USA, Germany, France & England Set For SheBelieves Cup

 U.S. Soccer will host the third annual SheBelieves Cup from March 1-7 as the USA takes on three of the world’s top teams in the most elite, four-team women’s international soccer tournament of the year.


Second-ranked Germany, third-ranked England and sixth-ranked France will once again join the top-ranked USA in a tournament that features international women’s soccer powers and dozens of the world’s best players in the six-game competition. The USA won the inaugural edition in 2016, while France won the 2017 tournament. As in the first two editions, the 2018 tournament will feature the four teams participating in three doubleheader events at three different venues over a seven-day period.


As usual for this tournament, all six games promise to be highly entertaining and competitive match-ups. The 2018 SheBelieves Cup kicks off with England opening against France on Thursday, March 1 at MAPFRE Stadium (4 p.m. ET), followed by the USA against Germany (7 p.m. ET on ESPN2) in a battle of the defending World Cup and Olympic champions.


All the teams will then travel to New Jersey and Red Bull Arena where the USA will play the first match of the day on Sunday, March 4, taking on France (12 p.m. ET on ESPN2) followed by Germany vs. England (3 p.m. ET). The tournament will finish on Wednesday, March 7, at Orlando City Stadium as France takes on Germany (4 p.m. ET) followed by the tournament finale featuring the USA’s first visit to the home of the NWSL’s Orlando Pride to take on England (7 p.m. ET on ESPNews).


The winner of the tournament will be based on total points (three for a win, one for a tie), with the first tie-breaker being overall goal difference, followed by most total tournament goals scored, then head-to-head result and lastly, FIFA Ranking if necessary.


In last year’s SheBelieves Cup, the USA defeated Germany 1-0 in the opening match on a goal from Lynn Williams, but fell to England 1-0 and France 3-0. France won the tournament, Germany was second, England third and the USA finished fourth. France defeated England 2-1, drew 0-0 with Germany and downed the USA 3-0.


In the 2016 edition of the SheBelieves Cup, the USA defeated England and France by 1-0 scores and downed Germany, 2-1, in the de facto championship game to take the inaugural tournament title. Germany finished second, England was third and France was fourth. None of the games were decided by more than one goal with three 1-0 victories, two 2-1 victories and one 0-0 draw. In both tournaments, there have been nine total goals scored over the six games.


Germany and England have begun the long qualifying process for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Germany sits atop Group 5 after four matches, but suffered a stunning 3-2 loss to Iceland in late October. England is in second place in Group 1 behind Wales, but has played three matches to Wales’ four. As host, France has an automatic berth to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.


USA midfielder Samantha Mewis (3) waves to the crowd with her teammates after the friendly against Russia last year. Photo: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports