QUICK HITS: Tournament of Nations Opponents

The 2017 Tournament of Nations kicks off Thursday, July 27 as Australia, Brazil and Japan come to the United States for a competition that features four of the top teams in the world that are very familiar with each other. The tournament will begin at CenturyLink Field in Seattle with Japan taking on Brazil (4:15 p.m. PT on ESPN3), followed by the USA playing Australia (7 p.m. PT on ESPN). The ToN continues in San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium on July 30 as Australia takes on Japan (2:15 p.m. PT on ESPN3), and the USA faces Brazil (5 p.m. PT on ESPN2). The teams will then drive north for the final match day on Aug. 3 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., with Brazil facing Australia (4:15 p.m. PT on ESPN3), followed by the USA vs. Japan (7 p.m. PT on ESPN2).
 


Here is a breakdown of each opponent and its roster:

AUSTRALIA 
Head Coach: Alen Stajcic
Confederation: AFC (Champion: 2010)
FIFA Ranking:
7th
World Cup Appearances: 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015
Olympics Appearances:
2000, 2004, 2016
Record vs. the USA:
0-25-2
Most Capped Player on ToN Roster:
Lisa DaVanna (121)
Leading Goal Scorer on ToN Roster: Lisa DaVanna (40)
Oldest Player on ToN Roster: Lisa DaVanna (32 years old)
Youngest Player on ToN Roster: Ellie Carpenter (17 years old)
Team Nickname: Matildas

In the last five years, the Matildas have big made strides on the world stage. In 2015, Australia made it to the quarterfinal of the Women’s World Cup before falling 1-0 to eventual finalist Japan, and most recently made it to the quarterfinal of the 2016 Olympic tournament, but fell to Brazil in a penalty kick shootout that went eight players deep. The game between Australia and Brazil on Aug. 3 will be the first meeting between the two since that Olympic quarterfinal.

The last time the USA and Australia met was in the opening group game of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The intense match provided an incredibly entertaining first half as Megan Rapinoe gave the U.S. an early lead in the 12th minute, but Australia quickly tied the game courtesy of Lisa DeVanna in the 27th. No team found the back of the net again until the second half when Christen Press (61st minute) and Rapinoe (78th minute) sealed the game for the USA, despite a tremendous effort from the Australian side.

Australia has five players in its ToN roster that play club soccer in the United States in: Steph Catley (Orlando Pride), Alanna Kennedy (Orlando Pride), Sam Kerr (Sky Blue FC), Haley Raso (Portland Thorns) and Lydia Williams (Houston Dash).


2017 NWSL-leading scorer, Sam Kerr

BRAZIL
Head Coach: Emily Lima
Confederation: CONMEBOL (Champion: 1991, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2010, 2014)
FIFA Ranking:
8th
World Cup Appearances: 1991, 1995, 1999 (Third Place), 2003, 2007 (Runners-up), 2011, 2015
Olympics Appearances:
1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 (Runners-up), 2012 (Runners-up), 2016
Record vs. the USA:
3-26-5
Most Capped Player on ToN Roster:
Marta (118)
Leading Goal Scorer on ToN Roster: Marta (108)
Oldest Player on ToN Roster: Bruna Benites (31 years old)
Youngest Player on ToN Roster: Gabi Nunes (20 years old)
Team Nickname: Canarinhas

Brazil has always been a major contender in the women’s game, producing legendary players like Sissi, Formiga, Cristiane and Marta. But even though it has come very close, it has yet to win a Women’s World Cup or an Olympics – a dream that on more than one occasion has been ended by none other than the USA.

The USA and Brazil have faced each other 34 times in a series that has featured some epic matches, including the gold medal games of the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, both U.S. wins in overtime, a semifinal loss for the USA at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and a penalty kick win during the quarterfinal at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup that featured Abby Wambach’s last gasp header in overtime, one of the famous goals in U.S. history.

Brazil dominates its CONMEBOL confederation, winning the Copa America Femenil six of the seven times it has been contested. Besides the USA, which has 22 players of its 23-player roster competing for NWSL teams, Brazil is the team with the most NWSL representatives – six – in its 23-player roster: Marta, Camila and Monica (Orlando Pride), Debinha (North Carolina Courage), and Andressinha and Bruna Benites (Houston Dash).


Five-time FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, Marta

JAPAN
Head Coach: Asako Takakura
Confederation: AFC (Champion 2014)
FIFA Ranking: 6th
Women’s World Cup Appearances: 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 (Champions), 2015 (Runners-up)
Olympics Appearances:
1996, 2004, 2008, 2012 (Runners-up)
Record vs. the USA:
1-26-7
Most Capped Player on ToN Roster:
Mizuho Sakaguchi (109)
Leading Goal Scorer on ToN Roster: Mizuho Sakaguchi (28)
Oldest Player on ToN Roster: Aye Sameshima (30 years old)
Youngest Player on ToN Roster: Nana Ichise (19 years old)
Team Nickname: Nadeshiko

Japan is the reigning AFC Women’s Cup champion, taking the title in 2014. The USA and Japan have played each 34 times, with just 11 of those games being played on U.S. soil. The USA is 7-0-4 against Japan in the United States. The two teams have met in some of the most exciting matches ever played in women’s soccer, including three of last four world championship finals.

Japan is continuing their rebuilding process which began after the its second-place finish at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup that was followed by a failure to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Only one player on the Japan roster plays club soccer in the USA, Rumi Utsugi of the Seattle Reign, who with 95 caps is the second most capped player set to represent Japan at this year’s tournament. 


Rumi Utsugi is the second-most capped player on the Japan roster for #ToN2017