U.S. Soccer has officially announced the dates and locations for the second SheBelieves Cup, confirming reports made when the French Football Federation sent out a press release with part of its 2017 schedule included back in December.
Like last year’s tournament, the SheBelieves Cup is scheduled for the first week of March, but this year it has been moved from the Southeast to the northeastern United States. Matches will be played in Chester, Pennsylvania; Harrison, New Jersey; and Washington, D.C. The tournament will be the first matches of 2017 for the USWNT and will feature the same top-five teams in the world: the U.S., England, France and Germany.
“It’s fantastic to play these three teams in the first three games of the year. As I’ve said many times, one of our main goals is to play the best teams in the world as often as possible and we have tremendous respect for France, Germany and England, which all feature world class players at multiple positions,” Jill Ellis, head coach of the USWNT, said in a statement released by the team. “These are the kinds of games where we get tested and can really learn a lot about ourselves.”
The schedule for the 2017 SheBelieves Cup is as follows:
Wednesday, March 1: France v England (4 p.m. EST) / USA v Germany (7 p.m. EST on FS1) at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, PA
Saturday, March 4: France v Germany (2:15 p.m. EST) / USA v England (5 p.m. EST on Fox) at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ
Tuesday, March 7: Germany v England (4 p.m. EST) / USA v France (7 p.m. EST on FS1) at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC
Although all of the USWNT’s matches will be televised on either Fox or Fox Sports 1 (FS1), no word has been made about whether any of the other matches will be televised in the States.
The USWNT were the 2016 SheBelieves Cup champions, defeating all three teams to win the round-robin tournament. Alex Morgan was named the tournament MVP and Golden Boot winner for her two tournament goals, one of which was the game winner against France, and Hope Solo was awarded the Golden Glove.
Although the USWNT and U.S. Soccer have yet to agree on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, or CBA, the SheBelieves Cup will be held as scheduled since either side must provide 60 days’ notice before a strike. That means that, as of January 1, the deadline to strike before the tournament had passed.
The USWNT’s January training camp kicks off on tomorrow, January 12 and runs until the 23rd.