We are exactly two weeks away from the start of the 2021 SheBelieves Cup! The US Women’s National Team (USWNT) will be joined by Argentina, Brazil, and Canada in the tournament this year! In preparation, the USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski announced the 23 players who will be on the roster for the tournament. Let’s take a look at the powerful and proven roster!
Powerful and Proven Roster
The USWNT roster for this tournament has so many great players from their dominant run over the past few years. This team will be star-studded at every position in the starting 11. Even the players that can’t start will be accomplished. The powerful and proven roster will need to stay at the top of their game in a tournament where they will be the runaway favorites.
This team is the best in the world, and they are playing good teams, but they are most-definitely above their competition. If they don’t dominate in all three matches, there will be hell to pay. The mentality of this team is always to go for the kill. This tournament will be no different. This team is the best in the world. They have won everything they have competed in over the last few years. In 2021, they’ll need to keep that tenacity. Here’s a look at the 23 player roster.
SheBelieves Cup Roster position breakdown
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (Paris Saint-Germain), Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Margaret Purce (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Manchester City), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (Manchester City)
FORWARDS (6): Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Manchester United), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)
A look at the USWNT’s Opponents
This year’s tournament sees two countries featuring for the first time (Argentina and Canada) and another that has been apart of the festivities once (Brazil). These three countries will be fighting for their first-ever SheBelive’s Cup win; all three will also hope to finish above the last place.
Canada enters this tournament for the first time in 2021. They share that 8th spot on the world rankings and are heated rivals with the USWNT. This is an opportunity for them to stick it to the USA, as the last time these two nations met, the US won 3-0 in the final of the Olympic qualifying tournament. Canada will be in the summer Olympic’s along with the USA, despite their final loss, and this tournament could be key for their confidence and form moving forward.
Brazil finished fourth in this comp back in 2019. This last-place finish was one that saw them fall short against three powerhouses (England, France and the USA). Coming into this tournament Brazil is in a tie for the ranking of 8th in the world with fellow opponent Canada. Brazil will be looking to make a statement this time around, as this will be a great tournament tune-up for the Summer Olympics for them.
Argentina enters this competition for the first time ever as well. They are in a tie for the 31st world ranking, therefore, they will need to do a lot to keep up with the other teams. Since only one team can make it to the summer Olympics from the CONMEBOL region, Argentina will not be in the tournament this summer. They finished in third place in qualifying behind Brazil and Chile. This nation was added to the tournament late on replacing Japan who had to step out of the tournament this year. Argentina will be clear underdogs in this competition, can they produce the upset?
Tune-up for the Summer Olympics
For the USWNT this tournament will be a priority. They have won it three times in its inception five years ago. A fourth win will mean they would have three more than France and England, who won one each in the past. With a roster made up of powerful and proven players, a fourth title should be in sight. While that is the main focus, could the USWNT also be using the 2021 SheBelieves Cup as a tune-up for the Summer Olympics?
It very much could be the case. Their matches against Brazil and Canada, who they could very well see in Tokyo this summer, could be very telling. For the top-ranked nation, the USA will look to win their unprecedented fourth SheBelieves Cup in six years. Could performances had in this tournament make or break being involved in the Olympic games this summer? We’ll have to wait and see to find out!
Be sure to come back to Philly Sports Network for more Philadelphia Union and other soccer content!
Follow our Union team on Twitter:
Doop on Union fans!
Mandatory Credit: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire.