Tokyo 2020 Team of the Tournament: No USWNT players in Olympic Games best XI

Kosovare Asllani Vivianne Miedema Ashley Lawrence splitGetty/Goal
  • Stephanie Labbe Canada Women 2021Getty

    GK | Stephanie Labbe | Canada

    Stephanie Labbe's Olympic Games were a highlight reel of the highest quality.

    After suffering a painful rib injury in the first game against Japan, she wiped the tears off her face, got up and saved a penalty from Mina Tanaka. She had to sit out the second fixture as a result, but after returning in the third and final group game, she was at her very best again, with two penalty saves in the quarter-final shootout win over Brazil and another pair in the final against Sweden.

    No goalkeeper made more saves and Labbe also has the best save percentage of any goalkeeper who played more than one game in the tournament. There were a lot of sensational showings from shot-stoppers in this tournament, but none better than those from Canada's No.1. 

  • Ashley Lawrence Canada Women 2021Getty

    RB | Ashley Lawrence | Canada

    Cool as ice. That's the best way to describe Ashley Lawrence's Olympic tournament. The composure with which she played in one of the meanest defences at the Games, both in standing up to attackers and in playing out from the back, was absolutely superb.

    The 26-year-old, who can also play in midfield, was the most outstanding right-back in Japan, winning more tackles than any other player.

    But Lawrence has also thrived in her attacking game too, proving a menace out wide when Canada have got forward. She completed 10 dribbles, a total topped by just three players, and provided a brilliant assist for Adrianna Leon in the 1-1 draw with Great Britain in the group stages.

  • Ellie Carpenter Australia Women 2021Getty

    CB | Ellie Carpenter | Australia

    Ellie Carpenter is usually a right-back - and one of the most exciting right-backs in the world, at that. However, for Australia this summer, she was deployed as a right-sided centre-back in a back three, and she was absolutely exceptional.

    When not standing up tall against some of the best players in the world, or producing brilliant last ditch tackles with the benefit of her lightning pace, Carpenter was able to charge forward and add some impetus to the Matildas on the attack, even if her role might have been seen as more defensive.

    The 21-year-old's tournament ended on a sour note, with a red card in the dying seconds of Australia's semi-final defeat to Sweden, but it can take nothing away from a wonderful two weeks from one of the world's best young talents.

  • Vanessa Gilles Canada Women Alex Morgan USWNT 2021Getty

    CB | Vanessa Gilles | Canada

    There was just over an hour on the clock when Vanessa Gilles produced one of the contenders for tackle of the tournament.

    It was goalless in Canada's quarter-final against Brazil and Duda had just played a perfectly-weighted pass through for Ludmila, one of the fastest players in the world. But Gilles had stayed with her player, positioned herself well and timed her intervention brilliantly to deny the Atletico Madrid forward.

    That quality was on show from Gilles all summer. No one made more clearances than the centre-back - not by a long way either, with her 23 clear anyone else with 48. She even scored the winning penalty in Canada's shootout win against Brazil. Few players contributed as highly to their gold medal-winning summer.

  • Magdalena Eriksson Sweden Women 2021Getty

    LB | Magdalena Eriksson | Sweden

    Magdalena Eriksson has firmly established herself as one of the best centre-backs in the world, the Chelsea captain leading her club to a Women's Super League title, Continental Cup triumph and UEFA Women's Champions League final last season, in one of her best campaigns to date.

    This summer, she started in that position for Sweden - but soon found herself showcasing her versatility, bombing up and down the left wing as a full-back.

    Changing position is no problem for a player with the footballing intelligence of Eriksson, who, as well as winning all but one of the tackles she attempted this summer, also popped up with a big goal in Sweden's 3-1 win over Japan in the quarter-finals, helping her country on their way to another silver medal.

  • Caroline Seger Sweden Women 2021Getty

    CM | Caroline Seger | Sweden

    Caroline Seger might be in the twilight of her career at 36 years old, but she was in top form this summer and at the heart of Sweden's success.

    With Filippa Angeldal or Hanna Bennison providing lots of energy next to her, Seger was able to do what she does best, dictating play and dominating in midfield, with no player at the Games winning more headers.

    She helped protect the defence and provide a solid foundation for Sweden's attacking players to thrive, particularly creative midfielder Kosovare Asllani. It wasn't a headline-grabbing role that she played, but it was incredibly important.

  • Kim Little Great Britain Women 2021Getty

    CM | Kim Little | Great Britain

    Whenever Kim Little touched the ball this summer, she made Great Britain look seriously threatening.

