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Abby Wambach

U.S. WNT Meets Defending World Cup Champion Japan in Volvo Winners Cup

U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan
Örjans Vall Stadium; Halmstad, Sweden
June 18, 2012

USA MEETS DEFENDING WORLD CUP CHAMPION JAPAN: After a solid 3-1 victory against Sweden in its first of two games at the Volvo Winners Cup, and after just one day of rest, the U.S. Women’s National Team is set for its third match of the year against 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Japan taking place at 7 a.m. ET on Monday, June 18, at Örjans Vall Stadium in Halmstad, Sweden. The match will be broadcast on tape delay at 10 a.m. ET and will be available live on the Internet at 7 a.m. ET on Fans can also follow both matches via’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt. The game is the U.S. Women’s second-to-last tune-up for the 2012 London Olympics, which starts on July 25 for the Americans with a huge clash against France. U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage brought 22 players to Sweden – the 18-player roster that will compete in the Olympics and four Olympic alternates. The Volvo Winners Cup champion will be determined on points with the tie-breakers as follows: 1) goal difference, 2) goals scored and 3) head-to-head. Sweden will face Japan on June 20 in Gothenburg in the last match of the mini-tournament.

2012 U.S. WNT Schedule



Time (ET)

U.S. Goalscorers/TV


Jan. 20*

Dominican Republic

14-0 W

Wambach (2), Lloyd, Buehler, O’Reilly (3), Heath, Rodriguez (5), Cheney

BC Place, Vancouver, Canada

Jan. 22*


13-0 W

Wambach (2), Cheney, Rodriguez, Lloyd, Lindsey, Leroux (5), Rapinoe, Morgan

BC Place, Vancouver, Canada

Jan. 24*


4-0 W

Lloyd (3), O’Reilly

BC Place, Vancouver, Canada

Jan. 27*

Costa Rica

3-0 W

Heath, Lloyd, Morgan

BC Place, Vancouver, Canada

Jan. 29*


4-0 W

Morgan (2), Wambach (2)

BC Place, Vancouver, Canada

Feb. 11

New Zealand

2-1 W

Morgan (2)

FC Dallas Stadium, Frisco, Texas

Feb. 29^


5-0 W

Morgan (2), Wambach, Lloyd, Leroux

Estadio Municipal; Lagos, Portugal

March 2^


2-1 W

Wambach, Leroux

Estadio Municipal; Lagos, Portugal

March 5^


0-1 L


Estadio Algarve; Faro, Portugal

March 7^


4-0 W

Morgan (3), Wambach

Estadio Bela Vista; Parchal, Portugal

April 1**


1-1 T


Yurtec Stadium; Sendai, Japan

April 3**


3-0 W

Lloyd, Boxx, Rodriguez

Fukuda Denshi Arena; Chiba, Japan

May 27

China PR

4-1 W

Morgan (2), own goal, Wambach

PPL Park; Chester, Pa.

June 16^^


3-1 W

Wambach, Morgan, Heath

Örjans Vall Stadium; Halmstad, Sweden

June 18^^


7 a.m.

Universal Sports Network (10 a.m. ET delay); (7 a.m. ET live)

Örjans Vall Stadium; Halmstad, Sweden

June 30


2 p.m.


Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

July 25


12 p.m.

Hampden Park; Glasgow, Scotland

July 28


12 p.m.

Hampden Park; Glasgow, Scotland

July 31

Korea DPR

12:15 p.m.

Old Trafford; Manchester, England

* CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament
^ Algarve Cup
** Kirin Challenge Cup
^^ Volvo Winners Cup

Nicole Barnhart, Jill Loyden, Hope Solo
Rachel Buehler, Meghan Klingenberg, Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts, Kelley O’Hara, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn
Shannon Boxx, Tobin Heath, Lori Lindsey, Carli Lloyd, Heather O’Reilly, Megan Rapinoe, Amy Rodriguez
Lauren Cheney, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Abby Wambach

