Canada will compete in the SheBelieves Cup for the second time after finishing third in 2021. Canada were drawn into Group B at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 along with Nigeria, Australia and the Republic of Ireland. Brazil is taking part in the tournament for the third time after participating in 2021 (second place) and 2019 (fourth place). Brazil were drawn into Group F at the World Cup along with France, Jamaica and the Group C playoff winners. Japan is participating in the SBC for the third time, after coming to the US in 2020 (fourth place) and 2019 (third place). Japan were drawn into Group C at the World Cup along with Costa Rica, Spain and Zambia.
VISA SHEBELIEVES CUP MVP
For the fourth straight year, Visa, the presenting sponsor of the SheBelieves Cup, is awarding the MVP trophy to the tournament’s most outstanding player. The award will be announced after the conclusion of the final. Spain’s Alexia Putellas won the 2020 first prize, chosen by a selection committee of former women’s national team players from each participating country, while Rose Lavelle claimed the 2021 MVP honor and American Catarina Macario was the 2022 recipient.
A new selection committee made up of representatives from all participating nations will be announced for the 2023 SheBelieves Cup and fans will once again have the opportunity to vote for the winner of the Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP award using an online vote to choose from a list of the selected finalists to be selected by the committee. The fan vote feeds into the overall decision of the Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP 2023.
WITHIN THE SERIES: USA vs. CANADA
The US and Canada are meeting for the 64th time combined in a series dating back to 1986 when the USWNT was in its second year. Canada is the most common opponent in USWNT history and the USA leads the overall series 52-4-7. Thursday’s matchup is the teams’ second meeting in the SheBelieves Cup and the teams’ fifth meeting in the past four years. USA have won three of the last four meetings between the sides, although the last three meetings have all been decided 1-0.
The teams last faced off in the 2022 Concacaf W Championship finals on July 18 in Monterrey, Mexico. The USA prevailed 1-0 in the 78th minute through an Alex Morgan penalty to secure the regional title and secure a spot at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The USA, who defeated Canada 17-11 that night, became only the second nation to secure a place at the Paris 24 Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament, along with hosts France, while Canada meet Jamaica, who beat Costa Rica 1 :0 defeated in added time in the third-place game – in a playoff series in September 2023 to determine Concacaf’s second and final representative at the Olympics.
Before meeting in Mexico, the United States and Canada last met in the semifinals of the delayed 2020 Olympics, a 1-0 win for the Canadians on August 2 in Kashima, Japan. Although the attack was better for much of the game and Canada were defeated 17–5 that day, a Jessie Fleming penalty in the 75th minute proved decisive as Canada recorded only their fourth win against the USA it was the first since 2001. After the semi-final win that ended a 36-game winless streak for Canada against the USWNT at the Summer Olympics, Canada won its first Olympic gold medal by beating Sweden 3-2 on penalties in the final after a 1: 1 result through regulation.
In America’s only meeting to date against Canada at the SheBelieves Cup, USA won 1-0 in their opening game of the 2021 tournament after a 79th-minute Rose Lavelle goal.
USA will play in Group E at the 2023 Women’s World Cup
The USA women’s national team will face World Cup debutants Vietnam, 2019 runners-up Netherlands and Group A play-off winners – either Portugal, Thailand or Cameroon 20 Aug 20 in 10 stadiums and nine host cities, five in Australia and four in New Zealand.
The USA will play the entire group stage in New Zealand. The USA will open the Group E game against Vietnam on July 22 at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau (13:00 local time / 21:00 ET on July 21), which will also serve as the venue for the World Cup opening ceremony 2023 will serve on July 20th when New Zealand plays Norway. The USA then meets the Netherlands on July 27 at the Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara (1pm local time / 9pm ET on July 26), followed by the Group A playoff winners on August 1st at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau (7pm local / 3am ET).
WORLD CUP FIELD NEARLY COMPLETED
The expanded The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will be the first with 32 countries, up from 24 in 2019 and 2015. Of the 32 teams for Australia/New Zealand, 29 have qualified with only the play-off winners yet to be determined.
