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Japan's Homare Sawa (L) kicks the ball during their women's international friendly soccer match against Italy in Nagano, central Japan, May 28, 2015.TORU HANAI/Reuters

The rosters of Canada and the United States are filled with well-known names, but as previous World Cups have shown, there are dozens of other stars playing the women's game. Here is a sampler of the women to watch.

Homare Sawa, midfielder, Japan

This will be the sixth appearance in a World Cup for the beloved Japanese player – the most ever for any player, male or female. She had retired from international competition after the 2012 Olympics in London but returned to help Japan win the 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup. She won the Golden Boot award as the top scorer at the 2011 World Cup, and her tying goal in overtime against the United States in the final of that tournament spurred Japan's miraculous victory. Now, at 36, she's along to help defend the title.

Marta, forward, Brazil

This global superstar is appearing in her fourth World Cup. She's been named FIFA World Player of the Year five times – more than any player, man or woman. With 14 goals, the 29-year-old tops the Women's World Cup goal-scorer list alongside former German star Birgit Prinz.

Nadine Angerer, goalkeeper, Germany

The success of the top-ranked team in the world has been in no small part thanks to Angerer. In 2013, she became the first keeper to be named FIFA World Player of the Year and she has long worn the captain's band for Germany. Having started her career playing for FC Nuernberg in Germany, Angerer now plays for the Portland Thorns, the same NWSL team as Canada's Christine Sinclair. She's looking for her third World Cup title.

Asisat Oshoala, forward, Nigeria

This Nigerian star was the top scorer and Golden Ball winner at the U-20 World Cup last summer in Canada, carrying Nigeria to the final game and narrowly missing out on the title. She recently signed with Liverpool Ladies and became the first African to sign in England's FA Women's Super League. She will attempt to help deliver Nigeria out of the group stage at a Women's World Cup for just the second time.

Lotta Schelin, forward, Sweden

This five-time Swedish player of the year just came off a big 2014, becoming the program's all-time leading scorer, with 72, and breaking the all-time scoring record with her French club, Olympique Lyonnais. After being named one of three forwards on the all-star team at the 2011 World Cup, where Sweden finished third, she's aiming for even bigger things in Canada this year.

Fara Williams, midfielder, England

The most capped footballer in English history – man or woman – has a fascinating backstory. Williams was homeless for seven years as a teen, yet found a way to hide her situation from teammates as she somehow worked her way up the ranks of English football. Today, with her life turned around, she stars for Liverpool Ladies of the FA WSL. She's a two-time FA International Player of the Year and a highly successful scorer.

Yang Li, forward, China

The Canadian team will have to keep a close eye on this prominent scorer when they face China early on. She's nicknamed "Young Sun Wen" after China's all-time leading scorer. The striker netted the most goals in the 2014 Asian Cup – six in five games – and has enjoyed a meteoric rise since her first national call-up in February, 2014. She has deadly finishing ability and is always a threat with headers.

Vivianne Miedema, forward, Netherlands

This sharp 18-year-old will be one to watch in Canada's group. She has polished her finishing skills in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich and played a big role in helping the Dutch qualify for the World Cup. Miedema scored 16 goals in 13 appearances in the qualifying round, including all three goals for the Netherlands against Italy in the playoff final.

Marie-Laure Delie, forward, France

She will be one of the most dangerous players for the No. 3-ranked squad in the world and a serious contender in this tournament. Delie has the second-most goals ever for the France women's national team and has achieved the tally despite only 85 caps.

Caitlin Foord, forward, Australia

At 16, Foord became the youngest Australian ever to play at a World Cup when she represented the nation in 2011 and was named the tournament's Best Young Player. She has dabbled in the U.S.-based NWSL since then. This versatile player is said to be one of the most exciting players Australia has produced.