The USWNT will face England, Japan and Spain in the 2020 SheBelieves Cup. It is the perfect test for the world champions before the summer’s Olympics.
Just one year after winning the World Cup, the United States Women’s National Team will look to capture the next major competition in women’s soccer. The 2020 Olympic Games offers the opportunity for the USWNT to win back-to-back major titles. It won’t be an easy task as the world’s best teams will stand in the way.
Before then, however, the USWNT will get the chance to face off against some of their direct rivals for the Olympic crown, including hosts Japan.
The 2020 SheBelieves Cup lineup was announced this week. Four countries, including the USWNT, will vie for the top spot in the annual March competition. The three countries the U.S. will face are Spain, England, and Japan.
One country who sticks out is Japan, who are the host nation for the 2020 Olympic Games. Following a disappointing result at the 2019 World Cup, the Japanese side will certainly be looking to claim a medal on home soil. This tournament offers them a chance to regain confidence against tough competition.
England are going to be a tough team to face after the USWNT got past them in the semi-finals of the World Cup. Like Japan, England will be at the Olympic Games as well. They are among the favorites to compete for the gold medal. Will this be their year to win a major competition?
For Spain, the SheBelieves Cup offers the opportunity to further give their team matches against superior competition. They are an up and coming nation in women’s soccer after making just their second appearance at the World Cup in 2019. This team will be on the hunt for upsets.
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It will be a busy two month stretch for the USWNT during February and March. The team will participate in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament during February. From there, they will go on to host the SheBelieves Cup. As a result, there will be a host of chances for new manager Vlatko Andonovski to get an idea of who he will consider for the final Olympic squad.
Both competitions give the USWNT the opportunity to assert their are still the world’s top team. They will be out to prove there is no World Cup hangover and they are the team to beat in Japan in August.
After two successive World Cup victories, the USWNT undoubtedly have a target on their backs. But they will be hoping to avenge their quarter-final defeat to Sweden in 2016 and have a terrific opportunity to do so.
Before then, though, the SheBelieves Cup is the perfect warm-up. And with the action getting underway on March 5th as the USWNT take on England in the marquee fixture of the tournament, there is much to look forward to.