ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 11, 2021) – U.S. Soccer will host the sixth annual SheBelieves Cup, Presented by Visa, from Feb. 18-24 as three of the top teams in the world – Brazil, Canada and Japan -- join the USA for the most elite four-team international tournament in women’s soccer. The SheBelieves Cup Presented by Visa is part of U.S. Soccer’s SheBelieves initiative to inspire and empower women and girls to achieve their goals in sport and beyond.
All four teams – which are all ranked in the world’s top-10 -- will be participating in the delayed 2021 Olympic Games and the USA, Brazil and Japan come into the tournament as reigning champions of their respective Confederations.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all six matches -- which will be played in three doubleheaders -- will be staged at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida, home to the Orlando Pride of the NWSL and Orlando City SC of MLS. With the USA’s two January games vs. Colombia also taking place at Exploria Stadium, the USWNT will play its first five matches of 2021 at the venue. Exploria hosted the first doubleheader of last year’s SheBelieves Cup on March 5.
The 2021 SheBelieves Cup kicks off on Thursday, Feb. 18 as Brazil takes on Japan (4 p.m. ET) and the USA faces Canada (7 p.m. ET on FS1 and TUDN). The tournament resumes on Sunday, Feb. 21 with the USA playing the first match of the day, against Brazil (3 p.m. ET on FS1 and TUDN), while Japan will face Canada (6 p.m. ET) in the nightcap. The tournament concludes on Wednesday, Feb. 24 with Canada meeting Brazil (4 p.m. ET) and the USA facing Japan (7 p.m. ET on FS1 and TUDN).
The 2021 SheBelieves Cup will be held slightly earlier than in its previous incarnations due to FIFA’s adjustments to the official fixture dates for 2021.
2021 SheBelieves Cup, Presented by Visa, Schedule
Feb. 18Brazil vs. JapanExploria StadiumOrlando, Fla.4 p.m.TBD
Feb. 18USA vs. CanadaExploria StadiumOrlando, Fla.7 p.m.FS1/TUDN
Feb. 21USA vs. BrazilExploria StadiumOrlando, Fla.3 p.m.FS1/TUDN
Feb. 21Japan vs. CanadaExploria StadiumOrlando, Fla.6 p.m.TBD
Feb. 24Canada vs. BrazilExploria StadiumOrlando, Fla.4 p.m. TBD
Feb. 24USA vs. JapanExploria StadiumOrlando, Fla.7 p.m.FS1/TUDN
SHEBELIEVES CUP TICKETS
U.S. Soccer is planning on making a limited amount of tickets available for each doubleheader. More ticketing information will be released at a later date. For the opportunity to buy tickets before the general public, fans should consider becoming U.S. Soccer Insiders. Membership is free for Standard Insiders. Learn more.
The USA comes into 2021 ranked #1 in the world while Brazil, Canada and Japan are stacked atop one another in the FIFA Rankings with the Canarinhas and Maple Leafs tied for eighth and the Nadeshiko at tenth.
The competition, which will feature many of the world’s best players in the six-game tournament, was first played in 2016. The USA won the inaugural edition, France took top honors in 2017, the USA won again in 2018, England finished first in 2019 and the USA returned to the top of the podium in 2020.
While all the matches will be played in Orlando, the competition format will be the same as for the previous five years with the teams each participating in three doubleheader events. The winner of the tournament will be determined by total points (three for a win, one for a tie), with the first tiebreaker being overall goal difference, followed by most total goals scored, then head-to-head result and lastly, Fair Play ranking if necessary.
“I can’t wait for this tournament and I know our players feel the same way,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “We put in all this work to play matches, so to get three great ones in this world class event that resembles group play at an Olympics is something we’re very thankful for. It will be a bit different this year with limited fans, but with the Olympics once again on the horizon our players will be highly motivated and there’s no better way to prepare for the tournament than to play teams that will be in Japan. There’s some great history between these countries and I know all six games will be fun to play in and to watch.”
SHEBELIEVES KEEPS GROWING
Inspired by the U.S. WNT players, SheBelieves is an initiative led by U.S. Soccer to inspire and encourage women and girls. The campaign launched in the run-up to the 2015 Women’s World Cup and has since grown into a powerful message of empowerment and believing in oneself. The SheBelieves Cup represents a showcase event for the campaign, which also features efforts such as the SheBelieves Summit Presented by Deloitte, a forum bringing together young professionals and leaders in sport and business, SheBelieves Hero™, a nationwide search for a young community leader who embodies the SheBelieves ethos, SheBelieves Academy, an online learning tool conceived in partnership with author Joan Kuhl and designed to help young women achieve personally and professionally, and SheChampions, a coach mentorship program concepted in collaboration with former head coach Jill Ellis to increase the number of female coaches in the U.S. through mentorship, resources, and support.
VISA SHEBELIEVES CUP MVP
For the second year in a row, Visa, the presenting sponsor of the SheBelieves Cup, will award the MVP trophy to the most outstanding player of the tournament. The award will be announced following the conclusion of the final match. Spain’s Alexia Putellas won the inaugural award in 2020 as voted on by a selection committee of former Women’s National Team players from each participating country. A new selection committee comprised of representatives from all competing nations will be announced for the 2021 SheBelieves Cup, but this year fans will also have the opportunity to vote for the Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP award recipient, using an online ballot to select among a list of finalists chosen by the committee. This year, fans will also be able to vote to determine the 2021 Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP.
The fifth annual SheBelieves HeroTM contest will choose a young person between the ages of 13-17 who embodies the SheBelieves spirit. A SheBelieves Hero™ is a leader in their community, a confident and passionate individual who empowers others around them and works to make a difference. The contest will run from Jan. 11-March 1. The winner of the SheBelieves HeroTM contest will be awarded a trip for two (2) to a future USWNT friendly match and a VIP gameday experience. For more information and to view past winners’ stories, visit ussoccer.com/shebelieves/hero.
Once the teams arrive in Orlando, all the players and staffs will operate inside highly controlled environments at the host hotel. The staging trainings and the matches will fall under the comprehensive U.S. Soccer Return to Play Protocols and Guidelines and in accordance with the Concacaf Return to Play Protocols. Everyone entering the controlled environment will be tested for COVID-19 before traveling, upon arrival and every two days thereafter. The teams will not begin full team training until the results of all arrival tests are confirmed.