USWNT celebrates winning 2020 SheBelieves Cup. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
CHICAGO – U.S. Soccer will host the sixth annual SheBelieves Cup from Feb. 18-24 as three of the top teams in the world – Brazil, Canada and Japan — join the USA for the most elite four-team international tournament in women’s soccer in Orlando, Fla.
All four teams – which are ranked in the world’s top-10 — will participate in the delayed 2021 Olympic Games. The USA, Brazil and Japan enter the tournament as reigning champions of their respective Confederations.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all six matches — which will be played in three doubleheaders — will be staged at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla., home to the Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League and Orlando City SC of Major League Soccer.
With the USA’s two January games vs. Colombia also taking place at Exploria Stadium, the USWNT will play its first five matches of 2021 at the venue. Exploria hosted the first doubleheader of last year’s SheBelieves Cup March 5.
The SheBelieves Cup kicks off Thursday, Feb. 18 as Brazil takes on Japan (4 p.m. ET) and the USA faces Canada (7 p.m. ET on FS1 and TUDN).
The tournament resumes Sunday, Feb. 21 with the USA playing the first match of the day, against Brazil (3 p.m. ET on FS1 and TUDN), while Japan will face Canada (6 p.m. ET) in the nightcap.
The competition concludes Wednesday, Feb. 24 with Canada meeting Brazil (4 p.m. ET) and the USA facing Japan (7 p.m. ET on FS1 and TUDN).
The 2021 SheBelieves Cup will be held slightly earlier than in its previous incarnations due to FIFA’s adjustments to the official fixture dates for 2021.
“I can’t wait for this tournament and I know our players feel the same way,” USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski said in a statement. “We put in all this work to play matches, so to get three great ones in this world class event that resembles group play at an Olympics is something we’re very thankful for. It will be a bit different this year with limited fans, but with the Olympics once again on the horizon our players will be highly motivated and there’s no better way to prepare for the tournament than to play teams that will be in Japan. There’s some great history between these countries and I know all six games will be fun to play in and to watch.”