One week ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a completely different kind of international friendly took place in Yokohama at Keio University’s Hiyoshi sports campus.

Standing across from the Keio women’s team on Thursday was a group of American high school students whose backgrounds could not have been more different — and who now found themselves playing in front of former Nadeshiko Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori and veteran Lower House lawmaker Ichiro Aisawa.

Half of the 22 players grew up in Utah, having played competitive soccer for most of their lives, while their counterparts — refugees whose families have resettled in the state from as far away as Afghanistan, Rwanda and Sri Lanka — had never played on an organized team until three months ago.