U.S. Soccer hosting eighth annual SheBelieves Cup in February 2023
CHICAGO – U.S. Soccer will host the eighth annual SheBelieves Cup from Feb. 16-22 as Brazil, Canada and Japan join the USA for the four-team international tournament.
All four nations will be participating in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup next summer and all four are ranked in the top 11 in the world with the USA at No. 1, Canada at No. 6, Brazil at No. 9 and Japan at No. 11.
With a new broadcast partner coming on board with U.S. Soccer in 2023, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports will exclusively present the USWNT matches, with specific distribution plans to be announced at a later date.
The SheBelieves Cup is part of U.S. Soccer’s SheBelieves initiative to inspire and empower women and girls to achieve their goals in sport and beyond.
The USA, perennial South American and Asian powers Brazil and Japan, and the reigning Olympic gold medalists in Canada, will use this tournament as important World Cup preparation just five months before the competition kicks off in Australia and New Zealand.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, the entirety of 2021 SheBelieves Cup was held at one stadium in Orlando, Fla. and the 2022 tournament was staged in two cities and two stadiums. For its 2023 edition, the tournament will return to its traditional three-venue format with matches played at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla., GEODIS Park in Nashville, Tenn. and Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski will name a 23-player roster for the tournament.
The matches of the 2023 SheBelieves Cup will be the first domestic games of the World Cup year for the USWNT, which will play two games in and against New Zealand in January.
The six-game tournament was first played in 2016. The USA won the inaugural edition and France took top honors in 2017. The USA won again in 2018, and England finished first in 2019, but the USA returned to the top of the podium in 2020, the first title for Andonovski, and took top honors in both 2021 and 2022.
“The first five games of the 2023 schedule will all be against teams playing in the World Cup and we expect to confirm a few more matches against top opponents before we go to New Zealand during the summer,” Andonovski. “We love the SheBelieves Cup for the world class competition it brings, the format that helps replicate group play at a World Cup and the overall meaning that it has for our team and women’s sports. Obviously, you get more rest days in a World Cup, but managing a roster with three games over seven days against teams with three very different styles of play is really good preparation for us as we continue to grow as a team towards next summer.”
The competition format will be the same as for the previous seven years with the teams participating in three doubleheader events. The winner of the tournament will be determined by total points (three for a win, one for a tie), with the first tiebreaker being overall goal difference, followed by most total goals scored, then head-to-head result and lastly, Fair Play ranking if necessary.
SIX GAMES, THREE STADIUMS
The 2023 SheBelieves Cup kicks off on Thursday, Feb. 16 at Exploria Stadium as Japan takes on Brazil (4 p.m. ET) and the USA faces Canada (7 p.m. ET). The tournament resumes on Sunday, Feb. 19, as the competition moves to Nashville’s GEODIS Park with the USA playing the first match of the day against Japan (2:30 p.m. CT / 3:30 p.m. ET) and Brazil facing Canada (5:30 p.m. CT / 6:30 p.m. ET) in the nightcap. The tournament concludes on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, with Canada taking on Japan (3 p.m. CT / 4 p.m. ET) and the USA facing Brazil in the tournament finale (6 p.m. CT / 7 p.m. ET). Broadcast information for all the matches will be available at a later date.
|Feb. 16||Japan vs. Brazil||Exploria Stadium||Orlando, Fla.||4 p.m. ET|
|Feb. 16||USA vs. Canada||Exploria Stadium||Orlando, Fla.||7 p.m. ET|
|Feb. 19||USA vs. Japan||GEODIS Park||Nashville, Tenn.||2:30 p.m. CT|
|Feb. 19||Brazil vs. Canada||GEODIS Park||Nashville, Tenn.||5:30 p.m. CT|
|Feb. 22||Canada vs. Japan||Toyota Stadium||Frisco, Texas||3 p.m. CT|
|Feb. 22||USA vs. Brazil||Toyota Stadium||Frisco, Texas||6 p.m. CT|
QUALIFIED FOR ’23
The USA earned its berth to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup at the 2022 Concacaf W Championship last July in Mexico. The USA qualified for the semifinals, and directly to the 2023 World Cup as a result, due to a combination of results after the first two group games, and then went on to win the tournament to also earn the berth to the 2024 Paris Olympics that came along with the tournament title.
Canada finished second at the Concacaf W Championship, losing 1-0 to the USA in the championship game, but had already clinched its berth to the World Cup by making the semifinals of the tournament.
Brazil qualified for the World Cup by winning its semifinal 2-0 over Paraguay at the Copa American Femenina in Colombia last July. Brazil then defeated Colombia, 1-0, in the championship game.
