2020 SheBelieves Cup – USA vs. Japan

The U.S. Women’s National Team has won its first two games of the 2020 SheBelieves Cup -- 2-0 over England and 1-0 over Spain – and now will face Japan in the tournament finale on March 11 at in Frisco, Texas needing a win or a tie to lift the trophy.

MATCH PREVIEW – 2020 SheBelieves Cup – USA vs. Japan

March 11| Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas

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USWNT FACES JAPAN WITH SHEBELIEVES CUP TITLE ON THE LINE: The U.S. Women’s National Team has won its first two games of the 2020 SheBelieves Cup -- 2-0 over England and 1-0 over Spain – and now will face Japan in the tournament finale on March 11 at in Frisco, Texas needing a win or a tie to lift the trophy. The match at Toyota Stadium is expected to be another capacity crowd. Japan has had a tough go so far, falling 3-1 to Spain in its first match and 1-0 to England on a late score in its second game. After outscoring its opposition 25-0 at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament and qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Japan, the U.S. Women’s National Team has embarked on an ambitious pre-Olympic preparation schedule, beginning with the 2020 SheBelieves Cup, Presented by Visa. The USA has participated in all six Olympic Games in which women’s soccer has been contested, winning four gold medals (1996, 2004, 2008, 2012) and a silver (2000).


The USA needs a tie or a win against Japan win the championship at the 2020 SheBelieves Cup. It would be the USA’s third SheBelieves Cup title in the five tournaments that have been contested. A positive result for the USA against Japan would render the England-Spain result meaningless in regard to winning the tournament, but as that match occurs first on March 11, the USA will know its scenarios heading into the Japan game. If England and Spain happen to draw, the USA would win the tournament before it even kicks off against Japan. There are several scenarios that makes it possible for the USA to win the tournament even with a loss to Japan.


Date                          Matches                                    Stadium                                     City                            Kickoff (TV)

Mar. 5                       Spain 3, Japan 1                      Exploria Stadium                    Orlando, Fla.                            

Mar. 5                       USA 2, England 0                   Exploria Stadium                   Orlando, Fla.           

Mar. 8                       England 1, Japan 0                 Red Bull Arena                        Harrison, N.J.        

Mar. 8                       USA 1, Spain 0                        Red Bull Arena                        Harrison, N.J.                            

Mar. 11                    England vs. Spain                   Toyota Stadium                      Frisco, Texas          4:15 p.m. CT on ESPN3       

Mar. 11                    USA vs. Japan                          Toyota Stadium                     Frisco, Texas          7 p.m. CT on ESPNews, TUDN XTRA 1
















































The USA is 9-0-0 at Toyota Stadium, home of FC Dallas of MLS. Those games included three Olympic Qualifying matches in 2016 and two World Cup qualifiers in 2018, which was the last time the USA played in Frisco. The USWNT hasn’t allowed a goal in Frisco in the most recent seven matches played here.


TEAM EFFORT: U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski has played 15 of his 20 field players on the roster during this tournament. The USA has scored three goals in two games, the same as Spain. Andonovski made four changes from the first game to the second, the five players who have yet to play could get some minutes against Japan.  


  • The USA has an all-time record of 28-1-8 against Japan and has scored 106 goals while allowing 29.

  • The most recent meeting between the USA and Japan came at last year’s SheBelieves Cup, a 2-2 tie that features goals from Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath and Emi Nakajima and Yuka Momiki from Japan.

  • The USA took the lead in the 23rd minute, Japan equalized in the 67th, the USA went ahead again in the 76th and then Japan tied it again in the first minute of stoppage time.

  • The USA and Japan have a rich history dating back to 1986, the second year of the U.S. WNT program, but of course it’s the more recent meetings which have forever linked these two countries in women’s soccer history.

  • While the streak ended at the 2016 Olympics, the USA and Japan met in the three previous world finals, with the USA losing the 2011 Women’s World Cup in penalty kicks after a 2-2 tie over regulation and overtime, then winning the 2012 Olympic goal medal game, 2-1, and the historic 2015 Women’s World Cup Final, 5-2.

  • Of course, the 2015 final featured the epic hat trick in 16 minutes from Carli Lloyd and included goals from Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath.

