by TOM SLATER
After much wonderment, there’s finally concrete news about the SheBelieves Cup 2017.
US Soccer released information on the second annual tournament hosted by the United States that brings together four of the world’s top five countries during the first week of March.
Just like last year, the teams competing include Germany, France, England, and, of course, the United States. According to the last FIFA rankings, the United States is ranked first followed by Germany and France. England is ranked fifth.
And good news for New York area fans, one of the three doubleheaders will be at Red Bull Arena in Harrison. The tournament will mark the first matches for the United States team.
“It’s fantastic to play these three teams in the first three games of the year,” U.S. head coach Jill Ellis said. “As I’ve said many times, one of our main goals is to play the best teams in the world as often as possible and we have tremendous respect for France, Germany and England, which all feature world class players at multiple positions. To hold this tournament at home is great for our fans and TV partners, but especially for our players and our coaching staff as these are the kinds of games where we get tested and can really learn a lot about ourselves.”
The tournament format will be the same as last year as the four teams will each participate in three doubleheader events at three different venues over a seven-day period. 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 difference, followed by most total tournament goals scored, then head-to-head result and lastly, FIFA Ranking if necessary.
The match days will see England open against France on Wednesday, March 1 at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa. (4 p.m. ET), followed by the USA against Germany (7 p.m. ET on FS1). The teams will then travel to New Jersey where France will face Germany on Saturday, March 4 (2:15 p.m. ET) followed by the USA taking on England (5 p.m. ET on FOX) at Red Bull Arena in Harrison. The tournament will finish on Tuesday, March 7, at the historic RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. as Germany takes on England (4 p.m. ET) and the USA faces France (7 p.m. ET on FS1).
Last year the United States won the inaugural event by sweeping all three games. The Americans beat England and France, each by 1-0 scores. In the third game, the United States edged Germany, 2-1, in the battle of unbeaten teams.
Ticket information will be announced in the near future. To receive notifications directly and for early ticket access, join U.S. Soccer’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat.