2023 SheBelieves Cup: How to watch, who’s playing and top storylines as USWNT aims for fourth straight title


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).

How to watch, fixtures for 2023 SheBelieves Cup

Thursday, Feb. 16 4 p.m. ET Japan vs. Brazil Exploria Stadium (Orlando, Fla.) HBO Max, Peacock (in Spanish)
Thursday, Feb. 16 7 p.m. ET USWNT vs. Canada Exploria Stadium (Orlando, Fla.) HBO Max, Peacock (in Spanish), Universo, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream
Sunday, Feb. 19 3:30 p.m. ET USWNT vs. Japan GEODIS Park (Nashville, Tenn.) HBO Max, Peacock (in Spanish), Universo, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, TNT
Sunday, Feb. 19 6:30 p.m. ET Brazil vs. Canada GEODIS Park (Nashville, Tenn.) HBO Max, Peacock (in Spanish)
Wednesday, Feb. 22 4 p.m. ET Canada vs. Japan Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Tex.) HBO Max, Peacock (in Spanish)
Wednesday, Feb. 22 7 p.m. ET USWNT vs. Brazil Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Tex.) HBO Max, Peacock (in Spanish), Universo, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, TNT

Top storylines: USWNT aims for third straight title, Canada back in the fold, Marta’s long-awaited return

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.

RELATED: Breaking down the USWNT roster, who’s playing — and who isn’t — in the 2023 SheBelieves Cup

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.

Who’s playing for Team USA in the 2023 SheBelieves Cup

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:

  • Alex Morgan, who comes into the tournament with 201 matches played for the USWNT, will be honored before the USWNT’s opening match for earning her historic 200th cap last November.
  • Should Megan Rapinoe appear in all three SheBelieves Cup matches, she’ll become the 14th player in USWNT history to reach the 200-cap milestone.
  • Five players on the USWNT roster have 100 caps or more: defender Sauerbrunn (212), Morgan (201), Rapinoe (197), Crystal Dunn (128) and Lindsey Horan (123).
  • The U.S. roster features 11 players with 27 or fewer caps, but only one with single-digit caps: Taylor Kornieck (9).
  • Sixteen players on the U.S. squad were on the roster for the 2022 SheBelieves Cup.

Format for 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.

SheBelieves Cup rewind: A look back at past tournaments

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.

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2023 LPGA Drive On Championship: How to watch, who’s playing in season’s first full-field event

Jin-young Ko of South Korea and Nelly Korda on the 17th tee during the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship.
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The LPGA Tour makes its return to the Arizona desert this week at the 2023 LPGA Drive On Championship at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club. The season’s first full-field event features eight of the world’s top 10 players plus a slew of fresh faces as this year’s rookie class gets its first taste of competition as tour members.

This week’s event features 144 players (plus two Monday qualifiers) competing for the $1.75 million prize purse in a 72-hole tournament that will implement the LPGA’s new cutline policy for the first time. Beginning this week, the 36-hole cut will change from the top 70 players and ties to the top 65 and ties advancing to weekend action. The LPGA says it hopes to “establish a faster pace of play” with the change.”

Arizona last hosted the LPGA for the 2019 Bank of Hope Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club, where Jin Young Ko earned her first of four LPGA titles that season. The tour last played at Superstition Mountain in the Safeway International from 2004 to 2008, where Hall of Famers Annika Sorenstam (2004, 2005) and Lorena Ochoa (2007, 2008) each won twice, and Juli Inkster won in 2006.

The tournament marks the first of four events over the next five weeks (taking off the week of the Masters, April 7-10) and kicks off the crescendo that’s building to the LPGA’s first major of the season, The Chevron Championship, April 20-23 in its new location at The Woodlands, Texas. The 72-hole LPGA Drive On Championship features 144 players, in addition to two Monday qualifiers, who will compete for a $1.75 million purse.

