Today marks the first day of the SheBelieves Cup, a tournament in its sixth year hosted by U.S. Soccer. South American rivals Brazil and Argentina will meet in the opening match of the tournament, with a 1 PM PT kickoff. Three hours later — at 4 PM PT — OL Reign’s Megan Rapinoe and the USWNT will take on CONCACAF rivals Canada and Reign teammate Quinn.
Both games will air on FS1 and either stream or air on TUDN simultaneously.
What to Watch
Brazil v. Argentina
Brazil has a new coach with a familiar name. Pia Sundhage was the USWNT head coach from 2008-2012, leading the U.S. to an Olympic gold medal in her first and final years. She then managed Sweden’s national team from 2012-2018 and in July 2019 — just after the World Cup — became manager of Brazil.
The South American side has plenty of talent, including NWSL stars Marta and Debihna, but has lacked ongoing investment and support. Sundhage could be just what Brazil needs. They’ve only lost once in 13 games under her leadership, and the SheBelieves Cup could be an important statement heading toward the Olympics.
Argentina, meanwhile, qualified for their first-ever World Cup in 2019. They are still experiencing a lot of the same issues Brazil has faced: a lack of investment in the women’s game. Several key players, including former NWSL midfielder Estefania Banini, have not been called up by Argentina after speaking out against the federation. Still, this is a side that has some exciting talent — including the always-entertaining Lorena Benítez (see below) and new forward for Kansas City’s NWSL club, Mariana Larroquette.
Lorena Benítez: Talking about soft spots, OMG, please watch Argentina and enjoy Lorena. So intelligent, so good at dribbling, keeping the ball, assisting and passing it long. A true gem at only 22. pic.twitter.com/SF3Ysb4OSy— NWSL Analitica (@NwslAnalitica) February 18, 2021
Also, check out this great thread from NWSL Analitica featuring some of the players from Brazil and Argentina, with highlights and analysis.
Okay, so, sadly, no Twitch stream for tonight cause my internet says so. But let's try and do a thread of cool players you should check in Brazil and Argentina - I'm guessing Canada and USA are well known - for this #SheBelievesCup— NWSL Analitica (@NwslAnalitica) February 18, 2021
USA v. Canada
Thursday’s game will be the 61st meeting between the USA and Canada. The USWNT is 50-3-7 against Canada. Canada is without a few of their key players, including all-time international goal-scoring leader Christine Sinclair, who is out with an injury. Defenders Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence, along with forward Jordyn Huitema, were not released by their clubs in France. The tournament presents a great opportunity for Canada to see what some of their promising young players can do. Expect OL Reign’s Quinn to get some good minutes in the midfield or at centerback.
Under new head coach Vlatko Andonovski, the USWNT has been honing its aggressive press to win the ball higher up the pitch. Expect to see them try to come out with some early aggression, and to control the tempo for the entire game. As Andonovski has done in recent matches, there will likely be plenty of player rotation and a combination of veteran players like Rapinoe and young newcomers on the national team.
79’ - Rose Lavelle goal!!
How to Watch
Brazil v. Argentina
Time/Date: Thursday, February 18, 1 PM PT
Location: Exploria Stadium — Orlando, Florida
TV (English): FS1
Streaming: FS1 (online/app), Sling, FuboTV, TUDN.tv (online/app)
USA v. Canada
Join the Discussion
This is your SheBelieves Cup, Day 1 gamethread. Watch and discuss the first two games of the tournament with us.