Five Items To Know: Japan

Coming off a 2- victory above Canada to open the 2023 SheBelieves Cup, introduced by Visa, the U.S. Women’s National Team returns to action on Sunday, Feb. 19, having on Japan as the tournament moves to Nashville, Tenn. The groups will square off at GEODIS Park, the premier soccer precise stadium in the nation, with kickoff at 3:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. CT on TNT, HBO Max, Universo and Peacock.

Subsequent the match concerning the United states and Japan, Brazil and Canada will deal with off at 6:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. CT (HBO Max, Universo, Peacock) to comprehensive the day’s doubleheader.

Get established for Sunday with 5 Matters to Know about Japan…


Whilst the United states opened the SheBelieves Cup with a acquire, Japan will be searching to bounce back again after a 1- defeat to Brazil on Thursday evening in Orlando, Fla. to open up the 2023 SheBelieves Cup. Regardless of a 13-9 edge in shots on objective, Japan managed to place only one particular of its tries on goal versus Brazil and was punished in the 72nd moment when Brazil’s dynamic duo of Debinha and Marta put together for the game’s only objective.

Regardless of likely down a aim, Japan – which experienced the greater of play and possession in the to start with 50 percent – established two of its very best chances on the day in the ultimate 10 minutes of the match, but saw a person try soar agonizingly more than the bar and the second deflect down off the crossbar but not around the line as Brazil held on for the 1- victory.

Midfielder Aoba Fujino designed a game-high 5 possibilities for Japan while goalkeeper Momoko Tanaka registered three saves on the day.

Japan earlier competed in the SheBelieves Cup in both 2019 and 2020. In 2019, the Usa and Japan drew 2-2 on the opening match day and Japan went on to end third general. In 2020, the United states of america defeated Japan 3-1 in the event finale in Frisco, Texas, on targets from Megan Rapinoe, Christen Push and Lindsey Horan. The victory sealed the event title for the U.S. although Japan concluded fourth all round guiding Spain and England, who took next and third, respectively.


Head mentor Futoshi Ikeda has known as in a youthful 23-participant squad for the 2023 SheBelieves Cup, with just 1 player – 32-calendar year-aged defender Saki Kumagai – above the age of 30. Japan, which seems to constantly be in the middle of a youth motion dependent on its good results at the youth international level, characteristic twelve gamers are underneath the age of 25, like a few teenagers in defender Rion Ishikawa, midfielder Aoba Fujino and forward Maika Hamano.

Kumagai is by much the most expert player on this roster with 132 caps and has represented Japan at the last three FIFA Women’s Earth Cups, such as scoring the profitable penalty towards the United states of america in the penalty kick shootout throughout the 2011 FIFA Entire world Cup Remaining.

Ahead Mana Iwabuchi is the following most professional with 86 caps and is the foremost scorer on this roster with 37 worldwide targets.

Kumagai currently plays her club soccer for Bayern Munich in Germany, leaving Olympique Lyon just after the 2020-21 period adhering to 8 seasons with the French powerhouse in which she gained 5 UEFA Women’s Champions League titles and at diverse times played with People Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Morgan Gautrat and Catarina Macario.

Although Kumagai is the only player on this roster who plays her club soccer in Germany, 11 many others are at this time actively playing their club soccer outside of Japan. Five gamers, together with Iwabuchi, perform in England in the Women’s Super League, a few in the United States, two enjoy in Sweden and one particular in Italy.

Angel Metropolis FC midfielder Jun Endo and Portland Thorns FC midfielder Hina Sugita, who is teammates with the USA’s Becky Sauerbrunn and Crystal Dunn, are the NWSL associates on this roster though uncapped goalkeeper Shu Ohba plays collegiately at East Tennessee State.

The other 11 players on this roster all enjoy their club soccer domestically in Japan’s WE League.


Goalkeepers (4): 1-Ayaka Yamashita (INAC Kobe Leonessa), 17-Shu Ohba (East Tennessee State, United states of america), 18-Momoko Tanaka (Nippon Television set Tokyo Verdy Beleza), 21-Chika Hirao (Albirex Niigata Women)

Defenders (8): 2-Risa Shimizu (West Ham United FC, ENG), 3-Moeka Minami (AS Roma, ITA,4-Saki Kumagai (FC Bayern Munich, GER), 5-Shiori Miyake (INAC Kobe Leonessa), 6-Rion Ishikawa (Urawa Reds Girls), 12-Ruka Norimatsu (Omiya Ardija Ventus), 19-Saori Takarada (Linköping FC, SWE), 22-Kiko Seike (Urawa Reds Ladies)

Midfielders (7): 7-Hinata Miyazawa (Mynavi Sendai Women), 8-Fuka Nagano (Liverpool FC, ENG), 13-Jun Endo (Angel Metropolis FC, United states of america), 14-Yui Hasegawa (Manchester Metropolis FC, ENG), 15-Hina Sugita (Portland Thorns FC, United states), 16-Honoka Hayashi (West Ham United FC, ENG), 20-Aoba Fujino (Nippon Tv set Tokyo Verdy Beleza)

