About Aya Miyama

Aya Miyama is a Japanese football midfielder who currently plays for Okayama Yunogo Belle of the L. League. She is also a member of the Japan's national team that won the 2011 Women's World Cup.

 

Early Career

Miyama started her career as a football player in the club her father founded. She later joined NTV Beleza in 1999 after playing with Yomiuri Menina (NTV Menina), but when she was in eleventh grade, she left the team and went to the high school football club. Even among male players, she kept playing football. Miyama joined L. League side Okayama Yunogo Belle in 2001, having received an invitation from Midori Honda, the coach.

 

Women's Professional Soccer

On 24 November 2008, Miyama was selected by Los Angeles Sol of the U.S. Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) in the 2008 WPS International Draft, and joined Sol in 2009. In the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer season, she had 6 assists but no goals. When the Sol disbanded in early 2010, she was taken by Saint Louis Athletica. Miyama signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Beat on 10 June 2010.

 

Return to Japan

Miyama returned to Okayama Yunogo Belle in September 2010.

 

Internatational Career

In the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup held in Shanghai, China, Miyama performed brilliantly in Japan's match against England, scoring the team's two goals both on direct free kicks, leading Japan to a draw. In Japan's first group stage match of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, she scored the go-ahead goal in Japan's win against New Zealand on a scorching 68th minute free kick, and was named Player of the Match.
At the 2011 Women's World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, Miyama scored the winner – a curling free kick – to help Japan beat New Zealand, and netted Japan's first goal in the final against USA. Miyama also scored Japan's first penalty of the eventual penalty shoot-out in the final which ended 2–2 after extra time. Her team won 3–1 in the penalty shoot-out, making Japan the first Asian team to lift the FIFA Women's World Cup.
At the moment of victory, Miyama did not join her teammates in celebration, but instead went to the USA players to hug them and congratulate them on a good game. This has been reported both by Hope Solo and the Japanese media as evidence of Miyama's sportsmanship and respect for her opponents.
Miyama was named the AFC Women's Player of the Year in 2011 and 2012.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she led to the silver medal as a captain.

 

Honors

Individual
• 2004: L. League Division 2 Best Player
• 2004: L. League Division 2 Top Scorers
• 2007: L. League Division 1 Best Eleven
• 2008: L. League Division 1 Best Eleven
• 2008: 3rd place - AFC Women's Player of the Year
• 2011: FIFA Women's World Cup All-Star Team
• 2011: AFC Women's Player of the Year
• 2011: L. League Division 1 Best Eleven
• 2012: AFC Women's Player of the Year
• 2012: Algarve Cup Best Player
• 2012: L. League Division 1 Best Eleven
• 2013: L. League Division 1 Best Eleven

Team
• 2008: East Asian Football Championship
• 2010: East Asian Football Championship
• 2010: Football at the Asian Games Gold Medal
• 2011: FIFA Women's World Cup Champion