U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan
2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup – Final
BC Place; Vancouver, Canada
July 5, 2015
GRAND FINAL SET FOR VANCOUVER: The U.S. Women’s National Team will compete for the biggest prize in women’s soccer when it takes on Japan in the championship of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Sunday, July 5 at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada. This will be the fourth appearance in a FIFA Women’s World Cup Final for the USA, who previously won it all in 1991 and 1999, and its second straight after it fell short in a shootout against Japan at the 2011 edition. The rematch between the two 2011 finalists will be broadcast live on FOX and Telemundo at 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET). Fans can follow all the action on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp, and follow the team along its journey on Instagram and on Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt). The USA earned its way into the Final with a 2-0 victory against top-ranked Germany on June 30 in Montreal, while Japan defeated England 2-1 on July 1 in Edmonton 1 to become the second defending WWC champion to return to a Final (Germany did it from 2003 to 2007). The United States can be the first country to win three Women’s World Cup titles, while defending champion Japan can be the second repeat winner.
FANS CREATE HOME FIELD ATMOSPHERE ABROAD: During its run in Canada, the USWNT has played in front of what has felt like six straight home crowds, averaging 35,131 fans per game, all of whom seem to be wearing red, white and blue. The vast majority of the more than 31,000 at Winnipeg Stadium on June 8 and more than 32,000 on June 12 were solidly decked out to rep the stars and stripes. The match against Nigeria at BC Place in Vancouver on June 16 proved to be no different as the crowd of 52,193 fans, most of whom were backing the USA, was the fourth largest to attend a WNT match outside the U.S. Once again, fan support was prominent during the Round of 16 match, and although the crowd was smaller in the mammoth Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, the majority of the 19,000 fans that showed up for USA vs. Colombia swathed in U.S. gear yet again. The quarterfinal against China PR was sold out, and the attendance for the epic USA vs. Germany semifinal showdown did not disappoint, as more than 50,000 fans loudly established their presence with audible chants of “USA, USA, USA” across the massive Olympic Stadium in Montreal. BC Place, where more than 52,000 fans saw the USA clinch first place in its group two weeks ago, is set to host the final of this year’s tournament and the sell-out attendance is once again expected to be record-breaking.
WORLD CUP GETTING HUGE TV NUMBERS: The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup is getting excellent TV ratings and increasing for every match, proving the growing popularity of the tournament and the sport. FOX scored a new high for its soccer coverage when an average audience of 5.7 million tuned in to watch the United States beat China in the quarterfinal match on June 26. The match was also the third most-watched women’s soccer match on record in the United States, after the 1999 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals. Four days later however, the record was broke again as the USA vs. Germany semifinal on June 30 hit an average of 8.4 million viewers, establishing yet another soccer record as the most viewed semifinal ever in the U.S. (men or women) and third-most watched women’s soccer match of all time. The upward audience trend, which began in the group stage, only has continue to sky rocket, and with a rematch of the 2011 Final set for Sunday, numbers are promising to reach new heights. The six USA matches on FOX and FOX Sports 1 have averaged 5.3 million viewers, 121% better than the 2011 tournament average through the semifinals (2.4 million) on ESPN.
WE MEET AGAIN: The USA and reigning World Champion Japan will meet in the Final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the second consecutive tournament. This will be the third meeting between both sides in major international tournament finals, following the 2011 FIFA WWC Final and the 2012 London Olympics gold medal game. The USA and Japan split those meetings, with the USA redeeming its 2011 penalty kick loss with a gold medal winning performance in 2012. After six games at this year’s tournament, both teams, the one looking for its third title since 1999, and the other looking to defend its crown, will go at it in a seventh match (the most games ever needed to be played in a FIFA WWC to win it all) in the hopes to collect the ultimate prize in women’s soccer.
- U.S. Women's World Cup Roster
- 2015 U.S. WNT Schedule & Results
- 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Tournament Page
- 2015 U.S. WNT Statistics
- 2015 U.S. Lineups
- One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.
FOUR U.S. PLAYERS ON SHORTLISTS FOR FIFA AWARDS: FIFA has announced it candidates for end-of-the tournament awards and the U.S. WNT candidates for the Golden Ball as best player in the competition are defender Julie Johnston, midfielder Carli Lloyd and midfielder Megan Rapinoe. Hope Solo is also among three candidates for the Golden Glove awarded to the top net-minder in the tournament, an honor she won at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
- CARLI LLOYD: Lloyd, who has played every minute of the tournament, has scored a goal in the last three knockout round matches for the U.S. including two game-winners. The veteran midfielder opened her scoring in the tournament against Colombia converting a penalty kick. The following match, Lloyd notched the game-winning header against China off a Johnston service. Most recently, Lloyd buried her second PK of the tournament in a 2-0 victory over Germany and added an assist on Kelley O’Hara’s clinching goal vs. Germany, her first in international play.