Those three remaining spots will be determined in this FIFA window during the Inter-Confederation Playoffs, taking place in New Zealand from February 18th to 23rd. Used as a test event before the Women’s World Cup, the ten-team playoff tournament features the ten nations divided into three groups, with the winners of each group qualifying for the Women’s World Cup. In Group A, Cameroon meets Thailand on February 18, with the winners going up against Portugal on February 22 for a place at the World Cup. Both matches will be played at World Cup venue Waikato Stadium in Hamilton/Kirikiriroa and against the winners of play-off Group A will play with USA in Group E at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 this summer.
In Group B, Senegal meets Haiti on February 18, with the winners playing Chile on February 22 for a place at the World Cup. Both games will be played at North Harbor Stadium in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau. The winners of play-off Group B will meet in the finals along with England, Denmark and China PR in Group B.
Group C consists of four teams, so Chinese Taipei will meet Paraguay and Papua New Guinea will meet Panama on February 19, with the winners playing for a place at the World Cup on February 23. The two semi-finals will take place at Waikato Stadium and North Harbor Stadium, and the final at Waikato Stadium. The winner will face France, Jamaica and Brazil in Group F.
New Zealand and Argentina, both already at the World Cup, will also play a series of friendlies against play-off teams during the FIFA window.
SHEBELIEVE’S MOVEMENT CONTINUES TO GROW
SheBelieves is a US Soccer initiative inspired by US WNT players to inspire and empower women and girls. Launched in the run-up to the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the campaign has since grown into a powerful message of empowerment and belief in yourself. The SheBelieves Cup is a flagship event for the campaign, which also includes efforts such as the SheBelieves Summit Presented by Deloitte.
The SheBelieves Summit 2023 will take place on March 11-12 at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas. Returning to its original all-in-person format, the sixth annual SheBelieves Summit will have speakers from sports, business and beyond with the goal of providing attendees with the tools they need to secure jobs in their chosen careers back up and continue on their way to your goals. Registration for the event is now open.
USA BOX NOTES
- The most-capped player in this roster is Becky Sauerbrunn with 212, followed by Alex Morgan (201), Megan Rapinoe (197), Crystal Dunn (128) and Lindsey Horan (123), while the lowest-capped player is Casey Murphy (12) are. Trinity Rodman (12), Naomi Girma (12), Adrianna Franch (10) and Taylor Kornieck (9).
- Eleven of the 23 players in the US roster for the 2023 SheBelieves Cup have less than 30 caps: Sofia Huerta, Emily Fox, Midge Purce, Alana Cook, Ashley Sanchez, Ashley Hatch, Murphy, Franch, Rodman, Girma and Kornieck.
- Morgan is the top scorer in the international squad with 120 goals. Megan Rapinoe has 63, Mallory Swanson has 28, Lindsey Horan has 26, and Dunn and Lavelle have 24 each.
- Six different players have scored for USA so far in 2023, led by three goals from Swanson, two goals from Lavelle and one goal each from Morgan, Lynn Williams, Hatch and Kornieck.
- Swanson leads USA in total minutes played in 2023 with 156 minutes played.
- Eight of USA’s nine goals that year were assisted, with five different players providing an assist in 2023. Rodman leads with three assists, followed by two from Lavelle and one each from Sanchez, Huerta and Williams.
- Nine players have been directly involved in a goal with either a goal or an assist this year, led by Lavelle with a total of four goal contributions (two goals and two assists).
- The USA recorded two clean sheets earlier in the year, with Alyssa Naeher (January 18 v New Zealand) and Casey Murphy (January 21 v New Zealand) recording shutouts in their first games of 2023.
- Head coach Vlatko Andonovski has 44-5-6 in 55 games with the USWNT, 35 at home and 22 against sides ranked in the top 13 in the world.