Olympic alternates in italics


  • Alex Morgan leads the U.S. WNT with 15 goals in 13 games and has recorded five multi-goal games this year.
  • Morgan’s scoring clip is a rarity in U.S. Women’s history. The last person to record double-digit goals at a rate of more than one goal per game was Mia Hamm, who had 18 goals in 16 games in 1997. Even forward Abby Wambach, who is second on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list, has not averaged one goal per game in any year. She has been close on several occasions, including her 20 goals in 21 games in 2007.
  • Morgan notched a hat trick – the first of her career – to lead the U.S. past Sweden 4-0 on March 7 in the third-place match of the 2012 Algarve Cup. With that effort, Morgan became the 15th player in U.S. history to reach double figures in goals during a calendar year.
  • Goalkeeper Hope Solo took over the team lead for minutes played this year with 1,125 following her five-save effort to defeat Sweden 3-1 on June 16. Captain and center back Christie Rampone is now second on the team with 1,096 minutes this year as head coach Pia Sundhage limited Rampone to 45 minutes to make several halftime subs against Sweden.


  • The U.S. and Japan have played each other 28 previous times, with the USA posting 22-1-5 record. One of those ties included the eventual penalty kick shootout loss to Japan on July 17, 2011, in the FIFA Women’s World Cup after playing to a 2-2 draw through regulation and overtime.
  • The USA most recently played Japan to a 1-1 draw on April 1 of this year in the first game of the Kirin Challenge Cup in Sendai, Japan. U.S. forward Alex Morgan scored the equalizer with 17 minutes remaining to salvage the draw.
  • The U.S. and Japan, who are both preparing for the 2012 London Olympics, have faced each other three times in Olympic competition, with the U.S. winning all three meetings.
  • The USA topped Japan 2-1 on Aug. 20, 2004, in Thessaloniki, Greece, in the quarterfinals of the Olympics. Then the U.S. won twice against Japan during the 2008 Olympics in China – a 1-0 victory on Aug. 9 during the group stage, followed by a 4-2 win on Aug. 18 in the semifinals to advance to the gold medal match against Brazil. In that semifinal game, Angela Hucles scored twice for the U.S. and Heather O’Reilly’s 70th-minute tally for a 3-1 lead proved to be the game-winning goal.
  • The 2011 FIFA World Cup Final, played in Frankfurt, Germany, included two different U.S. leads when Morgan notched a 69th-minute goal and Abby Wambach a 104th-minute goal in the first of two 15-minute overtimes. But Japan’s Aya Miyama (80th minute) and Homare Sawa (117th minute) had the answers, and Japan pulled through in the game-ending shootout for its first World Cup crown.
  • The USA suffered its first regulation loss against Japan on March 5, 2012, as Japan earned a 1-0 win and finished atop Group B at the 2012 Algarve Cup. The U.S. had to settle for the tournament’s third-place match, and the U.S. Women rebounded well with a strong 4-0 victory against Sweden.


  • Forward Alex Morgan became the 11th player to reach 15 goals during a calendar year during the USA’s 3-1 victory against Sweden on June 16. This feat has been accomplished 18 times, with Wambach achieving the mark four times.
  • Morgan’s 38 points this year (15 goals, eight assists) is the most since Natasha Kai also had 38 points, 15 goals and eight assists in 2008.
  • Midfielder Heather O’Reilly notched her 36th career assist on June 16 to now tie for ninth all-time on the USA’s all-time list with Michelle Akers.
  • Midfielder Shannon Boxx tied former U.S. WNT goalkeeper Briana Scurry for ninth all-time in career starts with 159 following the USA’s win against Sweden. Forward Abby Wambach passed Tiffeny Milbrett on the all-time starts list with her 157th start, sitting in 11th place.
  • Lauren Cheney contributed her 10th assist of the year during the win against Brazil in Japan in April, becoming the first player to reach double digits in that category since Heather O’Reilly and Wambach each posted a team-high 10 assists in 2008.
  • The USA is 87-2-5 all-time when Wambach scores a goal.
  • Midfielder Megan Rapinoe made her 50th career appearance for the U.S. Women on June 16 against Sweden. She is the 13th player on the USA’s 2012 Olympic roster to have reached or surpassed that milestone.
  • Captain Christie Rampone surpassed 20,000 minutes played for her career during the USA’s 3-0 win against Brazil in the Kirin Challenge Cup on April 3. With 1,096 minutes logged this year, she now has 20,109 in her 14 years with the WNT. She is the fifth U.S. Women’s player to reach such a feat, joining Kristine Lilly (28,700), Julie Foudy (21,669), Mia Hamm (20,694) and Joy Fawcett (20,527).
  • Rampone made her 250th career international appearance during the USA’s 2-1 victory against New Zealand on Feb. 11. Rampone (257 caps) ranks fourth all-time in U.S. WNT history, with Lilly (352), Hamm (275) and Foudy (271) ranking No. 1 through No. 3.


