The United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) is set to host their eighth SheBelieves Cup Tournament, starting this Thursday against FIFA 6th ranked Team Canada in Orlando, Florida.
Following the game, the U.S. team will travel to Nashville, Tennessee to faceoff with 11th ranked Japan on Sunday, and then close out the 7-day contest in Frisco, Texas against an always feisty Brazil, who currently sit in 9th place.
Canada the reigning 2020-21 Summer Olympics gold medal winners at Olympics. The strong team is also two-time Concacaf W Championship winners, and recent two-time Olympic bronze medalists.
This current squad, plus or minus a few top players will represent Canada in the summer World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.
But first they must settle a major dispute with the Canadian Soccer Federation.
On February 11th, team captain, Christine Sinclair flat-out stated that her team is ”being compromised by Canada Soccer’s continued inability” to support national teams.
There are significant pay equity concerns and budget cuts that have impacted training camp days, full camp windows, and the number of players and staff invited into training camps.
Lack of funding has also robbed resources for the development of youth teams.
Sinclair added, “The SheBelieves Cup is being played in protest.”
The USWNT has stepped in and voiced their support of their Canadian friends and allies. Word has it that both teams will combine and demonstrate ahead to Thursday’s kick-off in downtown Orlando’s Exploria Stadium.
Canada announces final squad for SheBelieves Cup— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) February 13, 2023
Canada's first match will be against the hosts USA on Thursday 16 February at 19.00 ET/16.00 PT.
The USWNT have trumped Canada 52 times in 64 head-to-head matches that date back to 1986. Canada is very athletic and play up to the America’s ways.
This match is a made for TV and streaming contest. Both HBO MAX, UNIVERSO and Peacock will be broadcast the showdown that will start at 5pm MT.
The United States has won the SheBelieves Cup five times, and is looking to win its fourth consecutive tournament title. In 2021, the USWNT became the first team to lift the trophy in back-to-back years.
“Even though it’s a friendly tournament, it’s really important for us to want to win this tournament and continue to prove to ourselves why we belong at the top and why we do have the mentality that we have,” said USA’s leading lady Alex Morgan during a recent press conference.
Three Coloradans are on head coach Vlatko Andonovski’s tournament roster. They include- winger Mallory Swanson, and midfielders Taylor Kornieck and Lindsey Horan. All are expected to receive significant playing time during the round-robin tourney.
Omitted from this training camp is Real Colorado Soccer Club alum and NWSL phenom, Sophia Smith. She is on the mend and should be called-up as soon as April, when the team resumes friendly play against world-class opponents.
Team USA is coming off of two lopsided wins last month in Auckland. They soundly defeated The Football Ferns 5-0 and 4-0.
Pugh and Kornieck scored four of the nine goals for the high powered U.S. offense.
U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS) – 2023 SHEBELIEVES CUP:
Adrianna Franch (Kansas City Current; 10), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 12), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 87)
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)
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)
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)