- JULIE JOHNSTON: Johnston has played every minute as a member of the U.S. backline that is carrying a 513-minute shutout streak and has allowed just one goal through six games. She registered the assist on Carli Lloyd’s headed goal against China PR in the quarterfinals.
- MEGAN RAPINOE: Rapinoe was the game changer for the United States in their opening match of the World Cup scoring two goals in America’s 3-1 victory over Australia. She’s notched an assist as well and despite being suspended for the quarterfinal due to yellow card accumulation, has been a consistently dynamic threat up and down the wing for the USA.
- HOPE SOLO: Solo has allowed just one goal through six matches and has played an integral role in the U.S. shutout streak. She’s been an immense presence on a well-organized backline and been a crucial part of the USA’s defensive resolve throughout the tournament. With another shutout, Solo would have 11 in Women’s World Cup play and set an all-time tournament record.
U.S. ROSTER NOTES:
- Sunday’s match features the two oldest teams in the history of the Women’s World Cup tournament with the U.S averaging 29-years-old and six months and Japan having the average age of 28-years-old and five months.
- Midfielder Carli Lloyd has scored in three straight games for the WNT at this year’s World Cup (Colombia, China and Germany). Her goal in the second half against Germany on June 30 was her fourth career World Cup strike and her 66th overall. She has captained the USA three times in Canada. She is the third U.S. WNT player to score in three straight games in a World Cup, joining Michelle Akers (1991) and Abby Wambach (twice; in 2003 and 2011). No American has scored in four straight Women’s World Cup games.
- Lloyd scored both U.S. goals in the 2012 Olympic gold medal game (a 2-1 win over Japan), and the sole goal in the 2008 gold-medal game (1-0 over Brazil). No American has scored in three major-tournament finals (Wambach could also score in her third on Sunday).
- Kelley O’Hara made her debut in this year’s tournament when she started against China PR on June 26. It was O’Hara’s first career start in a World Cup match. She had only played one game before, 18 minutes as a substitute in 2011 vs. Sweden. She made her second appearance at this year’s tournament when she came in as a second half substitute in the match against Germany and scored her first World Cup goal. It came in the 84th minute to seal the game and propel the USA to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final.
- Since allowing a goal against Australia in its opening match on June 8 in the 27th minute, the U.S. has shut out Sweden, Nigeria, Colombia, China and Germany – a stretch of 513 consecutive minutes.
- Defender Becky Sauerbrunn is the only player on the roster to start and play every game for the USA in 2015. She has played the most minutes (1,419) on the team.
- Five U.S. players have played all 540 minutes of the tournament so far: defenders Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg and Sauerbrunn, midfielder Lloyd, and goalkeeper Hope Solo.
- In 16 games played this year, the U.S. has surrendered just three goals and has scored 29. The USA hasn’t lost a match since dropping its opening game of 2015 on Feb. 8 to France.
- The USA is the fourth country to reach consecutive Women's World Cup finals (2011 and 2015). The other three are Germany (2003, 2007), Norway (1991, 1995) and Japan (2011, 2015).
- After coming on as a sub in the second half of the game against Germany on June 30, Abby Wambach played in her 24th career WWC game, tied for second most all-time with Julie Foudy, Birgit Prinz and Formiga. Only Kristine Lilly has more (30).
- Alex Morgan scored her first goal in this year’s Women’s World Cup against Colombia. Morgan now has three goals in 2015 and 52 international goals in her career. She has scored a total of three World Cup goals after scoring twice in 2011.
- Before her start against Nigeria in the final group match, Morgan had only played 25 minutes in the tournament, coming off the bench against Australia and Sweden for 12 and 13 minutes, respectively, before playing 65 minutes against Nigeria. After playing 90 minutes vs. Colombia, 80 against China, and 89 against Germany she has now played a total of 349 minutes.
- Twelve different players have scored for the USA in 2015: Kelley O’Hara, Morgan, Wambach, Amy Rodriguez, Christen Press, Johnston, Klingenberg, Megan Rapinoe, Morgan Brian, Lori Chalupny, Sydney Leroux and Lloyd.
- Brian, Klingenberg, Johnston, Leroux and Press all made their World Cup debuts against Australia on June 8. All played against Sweden on June 12 as well, with Brian getting her first start. Klingenberg, Johnston and Leroux all saw action against Nigeria on June 16, while Brian, Klingenberg, Johnston and Press saw action against Colombia on June 22. Brian, Klingenberg and Johnston all started against China and Germany on June 26 and June 30, respectively, and Leroux came in as a second half stoppage time against Germany.
