The United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) manager Jill Ellis picked the 22 players that will be competing in the inaugural 2016 She Believes Cup.
HOW THE CUP WORKS AND WHO THE USWNT ARE FACING
The tournament will begin on March the third and end on the ninth. There will be four nations competing in the championship. All four countries will face each other once before the winner of the cup will be decided with who has the most points (Win: three points. Draw: one point and defeat equals none.).
The nations who will be participating in the first She Believes Cup are: The United States (Host), France, England and Germany. The opener of the tournament will begin Thursday with Germany facing rivals France. Then the day concludes with the USWNT taking on England. Both matches will be played at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
The second day of action will be on March the sixth (Saturday), and once again all four nations will play on the same day. The opener of the day will be longtime rivals France and England. Then the last game will be a rematch of the 2015 Women’s World Cup semifinal match between the United States and Germany. Both matches will be played at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.
The last day of the tournament will land on Wednesday, and both matches will be played on the same day. Germany and England will kick off the day. Then the United States and France will end the tournament. The two games will be played at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida.
THE YANKS ARE TAKING THIS TOURNAMENT SERIOUSLY
With the United States playing three powerhouse nations in this tournament Ellis has decided to bring a strong squad to compete. Nineteen of the 22 players on this roster were a part of the team that qualified to the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games. The roster consistent of the usual suspects for the Yanks: captain Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo, Tobin Heath, Crystal Dunn, Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger, Becky Sauerbrunn and more. Teenager striker Mallory Pugh has also been called into her third straight camp of the year, and her second straight tournament tournament. Plus, Ellis brought a newcomer to the national team for the cup, Twenty-six-year-old defender Lauren Barnes.
Here is the rest of the roster:
GK (3): Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) and Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEF (9): Lauren Barnes (Seattle Reign FC), Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blues FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City) and Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
MID (6): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash) and Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)
FWD (4): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars) and Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)
This tournament will be another good tune up for the national team to prepare for the Olympics. For Ellis these games represent another opportunity for her to start narrowing down the roster of who will be going to Rio in August.