The U.S. Women’s National Team is set to play in the fourth edition of the SheBelieves Cup, an elite four-team international tournament, against Japan, England, and Brazil.
Why it matters?
This is a big deal tournament because all four nations are ranked in the top ten of the FIFA rankings: the United States is ranked first, England is fourth, Japan is eight, and Brazil is tenth. Additionally, the tournament promotes women’s empowerment and world-class soccer, and it has brought in the highest-ranked nations (the past three years, Germany and France competed in the tournament, and this year, Japan and Brazil take their place). It’s also a World Cup year, so each team will continue to use it to prep for France.
How it works?
It’s a round robin tournament where each country will play three games over the next week, hoping to gain points along the way. A win earns three points and a draw settles for one point. The winner of the tournament will be decided by higher total points, with the goal difference as the first tie-breaker, followed by goals scored, then head-to-head. If teams are still tied, the next tie-breaker will be the Fair Play ranking. Each Team is allowed six substitutes per game.
Utah Royals represent
Three members of Utah Royals FC were selected by U.S. head coach Jill Ellis for the 23-player roster for the tournament: Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O’Hara, and Christen Press.
- Sauerbrunn has earned 151 caps playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team, becoming the 20th player to reach 150 caps.
- Press has 108 caps and 47 career goals. She is tied for 11th place on the all-time WNT goals list.
- O’Hara has recovered from the ankle surgery that sidelined her since October and hopes to see playing time since last fall. She now has 112 caps.
Sauerbrunn and O’Hara are likely to be starters, while Press tends to come off the bench. Press and O’Hara were on the SheBelieves Cup roster in 2018. Sauerbrunn missed the 2018 edition due to an injury.
The United States won the tournament in 2018.