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SheBelieves Cup day 3: Game thread, live stream, how to watch

The USWNT is well positioned to claim the trophy for the third time in five years.

2020 SheBelieves Cup - United States v Spain Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The 2020 SheBelieves Cup wraps up today in Frisco, Texas, with the United States in pole position to reclaim the trophy and win their third title in the five-year history of the tournament. To accomplish this, the US needs a win or a draw against a Japan side which is winless in their first two games.

The first match of the day features Spain against England. Spain dominated Japan in their opening game, winning 3-1 on the strength of an impressive substitute performance by Lucia Garcia, who scored a brace. They fell in their second game, 1-0, to the United States, but pushed the Americans almost to the limit, including smashing a shot off the post in the first half, before conceding a set-piece goal to Julie Ertz in the 87th minute.

Defending tournament champions England have been underwhelming this year, falling 2-0 to the United States on the opening day before bouncing back with a 1-0 win against Japan which came down to an 84th minute defensive blunder by Japan that Ellen White capitalized on. Head coach Phil Neville has been roundly criticized in the English press for their disappointing performances since last summer’s World Cup, and the Lionesses will want to show that they are worthy of the #6 world ranking with a resolute win, but Spain will not make it easy on them. Should the game end in a draw, the United States will clinch the trophy before even taking the pitch.

The closing game of the tournament could be the last opportunity for some bubble players to show USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski that they deserve a spot on the Olympic roster. Although the Americans currently have two more friendlies scheduled this spring before they travel to Tokyo, the status of those games is uncertain due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. OL Reign’s Megan Rapinoe played 67 minutes against Spain on Sunday and Andonovski noted that the team is still managing her minutes to avoid risking potential injury, so she will likely be on the bench for this game.

Japan has had a disappointing tournament, primarily coming down to occasional defensive blunders that their opponents have capitalized on. Head coach Asako Takakura has played some of her least experienced young players on the back line in each game, and their greenness showed in some questionable positioning and decision-making. The United States will undoubtedly look to capitalize on that by overloading the flanks and sending long through-balls that their speedy attackers can chase down and win. If everything goes according to plan, Andonovski and the USWNT should easily lift their second trophy in as many months in front of home fans.

How to watch

England vs. Spain
Date/Time: Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2:15 PM PT
Location: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
TV: None
Streaming: ESPN3

USA vs. Japan
Date/Time: Wednesday, Mar. 11, 5 PM PT
Location: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
Streaming: WatchESPN, TUDN en Vivo

This is your SheBelieves Cup day 3 open thread. Watch with us.

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