USA women to open SheBelieves Cup against Czech Republic

The U.S. women’s national team will face the Czech Republic, New Zealand and Iceland at the SheBelieves Cup next month.

USA, the defending world champion, will be hoping to qualify for the next World Cup during the SheBelieves Cup.   -  Getty Images

The U.S. women’s national team will face the Czech Republic, New Zealand and Iceland at the SheBelieves Cup next month in its first matches of a busy 2022 during which it hopes to qualify for both the 2023 Women’s World Cup and 2024 Paris Olympics.

The reigning world champion, which tops FIFA’s rankings, faces 24th-ranked Czech Republic on February 17 and No. 22 New Zealand on February 20, both in Carson, California, before a February 23 meeting with 16th-ranked Iceland in Frisco, Texas, U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday.

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“These will be the first matches of what will be a really important year, and as focus on World Cup qualifying, the SheBelieves Cup will be extremely valuable for the continued development of the team,” national team head coach Vlatko Andonovski said in a news release.

“As a coaching staff, when we are integrating newer players, we need as many games as possible, and all three of our opponents are very hard to play against.”

The winner of the four-team international tournament, which the USWNT has won the last two years, will be determined by total points. The tournament will serve as valuable preparation ahead of July’s eight-team CONCACAF Championship that will produce four direct qualifiers for the 2023 women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as well as one automatic qualifier to the 2024 Olympics.

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