- Press and Leroux also recorded their first World Cup points on June 8, with Press scoring a goal and Leroux an assist. Johnston recorded her first World Cup point against China on June 26 when she assisted on Lloyd’s goal. It was Johnston’s first assist with the WNT.
- So far, 19 of the 20 field players on the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster have seen action in the tournament.
- Amy Rodriguez made her first appearance of the tournament on June 12 against Sweden, and her first start of the tournament on June 26 against China. Defender Lori Chalupny made her first appearance of the 2015 World Cup when she came in for Ali Krieger in the second half against Colombia on June 22. It was the seventh World Cup appearance of her career.
- Heather O’Reilly played the last 10 minutes of the game against China on June 26 after coming in as a sub for Alex Morgan. It was O’Reilly’s 12th World Cup appearance of her career.
- Shannon Boxx and Christie Rampone made their first appearance of the tournament against Nigeria on June 16. Rampone became the oldest player to appear in a World Cup match at 39 years 11 months and 23 days. This is Boxx’s fourth World Cup and Rampone’s fifth.
- Forward Abby Wambach leads the U.S. with six goals in 2015.
- Chalupny scored against New Zealand in her hometown of St. Louis on April 4, marking it her first goal for the USA since she scored against the Republic of Ireland on Sept. 20, 2008. She scored her second goal of the year against Mexico on May 17, just 45 seconds after coming into the match as a second half sub.
- Klingenberg scored her second National Team goal on a long-range blast against New Zealand. Her first goal was a similar long-range effort that came against Haiti on Oct. 8, during Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament last year.
- Johnston has three goals in 2015, all coming in consecutive games. Her three goals were all from set pieces and all assisted by Holiday.
- Rampone earned her 300th cap against with Mexico on Oct. 24, 2014, and her 307 games are the most of any active player in the world behind only former teammate Kristine Lilly.
- Holiday leads all U.S. players on the rosters in assists with five in 2015. Holiday was the 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year.
- Brian, the USA’s youngest player at age 22, was the 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year. She was also named the 2013 and 2014 Hermann Trophy winner while playing for the University of Virginia.
- While Wambach is the USA’s top scorer on the roster with 183 goals, Lloyd is next with 66 career international goals and Morgan has 52. Heather O’Reilly has scored 41.
- Christen Press’ four-goal performance against Argentina in Brazil last December was the ninth such game in U.S. history and second of 2014 after Wambach scored four times against Costa Rica in the final of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship. It was the first-career hat trick for Press.
- All nine NWSL clubs are represented on the Women’s World Cup roster.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS:
- Carli Lloyd became the 10th woman in U.S. history to reach 200 caps during the quarterfinal match against China PR on June 26. She is the fourth player on this World Cup roster to reach that mark. Christie Rampone, Abby Wambach and Heather O’Reilly are the other three. She also became the third player in U.S. history to score in her 200th appearance. Wambach and O’Reilly are the other two.
- Lloyd has sole possession of seventh place on the U.S. WNT’s all-time goal scoring list, passing Shannon MacMillan who scored 60 goals in her career. Lloyd, now with 66 goals, is the highest-scoring player in U.S. history who has played exclusively as a midfielder.
- Hope Solo recorded her 89th career shutout against Germany. It was the fifth straight World Cup clean sheet for the USA, and Solo’s 10th in World Cup play, tying the record for most by a U.S. goalkeeper and most in World Cup play with Brianna Scurry.
- Solo also earned her 176th cap against Germany on June 30. She is the leader for caps by a goalkeeper in U.S. history. Briana Scurry earned 173 caps in her career (1994-2008).
- Solo has the most starts by a WNT goalkeeper with 170. Solo is also in 10th place on the WNT’s all-time starts list and behind ninth place Carli Lloyd, who has 173.
- Solo has 135 goalkeeper wins and is the all-time leader in wins for a goalkeeper in U.S. history. Brian Scurry had 133 during her career (1994-2008).
- With her first goal of the game against Australia on June 8, U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe became the 13th U.S. female player to score 30 goals and tally 30 assists. She currently has 31 goals and 33 assists. Her brace against Australia were her first tallies of 2015.
- Rapinoe became the 31st American female player to reach the century mark in caps, achieving that feat against New Zealand on April 4. She currently has 107 caps. Lori Chalupny became the 32nd player against Ireland on May 10.
- Heather O’Reilly was the ninth player to hit 200 caps in U.S. history after reaching the milestone against Korea DPR on March 12, 2014. Now with 220, she is seventh on the USA’s all-time list. Abby Wambach (248) and Christie Rampone (307) are the only active players ahead of her.
- O’Reilly is the second-youngest player to hit 200 caps for the USA. Lilly was 28 years, 9 months and 15 days old when she earned cap No. 200 on May 7, 2000. O’Reilly was 29 years, 2 months and 10 days old when she earned her 200th cap.
