The United States Women’s National Team will face England today as the 2020 SheBelieves Cup kicks off at Exploria Stadium (7 p.m., ESPN2). The Yanks and Lionesses are two of the world’s best teams and the winner of this match will take a big step toward winning the annual spring tournament.
This match will be the nightcap of a doubleheader. Spain and Japan will meet at 4:15 p.m. at Exploria Stadium in the opening match.
The USWNT is 11-4-2 against England in the all-time series. The teams last played in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinals, which the United States won 2-1 to advance to the final. You may recall Alex Morgan’s tea-drinking celebration after scoring the eventual game-winning goal on her 30th birthday. The teams met in this event last season, playing to a 2-2 draw on March 2, 2019 in Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Megan Rapinoe opened the scoring for the U.S. but England took the lead on goals from Steph Houghton and Nikita Parris. Tobin Heath equalized in the 66th minute, and England went on to win the tournament in large part because the U.S. had allowed a stoppage-time equalizer in the opener against Japan.
These two sides battled for the 2018 SheBelieves Cup on the final match day of the tournament, with the USWNT prevailing on an England own goal to win 1-0. That game took place at the same stadium as today — then known as Orlando City Stadium — with Millie Bright knocking a Rapinoe cross off goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and into the net for the game’s only goal.
These teams like to play nail-biters, finishing within a goal of each other four times and drawing once in the last five meetings. The U.S. will bring a a 28-game unbeaten streak into tonight and England has the quality to end it if the Yanks aren’t sharp.
England is the No. 6 team in the world according to the latest FIFA rankings.
Ellen White will be the player the U.S. back line will have to worry about. White scored the lone goal in England’s 1-0 win over the USWNT in the 2017 SheBelieves Cup. England moves the ball well and the Lionesses have enough athleticism to get at the USWNT defense.
Defenders (8): Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage; 58/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 25/1), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage; 101/24), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 107/1), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 129/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 174/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 31/0), Emily Sonnett (Orlando Pride; 44/0).
Midfielders (5): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 99/19), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 83/18), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 42/12), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 64/18), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 16/0).
Forwards (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 165;33), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 291/122), Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage; 17/4), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 135/56), Mallory Pugh (Sky Blue FC; 62/18), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 165/51), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 25/9).
Goalkeepers (3): Sandy MacIver (Everton; 0/0), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City; 4/0), Carly Telford (Chelsea; 24/0).
Defenders (7): Millie Bright (Chelsea; 34/0), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash, USA; 33/3), Grace Fisk (West Ham United; 0/0), Alex Greenwood (Lyon, FRA; 44/3), Steph Houghton (Manchester City; 117/13), Abbie McManus (Manchester United; 17/0), Demi Stokes (Manchester City; 57/11), Leah Williamson (Arsenal; 14/1).
Midfielders (5): Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal; 60/7), Jill Scott (Manchester City; 146/24), Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City; 15/2), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City; 16/2), Keira Walsh (Manchester City; 26/0).
Forwards (7): Toni Duggan (Atletico Madrid, ESP; 76/22), Bethany England (Chelsea; 5/2), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City; 3/0), Chloe Kelly (Everton; 1/0), Nikita Parris (Lyon; 47/14), Alessia Russo North Carolina, USA; 0/0), Ellen White (Manchester City; 89/35).
How to Watch
Match Time: 7 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando, FL.
TV: ESPN2, TUDN.
Streaming: WatchESPN, TUDN en Vivo.