World Cup Soccer
 
                    === Okada steps down as Japan coach ===
 
 Tokyo, Japan (Sports  Network) - Japan coach Takeshi Okada has stepped down as
 manager following the team's exit from the FIFA World Cup on Tuesday.
 
 Okada guided Japan through  the group stage, but the  Samurai Blue lost in the
 opening round of the  knockout stage to  Paraguay on penalty kicks after a 0-0
 draw through 120 minutes.
 
 "I've coached a  lot of teams, but this World  Cup team was  definitely one of
 the best," Okada said, according to sportbox.tv. "I don't think I'll work with
 these players again. I just wish them all the best in their careers."
 
 Okada also coached Japan in the 1998 World Cup. He started his second stint in
 2007.
 
 Japan  technical director Hiromi Hara said the team will start searching for a
 new coach when the World Cup ends and hopes to have a new coach before the end
 of July.
 
 Also, Japan veteran Shunsuke Nakamura retired from international football.
 
 07/02 11:28:33 ET

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