U.S. Women’s National Team Opens 2024 SheBelieves Cup Presented by Visa with 2-1 Win over Japan in Front of Record-Setting Crowd in Atlanta

Crowd of 50,644 Marks the Highest Attendance for a USWNT Friendly Match on Home Soil and Largest Since the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final; Forward Jaedyn Shaw Scores Her Seventh Career Goal and Captain Lindsey Horan Scores Her 35th On a Game-Winning Penalty Kick; The USA Will Play for Its Seventh SheBelieves Cup Title on April 9 in Columbus at 7 p.m. ET

ATLANTA (April 9, 2024) – The U.S. Women’s National Team opened the 2024 SheBelieves Cup, presented by Visa, with a thrilling 2-1 win against Japan in front of an energized crowd of 50,644 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The crowd set a record for the highest attendance ever for a USWNT friendly on home soil and marked the largest home crowd for any USWNT match since the 199 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. Goals from forward Jaedyn Shaw and midfielder Lindsey Horan led the team to a come-from-behind win in U.S. Soccer’s new home city.

Japan shocked the USA off the kickoff, taking the lead just 31 seconds into the match with a goal from Kiko Seike, who got on the end of a long ball on the right flank, dribbled into the penalty box, and fired a shot that bounced off the left post into the back of the net. The U.S. did not let the early goal fluster them and went on to out-shoot Japan, 18-6, while creating the vast majority of the dangerous chances.

The USA pressured the Japan defense all match, connecting well throughout the back line and the midfield with the front line of Alex Morgan, Trinity Rodman and Mallory Swanson – who played her first USWNT match in 364 days – all causing danger inside the penalty area. The USA came close to equalizing in the 15th minute as Swanson put on a great dribbling display by cutting across the box from right to left and firing a low shot that was destined for the back of the net, but a heroic goal line clearance from defender Miyabi Moriya held the visitors’ lead.

The Americans then got the equalizer in the 36th minute as midfielder Sam Coffey won the ball off the team press at the top of Japan’s defensive third. Coffey split two defenders with a pass to find Shaw at the top of the box and she fired a powerful strike from 20 yards out into the lower left corner, freezing Japanese goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita, to level the score.

As the energetic crowd spurred on the Americans, who were more dominant throughout the second half, the team continued to threaten in the attack while effectively limiting Japan’s. After several knocks at the door, the USA took the lead in the 77th minute when Horan buried a penalty kick following a foul on Sophia Smith inside the box. Smith came off the bench in the 63rd minute to spark the U.S. attack and played a part in several scoring opportunities before splitting two defenders inside the penalty area near the right corner to earn the spot kick. With the conversion, Horan has now scored three goals in her last four games, each of which have been game-winners, including her tally that sealed the team’s title win in the inaugural Concacaf W Gold Cup Final.

The U.S. lost central defender Naomi Girma to a right thigh injury just 18 minutes into the game and she was replaced by Abby Dahlkemper, who played a fine match in her stead next to Tierna Davidson, who was also stellar on the afternoon.

With the win, the USA will play in the tournament final against the winner of Brazil vs. Canada as it looks to take its fifth consecutive SheBelieves Cup title and seventh overall. The USA will play on Tuesday, April 9 at Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio (7 p.m. ET; TBS, Universo, Max, Peacock). The third-place match will take place prior to the final at 4 p.m. ET.


USA – Kiko Seike (Momoko Tanikawa), 1st minute: Momoko Tanikawa played Seike in with a long ball down the right flank. She dribbled at pace into the box and fired a low shot from about 10 yards out that bounced off the left post and into the back of the net. It was one of the quickest goals the USWNT has ever allowed. USA 0, JPN 1

USA – Jaedyn Shaw (Sam Coffey), 21st minute: Coffey picked a defender’s pocket on a team press and found Shaw at the top of the box with a pass that split two defenders. Shaw then turned and fired a powerful strike low and into the left corner from 20 yards out to equalize. USA 1, JPN 1

USA – Lindsey Horan (Penalty Kick), 77th minute: The U.S. earned a penalty kick following a foul on Sophia Smith inside the box. Horan stepped up to the spot and beat the goalkeeper with a low and firm shot to take the lead that it would hold.  USA 2, JPN 1

Additional Notes:

