Rumi Utsugi will represent Japan at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, the Japan Football Association announced earlier today. Utsugi, 30, joins Japan for her fourth World Cup.
Utsugi has 112 caps for Japan, the 10th-most in team history and second among active players. The midfielder has scored six goals for her country, most recently against Iceland in the 2018 Algarve Cup.
Utsugi has 11 World Cup appearances for Japan in her three previous tournaments, including the championship squad that beat the United States on penalties to win the 2011 tournament in Germany. Utsugi also played the full 90 in Japan’s 5-2 loss to the United States in the final of the 2015 World Cup and was named to the tournament’s All-Star Squad.
In addition to her World Cup title, Utsugi has won two Women’s Asian Cups in 2018 and 2014, as well as a runner-up finish in the 2017 East Asian Football Federation E-1 Football Championship. In her club career, Utsugi became the first Japanese player in history to play in the French Division 1 Féminine when she joined Montpellier in 2010.
No. 7 Japan has been drawn into Group D where it will face No. 20 Scotland, No. 37 Argentina and No. 3 England, whose squad includes Reign FC teammate Jodie Taylor. Japan eliminated England in the 2015 World Cup semifinal to reach the championship round against the United States.