The 2019 World Cup features the world’s best women’s soccer players. Coincidentally, players on four different World Cup rosters also played at the National Sports Center. World Cup players Aya Sameshima (Japan), Saki Kumagai (Japan), Nana Ichise (Japan), Rikako Kobayashi (Japan), Christine Sinclair (Canada), Caroline Seger (Sweden), Nilla Fischer (Sweden) and Lisa De Vanna (Australia) all played at the NSC at various times over the years.
Aya Sameshima, Saki Kumagai, Nana Ichise and Rikako Kobayashi played in USA CUP at the NSC before they were members of the 2019 Japanese Women’s National Team. All four members played with Tokiwagi Gakuen High School. Ichise and Kobayashi played in the 2013 USA CUP.
Sameshima and Kumagai played together in previous World Cups, winning in 2011. Japan defeated the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) in the 2011 World Cup in a penalty shootout. In 2012, the U.S. beat Japan in the Olympic games 2-1 for the gold medal. Sameshima and Kumagai led Japan to a second consecutive World Cup Championship game in 2015, but lost 2-5 to a dominant USWNT. Sameshima, Kumagai and Ichise are usual starters for Japan.
Canada’s national team roster includes soccer legend Christine Sinclair. Sinclair played at the NSC in an international friendly vs. Sweden in 2006. Canada won 4-2. Sinclair, who headlines Canada’s roster, is four goals away from breaking the all-time goal scoring record in men’s and women’s international soccer. The current record of 184 is held by former USWNT player Abby Wambach. Sinclair has 181.
Caroline Seger and Nilla Fischer played for Sweden in an international friendly vs. the USWNT at the NSC in 2006. This was the last time the USWNT played in the NSC Stadium. In thrilling fashion, the U.S. won 3-2 after Kristine Lilly’s last-second goal. Seger, Sweden’s captain since 2009, and Fischer have played in three Olympics and World Cups.
Lisa De Vanna played for Australia in an international friendly vs. the USWNT in 2004. The U.S. won the game 3-1 in front of 10,276 fans. De Vanna has made four World Cup appearances for Australia.