USWNT kicking off SheBelieves Cup against Canada on Thursday night in Orlando
After a pair of victories to open the year in New Zealand, the U.S. Women’s National Team returns to home soil for the eighth edition of the SheBelieves Cup.
The USA will open the four-team tournament on Thursday, Feb. 16, taking on Canada at 7 p.m. ET at Exploria Stadium in Orlando. The match will be broadcast on HBO Max, Universo and Peacock with pregame coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. Japan and Brazil will square off in the opening match of the day at 4 p.m. ET (HBO Max, Universo, Peacock).
Contested as three doubleheaders across three different cities over the course of seven days, the 2023 SheBelieves Cup features four of the top-11 teams in the world with the USA at No. 1, Canada at No. 6, Brazil at No. 9 and Japan at No, 11, all of whom have qualified for the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
After the games in Orlando, the tournament will move to GEODIS Park in Nashville, with the USA taking on Japan at 3:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. CT on Feb. 19 (TNT, HBO Max, Universo, Peacock), followed by Brazil vs. Canada at 6:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. CT (HBO Max, Universo, Peacock).
USWNT DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Kansas City Current; 10), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 12), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 87)
DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 21/0), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage; 24/0), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 128/24), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC; 12/0), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 27/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 212/0), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign; 70/1)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 123/26), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC; 9/2), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 86/24), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 47/7), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 19/3), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 39/3)
FORWARDS (7): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 15/5), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC; 201/120), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 22/4), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 197/63), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit; 12/2), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars; 84/28), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 49/15)
The U.S. roster for the 2023 SheBelieves Cup is made up almost entirely of players who participated in the USA’s two January matches in New Zealand, with the only addition being veteran forward Megan Rapinoe, who returns to the roster after missing the January Camp with a minor injury. Defender Tierna Davidson, a 2019 Women’s World Cup champion and 2020 Olympic bronze medalist, is in the final stages of her recovery from an ACL injury and participated in the first part of the USA’s BioSteel Training Camp in Orlando but is not on the final tournament roster.
ALEX 200 CELEBRATED IN ORLANDO
The leading scorer on this U.S. roster with 120 career goals in 201 international appearances, Alex Morgan will be honored prior to Thursday’s match in Orlando for reaching the 200-cap milestone. Morgan achieved the feat on Nov. 13, 2022, in Harrison, N.J., becoming just the 13th player in USWNT history to reach the 200-cap milestone. Morgan, who played at Exploria Stadium for the Orlando Pride in the NWSL from 2017-2021, will be honored for the milestone with a pre-game ceremony.
Since making her international debut on March 31, 2010, Morgan has tallied 120 goals and 47 assists in her 201 international appearances, good for fifth on the USA’s all-time scoring charts and 11th in assists. She has scored in 83 of her 201 international appearances, while making 137 starts and captaining the USA 22 times during that span. She is just the sixth active player in the world with 200 caps, joining her USWNT teammate Becky Sauerbrunn, who reached the milestone in February of 2022, along with Canada’s Christine Sinclair and Sophie Schmidt, Sweden’s Caroline Seger and Sherida Spitse from the Netherlands.
SHEBELIEVES CUP ENTERS YEAR EIGHT
The SheBelieves Cup is just one part of U.S. Soccer’s SheBelieves initiative to inspire and empower women and girls to achieve their goals in sport and beyond. The tournament, which will feature six total games, was first played in 2016. The USA won the inaugural edition, France took top honors in 2017, the USA won again in 2018, England finished first in 2019 and the USA returned to the top of the podium in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The tournament format for the 2023 SheBelieves Cup will be the same as the first seven years. The winner will be determined by total points (three for a win, one for a draw), with the first tiebreaker being overall goal difference, followed by goals scored, then head-to-head result. If teams are still tied, the next tiebreaker will be the Fair Play ranking based on yellow and red cards. Each team is allowed six substitutes per game over three sub opportunities and two concussions subs, if necessary. Halftime subs, concussion substitutions and/or additional substitutions due to an opponent’s concussion sub do not count against the three opportunities limit.
