Open main menu

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.

Homare Sawa
澤 穂希
Homare Sawa 2015 (cropped).jpg
Sawa at the 2015 World Cup
Personal information
Full name Homare Sawa
Date of birth (1978-09-06) 6 September 1978 (age 40)
Place of birth Fuchū, Tokyo, Japan
Height 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)[1]
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1999 NTV Beleza 136 (79)
1999–2000 Denver Diamonds
2001–2003 Atlanta Beat 55 (13)
2004–2008 Nippon TV Beleza 85 (47)
2009–2010 Washington Freedom 41 (6)
2009Nippon TV Beleza (loan) 4 (2)
2010 Nippon TV Beleza 0 (0)
2011–2015 INAC Kobe Leonessa 94 (12)
Total 415 (159)
National team
1993–2015 Japan 205 (83)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Contents

Early lifeEdit

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.[2]

Club careerEdit

NTV BelezaEdit

In 1991, long considered Japan's finest female footballer, Sawa was promoted to Yomiuri SC Ladies 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.[3] She played as forward and played 136 matches and scored 79 goals in League. She was also elected Best Eleven 5 times (1993, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998).

Atlanta BeatEdit

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]

Nippon TV BelezaEdit

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 elected L.League MVP awards in 2006 and 2008.

Washington FreedomEdit

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.

Nippon TV Beleza and INAC Kobe LeonessaEdit

Sawa returned to Japan temporarily at the end of the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer season, and joined Nippon TV Beleza on loan.[4] 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.[5]

National team careerEdit

 
Sawa captaining Japan in the 2011 World Cup

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.[m 1]

 
Yuki Ogimi (17) scores for Japan against the United States off a pass from Homare Sawa (10) as Kelley O'Hara (5) defends and Hope Solo (1) attempts to save.

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.[6] She announced her immediate retirement from international football in August 2012, after helping Japan win a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics.[7]

Sawa returned to international competition[8] in 2014 to help Japan win the 2014 Asian Cup, scoring her 82nd international goal in the process.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

Career statisticsEdit

Club careerEdit

As of 11 November 2012
Team Season League Domestic league Domestic playoffs Total
Apps Starts Minutes Goals Assists Apps Starts Minutes Goals Assists Apps Starts Minutes Goals Assists
Washington Freedom 2009 WPS 20 20 1800 3 0 1 1 90 0 0 21 21 1890 3 0
Total 20 20 1800 3 0 1 1 90 0 0 21 21 1890 3 0
Career total 20 20 1800 3 0 1 1 90 0 0 21 21 1890 3 0
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Yomiuri Beleza 1991 13 5 -
1992 20 3 -
1993 17 5 -
1994 17 11 -
1995 18 16 -
1996 17 14 -
1997 18 14 -
1998 16 11 -
1999 0 0 -
Total 136 79 -
Denver Diamonds 1999
2000
Total
Atlanta Beat 2001 19 3 - - 19 3
2002 21 7 - - 21 7
2003 15 3 - - 15 3
Total 55 13 - - 55 13
Nippon TV Beleza 2004 6 5 -
2005 21 16 5 3 - 26 19
2006 17 13 3 2 - 20 15
2007 20 6 4 5 2 0 26 11
2008 21 7 4 1 - 25 8
Total 85 47 2 0
Washington Freedom 2009 20 3 - - 20 3
Total 20 3 - - 20 3
Nippon TV Beleza 2009 4 2 4 1 - 8 3
Total 4 2 4 1 - 8 3
Washington Freedom 2010 21 3 - - 21 3
Total 21 3 - - 21 3
Nippon TV Beleza 2010 - 1 0 - 1 0
Total - 1 0 - 1 0
INAC Kobe Leonessa 2011 16 4 4 0 - 20 4
2012 17 2 3 0 4 0 24 2
2013 6 0
Total 33 6 7 0 10 0 50 6
Career total

National teamEdit

[12][13]

Japan national team
Year Apps Goals
1993 4 4
1994 6 1
1995 8 0
1996 10 3
1997 7 13
1998 10 4
1999 8 0
2000 1 1
2001 8 6
2002 8 5
2003 12 10
2004 8 2
2005 9 3
2006 17 7
2007 14 6
2008 15 7
2009 1 0
2010 15 3
2011 14 5
2012 10 1
2013 2 0
2014 8 1
2015 8 1
Total 205 83

International goalsEdit

Matches and goals scored at World Cup and Olympic tournamentsEdit

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.[14] 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

off minute (on player) – substituted off at the minute indicated, and player was substituted on at the same time
(c) – captain

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.

