This tourney which features only those going to the World Cup and just top 10 teams with the #1 USA, #4 England, #8 Japan & #10 Brazil kicks off Feb. 27 with the US facing Japan in Chester PA, the home of the Union in the second game as the first is at 4 when England & Brazil clash. Brazil, France & the USA comprise 3 of only 7 teams to have been in the last 7 World Cup Tourneys. Those with local ties include from RVC, Crystal Dunn, Kelley O'Hara former Sky Blue Star & Carli Lloyd of NJ & Sky Blue who had 2 soccer clinics this weekend in Syosset. All rostered players were in the camp for the first games of the year with France & Spain. HC Jill Ellis had this to say of the tourney, " It's extremely valuable to get three challenging games against World Cup-bound teams. These are all teams that can go deep into the tournament." the US V Japan game is on FS1 with a kickoff @ 7p.m. Their next game facing England is Mar. 2 on Fox from TN, and lastly Mar. 5 against Brazil in Tampa at 8 broadcast by FS1. We expect to be at both NJ and Tampa. This series of games will mark the halfway point of the Countdown to the Cup, a 10 game pre-World Cup schedule for the USWNT. Next up will be a pair of games in April, with Australia & Belgium, finally 3 "Send Off Series" matches with South Africa, New Zeland & Mexico then it is off to France for the World Cup. HC Ellis said "These remaining 8 matches narrow our focus and we will use these games as fantastic opportunities." 15 of these players were on the roster for this same event last year, 9 are headed to their 4th She Believes Cup.
-27 will be in the pre tourney camp in Tampa including local favorite Allie Long, Jane Campbell, Merritt Mathias (we met her at a clinic on LI this winter) & Emily Fox.
-Lindsey Horan is out with a quad injury.
-Alex Morgan enters these games with 98 goals and awaits being the 7th player in US history to hit for the century mark.
-The games with Japan and Brazil are the first meetings with them since the Tournament of Nations this summer as the US prevailed 4-2 & 4-1 respectivley.
-The US last met up with England last year in the same games.
-As in the first 3 years, the format remains the same, the winner will be based on points, first tie breaker being overall goal differential, then goals scored, finally head to head result, if still even it goes to fair play.
-6 subs per team.
-All US games are on the FOX family of networks, others on ussoccer.com.
-Avg. age for US 27.9 years.
-All 23 come from the NWSL including first overall draft pick Tierna Davidson.
-Over the past iterations, there has not been a 3 goal scorer but 4 have shot a pair.
-For the first dozen games 11 were one goal games, and the first 6 games saw just 9 goals.
-2018 saw an offfensive explosion as 16 goals went in and 2 games had a 3 goal difference.
-In 2018 England HC Phile Neville of Manny U , Everton & English National team fame made his debut with a tie to Germany, win over France and loss to the US. Since he is 6-1-2.