Fans will be able to watch all six games of the SheBelieves Cup in English on HBO Max and in Spanish on Universo & Peacock. The USA’s Feb. 19 match against Japan will also be broadcast on TNT, as will the tournament finale between the USA and Japan on Feb. 22.
Canada will be making 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 Republic 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.
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 won the inaugural award in 2020 as voted on by a selection committee of former Women’s National Team players from each participating country while Rose Lavelle claimed MVP honors in 2021 and fellow American Catarina Macario was the 2022 recipient.
A new selection committee comprised of representatives from all competing nations will be announced for the 2023 SheBelieves Cup and fans will once again have the opportunity to vote for the Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP award recipient, using an 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.
INSIDE THE SERIES: USA VS. CANADA
The USA and Canada are set to meet for the 64th time overall in a series that dates back to 1986 when the USWNT was in its second year in existence. Canada is the most common opponent in USWNT history and the USA leads the overall series 52-4-7. Thursday’s matchup will be the second meeting between the teams in the SheBelieves Cup and will mark the fifth meeting between the teams in the last four years. The USA has won three of the last four meetings between the teams, though the last three meetings have all been decided by a 1-0 score line.
The teams last squared off in the final of the 2022 Concacaf W Championship on July 18 in Monterrey, Mexico. The USA prevailed 1-0 on a penalty kick goal from Alex Morgan in the 78th minute to seal the regional title and earn a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The USA, which outshot Canada 17-11 on the night, became just the second nation to earn a berth into the Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament at Paris ’24, joining hosts France, while Canada will play Jamaica — which beat Costa Rica 1-0 in stoppage time in the Third-Place match — in a playoff series in September of 2023 to determine Concacaf’s second and final representative at the Olympic Games.
Prior to the matchup in Mexico, the USA and Canada last met in the semifinals of the delayed 2020 Olympics, a 1-0 victory for the Canadians on August 2 in Kashima, Japan. Despite having the better of the attack for much of the match and outshooting Canada, 17-5, on the day, a 75th-minute penalty kick from Jessie Fleming proved to be the difference as Canada recorded just its fourth win ever over the USA and its first since 2001. Following the semifinal win, which ended a 36-match winless run for Canada against the USWNT in last summer’s Olympics, Canada went on to claim its first Olympic gold medal, topping Sweden 3-2 in penalty kicks in the final after a 1-1 result through regulation.
In the only previous meeting between the USA and Canada at the SheBelieves Cup, the USA prevailed 1-0 in its opening match at the 2021 tournament after 79th minute strike from Rose Lavelle.
USA WILL PLAY IN GROUP E AT 2023 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
The U.S. Women’s National Team will face World Cup debutant Vietnam, 2019 World Cup runner-up the Netherlands and the Group A Playoff Winner — either Portugal, Thailand or Cameroon — in Group E at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup taking place from July 20-Aug. 20 in 10 stadiums and nine host cities, five in Australia and four in New Zealand.
The USA will play the entirety of the group stage in New Zealand. The U.S. will open Group E play against Vietnam on July 22 at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau (1 p.m. local / 9 p.m. ET on July 21), which will also serve as the host venue for the Opening Ceremony of the 2023 World Cup on July 20 when New Zealand plays Norway. The USA then faces Netherlands on July 27 at Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara (1 p.m. local / 9 p.m. ET on July 26), followed by the Group A Playoff Winner on Aug. 1 at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau (7 p.m. local / 3 a.m. ET).
WORLD CUP FIELD NEARLY FINALIZED
The expanded 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be the first to feature 32 countries, up from 24 in 2019 and 2015. Of the 32 teams for Australia/New Zealand, 29 have qualified with only the playoff winners yet to be determined.