- O’Reilly is currently sixth all-time in assists with 52 and is 13th all-time in goals with 41.
- In addition to breaking Mia Hamm’s world scoring record, Wambach’s June 20, 2013, performance against the Korea Republic also made her the USA’s all-time leader in multiple-goal games with 39 for her career. She has since added six more and now sits at 45. She has 37 two-goal games, five hat tricks, two four-goal games and one five-goal game.
- Sydney Leroux is tied with April Heinrichs in 14th place on the all-time U.S. WNT goal-scoring list with 35 goals.
- With her game-winning goal against England on Feb. 13, Alex Morgan became the 10th player in U.S. history to score 50 or more goals. She now has 52.
2015 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP NOTES:
- After scoring three times against Australia in its opening match of the 2015 FIFA WWC, the USA became the second country to reach and then surpass the century mark of World Cup goals scored. The USA currently has scored 107 WWC goals. Christen Press had the honor of scoring the 100th goal in U.S. Women’s World Cup history. Germany scored 10 goals in its opener on June 7 to hit 101 and become the first team to pass 100. The Germans currently have 111 goals after scoring 20 in this tournament, 14 of which came against Ivory Coast and Thailand.
- The USA has allowed 14 shots on goal over the 540 minutes of action so far and allowed just one against Sweden and Germany, and two against Nigeria, Colombia and China.
- The draw with Sweden was the first scoreless draw in U.S. history during group play in a World Cup. It was the second overall scoreless draw for the USA in a World Cup (0-0 against China in the 1999 WWC Final).
- The USA is making its seventh appearance in a FIFA Women’s World Cup and is one of seven countries to appear in all seven editions of the tournament, the others being Brazil, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Norway and Sweden. For the second straight WWC Final, the USA and Japan will contend for the tournament title.
- The U.S. is the only country to have reached semifinals of every FIFA Women’s World Cup. The USA won in 1991 and 1999.
- The USA will be making its fourth appearance in a FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, the only country to reach it that many times (Germany has reached it on three occasions).
- Abby Wambach has played in 24 WWC matches, the most on the 2015 WWC roster. Christie Rampone has played in 18 Women’s World Cup games while Carli Lloyd has played in 17, Shannon Boxx and Hope Solo have played in 16. Other players in double figures in Women’s World Cup matches are Ali Krieger and Heather O’Reilly with 12; Alex Morgan, Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe with 11.
- The U.S. WNT has won its group in the World Cup every year except 2011, when it finished second to Sweden.
- The 90,185 spectators on hand at the Rose Bowl for the USA’s victory against China PR in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup represent the largest attendance in the tournament’s history. The largest venue at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup is Olympic Stadium, which seats 66,308.
- With her first-half goal against Nigeria, Abby Wambach moved into a tie with Germany’s Birgit Prinz for 2nd all-time with 14 World Cup goals. Brazil’s Marta is the leader with 15 goals, including one in this tournament. With Brazil out of this tournament, Wambach has a chance to tie Marta or break the record should she score in the final.
- Wambach has scored in every World Cup group stage in which she has played (2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015). She has scored seven goals, tallying three in final group stage matches.
- Ten players on the current USA roster have scored in a Women’s World Cup tournament: Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Lauren Holiday, Heather O’Reilly, Lori Chalupny, Shannon Boxx, Christen Press and Kelley O’Hara.
- The U.S. WNT is 33-4-5 all-time in the Women’s World Cup, outscoring its opponents 107-33 in 42 games. The 33 wins and 42 games played are FIFA Women’s World Cup records.
- The USA’s most lopsided victory in the tournament was a 7-0 win against Chinese Taipei in 1991.
- Michelle Akers’ five goals against Chinese Taipei are the most in a single match in tournament history.
- The U.S. holds two other individual records with Kristine Lilly playing a record 30 games in five World Cups and goalkeeper Briana Scurry earning a record 10 shutouts.
- For the first time in FIFA WWC history, 24 nations participated at this year’s event, up from 16 that participated in the previous four editions. The 1991 and 1995 Women’s World Cups featured 12 teams.
