After clinching the Rio Olympic berth last month, the US Women’s national soccer team is now focused on the preparation for the final round of the event. The SheBelieves Cup comes as a warm up tournament for the US team, ahead of the acid test in Rio Olympics.
A stunning 20-yard strike by Crystal Dunn gave the host US side a 1-0 win in the opener of the tournament over England at Tampa. The English team kept the World champions at bay for 72 minutes in a hard fought encounter, according to Football Association’s website. The match yielded the same result as the last game between these two teams at Milton Keynes in Febuary’2015, where Alex Morgan’s lone goal separated the teams. The English team dominated the first half and forced US goal keeper, Hope Solo, to pull off an early save.
The top-four teams of Women’s soccer, according to the FIFA rankings, lock horns for glory in the tournament which kicked off on Thursday. The US, England, France and Germany play in the six-match championship on US turf. Three of these four teams appeared in the semifinals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup last summer. The US clinched the title by beating Japan in the finals.
The tournament’s schedule is designed in three double-headers scheduled on March 3 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida (Germany vs. France and USA vs. England), March 6 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee (Germany vs. England and USA vs. France) and March 9 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida (France vs. England and USA vs. Germany), according to US Soccer. The next two games of the US against France and Germany will be telecast at ESPN3.
19 women who played in the winning team of the Olympics qualifying competition last month also play for the US squad.