Seven NWSL players across four teams will be in action tonight as Brazil faces Japan in the opening game of the Tournament of Nations at CenturyLink Stadium in Seattle, Washington (7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN3). Brazil is led by Orlando Pride forward Marta, who is tied for third in the league with eight goals and tied for second in the NWSL with four assists.
For Brazil: Marta, Camila, Monica (Orlando Pride), Andressinha, Bruna Benites (Houston Dash) and Debinha (North Carolina Courage). For Japan: Rumi Utsugi of Seattle Reign FC is the lone NWSL player on the roster.
After finishing second at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada, Japan failed to qualify for the Olympics and is now led by a new head coach, Asako Takakura. “It has been a bit more than one year with the new coach and the team is growing in technics, physical, strategy. The team has good balance between players which continue to increase our level,” Seattle Reign FC midfielder Rumi Utsugi told NWSL Media this week.
Brazil will be facing the team that bounced from the 2012 Olympics (2-0 in the quarterfinals) for the first time since that game. That’s something that is still fresh on the minds of Marta and and Houston Dash defender Bruna Benites when they were interviewed this week:
How to Watch
Brazil vs. Japan will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the ESPN app at 7:15 p.m. ET/4:15 p.m. PT.
What to Watch For
Utsugi will be playing her first match of the Tournament of Nations in front of the home Seattle crowd. Earlier this week she told NWSL Media, “It is exciting that Japan will play the first game in Seattle where I play usually. I hope really that the fans, teammates and staffs will come and enjoy watching the game of Japan vs. Brazil. It is also an opportunity for them to discover the Japanese style of play. Of course, I want to win this game.”
Andressinha was named Player of the Week in Week 13 and the Dash entered the break on a six-game unbeaten streak. “I am honored to receive that recognition, but it was a team effort. We have earned a lot of important points at home and now we will try to do the same when we return. I feel good, I am excited to join the national team and play against some of the best teams in the world. We open with Japan, a very talented team and we look forward to the whole tournament,” she told NWSL Media.Social Highlights
— CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) July 26, 2017
Brazil Women’s National Team 2017 Tournament of Nations Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bárbara (SE Kindermann, Brazil), Dani Neuhaus (Santos, Brazil)
DEFENDERS (7): Bruna Benites (Houston Dash), Jucinara (Corinthians/Audax, Brazil), Leticia (SC Sand, Germany), Maurine (Santos, Brazil), Monica (Orlando Pride), Andreia Rosa (Avaldsnes IL, Norway), Tamires (Fortuna Hjørring, Denmark)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Andressinha (Houston Dash), Camila (Orlando Pride), Debinha (North Carolina Courage), Djenifer (Iranduba, Brazil), Fran (Avaldsnes IL, Norway), Maria (Santos, Brazil), Gabi Nunes (Corinthians/Audax, Brazil)
FORWARDS (4): Chu (São José EC), Ludmila (São José EC), Marta (Orlando Pride), Bia Zaneratto (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels, South Korea)
Japan Women’s National Team 2017 Tournament of Nations Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sakiko Ikeda (Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan), Ayaka Saitoh (Vegalta Sendai, Japan), Ayaka Yamashita (Nippon TV Beleza, Japan)
DEFENDERS (7): Nana Ichise (Vegalta Sendai, Japan), Hikaru Kitagawa (Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan), Kaede Nakamura (Albirex Niigata, Japan), Ayumi Oya (Ehime FC, Japan), Riho Sakamoto (AC Nagano Parceiro, Japan), Aya Sameshima (INAC Kobe Leonessa, Japan), Hikari Takagi (Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara, Japan)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Madoka Haji (Iga FC Kunoichi, Japan), Yui Hasegawa (Nippon TV Beleza), Emi Nakajima (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Yu Nakasato (Nippon TV Beleza), Hikaru Naomoto (Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan), Mizuho Sakaguchi (Nippon TV Beleza), Rin Sumida (Nippon TV Beleza), Rumi Utsugi (Seattle Reign)
FORWARDS (5): Yuka Momiki (Nippon TV Beleza), Yuika Sugasawa (Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan), Mina Tanaka (Nippon TV Beleza), Shiho Tomari (AC Nagano Parceiro), Kumi Yokoyama (FFC Frankfurt, Germany)
Read our full Tournament of Nations preview, featuring player interviews and more.
NWSL fans can follow all the Tournament of Nations action via the NWSL website and mobile app, as well as using the hashtag #ToN2017 and following the league’s social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
To follow Brazil vs. Japan on Twitter, use the #BRAvJPN hashtag.