On the field for the USA:
June 30, 2015 – Olympic Stadium; Montreal, Canada (2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup)
USA 2 Lloyd, 69; O’Hara 84
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Julie Johnston, 22-Meghan Klingenberg; 12-Lauren Holiday, 14-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 15-Megan Rapinoe (20-Abby Wambach,80), 13-Alex Morgan (2-Sydney Leroux, 90+3), 17-Tobin Heath (5-Kelley O’Hara, 75)
Subs Not Used: 3-Christie Rampone, 6-Whitney Engen, 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 16-Lori Chalupny,18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher, 23-Christen Press
Head coach: Jill Ellis
GER : 1-Nadine Angerer (capt.); 4-Leonie Maier, 5-Annike Krahn, 3-Saskia Bartusiak, 22-Tabea Kemme; 6-Simone Laudehr, 20-Lena Goessling, 11-Anja Mittag (10-Dzsenifer Marozsan, 78), 16-Melanie Leupolz, 18-Alexandra Popp; 13-Celia Sasic
Subs not used: 2-Bianca Schmidt, 7-Melanie Behringer, 8-Pauline Bremer, 9-Lena Lotzen, 12-Almuth Schult, 14-Babett Peter, 15-Jennifer Cramer, 17-Josephine Henning, 19-Lena Petermann, 21-Laura Benkarth, 23-Sara Daebritz
Head coach: Silvia Neid
IN FOCUS: JAPAN
Japan Football Association
Current FIFA World Ranking: 4
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Champions
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015
Record vs. USA: 1-24-6
Head Coach: Norio Sasaki
Championship Honors: 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions; 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Champions; 2012 Olympic Silver Medalists
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Azusa Iwashimizu (2), Nahomi Kawasumi (2), Chinatsu Kira (2), Emi Nakajima (2), Mizuho Sakaguchi (2), Yuki Ogimi (2)
Key Players: Ayumi Kaihori (InAC Kobe Leonessa), Saki Kumagai (Olympique Lyonnais), Aya Miyama (Okayama Yunogo Belle), Homare Sawa (InAC Kobe Leonessa), Yuki Ogimi (VfL Wolfsburg)
Japan Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Miho Fukumoto (Okayama Yunogo Belle), 18-Ayumi Kaihori (InAC Kobe Leonessa), 21-Erina Yamane (JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies)
DEFENDERS (8): 2-Yukari Kinga (InAC Kobe Leonessa), 3-Azusa Iwashimizu (NTV Beleza), 4-Saki Kumagai (Olympique Lyonnais), 5-Aya Sameshima (InAC Kobe Leonssa), 12-Megumi Kamionobe (Albirex niigata Ladies), 19-Saori Ariyoshi (NTV Beleza), 20-Yuri Kawamura (Vegalta Sendai Ladies), 23-Kana Kitahara (Albirex niigata Ladies)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 6-Mizuho Sakaguchi (NTV Beleza), 7-Kozue Ando (1. FFC Frankfurt), 8-Aya Miyama (Okayama Yunogo Belle), 9-Nahomi Kawasumi (InAC Kobe Leonessa), 10-Homare Sawa (InAC Kobe Leonessa), 13-Rumi Utsugi (Montpellier HSC), 14-Asuna Takana (InAC Kobe Leonessa), 22-Asano Nagasato (FFC Turbine Potsdam)
FORWARDS (4): 11-Shinobu Ohno (InAC Kobe Leonessa), 15-Yuika Sugasawa (JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies), 16-Mana Iwabuchi (FC Bayern Munich), 17-Yuki Ogimi (VfL Wolfsburg)
JAPAN ROSTER NOTES
- Japanese captain and 2011 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year Homare Sawa is the most capped player on the roster with 203 appearances for Japan. She is competing in her record sixth World Cup; only one of two players in the history of women’s soccer to do so.
- Sawa is also the leading scorer on the Japanese roster. She has scored 83 goals in international play.
- Sawa was the recipient of the Golden Boot and Golden Ball after being named the best player and was the top scorer (5 goals) at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
- Four Japanese players made the 2011 FIFA WWC All Star Team: Ayumi Kaihori, Aya Miyama, Shinobu Ohno and Sawa. All four are members of the 2015 FIFA WWC Japanese roster.
- The next leading scorer behind midfielder Sawa is forward Yuki Ogimi, who has scored 54.
- Six players on the roster have played over 100 games for Japan: Azusa Iwashimizu (118), Kozue Ando (126), Aya Miyama (155), Sawa (203), Shinobu Ohno (136) and Ogimi (123).
- Defender Kana Kitahara is the least capped player on the roster with 8.
- Fourteen players that took the field during the last meeting against the USA on Dec. 10, 2014 are part of this World Cup roster, while 15 of the 23 players on this roster were part of the team that defeated the USA in the Final of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup to claim the trophy.
- The average age of the China roster is 28 years old, with 22-year-old Mana Iwabuchi being the youngest and 36-year-old Sawa the oldest.
- Japan ended group play with nine points and a perfect record of 3-0-0, beating Switzerland 1-0, Cameroon 2-1, and Ecuador 1-0. It went on to beat the Netherlands 2-1 in the Round of 16, take down Australia 1-0 in the Quarterfinals and beat England by a score of 2-1, after England’s Laura Bassett scored an own goal in the last minute of stoppage time in the 93rd minute.