Those three remaining spots will be determined this FIFA Window during the Inter-Confederation Playoffs taking place in New Zealand from February 18-23. The ten-team playoff tournament will be used as a test event prior to the Women’s World Cup and features the ten nations split into three groups, with the winner of each group qualifying for the Women’s World Cup. Group A will feature Cameroon against Thailand on Feb. 18 with the winner taking on Portugal for a berth to the World Cup on Feb. 22. Both matches will be played at World Cup venue Waikato Stadium in Hamilton/Kirikiriroa and the winner of Playoff Group A will join the USA in Group E at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer.
Group B features Senegal taking on Haiti on Feb. 18 with the winner playing Chile for a berth to the World Cup on Feb. 22. Both matches will be played at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau. The Playoff Group B winner will join England, Denmark and China PR in Group B at the final tournament.
Group C features four teams, so Chinese Taipei will take on Paraguay and Papua New Guinea will face Panama on Feb. 19 with the winners playing on Feb. 23 for a berth to the World Cup. The two semifinals will take place at Waikato Stadium and North Harbour Stadium and the final will take place at Waikato Stadium. The winner will join France, Jamaica and Brazil in Group F.
New Zealand and Argentina, both of whom are already in the World Cup, will play a series of friendly matches against playoff teams during the FIFA window as well.
SHEBELIEVES MOVEMENT CONTINUES TO GROW
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 represents a showcase event for the campaign, which also features efforts such as the SheBelieves Summit.
The 2023 SheBelieves Summit will take place on March 11-12 at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas. Returning to its original in-person-only format, the sixth annual SheBelieves Summit will feature speakers from sports, business and beyond, aiming to help provide attendees with the tools needed to help secure jobs in their chosen careers and continue on the journey to reach their goals. Registration for the event is now open.
USA ROSTER NOTES
- The most capped player on this roster is Becky Sauerbrunn at 212, followed Alex Morgan (201) , Megan Rapinoe (197), Crystal Dunn (128) and Lindsey Horan (123), while the least capped players are Casey Murphy (12), Trinity Rodman (12), Naomi Girma (12), Adrianna Franch (10) and Taylor Kornieck (9).
- Eleven of the 23 players on the USA roster for the 2023 SheBelieves Cup have fewer than 30 caps: Sofia Huerta, Emily Fox, Midge Purce, Alana Cook, Ashley Sanchez, Ashley Hatch, Murphy, Franch, Rodman, Girma, and Kornieck.
- Morgan is the top scorer on the roster in international play with 120 goals. Megan Rapinoe has 63, Mallory Swanson has 28, Lindsey Horan has 26, and Dunn and Lavelle each have 24.
- Six different players have scored for the USA so far in 2023, led by three goals from Swanson, two goals from Lavelle and one goal each from Morgan, Lynn Williams, Hatch and Kornieck.
- Swanson leads the USA in total minutes played in 2023 with 156 minutes of action.
- Eight of the USA’s nine goals this year have been assisted, with five different players tallying an assist in 2023. Rodman leads the way with three assists, followed by two from Lavelle and one each from Sanchez, Huerta and Williams.
- Nine players have been directly involved in a goal this year with either a goal or an assist, led by Lavelle with four total goal involvements (two goals and two assists).
- The USA recorded back-to-back clean sheets to open the year, with Alyssa Naeher (Jan. 18 vs. New Zealand) and Casey Murphy (Jan. 21 vs. New Zealand) recording shutouts in their first outings of 2023.
- Head coach Vlatko Andonovski is 44-5-6 in 55 games with the USWNT, 35 of which have been at home and 22 have been against teams ranked in the top-13 in the world.
