Sawa at the 2015 World Cup
|Full name||Homare Sawa|
|Date of birth||6 September 1978|
|Place of birth||Fuchū, Tokyo, Japan|
|Height||1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)|
|2004–2008||Nippon TV Beleza||85||(47)|
|2009||→ Nippon TV Beleza (loan)||4||(2)|
|2010||Nippon TV Beleza||0||(0)|
|2011–2015||INAC Kobe Leonessa||94||(12)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Homare Sawa (澤 穂希, Sawa Homare, born 6 September 1978) is a former Japanese professional women's football player. She captained the Japan national team to 2011 World Cup title and the silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. In 2012, she was named the 2011 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year. She previously played for the Atlanta Beat of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA), Nippon TV Beleza, the Washington Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), and INAC Kobe Leonessa in the Nadeshiko League Division 1.
Sawa was born in Fuchū, Tokyo on 6 September 1978. She began playing football at the age of six. While watching her older brother train, she was invited by his coach to join the boys' team on the pitch.
In 1991, long considered Japan's finest female footballer, Sawa was promoted to Yomiuri Beleza (later NTV Beleza) from youth team by manager Kazuhiko Takemoto. She made her debut in L.League, Japan's highest domestic league, at the young age of 12.She played as forward and played 136 matches and scored 79 goals in League. She was also selected Best Eleven 5 times (1993, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998).
With the birth of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) in 2001, Sawa found herself playing in the highest-level professional women's league in the United States, for the Atlanta Beat. She scored the first goal in the club's history, and was a centerpiece of the Beat's three seasons in the league, helping them into the playoffs each year. Despite her diminutive stature at 5'5" (165 cm) tall and 121 lbs. (55 kg), she held her own with the mostly larger and more physical players, and was regularly among the team and league leaders in fouls taken.[ citation needed ]
Following the WUSA's demise in 2003, Sawa returned to Japan, where she played with powerhouse Nippon TV Beleza. In 2004, she was named Women's Player of the Year for the Asian Football Confederation.[ citation needed ] She played the club until 2008. The club won L.League championship for 4 years in a row (2005-2008). She also was selected L.League MVP awards in 2006 and 2008.
On 24 September 2008, Sawa was selected by the Washington Freedom in the first round of the 2008 WPS International Draft. She was a fixture in the Freedom midfield through the league's first two seasons in 2009 and 2010.
Sawa returned to Japan temporarily at the end of the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer season, and joined Nippon TV Beleza on loan.At the end of 2010 Women's Professional Soccer season, she returned to Nippon TV Beleza.
In January 2011, Sawa moved to INAC Kobe Leonessa due to financial strain at Nippon TV Beleza, with international players; Shinobu Ohno, Yukari Kinga, and Chiaki Minamiyama. The club won the L.League championship 3 years in a row (2011-2013). On December 16, 2015, she announced her intent to retire at the end of the 2015 season. At the 2015 Empress's Cup, Sawa's final tournament as a player, INAC Kobe Leonessa reached the final. In the final against Albirex Niigata on December 27, she scored the lone goal of the match in the 78th minute to secure the championship for her side.
On 6 December 1993, at age 15, Sawa made her Japanese international debut, scoring four goals in her first ever match, a win against the Philippines. She has subsequently remained a fixture for the Japanese national team, participating in the last six FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments and the 1996, 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics on her way to a Japanese record 201 caps, and a Japanese female-best 81 international goals, including a hat trick in a 2011 World Cup group stage match against Mexico.
Sawa led the Japanese national team as captain to a world championship victory at the 2011 World Cup . After a 2–2 tie in front of a sellout crowd in Frankfurt, Germany (with one goal by Sawa in the 117th minute), Japan won the penalty shootout 3–1, defeating the United States to win their first ever World Cup.Sawa was also awarded the Golden Boot for being the tournament's leading scorer with five goals and the Golden Ball for being the tournament's MVP.
