The SheBelieves Cup is coming back for a second year in 2017 and once again it will feature the United States, Germany, France and England, making it a tournament with four of the top five ranked teams in the world. The tournament, organized by U.S. Soccer, will be the biggest tournament in women’s international soccer in 2017 and a huge test for the Americans.
The tournament will be played on March 1, 4 and 7 with doubleheaders at PPL Park in Chester, PA, Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ and RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. All of the U.S. matches will be broadcast live on the FOX networks, with FS1 airing the first and third matches against Germany and France, and the March 4 contest against England on FOX.
One of the troubles for women’s international teams is the long break between the Olympics and the World Cup. European teams have it a little better off because they have the competitive European Championships, but the United States won’t play a major competitive tournament from the summer of 2016, when they had the Olympics, until the 2019 World Cup. That makes tournaments like the SheBelieves Cup absolutely vital for the Americans.
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Jill Ellis is working on turning over the U.S. team by bringing in more young players like Emily Sonnett, Kealia Ohai, Lynn Williams and Rose Lavelle. She also has to find a new starting goalkeeper, with Hope Solo’s future in doubt both because of his suspension and age. On top of all that, Ellis has sought to change the way the team plays, using new formations and trying to implement new styles of play. Doing so requires testing the progress the team makes against top level competition and the SheBelieves Cup will be vital to that as they begin building towards the 2019 World Cup.