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USWNT publicizes three-game slate for SheBelieves Cup in February

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The United States ladies’s nationwide staff will play Brazil, Canada and Japan within the annual SheBelieves Cup this February, U.S. Soccer introduced Friday.

The four-team event will happen throughout three totally different cities from Feb. 16-22 because the USWNT continues its preparation for subsequent summer time’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The highest-ranked Individuals, who’re favorites to win their third consecutive World Cup, will face Canada on Feb. 16 at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla. (7 p.m. ET); Japan on Feb. 19 at GEODIS Park in Nashville, Tennessee (3:30 p.m. ET); and finish with Brazil on Feb. 22 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas (7 p.m. ET). Broadcast data just isn’t but out there.

U.S. Soccer beforehand introduced two friendlies in New Zealand towards the World Cup co-hosts in January. These matches will happen Jan. 17 at Sky Stadium in Wellington and Jan. 20 at Eden Park in Auckland — two stadiums the USWNT will play throughout the group stage of the event.

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“The primary 5 video games of the 2023 schedule shall be towards groups taking part in within the World Cup, and we count on to verify just a few extra matches towards prime opponents earlier than we go to New Zealand subsequent summer time,” USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski stated. “We love the SheBelieves Cup for the world-class competitors it brings, the format that helps replicate group play at a World Cup and the general that means that it has for our staff and girls’s groups.

“Clearly, you get extra relaxation days in a World Cup, however managing a roster with three video games over seven days towards groups with three very totally different kinds of play is admittedly good preparation for us as we proceed to develop as a staff towards subsequent summer time.”

The USWNT, which certified for each the 2023 World Cup and 2024 Paris Olympics earlier this yr, wants as a lot preparation as doable if it desires to defend its title. 

FIFA lately got here out with its newest world rankings and whereas the U.S. continues to be No. 1, it is by some fairly slim margins. The USWNT struggled to complete out its yr, dropping three of its final 4 matches to England, Spain and Germany. The Individuals did redeem themselves a bit by beating the Germans of their second match of a two-game collection, 2-1.

Sweden, which had beforehand been ranked second on the planet, is now No. 3 behind Germany, whereas England, France, the Netherlands, Canada, Spain, Brazil and South Korea spherical out the highest 10.

The 2023 World Cup shall be held throughout 9 cities in Australia and New Zealand and begins July 20, with the ultimate set for Aug. 20. The U.S. was drawn into Group E with Vietnam, the Netherlands and the winner of a Cameroon-Thailand-Portugal playoff that shall be decided in February.

The USWNT will play all three group video games in New Zealand, with the squad opening the event towards event beginner Vietnam at Eden Park in Auckland on July 22. It would face the Netherlands on July 27 after which the playoff-winner on Aug. 1.

Laken Litman covers faculty soccer, faculty basketball and soccer for FOX Sports activities. She beforehand coated faculty soccer, faculty basketball, the U.S. Girls’s Nationwide Soccer Workforce and the Olympics at Sports activities Illustrated, USA In the present day and The Indianapolis Star. Her first ebook, written in partnership with Rizzoli and Sports activities Illustrated and titled “Sturdy Like a Girl,” was revealed in spring 2022 marking the fiftieth anniversary of Title IX.

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