Sawa captaining Japan in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup
|Full name||Homare Sawa|
|Date of birth||6 September 1978|
|Place of birth||Tokyo, Japan|
|Height||1.64 m (5 ft 5 in)|
|Current club||INAC Kobe Leonessa|
|2011–||INAC Kobe Leonessa||33||(6)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 November 2012.
† Appearances (Goals).
Homare Sawa (澤 穂希 Sawa Homare , born 6 September 1978) is a Japanese professional football player. She was captain of the Japan women's national football team that won gold at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and led the team to the silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. In 2012, she was named the 2011 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year. Sawa currently plays for INAC Kobe Leonessa in the Nadeshiko League Division 1. She previously played for the Atlanta Beat of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA), NTV Beleza, and the Washington Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS).
- 1 Early life
- 2 Playing career
- 3 Career statistics
- 4 Honors
- 5 References
- 6 External links
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" (164 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.
Following the WUSA's demise in 2003, Sawa returned to Japan, where she played with powerhouse NTV Beleza. In 2004, she was named Women's Player of the Year for the Asian Football Confederation.
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 before returning to Japan during preparations for the 2011 FIFA Women's 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 five FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments and the 1996, 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympic Games on her way to a Japanese record 186 caps, and a Japanese female-best 81 international goals, including a hat trick in a 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup group stage match against Mexico.
Sawa led the Japanese national team as captain to a world championship victory at the 2011 FIFA Women's 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. Shortly after, she was praised by her close friend Abby Wambach of the United States national team humorously stating, "she literally scores with her eyes closed" in reference to her equalizing goal in the final against the United States.
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.
- As of 11 November 2012
|Team||Season||League||Domestic league||Domestic playoffs||Total|
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Total|
|INAC Kobe Leonessa||2011||16||4||4||0||-||20||4|
Matches and goals scored at World Cup and Olympic tournaments
Homare Sawa competed in five FIFA Women's World Cup: Sweden 1995, USA 1999, USA 2003, China 2007 and Germany 2011; and four Olympics: Atlanta 1996, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012; altogether played 35 matches and scored 11 goals at those nine global tournaments. Sawa with her Japan teams are the reigning World Champions that won the Germany 2011 Women's World Cup, and are the silver medalists at the 2012 London Olympics.
|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; 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. See Assist (football) page.|
|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|
- Nadeshiko.League (8): 1991, 1992, 1993, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010,
- Empress's Cup All-Japan Women's Football Tournament (6): 1993, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009
- Nadeshiko.League Cup (1): 2007
- Nadeshiko.League (2): 2011, 2012
- Empress's Cup All-Japan Women's Football Tournament (1): 2011
- East Asian Football Championship (2): 2008, 2010
- Asian Games Gold Medal (1): 2010
- FIFA Women's World Cup (1): 2011
- Olympic Silver Medal (1): 2012
- Nadeshiko.League Best Eleven (11): 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012
- AFC Women's Player of the Year (2): 2004, 2008
- Nadeshiko.League MVP: 2006, 2008
- EAFF Women's Football Championship Best Player (2): 2008, 2010
- FIFA Women's World Cup Golden Ball (1): 2011
- FIFA Women's World Cup Golden Shoe (1): 2011
- FIFA Women's World Cup All-Star Team (1): 2011
- FIFA Ballon d'Or (1): 2011
- "Homare Sawa". 2012 London Olympics Committee. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "Star bio: Japan's Homare Sawa". CBC Sports. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "Japan's Homare Sawa is FIFA women's player of the year". BBC News. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
- "Japan's Sawa set to quit international football". Reuters. 11 August 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- "FIFA Player Statistics: Homare SAWA". FIFA.
- FIFA 2007 Women's World Cup bio page
- 2012 London Olympics player profile
- Japan Football Association English language bio page
- WPS Press Release
- Homare Sawa on Twitter