- Every player on the Japanese World Cup roster has played at least once in the tournament. Only two players have played in all six games, for all 540 minutes (Miyama and Ogimi).
- This will be Japan’s second Final appearance in a Women’s World Cup, and its seventh overall participation.
USA VS. JAPAN SERIES
- The USA has an all-time record of 24-1-6 against Japan dating back to 1986. They have outscored Japan 87-20.
- The USA and Japan are meeting in a World Cup for the fourth time and second straight time in a final. The last time was during the 2011 final in Frankfurt, Germany. Japan tied the USA twice during the game, once during regulation in the 81st minute after Alex Morgan had scored in the 69th, and again late in extra time after Abby Wambach had scored in the 104th minute of play. The U.S. ended up losing in a shootout, 3-1 on PKs.
- The last meeting between the USA and Japan took place in the 2014 Algarve Cup in Parchal, Portugal, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
- Of the nine matches between the teams since 2011, all but one have been decided by two goals or less.
- The USA’s lone loss to Japan occurred on March 5, 2012 in Faro, Portugal, during the 2012 Algarve Cup, a 1-0 setback. The USA took the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics later in the year after defeating the Japanese 2-1 in the final game.
- Since losing the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup to Japan, the USA has gone 2-2-1 against the Asian nation, outscoring them 8-5. All eight U.S. goals have been scored by players who are part of this current WWC roster: Morgan, Wambach, Carli Lloyd and Sydney Leroux.
- Eleven of the 13 players that took the field for the USA in its last meeting with Japan are part of this World Cup roster.
- Fourteen U.S. players from the 2011 WWCV team are on the 2015 roster. Eleven current players played in the 2011 final (nine started). Both final goal scorers are back (Morgan and Wambach).
- Seventeen Japan players from the 2011 WWC team are on the 2015 roster. All 11 starters from the 2011 final are back, and a total of 13 current players played in the 2011 final. Both final goal scorers are back (Aya Miyama and Homare Sawa).
On the field for the USA vs. JPN:
March 5, 2014 – Belavista Municipal Stadium; Parchal, Portugal
USA 1 Leroux, 59
JPN 1 Miyama, 83
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 6-Whitney Engen, 14-Stephanie Cox; 9-Heather O’Reilly (17-Tobin Heath, 73), 7-Morgan Brian (19-Kristie Mewis, 73), 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe; 23-Christen Press, 2-Sydney Leroux
Substitutions Not Used: 3-Christie Rampone, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 12-Samantha Mewis, 13-Sarah Hagen, 16-Rachel Van Hollebeke, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 20-Abby Wambach, 21-Jill Loyden, 25-Meghan Klingenberg
Head coach: Tom Sermanni
JPN: 21-Erina Yamane; 2-Yukari Kinga, 3-Azusa Iwashimizu, 4-Saki Kumagai, 19-Saori Ariyoshi (5-Aya Sameshima, 38); 6-Mizuho Sakaguchi (22-Nanase Kiryu, 68), 8-Aya Miyama (capt.), 9-Nahomi Kawasumi (16-Mana Iwabuchi, 59), 10-Homare Sawa (13-Rumi Utsugi, 76); 11-Shinobu Ohno, 17-Yuki Ogimi (15-Megumi Takase, 76)
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Miho Fukumoto, 7-Kozue Ando, 12-Megumi Kamionobe, 14-Asuna Tanaka, 18-Ayumi Kaihori, 20-Kana Kitahara, 23-Emi Nakajima
Head coach: Norio Sasaki
The last USA training session is done in Canada as the clock ticks down to the 2015 FIFA World Cup Final. The USA trained at BC Place for the requisite one hour session before Jill Ellis and Lauren Holiday attended the pre-game press conference. The WNT will take on Japan in the Final tonight at 7 p.m. ET, televised on FOX and Telemundo.
U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach JILL ELLIS
On the play of the backline:
“Our players have to be defenders first but I definitely want our outside backs to be able to get forward and want our centerbacks to be comfortable on the ball technically. A big part of it is mentality. You have to be a beast back there, sacrifice your body and do whatever it takes. And the relationship with our goalkeeper is critical.”
On Abby Wambach:
“Abby wants to win a World Cup and she’s committed to doing whatever it takes. She told me early on whatever role is needed she would deliver. She has amazing experience and ability in terms of being a prolific goalscorer. We’ve needed her on the field in big moments but also needed to allow other players the opportunity and time to continue to develop. Abby has been exemplary in terms of what she’s given this team and how she’s conducted herself. It’s still the same mindset for her: whatever we need, she’ll deliver.”
On her coaching process during the tournament:
“As a coach you have to have resolve and you have to commit to what you believe in. This is a seven-game tournament and it was never going to be perfect. You just have to commit to what you believe in.”