    Be it nutmegs, mazy dribbles or defence-splitting passes, she was constantly lighting up the biggest stage despite coming into the summer off the back of an injury-hit season with Arsenal.

    Those problems at club level made her a slight surprise inclusion in the final squad, but when Little is on top form, she is unstoppable. She proved that once again in Japan, ranking as the joint-fifth creative player at the Games despite Team GB being eliminated in the quarter-finals.

  • Kosovare Asllani Sweden Women 2021Getty

    CM | Kosovare Asllani | Sweden

    The way Sweden's midfield perfectly complemented one another this summer helped Kosovare Asllani be at her very best.

    Only Australia's Steph Catley created more chances than the 32-year-old across the Games, her cross for Stina Blackstenius' header in the 4-2 win over the Matildas absolutely pinpoint.

    In the final, she came up big again, placing a perfect pass for Blackstenius again to convert. In the end, it wasn't enough for Sweden to claim gold, but Asllani was still one of the stars of the Games.

  • Sam Kerr Australia Women 2021Getty

    FW | Sam Kerr | Australia

    There have been points in Sam Kerr's career, incredibly, where her ability has been questioned.

    After going without a goal in Tony Gustavsson's first five games in charge of Australia in the build up to this tournament, Kerr ended the Games not only with six goals in six games, but as the Matildas' all-time top goalscorer.

    It's not just her goals that were crucial to her country's unlikely run to the semi-finals, with her leadership, as captain of the team, phenomenal. The 'never say die' attitude that defines this team shone all summer - and Kerr's belief and confidence is huge in setting that tone.

    Her all-round play was also crucial - in her ability to win the ball in the air and hold it up, create chances for others, press with intensity and track back. Once again, Kerr made her doubters eat their words with a sublime tournament.

  • Vivianne Miedema Netherlands Women 2021Getty

    FW | Vivianne Miedema | Netherlands

    Coming into this summer, the most goals one player had scored at a single Olympic Games women's football tournament was six. Enter Vivianne Miedema.

    At her first Olympics, the 25-year-old scored an incredible 10 times in four games, putting her just four goals behind Cristiane's record for the most goals scored in the event in total, which really puts into perspective how other-worldly Miedema is.

    Despite scoring twice against the U.S. women's national team in the quarter-finals, it wasn't enough to help the Netherlands progress to the last four, as they lost on penalties. But one cannot ignore the sheer brilliance that Miedema brought to Japan this summer, with some of her goals truly breathtaking.

  • Fridolina Rolfo Sweden Women 2021Getty

    FW | Fridolina Rolfo | Sweden

    For many, Fridolina Rolfo was the player of the tournament.

    Scorer of three goals and provider of two assists in just five games, the winger was announced as having signed for Barcelona just before the Olympics began, and she's been showing just why.

    Her footwork has been absolutely mesmerising, bamboozling defenders and helping Sweden be the most exciting team of the tournament. Her goalscoring instincts have been sublime too, particularly her improvised finish to decide the semi-final clash with Australia.

    Sweden may have fallen just short of gold in the end, picking up silver for the second Games in a row, but there was at least some redemption for Rolfo. After seeing her tournament cut short in 2016 by injury, she got to show the world just how good she is this time around.

  • Barbra Banda Zambia Women 2021Getty

    Honourable mentions

    In a tournament full of goals - 101 in 26 games to be exact - there were an absolute glut of attacking players who shone. Barbra Banda was the best story, the 21-year-old scoring back-to-back hat-tricks for Zambia, the lowest ranked side at the event.

    Stina Blackstenius was also brilliant, her centre-forward play completing Sweden's attack and her five goals helping to win that silver medal.

    This was also a tournament for wingers to enjoy, with the tireless Hayley Raso superb for Australia. Brazil's Duda announced herself on the international stage, having earned just a handful of caps before the Games, while Lauren Hemp was among a number of young players to thrive on the biggest stage.

    Dutch defender Lynn Wilms, Australia goalkeeper Teagan Micah and Tierna Davidson, perhaps the U.S. women's national team's best performer, also fall into that category with Hemp.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, 43-year-old Formiga was excellent in what is likely her final major tournament and 38-year-old Hedvig Lindahl was faultless in between the sticks for Sweden.

    Other star performers included Great Britain's Caroline Weir, the Netherlands' Danielle van de Donk, Canada's Kadeisha Buchanan and Australia's Steph Catley.