2019 She Believes Cup Preview: USWNT vs Japan 
USA celebrates Alex Morgan's goal//Source:ussoccer.com

The United States Women’s National Team will starts its 2019 SheBelieves Cup campaign against Japan on February 27th at Talon Energy Stadium in Chester Pennsylvania. Kick off is scheduled for 7pm EST/4pm PST.

Long Past:

The two teams have played against each other 35 times, the first coming in 1986, just two years into the USWNT’s existence. In those 35 meetings, the USA has won the most, going 27-1-7 and out scoring the team 101-27. The game that everyone probably knows well is the final of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. With four of their five goals coming with in the first 16 minutes of the game, it was a no brainer that the USA would win. The game went on and Japan managed to get on the board in the 28th minutes and then again in the 54th minute off of an own goal. The USWNT went on to win the game 5-2. The next time these two teams met was in 2016 in a pair of friendlies. The first game ended in a draw,3-3, and the second one ended 2-0 and was abandoned in the 76th minute due to thunderstorms. In the 2017 edition of the Tournament of Nations, the USA won 3-0.

Last time these two teams met:

The last time these two teams played against each other was in the 2018 Tournament of Nations in Kansas City, Kansas.The match was well fought, but in the end it was the United States that came out on top, winning 4-2. Alex Morgan scored a hattrick and Megan Rapinoe scoring in the 68th minute. Japan’s goals were scored by Mina Tanaka and Moeno Sakaguchi.

The matches between the two sides are always enthralling encounters

How the USA is preparing for the World Cup:

In preparation for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France this year, the USA is set to play five games, not including the SheBelieves Cup, before their group stage begins in June. The teams they are to play are: Australia,BelgiumSouth AfricaNew Zealand, and finally Mexico. In their group stage they are to play Thailand, Chile and Sweden.

Stars on the Rise:

Two young stars that are becoming a big part of their respective national teams are Tierna Davidson (USA) and Yui Hasegawa (Japan) At just 20 years of age, Davidson has made an impact on the national team, and on her former college team, Stanford University. She was apart of the preliminary roster for the U-20 World Cup in 2018. In her 3 years at Stanford, she had 46 appearances and five goals. She announced that she would be going pro, and at the 2019 NWSL College Draft, was drafted first overall by the Chicago Red Stars. Hasegawa at just 22 years old, already has 30 caps and four goals for her country. She made her debut at the 2017 Algarve Cup, and went on to appear 12 more times. She was apart of the U-17 World Cup squad in 2012 and 2014,and the U-20 World Cup in 2016.

What to lookout for:

Some key points to look for in this game:

The backline of the USWNT- Head Coach, Jill Ellis might go for several different formations in the back, but lately it has been Emily Sonnett, Abby Dahlkemper, Becky Sauerbrunn and Crystal Dunn.

Japan’s midfield-which consist of Hasegawa, Emi Nakajima and Narumi Miura who have been consistent.