The U.S. Women’s National Team is looking for a fourth straight title at the 2023 SheBelieves Cup, where Brazil, Canada and Japan join the U.S. women in the four-team international tournament set for Feb. 16-22. This year’s tournament returns to its original three-venue format, with matches being played at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida, GEODIS Park in Nashville, Tennessee, and Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
The 2023 SheBelieves Cup will mark the first games on home soil in 2023 for the No. 1-ranked USWNT. All four nations in this year’s tournament will also be participating in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer, and all four are ranked in the top 11 in the world with Canada at No. 6, Brazil at No. 9 and Japan at No. 11.
This year marks the eighth edition of the SheBelieves Cup, which began in 2016 as part of U.S. Soccer’s SheBelieves initiative, aiming to inspire and empower women and girls in sport and beyond. The USWNT, five-time winners of the event, won the inaugural tournament and repeated the feat in 2018. The U.S. women again lifted the trophy in 2020, marking a first for head coach Vlatko Andonovski and kicking off a streak of three straight wins by the host team. The only other two countries to capture SheBelieves Cup titles are France (in 2017) and England (in 2019).
USWNT outlook: The No. 1-ranked USWNT has won the last three SheBelieves Cups and five of seven overall, and the Americans head into the 2023 edition on the heels of two victories over New Zealand last month. The U.S. won by a combined nine goals at matches at Eden Park in Auckland and Sky Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand — both of which are venues for the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where the four-time champion USWNT has its sights set on a historic three-peat. The U.S. women could become the first team in either the women’s or men’s game to win three successive World Cups.
Team Canada outlook: The sixth-ranked Canadian women will make their second appearance in the SheBelieves Cup, where they debuted in 2021 and finished third. Head coach Bev Priestman didn’t officially list her 23-player roster until shortly before the tournament and instead named an 18-player squad for a pre-tournament camp held Feb. 8-12. The camp featured players predominantly from leagues not currently in season, namely the NWSL and Sweden’s Damallsvenskan.
Team Brazil outlook: This year marks ninth-ranked Brazil’s third appearance in the SheBelieves Cup, where they finished second in 2021 and fourth in 2019. Brazilian soccer star Marta could make her return to action during the tournament after being away for 11 months following an ACL tear last March. Head coach Pia Sundhage listed Marta on the 23-player roster along with Kansas City Current midfielder Debinha, who played all three games in each of Brazil’s previous SheBelieves Cup appearances and scored a goal in 2019 and two in 2021. Last July, Brazil went undefeated en route to an eighth Copa America title.
Team Japan outlook: Japan, ranked No. 11, returns for its third appearance in the SheBelieves Cup and its first since 2020. The Japanese women finished third in 2019 and fourth in 2020. Head coach Futoshi Ikeda revealed his 23-player roster last week, which includes Mana Iwabuchi, who made headlines earlier this year when she left Women’s Super League (WSL) club Arsenal to join Tottenham Hotspur on loan.
Headlining the 23-player American squad are a trio of star USWNT veterans in San Diego Wave forward Alex Morgan, OL Reign forward Megan Rapinoe and Portland Thorns defender Becky Sauerbrunn. Twenty-two of the players were with the USWNT last month for its successful trip to New Zealand. Rapinoe, who has recovered from a recent ankle injury, is the lone new addition to the roster from January. She enters the tournament with 197 caps and has a chance to hit 200 during the tournament.
Additional fun facts about the USWNT ahead of the 2023 SheBelieves Cup:
The four-team tournament uses a round-robin format, with each team playing each other once (three matches total for each team). The winner of the tournament will be determined by total points, with three (3) points awarded for a win and one point for a tie. In the event of a tie, the first tiebreaker is the overall goal differential, followed by most total goals scored, then head-to-head result, and lastly, Fair Play Ranking if necessary.
2016: The USWNT defeated England and France by 1-0 scores before beating Germany, 2-1, in the de facto championship game to take the inaugural SheBelieves Cup title. Germany finished second, England third and France fourth.
2017: USA defeated Germany 1-0 in the opening match but fell to England 1-0 and France 3-0 to finish fourth. France won the 2017 tournament, with Germany finishing second and England third.
2018: The Americans took back the SheBelieves Cup title after they defeated Germany 1-0, tied France 1-1 and beat England 1-0. England finished second, France was third and Germany fourth.
2019: USA recorded back-to-back draws in the 2019 tournament, finishing 2-2 vs. Japan and 2-2 vs. England, before beating Brazil, 1-0, to finish second in the event. England won the event while Japan was third. Brazil failed to win a game and finished fourth.
2020: The U.S. women won the title by sweeping all three of its games, winning 2-0 vs. England, 1-0 vs. Spain and 3-1 vs. Japan. Spain finished second, England third and Japan fourth. Spain’s Alexia Putellas, who scored twice in the tournament, was named the first-ever SheBelieves Cup MVP.
2021: The USWNT clinched its fourth SheBelieves Cup title overall and became the first back-to-back champion in tournament history after wins over Canada (1-0), Brazil (2-0) and Argentina (6-0). The Americans’ performance also marked the first time a team did not allow a single goal in the competition, which was played in its entirety in Orlando due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Brazil was second, Canada third and Argentina fourth. USA’s Rose Lavelle was named SheBelieves Cup MVP.
