5 further 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:



The United States is making its fourth appearance in a World Cup final. No other nation has done that. Germany has been in the final three times; Norway and Japan twice; China, Sweden, and Brazil once each.




The starting defensive line — Ali Krieger, Julie Johnston, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Meghan Klingenberg — have played all but nine minutes together. (Lori Chalupny replaced Krieger in the 81st minute against Colombia.)



In the last five games, Hope Solo has had to make just one save on a shot from inside the 18-yard box. Through the World Cup. the 58 shots taken by U.S. opponents have come from an average distance of 25.8 yards.

Hope Solo vs. Australia, June 8, 2015. (Football Federation Australia)

Hope Solo vs. Australia, June 8, 2015. (Football Federation Australia)



Japan leads the tournament in pass completion percentage, at 79.7.



The United States is a 2:1 favorite to win, according to FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver’s statistics-based site.

However, the site also said Germany was a 57-43 favorite to beat the United States. And before the tournament began, it predicted that Germany would win it all.




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