The teams invited to compete in this year’s tournament are #1 The Unites States of America, #2 Germany, #3 France, and #5 England. The U.S. Women’s National Team took home the title to last year’s 2016 Inaugural SheBelieves Cup, but are they able to do it again?
United States of America
The #1 seed and historically the most decorated women’s soccer team is highly favored to win this year’s SheBelieves Cup. Besides the fact that it is on their home soil, the red, white, and blue are the current World Cup champions and have a 23-women roster full of star-studded names and accolades. Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn, and U.S. Soccer Female player of the Tobin Heath are just to name a few. Alex Morgan heads into the tournament with 73 career goals in 120 caps while Christen Press has 41 goals in 80 caps. Both are averaging more than half a goal per game in their Women’s National Team careers. Jill Ellis is excited for the team to compete against such tough opponents and was quoted, “We will be greatly tested and these are the moments where you learn the most about yourself which is exactly what we need right now.” The USA is favored but will be ill advised to not let their guard down against these prestigious teams invited.
#2 Germany has been going through some transitions through their administration as well as on the field. Steffi Jones, a renowned ex-German Women’s National player will take the helm in leading the team as the new head coach. Germany has yet to lose under the reign of Jones and currently sits at a record of 4-0. The German team is full of young gunners and a select few of solid returners that will be a threat on the pitch. Anja Mittag is the most experienced player on the German roster with a count of 149 games total played for the Germans. Mittag has a record of 111 wins, 20 draws, and 18 losses. Germany also holds several of the top young players in the world in Leonie Maier, Dzsenifer Maroszán, and Alexandra Popp. All three members were on Germany’s 2015 Women’s World Cup roster as well as the recent Olympic Games team. Ten of the players on the 2017 SheBelieves Cup roster scored a combined 25 goals. Germany as always will be a huge threat to the current SheBelieves title holders.
France has begun to regain their momentum over the last four years. If we are looking at their past record: vs England (8-7-0), vs Germany (3-3-9), and vs U.S.A (1-2-9), France will be a competitive matchup against the SheBelieves opponents. France is currently 3-2-0 in their last 5 national games. Look out for Marie-Laure Delle, Eugénie Le Sommer, and Gaëtane Thiney as they hold records for being top goal scorers for the French team.
Don’t let the #5 seed fool you, England is a team to keep on your radar. The Lionesses placed 3rd in last year’s tournament but are hoping to come out victorious in this year’s SheBelieves Cup prior to going into the Euro Cup this summer. Key players to look out for are Captain Steph Houghton, defender Casey Stoney, and defender Alex Scott. The Lionesses have a solid back line but will need their front runners to be active this tournament in order to thrive.
The SheBelieves Cup will showcase some of the best female soccer players on the planet and some of the greatest athletes in the world. Even if you’re not the biggest soccer fan, the SheBelieves Cup will promise a great atmosphere for a great cause!