  • 1: USA’s FIFA ranking
  • 3: Japan’s FIFA ranking
  • 5: Goals scored in a game by Sydney Leroux (Jan. 22, 2012), Amy Rodriguez (Jan. 20, 2012), Abby Wambach (Oct. 23, 2004), Tiffeny Milbrett (Nov. 2, 2002), Michelle Akers (Nov. 24, 1991) and Brandi Chastain (April 18, 1991)
  • 6: Games this year in which Alex Morgan and Wambach both contributed at least one goal (6-0-0 record)
  • 56: The current unbeaten streak for the USA in domestic matches in which they are 50-0-6
  • 61: U.S. goals in 2012 through 14 games (this number does not factor in China’s own goal)
  • 80: Wins during Pia Sundhage’s tenure as U.S. WNT head coach
  • 194: Players who have earned a cap for the U.S. Women’s National Team since the program’s inception in 1985, the most recent being Whitney Engen, who earned her first cap against Norway at the Algarve Cup on March 4, 2011


PIA SUNDHAGE FACT FILE: Head coach Pia Sundhage is in the midst of her fourth full year in charge of the U.S. Women’s National Team. Below are some of her accomplishments as a player and coach.

  • Sundhage is the sixth official coach and second female coach in the history of the U.S. Women’s National Team program.
  • Sundhage’s record as head coach of the Women’s National Team is 80-6-10, with 247 goals for and 49 against.
  • As a player, Sundhage was one of the game’s best-ever players, finishing sixth in the voting for FIFA Women’s Player of the Century. A legendary player in Sweden, she played for her country in the 1991 and 1995 Women’s World Cups and 1996 Olympics. She scored four goals for Sweden at the 1991 Women’s World Cup, helping the Swedes to a third-place finish. She scored one goal in the 1995 Women’s World Cup (against Germany) and played every minute of all three matches at the Atlanta Olympics.
  • Sundhage started her coaching career while still playing, serving as player-coach for Hammarby from 1992-1994. She also coached Sweden’s Youth National Teams for 11 years from 1990-2001, coaching the U-16s, U-19s and U-21s.
  • After her retirement from the international game in 1996, she became head coach of the Sweden Under-19 Women’s National Team, leading the team to one gold medal and two bronze medals at the European Championships. She served as a scout for Sweden during the 1997 European Championships, the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2000 Olympics. Sundhage has also worked for FIFA on its Technical Study Group staff for the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand.
  • Since taking over as head coach, Sundhage has given 17 players their first senior team caps.

Nippon Sakkā Kyōkai (Japan Soccer Association)
Founded: 1921 (Joined FIFA in 1929)
Head Coach: Norio Sasaki
FIFA World Ranking: 3
Best FIFA World Cup Finish: First Place (2011)
Best Olympics Finish: Fourth Place (2008)

1-Ayumi Kaihori (INAC Leonessa), 12-Miho Fukimoto (Yunogo Belle)
2-Yukari Kinga (INAC Leonessa), 4-Saki Kumagai (FFC Frankfurt), 5-Aya Sameshima (Montpellier HSC), 6-Mizuho Sakaguchi (NTV Beleza), 15-Saori Ariyoshi (NTV Beleza), 16-Kyoko Yano (Urawa)
8-Aya Miyama (Yunogo Belle), 9-Nahomi Kawasumi (INAC Leonessa), 10-Homare Sawa (INAC Leonessa), 13-Rumi Utsugi (Montpellier), 14-Asuna Tanaka (INAC Leonessa), 18-Megumi Kamionobe (Albirex Niigata Ladies)
7-Kozue Ando (FCR 2011 Duisburg), 11-Shinobu Ohno (INAC Leonessa), 17-Yuki Nagasato (FFC Turbine Potsdam), 19-Megumi Takase (INAC Leonessa), 20-Ami Ohtaki (Olympique Lyonnais), 22-Karina Maruyama (Speranza FC Takatsuk)


