SheBelieves Cup Kicks Off Fifth Year On Thursday
United States, Japan, Spain, and defending champions England all to compete
The USWNT and defending SheBelieves Cup Champions England face off during the 2020 edition's opening night in Orlando (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)
The USWNT and defending SheBelieves Cup Champions England face off during the 2020 edition's opening night in Orlando (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

For the fifth consecutive winter, the SheBelieves Cup will be pitting the world’s best national teams against each other in the best soccer-specific stadiums that the United States has to offer. With the tournament’s opening matches on Thursday, here’s a look at how squad ahead of the annual litmus test for teams in their new international cycle.

You can find the full schedule and broadcasting options for the SheBelieves Cup here.

England

The Lionesses once again return Stateside to compete in the SheBelieves Cup aiming to defend their title. Participating in all previous events, England is the second most successful team in the tournament’s history, behind the hosting United States. Opponents will have their hands full as all-time tournament scoring leader Ellen White is due to lead the line and Chelsea’s Bethany England joins the team in great form following her contribution to her club’s Continental Cup victory last week. England seeks to avenge their 2019 World Cup semifinal defeat when they face the United States on Thursday with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. ET.

Japan

Japan returns for their second consecutive SheBelieves Cup appearance, aiming to build off of a third place finish in last year’s tournament. Head coach Asako Takakura brings a younger squad into the fray following a disappointing Round of 16 exit in France last summer. Japan, however, are coming off of a victory in the EAFF E-1 Football Championships in December. Japan takes on Spain in the opening match of SheBelieves Cup 2020 with kick off at 4:15 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Spain

Spain debuts in the SheBelieves Cup in 2020 as the seventh different nation to compete in the event’s half a decade history. La Roja enjoyed a successful qualification for Euro 2021 following their Round of 16 World Cup loss to the United States last summer. Head coach Jorge Vilda returns many familiar faces from that match for this tournament, including FC Barcelona forward Jennifer Hermoso, who netted Spain’s only goal that evening in Reims. Spain opens their first SheBelieves Cup campaign against Japan.

United States

Coming off titles in the 2019 World Cup and 2020 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament, the Americans are looking to continue their hot run of form and add to their 2016 and 2018 victories as the tournament’s host this month. The U.S. returns all of their participants from Olympic Qualifying, with three notable additions – Chicago Red Stars duo Casey Short and Tierna Davidson as well as new Sky Blue FC forward Mallory Pugh. The USWNT kickstart their campaign against England.

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