CHICAGO – Argentina has replaced Japan in the SheBelieves Cup, which will be staged from Feb. 18-24 at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla., U.S. Soccer announced Thursday.
Argentina joins host United States, Brazil and Canada.
Japan withdrew from the tournament citing the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic in its country. Argentina will slot into Japan’s schedule and the order of games and kickoff times will not change. Brazil and Canada are confirmed to participate in the tournament.
At the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, Argentina participated in its third World Cup, following its back-to-back appearances in 2003 and 2007. Drawn into a Group D, La Albiceleste distinguished themselves in front of the world with a 0-0 tie against 2015 Women’s World Cup finalists Japan, a 1-0 loss to eventual fourth-place finishers England and a wild 3-3 draw with Scotland.
The two points were not enough to get Argentina into the Round of 16, but the comeback against the Scots from a 3-0 deficit via three goals in the last 16 minutes plus stoppage time was one of the highlights of the tournament and also knocked Scotland out of the competition.
Argentina’s participation in the SheBelieves Cup sets up a clash with its biggest rival, Brazil. At the 2018 Copa América Femenina, which Brazil won (securing its seventh consecutive Confederation title), Argentina finished third, falling to Brazil 3-1 in group play and 3-0 in the final stage match-up. Argentina is currently ranked 31st in the world and third in South America.
Once all four teams arrive in Orlando, all the players and staffs will operate inside highly controlled environments at the host hotel. The staging of trainings and the matches will fall under the comprehensive U.S. Soccer Return to Play Protocols and Guidelines and in accordance with the Concacaf Return to Play Protocols. Everyone entering the controlled environment will be tested for COVID-19 before traveling, upon arrival and every two days thereafter. The teams will not begin full team training until the results of all arrival tests are confirmed. All matches will be conducted with limited attendance.
2021 SheBelieves Cup, Presented by Visa, Schedule
Date Matches Stadium City Kickoff (ET) TV
Feb. 18 Brazil vs. Argentina Exploria Stadium Orlando, Fla. 4 p.m. TBD
Feb. 18 USA vs. Canada Exploria Stadium Orlando, Fla. 7 p.m. FS1/TUDN
Feb. 21 USA vs. Brazil Exploria Stadium Orlando, Fla. 3 p.m. FS1/TUDN
Feb. 21 Argentina vs. Canada Exploria Stadium Orlando, Fla. 6 p.m. TBD
Feb. 24 Canada vs. Brazil Exploria Stadium Orlando, Fla. 4 p.m. TBD
Feb. 24 USA vs. Argentina Exploria Stadium Orlando, Fla. 7 p.m. FS1/TUDN