IN FOCUS: CANADA | FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
FIFA World Ranking: 6
CONCACAF Ranking: 2
World Cup Appearances: 7 (1995, 199, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019)
Best World Cup Finish: Fourth Place (2003)
Record vs. USA (W-D-L): 4W-7D-52L
Last Meeting vs. USA: July 18, 2022 (1-0 USA win in Monterrey, Mexico)
Head Coach: Bev Priestman (ENG)
CANADA DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Kailen Sheridan (San Diego Wave FC, USA), 18-Sabrina D’Angelo (Arsenal FC, ENG), 22-Lysianne Proulx (SCU Torreense, POR)
DEFENDERS (8): 2-Allysha Chapman (Houston Dash, USA), 3-Kadeisha Buchanan (Chelsea FC, ENG), 4-Shelina Zadorsky (Tottenham Hotspur, ENG), 5-Quinn (OL Reign, USA), 6-Gabby Carle (Washington Spirit, USA), 10-Ashley Lawrence (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), 14-Vanessa Gilles (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA), 21-Jade Rose (Harvard University, USA)
MIDFIELDERS (4): 7-Julia Grosso (Juventus FC, ITA), 8-Simi Awujo (USC, USA), 13-Sophie Schmidt (Houston Dash, USA), 17-Jessie Fleming (Chelsea FC, ENG)Szewieczková (SK Slavia Prague), 6-Michaela Khýrová (SK Slavia Prague), 20-Katerina Buzkova (AC Sparta Prague)
FORWARDS (8): 9-Jordyn Huitema (OL Reign, USA), 11-Clarissa Larisey (BK Häcken FF, SWE), 12-Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns FC, USA), 15-Evelyne Viens (Kristianstads DFF, SWE), 16-Janine Beckie (Portland Thorns FC, USA), 19-Adriana Leon (Manchester United FC, ENG), 20-Cloé Lacasse (SL Benfica, POR), 23-Jenna Hellstrom (Dijon Football Côte d’Or, FRA)
CANADA ROSTER NOTES
- Sixteen of the 23 players on Canada roster for this tournament were on the 2020 Olympic Team. By contrast, 11 players on the USA’s 23-player roster were on its 2020 Olympic Team.
- While the Americans have had a long history of success in this series, the 17 meetings since 2011 have featured three ties, six one-goal wins for the USA and one one-goal win for Canada.
- The teams have met three times in world championship competition, the first coming in the third-place match of the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup a 3-1 U.S. victory at StubHub Center in Carson, California. The USA earned a 2-1 overtime win in the quarterfinals of the 2004 Olympics as Natasha Kai scored the game-winner in Shanghai, China, and of course the teams played an epic semifinal in the 2012 Olympics, a match the USA won 4-3 in the last minute of overtime stoppage time on a header from Alex Morgan.
- One of the most experienced and respected players in women’s soccer history, Portland Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair is by far the most-capped player on Canada’s roster and the world’s all-time leading international goal scorer with 190 career goals. Just the fourth player in international soccer history to amass 300+ caps, Sinclair reached the milestone in Canada’s opening match of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – in which she also scored the opening goal – and joined USWNT standouts Kristine Lilly (354 caps), Carli Lloyd (316) and Christie Pearce Rampone (311) and in the 300-cap club.
- Forward Janine Beckie, who is from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and attended Texas Tech, is on 98 caps and could hit 100 in the SheBelieves Cup. Beckie has scored 36 career goals, which is second on the team behind Sinclair.
- Forward Adriana Leon, who played her college soccer at Notre Dame and Florida, has 28 goals in her 92 career caps.
- Jessie Fleming, who was a star at UCLA and currently plays at European power Chelsea, is Canada’s top midfielder and has 111 caps and 19 career goals. Midfielder Sophie Schmidt has a remarkable 218 career caps and 20 goals.
- Nearly every player on Canada’s roster has played in the United States at one point either professionally or collegiately. Canada’s roster features eight current NWSL players and two players current playing in U.S. colleges. Of the 13 Canadians currently playing in Europe, six previously played in the NWSL.
- Because of the NWSL ties, six Canadians are teammates with 13 American players on OL Reign, Portland Thorns FC and the Washington Spirit.
- Defender Vanessa Giles, who played last season for Angel City FC, and the USA’s Lindsey Horan are club teammates for Olympique Lyon in France.