  • The first meetings between the two teams after the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final came in June of 2016 with the teams playing to a wild 3-3 draw in Commerce City, Colo., as hometown hero Lindsey Horan scored late to make it 3-2, but Japan equalized in stoppage time. The USA then won 2-0 in three days later in Cleveland, getting goals from Julie Ertz (then Johnston) and Alex Morgan, in a match that was called in the 76th minute due to weather.

  • At the 2017 Tournament of Nations, the USA won 3-0 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., and at the 2018 Tournament of Nations, the USA won 4-2 on goals as Alex Morgan scored a hat trick and Megan Rapinoe also added a goal. In that game, the USA scored in the 18th minute, Japan tied it in the 20th, and then the USA scored three in a row (26th, 56th, 66th) before Japan pulled one back in the 76th minute.

  • The USA’s lone loss in regulation to Japan occurred on March 5, 2012 in Faro, Portugal, during the 2012 Algarve Cup, a 1-0 setback. The 2011 Women’s World Cup Final officially counts as a tie.

  • Since falling in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, the USA has gone 6-1-4 against Japan, outscoring them 27-15.


USWNT SheBelieves Cup Roster by Position (Club; Caps/Goals):

Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 3), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 25), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 63)

Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage; 60/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 25/1), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage; 103/24), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 107/1), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 130/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 176/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 31/0), Emily Sonnett (Orlando Pride; 45/0)

Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 101/20), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 85/18), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 44/12), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 66/18), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 16/0)

Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 167;33), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 293/123), Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage; 19/4), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 137/57), Mallory Pugh (Sky Blue FC; 62/18), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 167/51), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 26/9)


  • Ten players have scored so far for the USA in 2020: Lindsey Horan (6), Christen Press (6), Samantha Mewis (4), Lynn Williams (3), Rose Lavelle (2), Carli Lloyd (2), Jessica McDonald (2), Tobin Heath, Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz. Fourteen different players scored for the USA over 2019. Lloyd led the team with 16 goals and Alex Morgan and Rapinoe had nine each. 

  • The USA is riding a 30-game unbeaten streak and have scored two or more goals in 26 of those games.

  • All 20 players that were a part of the Olympic Qualifying were chosen for the training camp roster prior to the SheBelieves Cup and also made the final 23-player roster for the tournament.

  • Of the three players on this roster who were not on the Olympic qualifying squad, two were on the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team in forward Mallory Pugh and defender Tierna Davidson.

  • Three players who were not on the World Cup Team made the 2020 SheBelieves Cup roster in defender Casey Short, midfielder Andi Sullivan and forward Lynn Williams.

  • In just his fifth event as head coach, Vlatko Andonovski has already looked at 50 different players.

  • Since its inception in 1985, the USWNT has compiled a record of 528 wins, 66 losses and 77 ties. Over the history of the program, the USA has gone 301-20-31 (90% winning percentage) at home, 53-18-13 away (71%) and 174-28-33 (81%) on neutral ground. Of the USA’s 66 losses, 12 (18%) came at the Algarve Cup in Portugal.

  • The USA has scored in 58 consecutive matches and has averaged more than three goals per game in that time. Since the end of the 2015 World Cup, the USA has played 101 matches and has an 86-5-10 record.

  • Lloyd has 59 WNT goals since the start of 2015. Morgan, who has 57, is the only other player with more than 30 goals over the four years.

  • The U.S. Women are unbeaten on home soil over its last 47 matches, 42 wins and five draws. The last loss at home was July 27, 2017 vs. Australia, a 1-0 setback in Seattle.

  • Twelve of the USA’s 50 goals in its last 14 games have been headers, including two vs. Haiti, one vs. Panama and one vs. Costa Rica in Olympic qualifying. Julie Ertz’ game-winner vs. Spain was also a header.

  • The U.S. scored 21 goals from set pieces in 2019 (27% of the goals scored), including nine at the Women’s World Cup. In 2018, the USA scored 21 of 65 goals (32%) on set pieces and in 2017 there were 8 of 40 goals (20%) scored on set pieces.

  • Nine players scored in Olympic Qualifying, led by Lindsey Horan (6 goals) and Christen Press (5). Samantha Mewis had four goals from two braces and Lynn Williams found the net three times, including the game-winner in the title game against Canada.