On 9 January 2012, Sawa was awarded the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year in Zurich, Switzerland.She announced her immediate retirement from international football in August 2012, after helping Japan win a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
Sawa returned to international competitionin 2014 to help Japan win the 2014 Asian Cup, scoring her 82nd international goal in the process. In 2015, she returned to the national team from injury after a one-year absence and marked the occasion by scoring the winning goal, on an assist by Aya Miyama, in a warm-up match against New Zealand. Sawa and Brazil's Formiga became the first footballers to appear for a record sixth World Cup at the 2015 World Cup in Canada. However Japan went on to lose 5-2 to the US in the final.
|Team||Season||League||Domestic league||Domestic playoffs||Total|
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Total|
|Nippon TV Beleza||2004||6||5||-|
|Nippon TV Beleza||2009||4||2||4||1||-||8||3|
|Nippon TV Beleza||2010||-||1||0||-||1||0|
|INAC Kobe Leonessa||2011||16||4||4||0||-||20||4|
|Japan national team|
|1||6 December 1993||Sarawak State Stadium, Kuching, Malaysia||Unknown||15–0||1993 AFC Women's Championship|
|2||6 December 1993||Sarawak State Stadium, Kuching, Malaysia||Unknown||15–0||1993 AFC Women's Championship|
|3||6 December 1993||Sarawak State Stadium, Kuching, Malaysia||Unknown||15–0||1993 AFC Women's Championship|
|4||6 December 1993||Sarawak State Stadium, Kuching, Malaysia||Unknown||15–0||1993 AFC Women's Championship|
|5||20 August 1994||Slovakia||Unknown||2–2||Slovakia international Women's Cup|
|6||10 July 1996||Fort Lauderdale, United States||Unknown||2–2||Friendly match|
|7||10 July 1996||Fort Lauderdale, United States||Unknown||2–2||Friendly match|
|8||15 July 1996||Fort Lauderdale, United States||Unknown||1–3||Friendly match|
|9||5 December 1997||Guangzhou, China||Unknown||21–0||1997 AFC Women's Championship|
|10||5 December 1997||Guangzhou, China||Unknown||21–0||1997 AFC Women's Championship|
|11||5 December 1997||Guangzhou, China||Unknown||21–0||1997 AFC Women's Championship|
|12||5 December 1997||Guangzhou, China||Unknown||21–0||1997 AFC Women's Championship|
|13||5 December 1997||Guangzhou, China||Unknown||21–0||1997 AFC Women's Championship|
|14||5 December 1997||Guangzhou, China||Unknown||21–0||1997 AFC Women's Championship|
|15||5 December 1997||Guangzhou, China||Unknown||21–0||1997 AFC Women's Championship|
|16||7 December 1997||Guangzhou, China||1–0||1–0||1997 AFC Women's Championship|
|17||9 December 1997||Guangzhou, China||Unknown||9–0||1997 AFC Women's Championship|
|18||9 December 1997||Guangzhou, China||Unknown||9–0||1997 AFC Women's Championship|
|19||9 December 1997||Guangzhou, China||Unknown||9–0||1997 AFC Women's Championship|
|20||14 December 1997||Guangzhou, China||1–0||2–0||1997 AFC Women's Championship|
|21||14 December 1997||Guangzhou, China||2–0||2–0||1997 AFC Women's Championship|
|22||8 December 1998||Bangkok, Thailand||Unknown||6–0||Football at the 1998 Asian Games|
|23||12 December 1998||Bangkok, Thailand||Unknown||8–0||Football at the 1998 Asian Games|
|24||12 December 1998||Bangkok, Thailand||Unknown||8–0||Football at the 1998 Asian Games|
|25||12 December 1998||Bangkok, Thailand||Unknown||8–0||Football at the 1998 Asian Games|
|26||17 December 2000||Phoenix, United States||1–1||1–1||Friendly match|
|27||4 December 2001||Taipei, Chinese Taipei||Unknown||14–0||2001 AFC Women's Championship|
|28||4 December 2001||Taipei, Chinese Taipei||Unknown||14–0||2001 AFC Women's Championship|
|29||4 December 2001||Taipei, Chinese Taipei||Unknown||14–0||2001 AFC Women's Championship|
|30||4 December 2001||Taipei, Chinese Taipei||Unknown||14–0||2001 AFC Women's Championship|
|31||8 December 2001||Taipei, Chinese Taipei||Unknown||11–0||2001 AFC Women's Championship|
|32||8 December 2001||Taipei, Chinese Taipei||Unknown||11–0||2001 AFC Women's Championship|
|33||9 April 2002||Poitiers, France||2–1||3–2||Friendly match|
