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SheBelieves Cup notebook: USWNT midfield, Brazil’s intensity, Marta’s return

Pia Sundhage tells EQZ exactly what Brazil needs from Marta in her return from injury, plus Vlatko Andonovski adds another name to the USWNT’s roster bubble

Daniela Porcelli / SPP

ORLANDO, Fla. — The SheBelieves Cup begins on Thursday, and much of the attention in the buildup centers around Canada’s labor dispute, their brief attempt at a strike before their federation threatened legal action, and the ongoing aftermath.

Canada will play the tournament in protest, players say.

On the field, the SheBelieves Cup will likely serve as their best remaining preparation for this summer’s World Cup. The same could be said for the United States, Brazil and Japan. After next week, only the April FIFA window remains prior to the World Cup window.

This tournament, therefore, packs significant questions for all four teams involved, each of which is ranked in the top 11 in the world. How they perform could be telling of how they will fare at the World Cup.

Here are some notable news and notes from a busy day in Orlando.

United States: Midfield still in focus, plus more bubble talk

The news item from U.S. camp on Wednesday is that midfielder Rose Lavelle will miss at least the game against Canada with what Vlatko Andonovski described (and a team spokesperson declined to add details to) as “a knock.” Lavelle watched her teammates warm up for training on Wednesday with ice on her left knee and up toward her thigh area, and a wrap around her upper left calf.

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