  • All 23 players on the U.S. roster play in the NWSL. The roster features five NWSL No. 1 overall draft picks in Crystal Dunn (2014), Emily Sonnett (2016), Rose Lavelle (2017), Andi Sullivan (2018) and Tierna Davidson (2019).

  • USWNT is unbeaten in its last 14 matches in all competitions against European nations, winning the last 12 in a row by an aggregate score of 32-5. The last European nation to beat USA was France in January of 2019 in Le Havre.


Japan Football Federation

FIFA World Ranking: 10

UEFA Ranking: 2  
Olympic Appearances: 4 (1996, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2020)

Best Olympic finish: 2012 – Silver Medal

Record vs. USA: 1-28-8
Head Coach: Asako Takakura


Japan Women’s National Team Roster by Position:

1- Sakiko Ikeda (Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies), 18- Ayaka Yamashita (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza), 21- Chika Hirao (Albirex Niigata Ladies)

): 2-Risa Shimizu (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza), 3-Shiori Miyake (INAC Kobe Leonessa), 4-Saki Kumagai (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA), 5-Moeka Minami (Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies), 16-Asato Miyagawa (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza), 20-Arisa Matsubara (Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara), 22-Mayo Doko (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza)

6-Hina Sugita (INCA Kobe Leonessa), 7-Emi Nakajima (INAC Kobe Leonessa), 10-Yuka Momiki (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza), 12-Hikaru Naomoto (Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies), 14-Yui Hasegawa (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza), 17-Narumi Miura (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza), 19-Jun Endo (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza)

8-Mana Iwabuchi (INAC Kobe Leonessa), 9-Yuika Sugasawa (Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies), 11-Riko Ueki (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza), 13-Mayu Ikejiri (Mynavi Vegalta Sendai Ladies), 15-Mina Tanaka (INAC Kobe Leonessa), 23-Mami Ueno (Ehime FC Ladies)



  • As host, Japan gained an automatic berth into the 2020 Olympics.

  • Japan opened the 2020 SheBelieves Cup with a 3-1 loss to Spain, but it did feature a world class equalizer on the cusp of halftime from Mana Iwabuchi which might be the goal of the tournament so far. Japan made two mistakes in the back in the second half that led to two goals for Lucia Garcia, albeit on fantastic finishes.

  • Japan played England tough in its second game but gave up an 83rd minute goal to Ellen White in a match that saw each team fire 10 shots.

  • At the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Japan finished second in Group D behind England but then lost 2-1 to eventual finalist Netherlands in the Round of 16.

  • Following its failure to qualify for the 2016 Olympics, Japan fell from fourth in the world to seventh (and is now 10th), and long-time head coach Norio Sasaki, who led Japan to its greatest triumphs, including three straight world finals, stepped aside.

  • Asako Takakura, who is one of the pioneers of Japan women’s soccer, was appointed as the first female coach of Japan’s senior Women’s National Team on April 27, 2016. The four-time Asian Women’s Coach of the Year made her national team debut at the age of 16 and was a midfielder in her playing days. She earned 79 caps for Japan while scoring 30 goals. She played in the 1991 and 1995 World Cups, as well as the 1996 Olympics. She has been an integral part of the Japanese coaching infrastructure for years, having coached every age group from Under-13 upwards. She led Japan to the 2014 Under-17 Women’s World Cup title and the 2015 Asian U-19 Championship while also serving on the FIFA technical study group at the 2015 Women’s World Cup. She also coached Japan to third place at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea, defeating the USA 1-0 in the bronze medal game.

  • Japan has rebuilt its team and features many younger players with a strong focus on winning a medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, but the core of the roster still features some vastly experienced players. Midfielder Emi Nakajima (78/14) and forwards Mana Iwabuchi (69/27) and Yuia Sugasawa (69/20) lead the attack while the defense is anchored by Saki Kumagai (110/1), who plays for UEFA Champions League title holders Olympique Lyonnais and is the only play on the roster playing outside of Japan as Japan has a Japan, has a strong and engaged domestic league.

  • Japan has just three players on its SheBelieves Cup roster who played in the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final. The USA has seven on its SBC roster who played in the Final.