|34||9 April 2002||Poitiers, France||3–1||3–2||Friendly match|
|35||4 October 2002||Changwon, South Korea||3–0||3–0||Football at the 2002 Asian Games|
|36||7 October 2002||Masan, South Korea||0–1||0–1||Football at the 2002 Asian Games|
|37||9 October 2002||Changwon, South Korea||0–2||2–2||Football at the 2002 Asian Games|
|38||9 June 2003||Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||7–0||15–0||2003 AFC Women's Championship|
|39||11 June 2003||Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||Unknown||7–0||2003 AFC Women's Championship|
|40||11 June 2003||Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||Unknown||7–0||2003 AFC Women's Championship|
|41||13 June 2003||Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||Unknown||7–0||2003 AFC Women's Championship|
|42||15 June 2003||Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||Unknown||5–0||2003 AFC Women's Championship|
|43||15 June 2003||Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||Unknown||5–0||2003 AFC Women's Championship|
|44||12 July 2003||National Stadium, Tokyo, Japan||1–0||2–0||2003 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification Play-offs|
|45||20 September 2003||Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, United States||1–0||6–0||2003 FIFA Women's World Cup|
|46||20 September 2003||Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, United States||2–0||6–0||2003 FIFA Women's World Cup|
|47||27 September 2003||Gillette Stadium, Boston, United States||0–1||3–1||2003 FIFA Women's World Cup|
|48||18 April 2004||National Stadium, Tokyo, Japan||Unknown||7–0||Football at the 2004 Summer Olympics qualification|
|49||18 December 2004||Nishigaoka Stadium, Tokyo, Japan||6–0||11–0||Kirin Challenge Cup|
|50||21 May 2005||Nishigaoka Stadium, Tokyo, Japan||1–0||6–0||Kirin Challenge Cup|
|51||21 May 2005||Nishigaoka Stadium, Tokyo, Japan||3–0||6–0||Kirin Challenge Cup|
|52||28 May 2005||Russia||Unknown||0–2||Friendly match|
|53||10 March 2006||Italy||Unknown||4–0||Friendly match|
|54||19 July 2006||Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide, Australia||1–0||5–0||2006 AFC Women's Asian Cup|
|55||19 July 2006||Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide, Australia||2–0||5–0||2006 AFC Women's Asian Cup|
|56||19 July 2006||Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide, Australia||4–1||11–1||2006 AFC Women's Asian Cup|
|57||19 July 2006||Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide, Australia||9–1||11–1||2006 AFC Women's Asian Cup|
|58||30 November 2006||Grand Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar||10–0||13–0||Football at the 2006 Asian Games|
|59||30 November 2006||Grand Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar||13–0||13–0||Football at the 2006 Asian Games|
|60||10 March 2007||National Stadium, Tokyo, Japan||1–0||2–0||2007 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification Play-off|
|61||7 April 2007||Tokyo, Japan||1–0||2–0||Football at the 2008 Summer Olympics qualification|
|62||15 April 2007||Thailand||0–1||0–4||Football at the 2008 Summer Olympics qualification|
|63||3 June 2007||Tokyo, Japan||6–0||6–1||Football at the 2008 Summer Olympics qualification|
|64||4 August 2007||Vietnam||0–7||0–8||Football at the 2008 Summer Olympics qualification|
|65||12 August 2007||Tokyo, Japan||1–0||5–0||Football at the 2008 Summer Olympics qualification|
|66||18 Feb 2008||Chongqing, China||3–2||3–2||2008 EAFF Women's Football Championship|
|67||5 July 2008||Thống Nhất Stadium, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam||1–0||1–3||2008 AFC Women's Asian Cup|
|68||8 July 2008||Thống Nhất Stadium, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam||3–0||3–0||2008 AFC Women's Asian Cup|
|69||24 July 2008||Kobe, Japan||Unknown||3–0||Friendly Match|
|70||6 August 2008||Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Center Stadium, Qinhuangdao, China||2–2||2–2||2008 Summer Olympics|
|71||12 August 2008||Shanghai Stadium, Shanghai, China||1–4||1–5||2008 Summer Olympics|
