The United States Women’s National Team has enjoyed pretty good success when U.S. Soccer formed the SheBelieves Cup in 2016. The USWNT has won the tournament 3 times (2016, 2018, 2020), and they’ve done it against teams that are normally among the top 5 in the world. So far, the USWNT has played the following opponents during the first 5 years of the tournament:
2016 - Germany, England, France
2017 - Germany, England, France
2018 - Germany, England, France
2019 - England, Japan, Brazil
2020 - England, Japan, Spain
France won the tournament in 2017, while England were the victors in 2019. Now, U.S. Soccer may be seeking to figure out who to schedule after it was reported that England is attempting to put together its own version of the tournament in an attempt to bring some of the top women’s national teams in the world there ahead of hosting Women’s Euro 2021.
For USWNT, it means having to find teams that would be willing to come to the United States during a time of uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic. They are also competing against the Algarve Cup, a competition they frequented before creating SheBelieves Cup to bring the best competition to American soil. Last year, the Algarve Cup had Germany, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, New Zealand, and hosts Portugal. Adding an England-hosted competition to that window only adds to the difficulty in bringing in the best teams possible to help prepare the USWNT for next summer’s Olympics. The window for SheBelieves Cup is earlier next year (February 15-24), which only adds to the scramble.
So, we ask the Community Corner: who would you like to see Rose Lavelle, Christen Press, Tobin Heath, and the rest of the USWNT play for the 2021 SheBelieves Cup? Hit the comments and discuss!