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KC NWSL: What we’re watching - SheBelieves Cup

The SheBelieves Cup begins on Thursday in Orlando, Florida, and it’s what we’re watching.

Canada v Costa Rica: Semifinals - 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Photo by Michael Janosz/ISI Photos/Getty Images

With KC NWSL heading to Florida on Friday for two weeks to train in ideal conditions, KC NWSL fans can turn their attention to international soccer for the next week. The U.S will host the sixth edition of the SheBelieves Cup, the yearly round-robin tournament created in 2016 to inspire and empower women and girls to achieve their goals in sport and beyond. Because of continued COVID-19 conditions, all six games, will take place in Orlando, with limited attendance.

The United States, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina are the four teams taking the field within the next week, playing all games at Exploria Stadium, home to the Orlando Pride of the NWSL and Orlando City SC of MLS. Every team plays each other once, hoping to earn points along the way. Total points earned determine the winner and overall goal differential is the first tiebreaker, followed by goals scored, head-to-head result, and the fair play ranking.

The tournament will serve as further preparation for the Tokyo Olympics (should they truly happen, and it looks like they will happen despite COVID-19 concerns). The United States, Canada, and Brazil are set to compete in the summer tournament while Argentina, unfortunately, did not qualify.

Initally, KC midfielder Diana Matheson and draft pick Victoria Pickett were part of the Canadian training camp. Matheson suffered an injury and was unavailable for selection. Pickett was not selected for the final 23-player roster.

Why you should watch

Why wouldn’t you? The SheBelieves Cup has become an elite four-nation tournament over the years. Top ranked nations such as England, Japan, Germany, and France have competed in years past, but slowly opted out of the tournament making way for Spain, Argentina, and Brazil to join.

While there are no current US national team players on the KC NWSL roster, current US head coach Vlatko Andonovski has ties to Kansas City, coaching its former NWSL team (FC Kansas City) to back-to-back championships in 2014 and 2015. Additionally, US Captain Becky Sauerbrunn is also a former KC player. But most of all, it’s an opportunity to continue to support the USWNT team, which is ranked number one, and who are always favorites going into any tournament. The US has won the SheBelieves Cup three times (2016, 2018, 2020).

Though they do not play for the US, KC midfielder Desiree Scott (Canada) and forward Mariana Larroquette (Argentina) will represent their respective countries at the tournament. While many NWSL/KC fans may be familiar with Scott’s style of play, we will also get to see Larroquette play with Argentina.

How to watch

For fans in the US, all games will be featured on FS1 (sites and apps), with the US games featured on the FS1 channel and in Spanish on TUDN. Canada fans can watch Canada’s three matches on OneSoccer.