|72||15 August 2008||Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Center Stadium, Qinhuangdao, China||0–1||0–2||2008 Summer Olympics|
|73||20 May 2010||Chengdu Sports Centre, Chengdu, China||2–0||8–0||2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup|
|74||20 May 2010||Chengdu Sports Centre, Chengdu, China||7–0||8–0||2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup|
|75||30 May 2010||Chengdu Sports Centre, Chengdu, China||2–0||2–0||2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup|
|76||1 July 2011||BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany||1–0||4–0||2011 FIFA Women's World Cup|
|77||1 July 2011||BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany||3–0||4–0||2011 FIFA Women's World Cup|
|78||1 July 2011||BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany||4–0||4–0||2011 FIFA Women's World Cup|
|79||13 July 2011||Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt, Germany||2–1||3–1||2011 FIFA Women's World Cup|
|80||17 July 2011||Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt, Germany||2–2||2–2 (3–1 p.s.o)||2011 FIFA Women's World Cup|
|81||11 July 2012||National Stadium, Tokyo, Japan||3–0||3–0||Friendly Match (Kirin Challenge Cup 2012)|
|82||22 May 2014||Thống Nhất Stadium, Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam||1–0||2–1||2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup|
|83||24 May 2015||Kagawa Marugame Stadium, Kagawa, Japan||1–0||1–0||Friendly Match (MS&AD Nadeshiko Cup 2015)|
Sawa has competed in six FIFA Women's World Cups (Sweden 1995, USA 1999, USA 2003, China 2007, Germany 2011, and Canada 2015); she and Brazil's Formiga, who competed at the same Women's World Cups, are the only players of either sex to appear in six World Cup final tournaments. Sawa has also represented Japan in four Olympics: Atlanta 1996, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012. In all, she played 41 matches and scored 11 goals at those ten global tournaments.Sawa was a member of the Japanese teams that won the 2011 Women's World Cup, and were runners-up at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2015 Women's World Cup.
|Key (expand for notes on “world cup and olympic goals”)|
|Location||Geographic location of the venue where the competition occurred|
|Lineup||Start – played entire match|
on minute (off player) – substituted on at the minute indicated, and player was substituted off at the same time
|Min||The minute in the match the goal was scored. For list that include caps, blank indicates played in the match but did not score a goal.|
|Assist/pass||The ball was passed by the player, which assisted in scoring the goal. This column depends on the availability and source of this information.|
|penalty or pk||Goal scored on penalty-kick which was awarded due to foul by opponent. (Goals scored in penalty-shoot-out, at the end of a tied match after extra-time, are not included.)|
|Score||The match score after the goal was scored.|
|Result||The final score.|
|aet||The score at the end of extra-time; the match was tied at the end of 90' regulation|
|pso||Penalty-shoot-out score shown in parenthesis; the match was tied at the end of extra-time|
|Orange background color – Olympic women's football tournament|
|Blue background color – FIFA women's world cup final tournament|
|7||1999-06-19||San Jose, CA||Start|
|4||19||2008-08-06||Qinhuangdao||Start; ( c )||86||2–2|
|Bronze medal match|
|25||2011-06-27||Bochum||Start; ( c )|
|27||2011-07-05||Augsburg||Start; ( c )|
|28||2011-07-09||Wolfsburg||Start; ( c )|
|10||29||2011-07-13||Frankfurt||Start; ( c )||60||2–1|
|11||30||2011-07-17||Frankfurt||Start; ( c )||117||2–2|
2–2(pso 3–1) (W)
|Gold medal match|
|Round of 16|
On 11 August 2015 Sawa announced her marriage without naming her husband. The next day, when asked, she said that her husband was former Vegalta Sendai player Hiroaki Tsujikami.On 10 January 2017, it was announced that she had given birth to a baby girl.
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