Recognized as one of the most prestigious international women’s soccer tournaments in the world, the 2023 SheBelieves Cup returned for its seventh edition with matches played in Orlando, Dallas, and Nashville.
Every year the four-team tournament has featured a different lineup of women’s national teams from around the world, and this time around the U.S. women’s national team welcomes Canada, Brazil, and Japan.
The host USWNT had topped the competition in each of the last three editions, last failing to finish first in 2019 when England collected the top spot in a surprise. Only once has the USA failed to secure a top-two spot, finishing last in 2017 when the USWNT fell to both England and France.
This year, the USWNT is preparing for the 2023 Women’s World Cup with a roster that Vlatko Andonovski selected with an eye towards the big summer tournament. There are plenty of superstar players on the roster that fans will recognize, including Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Mallory Swanson.
As three-time defending champions, the World Cup preparation is paramount, but winning now is important as well as the U.S. hope to solidify their No. 1 world ranking prior to the start of the summer FIFA showcase.
What is the SheBelieves Cup?
The SheBelieves Cup is a women’s international soccer tournament hosted by the United States, born in 2016 to compete with other prestigious winter international tournaments such as the Algarve Cup and the Tournoi de France.
The name of the tournament was intended to build on the momentum from the USWNT’s 2015 Women’s World Cup run, in which the United States won its third World Cup title. The victory was met by a strong response from the USWNT fanbase, and the tournament seeks to inspire the next generation of young women in the sport of soccer.
From the SheBelieves Cup official website:
“Inspired by the U.S. Women’s National Team, SheBelieves is a movement to encourage young women and girls to reach their dreams, athletic or otherwise. The campaign was originally launched in the run-up to the 2015 Women’s World Cup and has evolved into a special bond between U.S. Soccer and its fans, taking a powerful message of empowerment and that of believing in yourself into communities across the nation.
“As one of the most popular women’s teams in the United States, the WNT is the prime example that dreams are attainable if you set your mind to it and go after what you want. Through dedication, teamwork, perseverance and success, the U.S. Women’s National team inspires new generations of young girls and women to be better and strive for better. They inspire them to believe.”
2023 SheBelieves Cup teams
This year’s tournament field featured the world’s top-ranked United States squad as well as Canada (ranked No. 6 by FIFA), Brazil (No. 9), and Japan (No. 11).
It’s a huge step back up from last year’s field which featured no top 10 teams and two participants outside the top 20. The 2022 field was atypically weaker than usual due to prior obligations by many of Europe’s higher-ranked sides. It was the first in SheBelieves Cup history that does not feature a visiting nation ranked among the FIFA top 10. The COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on international travel, but the growth of other competitive international tournaments is also proving a challenge.
The first edition of the tournament in 2016 featured the United States (No. 1), Germany (No. 2), France (No. 3), and England (No. 5). The competition has boasted a powerful lineup of nations in every subsequent year, up until last year when it included Brazil (No. 8), Canada (No. 8), and Argentina (No. 31).
England is simultaneously hosting the second annual Arnold Clark Cup featuring England (No. 4), South Korea (No. 15), Italy (No. 17), and Belgium (No. 20). Meanwhile, the Tournoi de France features the 5th-ranked hosts France, as well as Norway (No. 13), Denmark (No. 18), and Uruguay (No. 67). While the SheBelieves Cup field has returned to its former prominence, those two European-based tournaments have seen significant dips in the prestige of its participants.
The Algarve Cup, a well-established tournament hosted by Portugal for the last 28 years, is not being held this season due to Portugal’s participation in the Women’s World Cup intercontinental playoffs this month.
MORE: 2023 Arnold Clark Cup fixtures, schedule, and results for competition in England
SheBelieves Cup 2023 schedule & results
The four-team competition is played as a round-robin tournament, with all teams playing each other once, using a table to rank teams based on points collected across a team’s three matches.
The United States, five-time winners of its own tournament, hosts Canada, Brazil, and Japan as this year’s four-team field.
Below is the full match schedule for the event along with each game’s highlight package. Unlike last season, where matches were held on the west coast leading to later kickoffs, this year’s competition will be held further east, with games in Orlando, Dallas, and Nashville.
The United States drew two of the later kickoffs, with a 7 p.m. ET start time for its opening match against Canada, and a 6 p.m. kickoff for the final game against Brazil.
|Thu, Feb. 16||Japan vs. Brazil||4:00 p.m.|
|Thu, Feb. 16||USA vs. Canada||7:00 p.m.|
|Sun, Feb. 19||USA vs. Japan||2:30 p.m.|
|Sun, Feb. 19||Brazil vs. Canada||5:30 p.m.|
|Wed, Feb. 22||Canada vs. Japan||3:00 p.m.|
|Wed, Feb. 22||USA vs. Brazil||6:00 p.m.|