfielder and wide midfielder

Current club: Fortuna Düsseldorf (2. Bundesliga of Germany)

Early career

Takashi Usami was born in 1992 from parents, fans of Gamba Osaka. He had two older brothers, both of whom were playing football, so Usami was also influenced by it and began playing football. He began to touch soccer balls from 1 year and 6 months old, and when he was three years old he was kicking the ball by himself. 

In 1997, at the age of five he joined the local Nagaoka Football Sports Club. By the way, author’s high school friend also played in this club. He played on a team of ten-year-old boys at the age of 7 and played with a team of 11-year-old boys at the age of 8. Surprisingly he scored over 200 goals each year between the ages of 10 and 12 and over 600 goals in total for three years. 

In 2005, Usami joined the junior youth team of the yearning gamba Osaka, and in 2007 he was promoted to a youth team while being a junior high school student. He became a regular player as soon as he was promoted, and at the 31st Japan Club Youth Tournament held in 2007, he played an active part in scoring 1 goal in the final and the team won the championship. In addition, Genki Haragushi to be a player of Japan National Football Team later participated in this competition as a member of Urawa Reds’ youth team. 

In 2008, he became 16 years old, he had outstanding talent on the youth team, participated in various competitions and contributed to the victory of the team. Among them, he became to be said to be the greatest player in the history of the youth team of Gamba Osaka.

Club carrer

Gamba Osaka

In 2009, Usami who was 16 years old was promoted to the senior team of Gamba Osaka. He debuted in a match against FC Seoul, Group Stage 6 of the AFC Champions League 2009 held on May 20th. In this match he scored a goal for the first time by the senior team. In addition, Usami’s debut at the senior team was 17 years 14 days, which was earlier than former Japan representative Junichi Inamoto(*) debuted at 17 years 171 days.And this was the youngest debut in Gamba Osaka ‘s history. However, he did not compete much in the match afterwards, and eventually he only took 4 matches.

(*) Junichi Inamoto is a former member of Japan National Football Team and has a career that he played at Arsenal FC, Fulham FC, West Bromwich Albion, Galatasaray and Eintracht Frankfurt. 

In 2010, he made a great leap and became a regular player of the team. His position was the wide midfielder on the left or the second striker. After all, his performance in this season was 32 matches and was 9 goals. 

In 2011, he was appointed as left wide midfielder and attacking midfielderrather than forward. However, in that position he could not effectively utilize his dribble ability and shoot skills. Therefore he could only score 4 goals in 14 matches before joining the German club FC Bayern Munich in the middle of the season.

FC Bayern Munich

In July 2011, Usami transferred to FC Bayern Munich on a world famous German club with a loan. He scored the goal with DFB-Pokal, played in the group stage of Champions League against Manchester City, and entered the bench member in the CL final. However, he was not able to take a position because team had the famous players from around the world such as Frank Ribéry of France and Arrien Robben of the Netherlands. After all, his result in this season was 1 goal in 4 matches.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

Since Usami could not play an active part in FC Bayern Munich, the club did not renew the contract. And in May 2012, he transferred to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim with a loan. At the beginning of the season, he was a regular player, but as the manager changed his opportunities decreased. After all, his result in this season was 1 goal in 21 matches.

Gamba Osaka

Hoffenheim did not update the contract with Usami as he could not get good grades. After that, he joined Gamba Osaka again in June 2013. Gamba Osaka belongs to the J2 league that season and Usami played in the position of the second striker as a regular player of the team. Surprisingly he played in 20 matches and scored 20 goals. Thanks to his success, Gamba Osaka won the title in the J2 league and was promoted to the J1 league. 

He missed the game with injury in the first half of the 2014 season. However, after returning, he showed the same success as the previous season and contributed to the team’s treble (J1 League championship, Emperor Cup championship, League Cup championship). This season of Usami resulted in 37 matches and 21 goals. 

In the 2015 season he played in 38 matches, scored 23 goals and gained more than 20 goals for the third consecutive year, but the team stayed in second place in the J1 league. 

In the 2016 season he played 17 matches before joining FC Augsburg but was unable to score the goal as much as he expected, eventually only 5 goals.

FC Augsburg

In June 2016, Usami decided to play again in Germany. The club he transferred was FC Augsburg belonging to Bundesliga. The transfer amount was about 1.7 million € and the contract period was 4 years. However, he was unable to make a remarkable career and his achievement was 0 goal in 11 matches.

Fortuna Düsseldorf

In the 2017 season, Usami transferred to Bundesliga’s Fortuna Düsseldorf with a loan.  Incidentally, Justin Toshiki Kinjo, a Japanese player, belongs to this team. Furthermore since 2018 Genki Haraguchi, a starting member of the Japan National Football Team, has transferred from Hertha BSC to a loan. After Haraguchi joined the club, Usami began to play an active part. In this season he played 28 games and scored 8 goals.

International career

In 2009, Usami joined the FIFA U – 17 World Cup as a member of the Japanese team. However, he was unable to score in the group stage and the team could not proceed to the Knockout stage. In addition, Neymar as a member of Brazil, Álvaro Morata and Isco as a member of Spain, Mario Götze and Shkodran Mustafi as members of Germany, Granit Xhaka as a member of Switzerland, Joel Campbell as a member of Costa Rica, Son Heung-min as a member of Korea, and others participated in the cup. 

In 2010, he joined the 2010 AFC U-19 Championship as a member of Japan. He scored 4 goals in the group stage against Vietnam, but the team lost in the quarterfinals. 

In 2012, he joined the U-23 Japan Momber to Football at the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London. He played in 4 matches, but he could not make a goal. The team advanced to semifinals. 

At the Japan National Football Team, supervised by Vahid Halilhodžić in March 2015, he was convened and  made a debut with the senior team. The first goal was against Uzbekistan held on March 31, 2015. 

Usami was elected Japan representative to participate in 2018 FIFA World Cup. He could not participate in the group stage Colombia match and participated from the middle in the game against Senegal.

style of play

First of all, please watch this video.

[ Takashi Usami’s play in pre-season match with FC Barcelona on 2011 ] 

[ Takashi Usami’s play and goals in 2016-2017 ] 

[ Takashi Usami’s play in 1. FC Köln v.s. FC Augsburg match 26/11/2016 ] 

Usamii’s style of play is summarized below.

・Dribble technique is good.

・He has various shoot patterns and is able to shoot with high accuracy even with left foot.

・He has good assisting ability to ally, especially good long-range pass.

・His weakness is that when playing as a wide midfielder or winger, he has few runs and sprints for defense.

Summary

Usami is not a regular player at Japan National Football Team, which is directed by Vahid Halilhodžić. However, if he continues to record scores and assistance at Fortuna Düsseldorf, he will definitely be given the opportunity at the Japanese team.

Yours sincerely, 

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