On defender Becky Sauerbrunn:
“Becky has stepped into a leadership role and she’s now our most veteran starter. Her mentoring of players has been fantastic. She has a great personality and keeps it upbeat and positive. In terms of performance, she’s been a major reason of why we’ve been so steady in the back and good at cutting things off and igniting our attack.”
On young players:
“I said when I picked the roster that you need the balance of youth and energy with experience. [All the young players] have shown very clearly they belong. They’ve had big moments in big games and the future is very bright. There will be transition after this World Cup and moving forward younger players will start to break through even more.”
U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder MEGAN RAPINOE
On the team growing throughout the tournament:
"In the first few games, everyone knew we weren't playing up to our potential. We were giving teams too much space and we were worrying too much about what we should be doing than acting instinctually. But, in the last three games and especially against Germany we've grown into ourselves in the tournament and have felt much more relaxed."
On fan support:
"Even though we're in Canada, these matches have been feeling like we're at home. We have been selling out stadiums and they're packed with mostly U.S. Fans. I can't imagine it being too much different if we were actually in America. We're getting recognized all over Canada and I expect another great U.S. crowd on Sunday."
On competition in the tournament:
"In the last four to five years, every major tournament has continued to get better on a competitive level. We saw it this year with teams like Colombia [beating France and making the second round] and England going to the semifinals. Five years ago I don't think you would have seen that. Teams are getting much better tactically and physically to be able to keep up with some of the teams that have been at the top."
U.S. Women’s National Team defender/midfielder KELLEY O’HARA
On what has worked well for the backline so far this tournament:
“They have been able to build a relationship and that’s huge when you’re playing on the backline. It’s all about how you work with who is in front of you and who is next to you. This group works extremely well together. In general, when this team goes into big tournaments, the collective defending is always a big part of how we do. I think the team defending has been exceptional this World Cup and it starts from the forward line and works its way back. But as the backline they are the last line of defense. They’ve been great."
On her role for the U.S WNT over the last couple of years:
“I have learned many lessons through the past couple of years. My entire experience with the National Team has been about figuring out how to bring out that self-belief and keep the confidence. It’s really difficult to lose it because it’s such an intense environment. There is a lot of competition for starting spots and just minutes in general. I don’t think I used to be very good at it, the confidence, but the past two or three years I had to figure out a way to get through that and to keep the confidence up. I’m really thankful I’ve come to a place where I can do that because I think that it played a big part in this tournament for me personally.”
On the veterans potentially playing in their final World Cup:
“It could be the last World Cup for a couple players, but those are veteran players that have tremendous experience with this team. They know how to set good examples and they are incredible leaders. They steer the ship and keep us focused. Thinking about what it must be like for them realizing these may be their final games would just be really difficult. They’ve done an excellent job of keeping us focused at the task at hand and not just worrying about the other things that are going on.”
U.S. Women’s National Team forward ABBY WAMBACH
On the state of the team after beating Germany:
“I feel an air of confidence with this team right now. We don’t overlook Japan for one second because they are a very organized and good team. The best team will be left standing on Sunday night and of course we hope it’s us. We know it’s going to be a hard fought battle and we have to play well. We have to put together good combinations, good sequences to get goals. I am really proud of the way we have played and got better throughout this tournament. I think our last match against Germany was our best performance.”
On making the Women’s World Cup Final:
“I can’t be happier for this team to be in another final. It’s an achievement of itself but we still have to win. We haven’t won anything yet and we know what that feels like from four years ago. It’s not a good feeling.”
U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder CARLI LLOYD
On making the Women’s World Cup Final:
“I think we have really good momentum. I think we also have really good confidence within our group. But I also think we need to raise our game. This is a final. This is where you put everything on the line, there’s no holding back.”
U.S. Women’s National Team defender CHRISTIE RAMPONE
On facing Japan:
“We definitely have 2011 in the back of our minds. With that said, this is the third time we’ll meet Japan in a final, which is pretty amazing for both federations. They are very composed on the ball. They like to get into the offensive third and get into a good shape, knock the ball around and make the other team defend. They try to break the team down over a period of time. I don’t think they’re going to come out and pressure us like crazy and run around the field. I don’t think they’ll ever change their style. They play great soccer and you have to be patient when you play against them and take your opportunities when they come."
U.S. Women’s National Team defender ALI KRIEGER
On being coached:
"Just because I'm 30 years old and play on the National Team doesn't mean I don't need coaching. I think it's really great that she [Jill Ellis] steps up and says ‘look I expect this from you.’ I'm the type of player that you just have to tell me what you need and I'm going to apply it to the game."
