5 additional things you might not know about USA vs. Japan

On Sunday, the United States and Japan play for the World Cup championship. It’s on Fox, with the pregame show starting at 5 p.m. CT and kickoff around 5:45 p.m.
Here are five oddities, curiosities or (possibly) interesting facts about the game and its participants:

 

1.

This is the first time  the same two teams have met in back-to-back World Cup championships.

Norway and, separately, Germany, previously reached consecutive World Cup finals, but they faced different opponents each time. Norway did it in 1991 (when their opponent was the United States) and 1995 (when they faced Germany). Germany did it in 2003 (vs. Sweden) and 2007 (vs. Brazil).

finals

 

2.

Five U.S. players have played all 540 minutes of the tournament so far: Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Hope Solo.

Meghan Klingenberg, Hope Solo, and Julie Johnston vs. Germany, June 30, 2015. (Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images North America)

Three of the five iron women: Meghan Klingenberg, Hope Solo, and Julie Johnston. (Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images North America)

 

3.

The starting defensive line — Ali Krieger, Julie Johnston, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Meghan Klingenberg — has made 12 starts together, including six at the World Cup. Their record: 10 wins, no losses, and two draws. They’ve allowed just two goals.

Becky Sauerbrunn and Meghan Klingenberg. (Michael Chow/USA Today Sports)

Half of the back line: Becky Sauerbrunn and Meghan Klingenberg. (Michael Chow/USA Today Sports)

 

4.

If the Americans win, they will be the only team with three Women’s World Cup championships.

 

5.

If the Japanese win, they will be only the second team to win back-to-back World Cups. Germany did it in 2003 and 2007.

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