US to host SheBelieves Cup women's friendly football tournament

Los Angeles (AFP) –


The United States will host Brazil, Canada and Japan in the sixth annual SheBelieves Cup women's friendly football tournament in February, US Soccer said Monday.

With deadly coronavirus cases still surging in much of the United States, all six matches in the February 18-24 tournament will be staged at one venue, Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida, home of Major League Soccer's Orlando City SC and the Orlando Pride of the National Women's Soccer League.

The matches will be played in three doubleheaders, kicking off on Thursday, February 18 with Brazil taking on Japan and the United States facing Canada.

On February 21, the United States play Brazil and Japan take on Canada and on February 24 Canada play Brazil and the United States play Japan.

The world champion United States -- with goals from Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press and Lindsey Horan -- defeated Japan 3-1 in the concluding match of the 2020 round-robin tournament last March to lift the trophy.

All four teams competing this year are ranked in FIFA's top 10 and all are scheduled to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to be held this year after they were postponed from 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.