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SheBelieves Cup day 1: Game thread, live stream, how to watch

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England has their eyes on revenge for the World Cup, as well as defending their title.

2019 SheBelieves Cup - England v Japan Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The 2020 edition of the SheBelieves Cup kicks off this afternoon in Orlando. In the opening game of the day, Spain makes their tournament debut to face Japan, while the later game features the United States against defending tournament champions England.

England, ranked 6th in the world, are looking to win their second-straight edition of the cup, as well as seek revenge for the frustrating 2-1 defeat handed them by the Americans last summer in the World Cup semifinals. Phil Neville and his players continue to speak about that game and how close they feel they were to getting a result from it, only to have their apparent equalizer called back for offside after video review.

Japan, currently ranked 10th in the world, has spent the last few years rebuilding their roster after a disappointing 2015 World Cup final and surprise failure to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. Head coach Asako Takakura has brought in many young players; the oldest player on their roster for this tournament is only 29, but they now have a wealth of experience. The Nadeshiko know expectations will be high this summer and want to be on the medal podium in front of their home crowd.

Spain did not qualify for this year’s Olympic tournament, but is instead in the midst of qualification for the 2021 Euros, with five matches still to go in the group stage over the coming year. The 13th ranked team in the world, their next games in that series are in April, against 90th-Moldova and 28th-ranked Czechia.

The United States is coming off of a relatively easy romp through Concacaf Olympic Qualifying, where their tightest margin of victory was three goals and in which they shut out every opponent. Their opposition in this tournament should present a more robust challenge for Vlatko Andonovski as he prepares the team for the Olympic tournament in Tokyo this summer. Only five games are left before Andonovski must decide who earns a spot on the 18-player Olympic roster, so expect to see some bubble players get extended looks during the tournament.

From a Reign FC perspective, only Megan Rapinoe was called in to represent her national team at this tournament. Allie Long missed her second-straight US tournament roster, Phil Neville opted not to call in Jodie Taylor for England, and Celia Jimenez Delgado was omitted from Jorge Vilda’s Spain roster.


How to watch

Spain vs. Japan
Date/Time: Thursday, Mar. 5, 1:15 PM PT
Location: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Florida
TV: None
Streaming: ESPN3

USA vs. England
Date/Time: Thursday, Mar. 5, 4 PM PT
Location: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Florida
TV: ESPN2, TUDN
Streaming: WatchESPN, TUDN en Vivo

This is your SheBelieves Cup day 1 open thread. Watch with us.