How to watch the 2023 LPGA Drive On Championship

You can watch the 2023 LPGA Drive On Championship on Golf Channel, Peacock, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Check out the complete TV and streaming schedule:

  • Thursday, March 23: 9-11 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Friday, March 24: 9-11 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Saturday, March 25: 6-10 p.m. ET, live stream; 7-9 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Sunday, March 26: 6-10 p.m. ET, live stream; 7-9 p.m. ET, Golf Channel

Who’s playing in the 2023 LPGA Drive On Championship

Sitting out this week are world No. 1 Lydia Ko and No. 5 Minjee Lee, but No. 2 Nelly Korda and No. 3 Jin Young Ko are back in action following Ko’s return to the winner’s circle two weeks ago in Singapore, where she held off Korda by two strokes. Also in the field this week are:

  • No. 4 Atthaya Thitikul
  • No. 6 Lexi Thompson
  • No. 7 Brooke Henderson
  • No. 8 In Gee Chun
  • No. 9 Hyo-Joo Kim
  • No. 10 Nasa Hataoka
  • 2022 major winners Ashleigh Buhai, Jennifer Kupcho, Chun, Henderson

Rookies and Epson Tour graduates making their first starts as LPGA members include 20-year-old Lucy Li, a two-time Epson Tour winner who might be best known for playing the 2014 U.S.  Women’s Open as an 11-year-old; South Korea’s Hae Ran Ryu, who took medalist honors at LPGA Q-Series; and 18-year-old Alexa Pano, who finished tied for 21st at Q School to earn her card but might be best known from her role in the 2013 Netflix documentary, “The Short Game.”

Past winners, history of the Drive On Championship

The Drive On Championship was initially created as a series of LPGA events that marked the tour’s back-to-competition efforts following the pandemic. Each tournament used the “Drive On” slogan in support of the tour’s resilience, beginning with the first series event in July 2020 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, where Danielle Kang won by one stroke over Celine Boutier. The second event, held in October 2020, replaced the three stops originally scheduled in Asia, and was held at Reynolds Lake Oconee Great Waters Course in Greensboro, Georgia. Ally McDonald captured her career first LPGA title by one stroke over Kang.

The last two “Drive On” events were staged in Florida, at Golden Ocala Golf Club (Ocala) in March 2021 and at Crown Colony Golf Club (Fort Myers) in February 2022. Austin Ernst cruised to her third career title at the 2021 edition, beating Jennifer Kupcho by five shots. The 2022 tournament marked a fresh start for the event (no longer including results or records from the 2020 and 2021 events), where Leona Maguire became the first Irish winner on tour with her victory in 2022.

Last year at the Drive On Championship

Ireland’s Leona Maguire gifted her mom and early birthday present with her first career win at the 2022 LPGA Drive On Championship. A 27-year-old Maguire, a standout at Duke and former No. 1 amateur, carded a final-round 67 to finish at 18-under 198 and won the 54-hole event by three strokes over Lexi Thompson. She became the first woman from Ireland to win on tour, and her 198 tied her career-best 54-hole score.

More about Superstition Mountain

Superstition Mountain’s Prospector Golf Course opened in 1998 and was a combined design effort by Jack Nicklaus and his son Gary. The course plays as a par-72 and stretches to 7,225 yards in length, with the women playing it at 6,526 yards. The course was home of the LPGA Safeway International from 2004-08, and was recently selected by Golfweek as one of the “Top 100 Residential Courses.”

Of note, Superstition Mountain is a female-owned facility, originally purchased in 2009 by Susan Hladky and her husband James, who died in 2011. Hladky has made a point of opening her courses to women and college players, twice hosting U.S. Women’s Open qualifying and the site of a 2025 NCAA women’s regional tournament. She’s also given membership to eight LPGA players, who play out of the club: Carlota Ciganda, Mina Harigae, Dana Finkelstein, Jaclyn Lee, Charlotte Thomas, Caroline Inglis, Jennifer Kupcho and Brianna Do.

MORE FROM ON HER TURF: 2023 March Madness — Utah Utes engineer dramatic turnaround for third-ever Sweet 16 appearance

2023 March Madness: Utah Utes engineer dramatic turnaround for third-ever Sweet 16 appearance

Members of the Utah Utes celebrate their win over the Princeton Tigers in the second round of the NCAA Womens Basketball Tournament.
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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The No. 2-seeded Utah (27-4) women’s basketball team held off a pesky 10th-seeded Princeton squad on Sunday, winning 63-56 to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships for the first time since 2005-06 and just the third time in the program’s history.

“I’m proud of our team,” said eighth-year head coach Lynne Roberts after the second-round win at Utah’s Hunstman Center. “We set out to do this a year ago. We lost in this game at University of Texas and the goal was to be able to host (this year) so that we could have that home-court advantage and it made a difference.”