  • Ayumi Kaihori, the starting goalkeeper during Japan’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup title run, saved penalty kick attempts against the USA’s Shannon Boxx and Tobin Heath during the championship game shootout.
  • Defender Saki Kumagai scored the game-winning PK in the 2011 World Cup final.
  • Midfielder Aya Miyama, who had a goal and the first penalty kick during the shootout of Japan’s World Cup win in 2011, played for Women’s Professional Soccer sides Los Angeles Sol (2009), St. Louis Athletica (2010) and the Atlanta Beat (2010). Mayama took over the captaincy from Homare Sawa starting with the Algarve Cup this past match.
  • Forward Megumi Takase scored Japan’s lone goal in the 1-0 victory against the U.S. on March 7 at the Algarve Cup, a header off a corner kick on Japan’s only shot of the second half.
  • Japan’s all-time greatest player Sawa, who won the Golden Ball as the best player at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, has returned to the squad after recovering from a bout of vertigo.
  • Sawa leads Japan with 177 international appearances and 80 goals. She is one of four players on this Japan roster to have played in more than 100 games, including Miyama (110), forward Shinobu Ohno (103) and forward Kozue Ando (101).

On the field for the USA:

June 16, 2012 –
Örjans Vall Stadium – Halmstad, Sweden – Volvo Winners Cup
USA          3   Abby Wambach 8, Alex Morgan 22, Tobin Heath 56
Sweden   1   Lotta Schelin 35

1-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.) (4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 46), 19-Rachel Buehler, 6-Amy LePeilbet; 9-Heather O’Reilly (17-Tobin Heath, 46), 7-Shannon Boxx (10-Carli Lloyd, 46), 12-Lauren Cheney, 15-Megan Rapinoe (8-Amy Rodriguez, 63); 13-Alex Morgan (11-Sydney Leroux, 74), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 14-Meghan Klingenberg, 16-Lori Lindsey, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 21-Jill Loyden, 22-Christen Press
Head coach: Pia Sundhage

SWE: 1-Hedvig Lindahl; 2-Emma Berglund, 3-Stina Segerström (15-Malin Levenstad, 66), 4-Annica Svensson, 5-Caroline Seger (9-Jessica Landstrom, 90+4), 6-Sara Thunebro, 8-Lotta Schelin (16-Madelaine Edlund, 72), 17-Lisa Dahlkvist, 18-Nilla Fischer (capt.) (14-Johanna Almgren, 72), 11-Antonia Göransson (20-Marie Hammarström, 53), 10-Sofia Jakobsson (22-Kosovare Asllani, 52)
Subs not used: 7-Linda Sembrant, 12-Kristin Hammarström, 13-Lina Nilsson, 19-Susanne Moberg, 21-Sofia Lundgren
Head coach: Thomas Denerby

Vs. Japan for the USA:
April 1, 2012 – Yurtec Stadium – Sendai, Japan – Kirin Challenge Cup

USA     1   Alex Morgan 73
Japan  1   Yukari Kinga 32

1-Hope Solo; 6-Amy LePeilbet, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 19-Rachel Buehler, 5-Kelley O’Hara; 12-Lauren Cheney, 7-Shannon Boxx (17-Tobin Heath, 73), 10-Carli Lloyd, 9-Heather O’Reilly (8-Amy Rodriguez, 82), 13-Alex Morgan (11-Sydney Leroux, 82), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 2-Heather Mitts, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 14-Stephanie Cox, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 16-Lori Lindsey, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 21-Ashlyn Harris, 22-Whitney Engen, 23-Meghan Klingenberg
Head coach: Pia Sundhage

JPN: 1-Ayumi Kaihori; 2-Yukari Kinga, 4-Saki Kumagai, 5-Aya Sameshima (15-Saori Ariyoshi, 67), 14-Asuna Tanaka; 16-Kyoko Yano, 6-Mizuho Sakaguchi (20-Yuika Sugasawa, 86), 8-Aya Miyama (capt.), 9-Nahomi Kawasumi, 11-Shinobu Ohno (13-Rumi Utsugi, 86), 17-Yuki Nagasato (7-Kozue Ando, 61)
Subs not used: 3-Chiaki Minamiyama, 12-Miho Fukumoto, 18-Megumi Kamionobe, 19-Megumi Takase, 21-Manami Nakano, 22-Yuri Kawamura, 23-Kana Osafune, 24-Yumi Uetsuji
Head coach: Norio Sasaki