2022: The USA opened with a surprising 0-0 draw vs. Czech Republic, but they routed subsequent opponents New Zealand and Iceland by 5-0 scores to win the tournament. Iceland finished second, with Czech Republic third and New Zealand fourth. USA’s Mallory Pugh scored three times in the tournament, but teammate Catarina Macario was named MVP following her two goals in the finale vs. Iceland.
The bracket for 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship is officially set and defending champion South Carolina earned the No. 1 overall seed for the second straight season. A total of 68 teams will see tournament action, beginning with the “First Four” games on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by Round 1 play kicking off on Friday.
On Her Turf has compiled the matchups, sites and schedule for the tournament, which culminates Sunday, April 2 with the title game from American Airlines Center in Dallas. We’ll keep this page updated, so be sure to check back here for winners, scores and next-round details as the tournament progresses.
2023 tournament No. 1 seeds:
Last four teams in the tournament:
First four teams out of the tournament:
Wednesday, March 15
Thursday, March 16
Los Angeles, California
South Bend, Indiana
College Park, Maryland
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Salt Lake City, Utah
Iowa City, Iowa
Sweet 16: Friday and Saturday, March 24-25; Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, S.C., host: Southern Conference and Furman; and Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, hosts: Seattle and Seattle Sports Commission
Elite 8: Sunday and Monday, March 26-27; Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, S.C., host: Southern Conference and Furman; and Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, hosts: Seattle and Seattle Sports Commission
Final 4: Friday, March 31, 7 p.m. ET and 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN); American Airlines Center, Dallas; hosts: Big 12 Conference and Dallas Sports Commission
Championship Game: Sunday, April 2, 3 p.m. ET (ABC); American Airlines Center, Dallas; hosts: Big 12 Conference and Dallas Sports Commission
Dawn Staley has South Carolina six wins away from finishing off a historic season.
The Gamecocks are looking to become the 10th women’s basketball team to go undefeated for an entire season as the they enter the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed.
Staley’s squad has been challenged a few times this year but has always pulled through. The defending national champions will play Norfolk State in the first round of the tournament, the NCAA selection committee revealed Sunday night.
“It didn’t take a loss for us to learn from the lessons of a close game,” Staley said. “Now we found ourselves in a position where we can’t afford to lose.”
While the Gamecocks, led by star Aliyah Boston, have been a lock to be the top seed for most of the season, several schools were vying for the other No. 1s, including Iowa, Indiana, Virginia Tech, Stanford and Utah. The Hawkeyes, led by electrifying guard Caitlin Clark, have been a top seed twice before, in 1988 and 1992.
The committee ultimately chose the Hoosiers, Hokies and Cardinal. Indiana and Virginia Tech are first-time No. 1 seeds. Stanford has been a top seed 13 times now, including in the last three tournaments.
“We spent a lot of time on a variety of things. certainly the number one line and the right teams hosting,” selection committee chair Lisa Peterson said.
The tournament begins Wednesday with two First Four games. The full madness starts with 16 games Friday and 16 more the next day.
South Carolina may have the easiest path to the Final Four in Dallas as it won’t have to go far from home. The Gamecocks, who are the 18th team to reach the NCAA tourney unbeaten, will play their first two games on campus before potentially heading 90 minutes away to Greenville, South Carolina, for one of the two regionals. The Gamecocks just won the Southeastern Conference Tournament at that site.
“It’s great. When we got shipped out to Stockton (California, in 2017), we thought it was a drag, but we end up winning the national championship. So there are blessings in all types of situations,” Staley said. “We’re blessed that Greenville was a region. We’re blessed that we did enough to get to sent to this region and we have to make it work for us. We know it won’t be easy.”
The NCAA changed its format this season and is having two regional sites for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds. Greenville hosts one and Seattle the other. Once again the top four teams in each region will host the opening two rounds.
The other top teams in South Carolina’s bracket are No. 2 seed Maryland, No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 4 UCLA. The Gamecocks beat both Maryland and UCLA this season.
“I like it. Some familiarity. Take care of Norfolk State, then see where that takes us,” Staley said. “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. Sometimes when you’re in a tournament setting like this it’s always a good thing to have played someone.”
Indiana is the other top seed in Greenville. Utah is the 2 seed with LSU third and Villanova fourth.
UConn, which was the last team to go unbeaten and win the title in 2015-16, is looking to extend its own history and reach the Final Four for the 15th consecutive year. The Huskies had a difficult year with injuries but finally started to get healthy heading into March. Star guard Azzi Fudd, who missed 22 games with a knee injury, returned for the Big East Tournament and helped the Huskies win it.
Geno Auriemma’s team, which has won a record 11 national championships, is a No. 2 seed in Seattle. The Hokies are the top seed in that part of the bracket. Ohio State is the 3 seed and Tennessee the 4. The Lady Vols have been in every NCAA Tournament since it started in 1982.
The Cardinal are the No. 1 in the other Seattle regional. Iowa is the No. 2, Duke the 3 seed and Texas 4.
The Atlantic Coast Conference has eight teams in the tournament with the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 each having seven. The Big 12 has six and the Big East five.
Four teams will be making their first appearance in the tournament: Southern Utah, Southeastern Louisiana, Sacramento State and Saint Louis.
Columbia, Kansas, Massachusetts and Oregon were the first four teams out of the field.