  • Jaedyn Shaw’s goal marked her fifth in as many starts and her seventh career goal, while extending her team-leading tally to five goals in 2024.
  • With her goal, Shaw now has 7 goals in her first 11 caps. Christen Press is the only player in USWNT history with more goals through 11 games (8).
  • Lindsey Horan’s goal marked her 35th international goal and her fourth of 2024.
  • Catarina Macario made her first appearance for the USWNT in 725 days, last taking the field for the USWNT on April 12, 2022, when she netted a brace in the USA's win over Uzbekistan in Chester, Pa. This was her 18th cap.
  • The match marked Mallory Swanson’s 20th game all-time at the SheBelieves Cup, breaking a tie with Becky Sauerbrunn for the most games played in SheBelieves Cup history.
  • Despite playing in only six matches in 2023, Swanson led the USWNT in scoring with seven goals last year, four of which came at the SheBelieves Cup as she was named the Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP. She became the first player in tournament history to score in every game at a single SheBelieves Cup.
  • With her four goals in the 2023 tournament, Swanson passed Megan Rapinoe to become the all-time leading scorer in SheBelieves Cup history with eight goals in 19 games.
  • Overall, the USA leads the all-time series against Japan with a record of 31W-1L-8D, with its lone loss in the series came during the 2012 Algarve Cup. Since then, the USA is unbeaten in the last 13 meetings between the teams, with nine wins and four draws in that span, including a 2-1 win in the 2012 Olympic Final and a 5-2 victory in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final.
  • This was the USWNT’s 10th match all-time in the state of Georgia and first since September 18, 2016, when the USA defeated the Netherlands 3-1 in a friendly at the Atlanta Dome. The U.S. has now won all of its matches in the Peach state by a combined score of 37-5.


Match: United States Women’s National Team vs. Japan Women’s National Team 
Date: April 6, 2024 
Competition: 2024 SheBelieves Cup 
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Atlanta, Ga.  
Attendance: 50,644 (USWNT attendance record for friendly match on home soil) 
Kickoff: 12:37 p.m. ET 
Weather: 56 degrees, mostly sunny  

Scoring Summary:    1         2          F 
USA                              1          1          2
JPN                              1          0          1 

JPN – Kiko Seike (Momoko Tanikawa)                     1st minute
USA – Jaedyn Shaw (Sam Coffey)                          21
USA  – Lindsey Horan (Penalty Kick)                     77  

USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 23-Emily Fox (20-Casey Krueger, 63), 12-Tierna Davidson, 4-Naomi Girma (2-Abby Dahlkemper, 18), 3-Jenna Nighswonger; 17-Sam Coffey (15-Korbin Albert, 78), 10-Lindsey Horan (Capt.), 8-Jaedyn Shaw (14-Emily Sonnett, 63); 22-Trinity Rodman (11-Sophia Smith, 63), 13-Alex Morgan (7-Catarina Macario, 78), 9-Mallory Swanson (19-Crystal Dunn,78)  
Substitutions Not Used: 18-Casey Murphy, 21-Jane Campbell, 5-Olivia Moultrie, 6-Eva Gaetino, 16-Lily Yohannes 
Head coach: Twila Kilgore 

JPN: 1-Ayaka Yamashita; 2-Risa Shimizu, 4-Saki Kumaga (Capt.), 3-Moeka Minami, 5-Miyabi Moriya (6-Hina Sugita, 46); 19-Momoko Tanikawa (20-Toko Koga, 46), 10-Fuka Nagano; 17-Kiko Seike (22-Maika Hamano, 46), 14-Yui Hasegawa, 15-Aoba Fujino (7-Hinata Miyazawa,87); 9-Rika Ueki (11-Mina Tanaka, 70) 
Substitutions Not Used: 18-Chika Hirao, 21-Shu Ohba, 8-Mami Ueno, 12-Rion Ishikawa, 13-Hikaru Kitagawa, 16-Honoka Hayashi 
Head coach: Futoshi Ikeda 

Stats Summary: USA / JPN 
Shots: 18 / 6     
Shots on Goal: 7 / 5
Saves: 4 / 5
Corner Kicks: 2 / 4
Fouls: 7 / 16
Offside: 1 / 4  

Misconduct Summary: 
JPN – Moeka Minami (Caution)                     29th minute
JPN – Riko Ueki (Caution)                             45 +1  

Referee: Myriam Marcotte (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Marie-Han Gagnon Chretien (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Melissa Snedden (CAN) 
4th Official: Natalie Simon (USA) 

U.S. Soccer Insiders Woman of the Match: Jaedyn Shaw