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USWNT to open SheBelieves Cup in Atlanta

It’s part of a format change for the tournament.

2023 SheBelieves Cup - Brazil v United States Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The United States Women’s National Team will have to wait a bit to play in the annual SheBelieves Cup, but when they do so, it will be down in the Dirty South. Yesterday, U.S. Soccer announced that the USWNT will begin the 9th edition of SheBelieves Cup on April 6th at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

The USWNT are competing in the first ever Concacaf W Gold Cup in February, when SheBelieves Cup is normally played, so the annual tournament is moving to the April international window. Teams are only allowed to play 2 matches during the April window, so SheBelieves Cup will have a new format in 2024, with there being 4 matches instead of the usual 6. The USWNT and 3 teams that have yet to be announced will play in semifinal matches at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on April 6th. The teams will move onto another location on April 9th, where the winners of the semifinal matches will play in the SheBelieves Cup final and the losers of the semifinal matches will compete in the 3rd place match. The format will revert back to the original 3 matches in 2025.

While the opponents have yet to be annnounced, they are expected to be three teams who competed at the 2023 Women’s World Cup. U.S. Soccer will install a grass surface for the matches at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is a host venue for both the 2024 Copa América and the 2026 Men’s World Cup. It’s the first time the USWNT have played at the 6-year-old stadium.

“These are the first U.S. Soccer-controlled matches of the Olympic year for our Women’s National Team and we’re looking forward to a big turnout at one of the best stadiums in the world,” said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone in a statement. “We’re also excited to play our first match in the Atlanta area since we announced the site of our new National Training Center. From my time playing there for the Atlanta Beat, I know what the support for soccer and for our National Teams in the southeast is like and these opening games of the SheBelieves Cup in Atlanta will be a perfect way to launch our spring run to the Olympics next summer.”

The USWNT have won all but 2 of the 9 SheBelieves Cups, and they will look to lift the trophy for a 5th straight time in April.

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