Top 10 Female Soccer Players at the Tokyo Olympics

By Ben Morris in Olympics
| July 22, 2021 7:12 am PDT

With the seventh edition of the women’s Olympic soccer tournament set to be one of the standout events at Tokyo 2020, many of the best female soccer players on the planet will flock to Japan this summer.

Germany – the 2016 gold medal winner – failed to qualify for the upcoming Games, while other high-profile nations like France and Sweden will also be absent from this year’s tournament. But there will still be countless world-class female soccer players at the Tokyo Olympics.

With a vastly experienced USA roster heading to Japan and a star-studded Great Britain squad expected to challenge for a medal, the women’s soccer tournament at Tokyo 2020 is destined to be a hit.

Here are ten female soccer players to watch at the Tokyo Olympics.

Vivianne Miedema – Netherlands

At just 25, Vivianne Miedema is already the all-time leading scorer for the Netherlands women’s team. Having bagged 73 goals in 96 international appearances, there is absolutely no denying she is one of the best female soccer players at the Tokyo Olympics.

After making a name for herself at SC Heerenveen, Miedema moved to Bayern Munich in 2014. But following her switch from Bayern to Arsenal in 2017, the prolific forward has taken her game to another level.

Not only is Miedema her country’s top scorer, but she is also the leading goal-getter in the history of England’s Women’s Super League. With 60 goals in 67 appearances for the Gunners, the Dutch maestro’s WSL record is unrivalled.

Megan Rapinoe – United States

This summer’s Games could well be the last rodeo for Megan Rapinoe, who has been an icon both on and off the field for the best part of two decades now.

The 36-year-old began her professional career with the Chicago Red Stars before going on to play for Sydney FC in Australia and French giant Olympique Lyonnais. However, Rapinoe’s achievements for the national side are what make her the player she is today.

With almost 200 USWNT caps under her belt, the legendary Californian has won two FIFA World Cups, as well as host of other accolades. Oh, and she also led her country to gold at the London Olympics in 2012.

You can’t talk about the top female soccer players to watch at Tokyo 2020 without mentioning Rapinoe.

Megan Rapinoe

Sam Kerr – Australia

It’s safe to say that you have to be a good player to beat Miedema to the WSL Golden Boot. But after netting 21 goals in 22 games for Chelsea last season, Sam Kerr finished three goals clear of the Netherlands star at the summit of the WSL scoring charts.

That wasn’t Kerr’s first Golden Boot, though. Having top scored in both the W-League and NWSL in the past, the Australian striker is the only woman to win the Golden Boot in three separate top-flight leagues.

Pretty impressive, right?

Kerr played a key role in Chelsea’s title defense last season and even helped her side reach the Champions League final. Needless to say, she will be eager to add an Olympic medal to her bustling silverware cabinet this summer.

WSL GOLDEN BOOT LEADERBOARD (2020/21 SEASON)
Player Team Goals
Sam Kerr Chelsea 21
Vivianne Miedema Arsenal 18
Fran Kirby Chelsea 16

Christine Sinclair – Canada

Women’s soccer was only introduced to the Olympic program in 1996, meaning there have only been six tournaments since then. Remarkably, Christine Sinclair will be competing at her fourth Olympic Games this summer.

The 38-year-old made her Olympic debut all the way back in 2004 and helped her country to clinch a bronze medal at each of the past two Games. Due to her popularity, she was even Canada’s flag bearer at London 2012.

Along with being Canada’s most-capped women’s soccer player of all time, Sinclair holds the records for most goals and most assists for her nation. She could even pass the 300-cap milestone in Japan.

If you think Sinclair is old, wait until you learn about the oldest athletes at Tokyo 2020!

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Fran Kirby – Great Britain

There was a time when it looked as though Fran Kirby may never play soccer again. The Chelsea forward was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2019 and subsequently spent almost a year of the sidelines.

But after overcoming the problem, Kirby returned to chalked up a whopping 16 goals and 11 assists in only 18 WSL outings last season. With a record like that, she is one of the top female soccer players to watch at the Tokyo Olympics.