Japan qualified for the World Cup by making the semifinals of the 2022 AFC Women’s Cup in India but fell to China PR in penalty kicks.
SHEBELIEVES OFF THE FIELD
Inspired by the U.S. WNT players, SheBelieves is an initiative led by U.S. Soccer to inspire and encourage women and girls. The campaign launched in the run-up to the 2015 Women’s World Cup and has since grown into a powerful message of empowerment and believing in oneself. The SheBelieves Cup presented by Visa represents a showcase event for the campaign, which this year also features efforts such as the SheBelieves Summit presented by Deloitte, a forum bringing together young professionals and leaders in sport and business, and the SheBelieves Hero™, a nationwide search for a young community leader who embodies the SheBelieves ethos.
VISA SHEBELIEVES CUP MVP
For the fourth year in a row, Visa, the presenting sponsor of the SheBelieves Cup, will award the MVP trophy to the most outstanding player of the tournament. The award will be announced following the conclusion of the final match. Spain’s Alexia Putellas – the Ballon d’Or winner in both 2021 and 2022 — won the inaugural award in 2020. The USA’s Rose Lavelle won the award in 2021 and the USA’s Catarina Macario won it in 2022, as voted on by a selection committee of former Women’s National Team players from each participating country. A new selection committee comprised of representatives from all competing nations will be announced for the 2023 SheBelieves Cup while fans will also have the opportunity to vote for the Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP award recipient via online ballot to select among a list of finalists chosen by the committee. The fan vote will be incorporated into the overall determination of the 2023 Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP.
NATIONAL WOMEN’S NETWORK CELEBRATION
At the SheBelieves Cup match in Nashville, U.S. Soccer will host a special pre-game event and celebration with the National Women’s Network. U.S. Soccer is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and members of the National Women’s Network donate in honor of U.S. Soccer programs supporting girls and women, including the SheBelieves movement. In 2021, the National Women’s Network’s annual events included a welcome reception at the SheBelieves Summit, and a pre-game brunch in Los Angeles with U.S. Soccer President and World Cup Champion, Cindy Parlow Cone. For more information about the National Women’s Network or to contribute, contact [email protected].
- Canada makes its second appearance in the SheBelieves Cup after finishing third in 2021. Canada was drawn into Group B at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup along with Nigeria, Australia and the Rep. of Ireland.
- Brazil makes its third appearance in the tournament after participating in 2021 (second place) and 2019 (fourth place). Brazil was drawn into Group F at the World Cup along with France, Jamaica and the Group C playoff winner.
- Japan will be participating in the SBC for the third time after coming to the USA in 2020 (fourth place) and 2019 (third place). Japan was drawn into Group C at the World Cup along with Costa Rica, Spain and Zambia.
- The USA will be playing Canada for the 64th time, the most matches against one country in U.S. history. The USA holds a 52-4-7 all-time record against Canada and most recently met in the title game of the 2022 Concacaf W Championship on July 18, a 1-0 win on a penalty kick goal from Alex Morgan.
- The USA will be playing Japan for the 39th time. The USA has an all-time record of 29-1-8 against Japan. The most recent meeting was at the 2020 SheBelieves Cup, a 3-1 win in what was the final match before the COVID-19 shutdown. Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press and Lindsey Horan scored for the USA.
- The USA will also be playing Brazil for the 39th time and the most recent meeting was also at the SheBelieves Cup, that coming in 2021 in Orlando, a 2-0 U.S. victory on goals from Christen Press and Megan Rapinoe. The USA leads the overall series with Brazil, 30-3-5.
- The USWNT will be playing its seventh all-time game at Exploria Stadium, home to the Orlando Pride of the NWSL. The USA played the first five matches of 2021 at Exploria Stadium as the USA returned to domestic games during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three of those were in the 2021 SheBelieves Cup.
- The USWNT will be playing its eighth game in the state of Tennessee and fifth game in Nashville but its first-ever match at GEODIS Park, the largest soccer-specific stadium in the U.S., which is home to Nashville SC of Major League Soccer and opened in May of 2022.
- With the match in Nashville, the USWNT will have played in 21 soccer-specific stadiums built for MLS clubs in the United States. The U.S. Women have yet to play at the brand new CITYPARK in St. Louis, which will host its first MLS game during the upcoming season.
- This will be the first time USWNT has played in Nashville (and the state of Tennessee) since 2019 SheBelieves Cup.
- The USWNT returns to Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, for its ninth match there and first since the finale of the 2022 SheBelieves Cup, where the USA downed Iceland, 5-0 on Feb. 23.
- Spurred by the success of the SheBelieves Cup, several other four-team tournaments are now being held in Europe during this FIFA window – including high profile competitions in France and England.