- The sixth edition of the SheBelieves Cup will take place from February 18 to 24
- Match Argentina – Brazil up for the curtain
- Three qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 in the running
As the teams continue their preparations for the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, Tokyo 2020, the next international meetings are shaping up to be decisive. Brazil, Canada and the United States, who will be present in Tokyo next July, are participating in the SheBelieves Cup 2021 from February 18. Argentina replaces Japan at short notice, forced to withdraw due to the health situation within its borders.
All six games will be held at Exploria Stadium in Orlando.
Full match schedule (all times in Eastern Time):
February 18: Brazil v Argentina, 4 p.m.
February 18: United States – Canada, 7:00 p.m.
February 21: United States – Brazil, 3:00 p.m.
February 21: Argentina – Canada, 6 p.m.
February 24: Canada – Brazil, 4:00 p.m.
February 24: United States – Argentina, 7:00 p.m.
A rich history
The first day of competition will see great rivals face off against each other: Brazil and Argentina, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, Canada and the United States.
L’Albiceleste, who is taking part in the SheBelieves Cup for the first time, hopes to confirm the good impressions left at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 ™. By obtaining two draws, Argentina scored its first points in the final phase. The previous year, she had won third place in the Women’s Copa América, despite two defeats against Brazil, the future winner of the event (3-1 in the group stage then 3-0 in the final stage).
Carlos Borrello’s proteges currently occupy 31st place in the FIFA / Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking. They will therefore not have an easy time against three opponents who are all part of the Top 10. The United States leads, while Brazil and Canada share eighth place. The tournament therefore promises to be above all an opportunity to gain experience.
The rivalry between the United States and Canada is among the most intense in the discipline. The two teams will face each other for the 61st time in their history. However, the two nations never had the opportunity to meet in the SheBelieves Cup, with the Canadians making their debut in that competition in 2021. In qualifying for Tokyo 2020, the reigning world champions won 3-0. against their neighbors, thanks to goals signed Lynn Williams, Lindsey Horan and Megan Rapinoe.
The Stars and Stripes are also the title holders in the SheBelieves Cup, having beaten Spain, England and Japan last year. The team coached by Vlatko Andonovski has many big names in its ranks, such as Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn and Julie Ertz, but the coach has also called up some promising youngsters (Catarina Macario, Sophia Smith or Midge Purce ), which could be lined up against Canada.
- Brazil has extended Pia Sundhage’s contract until 2024. For the record, the Swede coached the American selection between 2008 and 2012. The two teams will meet on February 21.
- Injured, the Canadian international and international top scorer Christine Sinclair will not be present in Orlando.
- Canadian Sophie Schmidt could celebrate her 200th selection during the tournament.
- American Samantha Mewis, who has yet to fully recover from her ankle injury, will be replaced by Jaelin Howell.
“On a scale of 1 to ‘enjoy a cup of tea against England’ I would say that at the moment I prefer to wait until the tea cools down a bit before tasting it. I’m not at my best yet. , but I’m on the right track. I’m really looking forward to playing these matches because we are in a positive dynamic. We always want to test ourselves against top-level opponents. Despite the absence of Japan, we will meet three amazing teams. We can’t wait. These matches are a good way to prepare for the Olympic Games. ” – Alex Morgan, United States striker
“We need to renew the group and for that we need competitive players. We cannot always rely on Marta, Formiga or Cristiane. If we want to reach the very top level, we have to find the right balance between youth and experience. We have launched a great scouting program. It is essential if we are to find players capable of joining the team. I hope that when they see us, people say to themselves: “This is a real team, who has a project “. You already know Marta and Debinha, who have played for a long time in the United States. They have talent. I would like to introduce you to Rafaelle, who plays in China. I hope she will avoid them. injuries because it can be a game-changer in defense “- Pia Sundhage, Brazil coach
“Considering the current situation, this is a great opportunity for some players to prove that they have what it takes to make a place for themselves at the international level. This tournament will allow us to assess the depth of our squad and the level of preparation of our internationals before the Olympic Games “- Beverly Priestman, Canada coach