Kirby has played almost 50 times for England since making her international debut back in 2014. However, she has yet to represent Great Britain at the Olympics. This summer’s Games give her the chance to add another accolade to her ever-growing list of accomplishments.

Fran Kirby

Sam Mewis – United States

The USA women’s Olympic soccer roster is stack with world-class players, making it difficult to pick just a few to feature on this list. That said, Sam Mewis thoroughly deserves a mention here.

The box-to-box midfielder has become one of the leading lights in the women’s game over the past couple of years. Back in January, she netted a hat-trick for the USWNT in a 4-0 victory over Colombia – underlining her ability.

Mewis spent the 2020/21 at Manchester City, scoring 12 goals in 23 appearances. Having returned to the North Carolina Courage, she is now enjoying her soccer back on some soil.

As you would expect, Team USA is the bookies’ heavy favorite to claim women’s soccer gold at Tokyo 2020. Check out my women’s Olympic soccer betting preview for useful tips and advice.

Saki Kumagai – Japan

Saki Kumagai recently left Lyon after eight hugely successful seasons with the French powerhouse. During that time, she won almost 20 trophies, including seven straight Division 1 Feminine titles.

The legendary midfielder teamed up with Bayern Munich a couple of months ago. But before she represents the Frauen Bundesliga outfit, she will aim to bring the host nation joy at this summer’s Olympics.

Kumagai helped Japan claim silver at London 2012, a year after winning the World Cup. The IFFHS World’s Woman Team of the Decade member is undeniably among the best female soccer players at the Tokyo Olympics.

Saki Kumagai

Lucy Bronze – Great Britain

Just like Team USA, Great Britain’s Olympic squad for women’s soccer is brimming with household names. Along with Kirby, iconic players like Steph Houghton, Jill Scott, Nikita Paris, and Ellen White will all participate in Japan.

Considering players of that stature failed to make it onto my list of female soccer players to watch at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Lucy Bronze is clearly a special talent.

The 2020 FIFA Best Women’s Player of the Year has already achieved so much in her career, winning WSL titles with both Liverpool and Man City, as well as three consecutive Champions League titles with Lyon.

If Bronze can add an Olympic medal to her collection, she will surely go down as one of the greatest female soccer players of all time.

Debinha – Brazil

Believe it or not, Brazil has never claimed women’s soccer gold at the Olympics. The Female Canaries won silver at both the 2004 and 2008 Games but have never been able to finish at the top of the podium.

If Debinha brings her A-game to Tokyo, however, she could end her team’s long wait for an Olympic gold medal.

Since joining the North Carolina Courage in 2017, the tricky forward has clinched multiple NWSL titles. She also surpassed the 100-cap landmark for Brazil recently, having made her debut all the way back in 2011.

35-year-old Marta is still viewed by many as Brazil’s best female soccer player. But with her best years behind her, Debinha looks set to steal Marta’s throne in Japan.

Carli Lloyd – United States

At the ripe old age of 39, Carli Lloyd is set to become the oldest USWNT player to feature at an Olympic Games. Still, she isn’t just heading to Tokyo to make up the numbers.

Sitting on an outrageous 306 international caps, Lloyd could overtake Christie Pearce and become the second-most capped female soccer player of all time this summer – provided the United States reaches the latter stages of the tournament.

The NJ/NY Gotham veteran already has two Olympic gold medals to her name. One more wouldn’t hurt, would it?

MOST INTERNATIONAL CAPS IN WOMEN’S SOCCER
Player Nation Caps
Kristine Lilly United States 354
Christie Pearce United States 311
Carli Lloyd United States 306
Christine Sinclair Canada 299
Mia Hamm United States 276

The Final Word

That concludes my look at the best female soccer players to watch at the Tokyo Olympics.

With so many top female soccer players competing at Tokyo 2020, whittling down my list to just ten names wasn’t an easy task. But I’m confident all the players in the piece will shine at this summer’s Games.

Whether you’re looking forward to watching the youngest athletes at the Tokyo Olympics, or you want to check out the new Olympics sports at the upcoming Games, be sure to make some time for the women’s soccer tournament.

After all, many of the top female soccer players at Tokyo 2020 are also among the best female soccer players in the world right now.

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