NEWS & VIEWS
Four of the world’s top six teams will be on display in March as the 2018 SheBelieves Cup will make its final stop at Orlando City Stadium on March 7. Orlando City Stadium, home of National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) Orlando Pride and Major League Soccer’s Orlando City SC, will host the final two matches in the annual four-team tournament.
Second-ranked Germany, third-ranked England and sixth-ranked France will once again join top-ranked USA in a tournament that features international women’s soccer powers and dozens of the world’s best players in the six-game competition. The USA won the inaugural edition in 2016, while France won the 2017 tournament.
As in the first two editions, the 2018 tournament will feature the four teams participating in three doubleheader events at three different venues over a seven-day period.
On March 7, France will face Germany (4 p.m. ET) followed by the tournament finale, USA vs. England (7 p.m. ET on ESPNews).
Before heading to Orlando, the 2018 SheBelieves Cup kicks off with England opening against France on Thursday, March 1 at MAPFRE Stadium (4 p.m. ET), followed by the USA against Germany (7 p.m. ET on ESPN2) in a battle of the defending World Cup and Olympic champions. Each team will then travel to New Jersey and Red Bull Arena where the USA will play the first match of the day on Sunday, March 4, taking on France (12 p.m. ET on ESPN2) followed by Germany vs. England (3 p.m. ET).
The winner of the tournament will be based on total points (three for a win, one for a tie), with the first tie-breaker being overall goal differential, followed by total goals scored, then head-to-head result and lastly, FIFA Ranking if necessary.
Tickets for all three doubleheaders go on sale to the public Thursday, Jan. 11, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com and by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Orlando Pride and Orlando City season ticket members will also receive presale access.
The U.S. WNT previously played in Orlando on Oct. 25, 2015, hosting Brazil just five days after the Pride were announced as the second expansion team in the NWSL. Pride forward Alex Morgan scored the game’s opening goal and Marta assisted on Brazil’s lone goal as the U.S. went on to win 3-1 at the Citrus Bowl.
Orlando City Stadium hosted the U.S. Men’s National Team against Panama in World Cup Qualifying on Oct. 6, seeing a 4-0 win for the U.S. in front of a sold-out crowd.
Orlando Pride forwards Alex Morgan and Marta as well as defender Ali Krieger have been named to the 2017 Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Female Best XI, it was announced today.
Morgan, 28, was named the 2017 CONCACAF Female Player of the Year on Sunday night after leading the U.S. Women’s National Team with seven goals and scoring a total of 21 with her club teams (nine with Orlando Pride, 12 with Olympique Lyonnais). It was the third time Morgan was honored with the award, the most by any player, making her a back-to-back winner after taking home the accolade in 2016 as well.
Marta, 31, made an impact in her first season in Central Florida, leading the Pride with 13 goals and six assists. Marta played in 23 regular season matches, scoring four game-winning goals. The Brazilian legend was named to the NWSL Team of the Month each month from June to September and took home September Player of the Month honors. Marta was also named to the 2017 NWSL Best XI and won Week 16 Goal of the Week.
Internationally, Marta led the Brazil Women’s National Team to a 7-5-2 record during the 2017 calendar year, while scoring seven goals as the team’s captain. Before joining the Pride, Marta was a member of Swedish side FC Rosengård, leading the club to the quarterfinal round of the 2016-17 UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Krieger, 33, was the only Pride player to play all 2,160 minutes this season. While playing primarily as a center back, Krieger added two assist and was named to the 2017 NWSL Best XI as well as the NWSL Team of the Month for June and August. The Penn State product led the Pride in clearances (107), interceptions (47) and successful passes (1,099).
Krieger made two appearances for the U.S. WNT during 2017, starting on March 4 against England in the She Believes Cup and coming in as a substitute on April 6 against Russia.
Midfielder Camila’s 16th-minute goal against the Houston Dash on June 17 finished as runner up for the 2017 CONCACAF Goal of the Year.
Season tickets for the 2018 Orlando Pride season are currently available and can be purchased at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
CONCACAF Awards are selected on an equally-weighted vote among Member Association women’s and men’s national team coaches/captains, media members and fans. Winners were announced on Sunday night during the Premios Univision Deportes.