W – match was won
L – match was lost to opponent
D – match was drawn
(W) – penalty-shoot-out was won after a drawn match
(L) – penalty-shoot-out was lost after a drawn match

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

HonorsEdit

Personal lifeEdit

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.[15] On 10 January 2017, it was announced that she had given birth to a baby girl.[16]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 2015 World Cup
  2. ^ "Homare Sawa". 2012 London Olympics Committee. Archived from the original on 2 May 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Star bio: Japan's Homare Sawa". CBC Sports. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  4. ^ nikkansports.com(in Japanese)
  5. ^ Match Report at Japan Football Association(in Japanese)
  6. ^ "Japan's Homare Sawa is FIFA women's player of the year". BBC News. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  7. ^ "Japan's Sawa set to quit international football". Reuters. 11 August 2012. Archived from the original on 28 May 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Lesser lights eye share of the spotlight". FIFA. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Matildas fall short in Women's Asian Cup final". The Guardian. 25 May 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Sawa returns with winning goal as Nadeshiko beat New Zealand". The Japan Times. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Japan legend Sawa makes cut for sixth World Cup". Reuters. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  12. ^ Japan Football Association(in Japanese)
  13. ^ List of match in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 at Japan Football Association (in Japanese)
  14. ^ "FIFA Player Statistics: Homare SAWA". FIFA.
  15. ^ "Sawa breaks silence about husband". The Japan Times. Kyodo. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Ex-Nadeshiko star Sawa gives birth to girl". The Japan Times. Kyodo. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
Match reports
  1. ^ a b "FIFA Women's World Cup: Germany 2011: MATCH Report: Japan – Mexico". FIFA.
  2. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: Sweden 1995: MATCH Report: Germany – Japan". FIFA.
  3. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: Sweden 1995: MATCH Report: Brazil – Japan". FIFA.
  4. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: Sweden 1995: MATCH Report: Sweden – Japan". FIFA.
  5. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament Atlanta 1996: Match Report: Germany – Japan". FIFA.
  6. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament Atlanta 1996: Match Report: Brazil – Japan". FIFA.
  7. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament Atlanta 1996: Match Report: Norway – Japan". FIFA.
  8. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: USA 1999: MATCH Report: Japan – Canada". FIFA.
  9. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: USA 1999: MATCH Report: Japan – Russia". FIFA.
  10. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: USA 1999: MATCH Report: Norway – Japan". FIFA.
  11. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: USA 2003: MATCH Report: Japan – Argentina". FIFA.
  12. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: USA 2003: MATCH Report: Germany – Japan". FIFA.
  13. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: USA 2003: MATCH Report: Canada – Japan". FIFA.
  14. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament Athens 2004: Match Report: Sweden – Japan". FIFA.
  15. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament Athens 2004: Match Report: Japan – Nigeria". FIFA.
  16. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament Athens 2004: Match Report: USA – Japan". FIFA.
  17. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: China PR 2007: MATCH Report: Japan – England". FIFA.
  18. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: China PR 2007: MATCH Report: Argentina – Japan". FIFA.
  19. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: China PR 2007: MATCH Report: Germany – Japan". FIFA.
  20. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008: Match Report: Japan – New Zealand". FIFA.
  21. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008: Match Report: USA – Japan". FIFA.
  22. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008: Match Report: Norway – Japan". FIFA.
  23. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008: Match Report: China PR – Japan". FIFA.
  24. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008: Match Report: Japan – USA". FIFA.
  25. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008: Match Report: Germany – Japan". FIFA.
  26. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: Germany 2011: MATCH Report: Japan – New Zealand". FIFA.
  27. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: Germany 2011: MATCH Report: England – Japan". FIFA.
  28. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: Germany 2011: MATCH Report: Germany – Japan". FIFA.
  29. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: Germany 2011: MATCH Report: Japan – Sweden". FIFA.
  30. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: Germany 2011: MATCH Report: Japan – USA". FIFA.
  31. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament London 2012: Match Report: Japan – Canada". FIFA.
  32. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament London 2012: Match Report: Japan – Sweden". FIFA.
  33. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament London 2012: Match Report: Brazil – Japan". FIFA.
  34. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament London 2012: Match Report: France – Japan". FIFA.
  35. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament London 2012: Match Report: USA – Japan". FIFA.
  36. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: Canada 2015: MATCH Report: Japan – Switzerland". FIFA.
  37. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: Canada 2015: MATCH Report: Japan – Cameroon". FIFA.
  38. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: Canada 2015: MATCH Report: Ecuador – Japan". FIFA.
  39. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: Canada 2015: MATCH Report: Japan – Netherlands". FIFA.
  40. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: Canada 2015: MATCH Report: Australia – Japan". FIFA.
  41. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup: Canada 2015: MATCH Report: USA – Japan". FIFA.

External linksEdit