Utah’s fourth-year junior Alissa Pili backed up her recent second-team All-American honor with another 20-plus-point performance, scoring 28 on 8-for 13 shooting with 10 rebounds and going 11-for 13 on free throws. Sophomore forward Jenna Johnson added 15 points and six rebounds.

There’s been a lot of talk this weekend about how the Utes’ previous few seasons have ended – beginning with a rough 14-17 season that was cut short in 2020 due to the pandemic, followed by an abysmal 5-16 record in 2020-21. But the tide turned last year, as Utah rebounded with a 21-12 season that ended with a 78-56 loss to Texas in Austin in the second round of the NCAA tournament one year ago.

So, what changed?

“Last year, everyone was new to the NCAA tournament, so I think everyone was just experiencing it for the first time,” mused Johnson. “Losing in the second round last year, we’re definitely a lot hungrier this year, and then obviously hosting in Salt Lake, it’s fun just being in your own environment, to be around your own fans. I think it gives us an elevated level of confidence, both knowing what it’s like to play in this tournament and also getting to be at home.”

“Yeah, freshman year was kind of rough,” added third-year sophomore Kennady McQueen, who chipped in nine points Sunday. “We did experience losing a lot. … Coach Roberts, she said we are not going to have another season like that. We all stood behind her — the people that stayed — and brought in great people like starting last year with Jenna and Gi (Gianna Kneepkens) and people like that who have had a huge impact in helping us to where we are today. …

“When you get together a group of people that have the same goal in mind and will do make anything to make it happen, I think that’s where we have seen our success rate going up. This past offseason, we just kept getting better, and of course, the addition of the Alissa Pili really helped. When you bring a group of girls that have the same dream and same goal at the end of the year and doesn’t care about personal stats more than winning, I think we get the season that we have today, and it prepares us for deep run in March.”

In particular, McQueen believe it was Utah’s improvement in their defense that was crucial to the turnaround. “Everyone knows how good we are on offense, but if we can’t get stops, it doesn’t matter how good you are on offense,” she said. “So that’s just been a key the whole past off-season and all of this season — just getting better on defense.”

MORE FROM ON HER TURF: Alissa Pili revives her love of basketball with record season at Utah

Roberts credits their defensive improvement with a “philosophical mindset change,” explaining, “We worked on [defense] a lot differently, a lot more intentionally. Strategically we made some changes of how we are going to defend, and I won’t bore you with that. But there was a lot, just different things because you have to play to your strengths. You can’t be a run-and-jump pressing team if you don’t have the depth and athletes to do it. You can’t be a zone team if you are not super big. You have to figure out what fits your personnel, and so that’s what we did.”

There’s also the undeniable impact of Pili, a transfer from USC who has found her stride as a Ute, where she recently was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year.

“She kind of is the straw that stirs the drink for us right now,” Roberts said regarding the 21-year-old Alaska native. “She’s a nightmare to defend because she can shoot the three, and she’s also really athletic and mobile, so it doesn’t matter who we are playing. I think you have to gameplan for her. But then with her three-point shooting, you know, you have to pick your poison.”

But Roberts also gave plenty of kudos to Johnson, whom she describes as “phenomenal.”

“She’s 19 going on 40,” Roberts said of Johnson. “She’s the most mature, even-keeled consistent player we have. What I love about her is she is who she is. She’s confident in who she is. She knows who she is. She also is incredibly busy off the court.

“We were talking as we were getting ready to watch film, just shooting the breeze a bunch of us, we were talking about movies. And she was like, Oh, I don’t watch movies. Why not? I don’t have time. I get bored. What do you mean you don’t have time? Do you watch shows? No, I don’t ever watch TV. It is because she is doing all of these other extracurricular activities.”

As for guiding the Utes to becoming a championship program, Roberts still sees it as an uphill battle – but one that she and her players are ready for.

“I always use the analogy of pushing the boulder up the hill,” she said. “And doing things for the first time, you have to have that mindset. You have to keep pushing. It’s been incredibly fun to see the support, and I think the swell is a perfect word for it. Most importantly, our players feel it.

“This is why you play, right? And it means so much. I know I say it over and over, but this is not going to be a flash-in-the-pan [season]. This isn’t going to be a ‘Oh, remember that year they had such an incredible year?’ We are going to keep doing it.”

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