Forwards (4): 9-Riko Ueki (Nippon Television Tokyo Verdy Beleza), 10-Mana Iwabuchi (Tottenham Hotspur FC, ENG), 11-Rikako Kobayashi (Nippon Tv Tokyo Verdy Beleza), 23-Maika Hamano (Hammarby IF, SWE)

Series Heritage: United states of america vs. JAPAN

Sunday’s matchup in Nashville will be the 39th meeting all-time in between the Usa and Japan and the initial considering that the March 11 assembly at the 2020 SheBelieves Cup. That match, a 3-1 U.S. victory in which Rapinoe and Push scored wonderful to start with fifty percent aims and Horan additional late insurance coverage strike right after Japan’s Mana Iwabuchi pulled on again in the 58th moment, was the past match the U.S. played for about eight months as the world promptly shut down thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the teams now resume enjoy in 2023, the Usa potential customers the all-time sequence in opposition to Japan with an over-all file of 29W-1L-8D. The USA’s lone loss in the series arrived through the 2012 Algarve Cup. Due to the fact then, the United states of america is unbeaten in the previous 11 meetings involving the teams, with 7 wins and four draws in that span, together with a 2-1 acquire in the 2012 Olympic Remaining and a 5-2 victory in the 2015 FIFA Women’s Globe Cup Closing.

Alex Morgan has scored 12 objectives in 14 career appearances against Japan, the most targets she has scored in opposition to any one opponent in her worldwide job and the most plans scored in opposition to Japan by any player in USWNT history. One of all those goals came in the 2011 Environment Cup Ultimate, as Morgan opened the scoring in the 69th moment. Tied 2-2 at the finish of regulation and subsequent further time, Japan inevitably prevailed on penalty kicks, 3-1, to declare the Entire world Cup title.

Rapinoe has five plans and 6 helps in 13 vocation appearances in opposition to Japan whilst Horan (2 targets) and Mallory Swanson (1 target) have also scored in past meetings with Japan.


Japan experienced for the 2023 FIFA Women’s Globe Cup by achieving the semifinal round of the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. Despite falling to eventual champions China PR on penalties in the semifinal, that tournament run was plenty of for Japan to punch its ticket to a ninth consecutive Women’s Environment Cup. Japan is one of seven nations, along with the United states of america, Brazil, Germany, Nigeria, Norway and Sweden, to have qualified for each version of Women’s World Cup.

Drawn into Team C for the 2023 FIFA Women’s Entire world Cup, Japan – like the United States – will perform all 3 of its group stage matches in New Zealand. Japan will play its opening match on July 22, having on Planet Cup debutant Zambia at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton/Kirikiriroa. Japan will performs its 2nd team phase against Costa on July 26 in Dunedin/Otepo prior to traveling to Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-tara to encounter Spain in its closing group stage match on July 31.

Japan’s finest general performance at the Planet Cup arrived through its title operate in 2011, in which it turned the initial Asian nation to gain a Women’s Earth Cup. Japan returned to the Globe Cup remaining once more in 2015 but fell to the United states of america in the ultimate 5-2 guiding a hat trick from Carli Lloyd. Japan also completed runner-up to the U.S. at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, with a Lloyd brace in the remaining at the time again proving to be the variance.

Soon after reaching the remaining of both the 2011 and 2015 Planet Cups, Japan finished second in Group D at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and fell 2-1 to eventual runner-up the Netherlands in the Spherical of 16.

YOUTH Motion

Though Japan’s Senior Countrywide Team has not achieved a planet championship closing since 2015, its Women’s Youth Nationwide Groups – particularly the Less than-20s – have experienced a terrific run of recent achievement. Japan received the 2018 FIFA Less than-20 Women’s Planet Cup and concluded runner-up at the 2022 FIFA U-20 Entire world Cup contested last August in Costa Rica. The 2020 edition of the tournament was cancelled because of to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eighteen-calendar year-old Maika Hamano gained the Golden Ball as the best participant at the 2022 FIFA U-20 World Cup and also took house the Silver Boot right after finishing the match with four aims. She was named to Japan’s roster for the 2023 SheBelieves Cup and arrived on in the 56th moment versus Brazil to earn her second cap with the senior National Team.

Defender Sori Takarada is also on this roster and gained the Silver Ball and Bronze Boot for Japan at the 2018 U-20 Globe Cup, finishing that event with a group-high 5 goals and a few assists even though actively playing in a far more attacking job. The now 23-12 months-aged Takarada had a temporary stint in the NWSL with the Washington Spirit and now plays her club soccer for Linkopings FC in Sweden.

Japan fell to eventual champions Spain 2-1 in the quarterfinal of the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s Entire world Cup in a thrilling match that noticed 3 targets scored in the ultimate 24 minutes of the video game. They have been also eliminated in the quarterfinals of the U-17 Planet Cup in 2018, slipping to New Zealand on penalties. 


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