Category Archives: Rival Watch

Notable news and analysis about the USWNT’s key rivals: Brazil, Germany Japan, and Sweden.

Olympics: Quarterfinal Matches Round-Up

A slightly belated listing of the quarterfinal results. highlights are available for all four matches. Plus, shot plots for the United States vs. New Zealand match… Continue reading

Olympics: Round-Up of Group Matches on July 31st Plus Notes

Again, the vital statistics, with group tables. Plus the knock-out stage schedule…

(note: some sources are not yet available, post will be updated) Continue reading

Olympics: Preview Notes – Brazil (Group E)

BRAZIL’S ONCE DAZZLING FORM HAS FIZZLED. A team that was a revelation in 2003, a difficult obstacle in 2004, a thorn in 2007, and a worthy opponent in 2008, became a sad villain in 2011. And, with disappointing results at the 2011 Women’s World Cup and the 2011 Pan-American Games, Brazil’s federation sacked head coach Kleiton Lima and brought back Jorge Barcellos, who led Brazil to a silver medal in 2008, and went on to coach the WPS’ St. Louis Athletica. Continue reading

Olympics: Preview Notes – Sweden (Group F)

DON’T COUNT THEM OUT — Down a player due to a dubious red card in the consolation match at last year’s Women’s World Cup, Sweden found a way to scoring a go-ahead goal and hold onto the lead to claim third place. This year, Sweden finds itself without several key players due to injuries. But, among the healthy is their star forward, Lotta Schelin. And, that is cause of concern for any defense. Continue reading

Olympics: Nadeshiko Japan Announces Its Roster

Early Monday, head coach Norio Sasaki announced Nadeshiko Japan’s roster for the  women’s soccer tournament at this year’s Summer Olympics in Great Britain (JFA, Japanese version). All eighteen players on the primary roster were part of Japan’s 2011 World Champion squad, including Karina Maruyama, who injured her knee during Olympic qualifying last September. Also making the squad are defender Azusa Iwashimizu and U-20 forward Mana Iwabuchi, who both missed the Volvo Winners Cup in Sweden due to minor injuries (left ankle and foot, respectively). Not among the primary players or alternates is defender Rumi Utsugi, who was injured during Japan’s most recent friendly with the United States. Continue reading

Olympics: Brazil’s WNT Announces Its Roster (Plus Other Notes)

On Friday, head coach Jorge Barcellos announced Brazil’s roster for the women’s soccer tournament at the upcoming Summer Olympics in Great Britain (, in Portuguese).  Only one player, defender Bruna Benites, was not on the roster for last year’s Women’s World Cup.  Neither Gabriela Maria Zanotti Demoner, who played collegiate soccer at Franklin Pierce University, nor Rafaelle Leone Carvalho Souza, who currently plays for the University of Missippi (Ole Miss) are on the eighteen player roster. The roster includes one U-20 player, forward Thaís Guedes, who also played in the 2011 Women’s World Cup. Continue reading

Opponent Watch: Japan’s Travel Roster For Friendlies in Sweden

Early on Tuesday, Japan released its roster for the two friendlies versus the United States and Sweden that will be held in Sweden in mid-June as part of the Volvo Winners Cup. Twenty-one players were called up, including Homare Sawa and Mana Iwabuchi who were both recovering from medical issues. One uncapped player was called up, Ami Otaki, who finished university at the end of last year and now plays for UEFA Women’s Champion League champions Olympique Lyonnais in France.

Japan and the United States WNT play each other on June 18th at 13:00 local time in Sweden.

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