2nd annual SheBelieves begins in United States

The United States Women’s National Team has never been shy about their motto of “Play Like A Girl.”

The motto empowers young girls to be themselves, and to excel in sports. It proves that saying someone “plays like a girl” should not be seen as an insult, but as a compliment. The USWNT empowered plenty with the motto when they hoisted up the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy in 2015.

They also empower many when they won the first annual SheBelieves Cup in March 2016. This year, the second annual SheBelieves Cup begins today, with the USWNT kicking off their three-game tournament against Germany. The USWNT will then face England on March 4 and France on March 7. The team with the best record will hoist the SheBelieves Cup trophy.

The USWNT has 23 players on the roster for the SheBelieves Cup. Jane Campbell, Ashlyn Harris and Alyssa Naeher fill out the role of the three goalkeepers, with an open competition. Noticebly absent is Hope Solo, whose USWNT suspension was up on Feb. 24.

Image: US Soccer

As for defenders, head coach Jill Ellis brought six in: Ali Krieger, Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn, Casey Short and Emily Sonnett. There are also six forwards in Crystal Dunn, Jessica McDonald, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Mallory Pugh and Lynn Williams.

The most players, per position, are the midfielders, as Ellis stacked eight, including Tobin Heath, Morgan Brian, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Carli Lloyd, Allie Long, Samantha Mewis and Brianna Pinto. Pinto has yet to receive a senior national team appearance.

“I think with Brianna, part of it is that you have to make sure that a player can help immediately, but also ask yourself, what do you see potentially in this player?” Ellis said. “And what I see in her is someone that already from a January Camp until now is getting more comfortable, is answering questions in meetings and asking questions on the field.”

“The energy has been great and you can hear the vibe in the bus and on the field, and even with the coaches, we’re ready for games,” We want to get this started. It’s been a valuable week here in terms of looking at big picture things. We’ve certainly drilled into set pieces a little bit more, and I feel that looking at our attacking and defending core components, we’ve got a lot of things covered and we’re ready to compete.”

A full match schedule, including start times and where to view the matches, is available on U.S. Soccer’s official website (www.ussoccer.com).