On playing different formations:
"Having a different formation helped us against Germany because of those wide spaces. I was able to get forward and into the attack a little bit more. My first focus was staying defensive because they were such a strong team but I think that it doesn't really matters what formation you play. It's just up to the personnel you have on the field to recognize the spaces they are going to give us. If Japan does clog the middle, then we need to go out wide, if they give us space in the middle then we have to take it. In the first few minutes we'll have to see what they give us. But the focus has to be on us and how we can break them down."
On playing Japan:
"I think playing against one of the best teams in the world is fun. It's a challenge and it's why we're here. Four years ago we were in the final with them as well. It just goes to show you, we have two really strong programs. I'm just so confident in our team. It's just going to be so fun to battle against one of the best teams in the world. This is what it's all about. It just shows that both of our programs are really strong and really confident and that makes it more exciting. You train your entire life for this moment and it's finally here. Obviously, we've thought about these last four years, that last game. This is especially why it's exciting, to have an opportunity to be successful this time around."
U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder HEATHER O’REILLY
On everyone playing a role:
“Obviously this is a very deep team, a very talented team. The coaches did a good job at the beginning talking about how this is going to take 23 players and every one of us has the same goal. We all want to win this thing and everybody is doing everything that they can to make sure that the team does that. As a veteran player I try to give bits of advice to some of the younger players that maybe haven’t been here at this level. But mostly I just try to carry myself with a positive attitude for the team and I’m ready for any role.”
On the keys to facing Japan:
“I think bringing our best self. Playing our best soccer. This team is special. This team is very talented, aggressive, fantastic goal scorers. I think if we bring our best self, we’re going to have a lot of success.”
On comparing this team to past WWC teams she’s been on:
“I’ve been fortunate to have been part of some very talented teams in the past. It’s hard to compare. I will say I think this team is deeper than perhaps ever before. There is an incredible talent pool on this team and so many different skill sets and everybody is willing to do whatever role to help the team win.”
On the team's mindset heading into the Final:
“It’s important to stay present. We have a really important 48 hours ahead of us. We’ve all talked about staying present and not wasting any energy thinking about anything outside of this tournament. So all of my energy, all of my strength is going towards being the best for this game."
The #USWNT will face Japan in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final on Sunday. Prior to the match, FIFA announced the shortlists of tournament awards highlighted by four United States Women’s National Team players along with three players from the Japanese team they will meet in the final.
U.S. WNT candidates for the Golden Ball are defender Julie Johnston, midfielder Carli Lloyd and midfielder Megan Rapinoe. Johnston has played every minute as a member of the U.S. backline that is carrying a 513-minute shutout streak and has allowed just one goal through six games. Hope Solo is also among three candidates for the Golden Glove awarded to the top net-minder in the tournament, an honor she won at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Japanese goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori was also nominated for the Golden Glove. Solo has allowed just one goal through six matches and has played an integral role in the U.S. shutout streak. She’s been an immense presence on a well-organized backline and been a crucial part of the USA’s defensive resolve throughout the tournament. With another shutout, Solo would have 11 in Women’s World Cup play and set an all-time tournament record. Kaihori has allowed three goals in four appearances.
Lloyd has scored a goal in the last three knockout round matches for the U.S. including two game-winners. The veteran midfielder opened her scoring in the tournament against Colombia converting a penalty kick. The following match, Lloyd notched the game-winning header against China off a Johnston service. Most recently, Lloyd buried her second PK of the tournament in a 2-0 victory over Germany adding an assist on Kelley O’Hara’s first international goal.
Rapinoe was the game changer for the United States in their opening match of the World Cup scoring two goals in America’s 3-1 victory over Australia. She’s notched an assist as well and despite being suspended for the quarterfinal due to yellow card accumulation, has been a consistently dynamic threat up and down the wing for the USA.
Saori Ariyoshi and Aya Miyama are the Japanese candidates for Golden Ball. Ariyoshi scored the first goal in Japan’s 2-1 victory over the Netherlands in the Round of 16. Miyama has played every minute for Japan scoring two goals and adding two assists including the game-winning assist to help her team advance to the quarterfinals.
Sunday’s match features the two oldest teams in the history of the Women’s World Cup tournament with the U.S averaging 29-years-old and six months and Japan having the average age of 28-years-old and five months.
Neither team has any players eligible for the Young Player Award, however the youngest player on the roster for the U.S. WNT, Morgan Brian at age 22 has made a major impact in the tournament starting three matches for the U.S. and allowing Lloyd to take on a more attacking role through the knockout stages.
Japan’s youngest player, also 22, is Mana Iwabuchi, who has been a second half spark for the Japanese scoring the game-winning goal in Japan’s 1-0 victory over Australia in the quarterfinals.
The winners including the Golden, Silver and Bronze Boots for the tournament’s top scorers and the FIFA Fair Play Award will be announced after the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final on July 5. The match will kickoff at 4 p.m. PT and will be broadcasted on FOX and Telemundo.