IN FOCUS: CANADA | FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
FIFA World Ranking: 6
CONCACAF Ranking: 2
World Cup appearances: 7 (1995, 199, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019)
Best World Cup Finish: Fourth place (2003)
Record against USA (WDL): 4W-7D-52L
Last match against USA: 18 July 2022 (USA win 1-0 in Monterrey, Mexico)
head coach: Bev Priestman
CANADA DETAILED BREAKDOWN BY POSITION
GOALKEEPER (3): 1-Kailen Sheridan (San Diego Wave FC, USA), 18-Sabrina D’Angelo (Arsenal FC, ENG), 22-Lysianne Proulx (SCU Torreense, POR)
DEFENDERS (8):2-Allysha Chapman (Houston Dash, USA), 3-Kadeisha Buchanan (Chelsea FC, ENG), 4-Shelina Zadorsky (Tottenham Hotspur, ENG), 5-Quinn (OL Reign, USA), 6- Gabby Carle (Washington Spirit, USA), 10-Ashley Lawrence (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), 14-Vanessa Gilles (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA), 21-Jade Rose (Harvard University, USA)
MIDFELD (4): 7-Julia Grosso (Juventus FC, ITA), 8-Simi Awujo (USC, USA), 13-Sophie Schmidt (Houston Dash, USA), 17-Jessie Fleming (Chelsea FC, ENG)Szewieczková (SK Slavia Prague), 6-Michaela Khýrová (SK Slavia Prague), 20-Katerina Buzkova (AC Sparta Prague)
Forwards (8): 9-Jordyn Huitema (OL Reign, USA), 11-Clarissa Larisey (BK Häcken FF, SWE), 12-Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns FC, USA), 15-Evelyne Viens (Kristianstads DFF, SWE) , 16-Janine Beckie (Portland Thorns FC, USA), 19-Adriana Leon (Manchester United FC, ENG), 20-Cloé Lacasse (SL Benfica, POR), 23-Jenna Hellstrom (Dijon Football Côte d’Or, FRA)
CANADA LIST NOTES
- 16 of the 23 Canadian players for this tournament were from the 2020 Olympic team. In contrast, 11 players from the 23-man USA roster were included in the 2020 Olympic team.
- While the Americans have a strong track record in this series, their 17 meetings since 2011 have included three draws, six one-goal wins for the US and one one-goal win for Canada.
- The sides have met three times at World Cups, the first time in the third-place play-off at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2003 with a 3-1 USA victory at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The USA earned a 2-1 victory in overtime in the quarterfinals of the 2004 Olympics when Natasha Kai scored the decisive goal in Shanghai, China, and of course the teams played an epic semifinals at the 2012 Olympics, a game that the USA won 4-1. 3 in the final minute of extra time to an Alex Morgan header.
- Portland Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair is one of the most experienced and respected players in women’s football history. She is by far the most capped player in Canada’s squad and the all-time leading international scorer with 190 career goals. Only the fourth player in the history of international soccer to have surpassed 300 caps, Sinclair reached the milestone in Canada’s opening game of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – in which she also scored the first goal – and joined USWNT stars Kristine Lilly (354 caps) and Carli Lloyd at (316) and Christie Pearce Rampone (311) and at the 300 cap club.
- Forward Janine Beckie, a native of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, who attended Texas Tech, has 98 caps and could reach 100 in the SheBelieves Cup. Beckie has 36 career goals, which ranks second on the team behind Sinclair.
- Forward Adriana Leon, who played her college soccer at Notre Dame and Florida, has scored 28 goals in her 92 career games.
- Jessie Fleming, who was a star at UCLA and currently plays for European superstar Chelsea, is Canada’s top midfielder with 111 caps and 19 career goals. Midfielder Sophie Schmidt has a remarkable 218 caps and 20 goals to her credit.
- Almost every player on the Canada squad has played in the United States, either professionally or as a student. Canada’s roster consists of eight current NWSL players and two players currently playing at US colleges. Of the 13 Canadians currently playing in Europe, six have previously played in the NWSL.
- Due to NWSL ties, six Canadians are teammates with 13 American players at OL Reign, Portland Thorns FC and Washington Spirit.
- Defender Vanessa Giles, who played for Angel City FC last season, and USA’s Lindsey Horan are team-mates of France’s Olympique Lyon.