The U.S. Women’s National Team kicks off its 2023 SheBelieves Cup on Thursday night, taking on Canada at 7 p.m. ET at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The match between the reigning World Cup champions and the 2020 Olympic gold medalists will be broadcast on HBO Max, Universo and Peacock and will be preceded by a 4 p.m. ET showdown between Japan and Brazil (HBO Max, Universo and Peacock).
Get ready for the SheBelieves Cup opener between the top-ranked Americans and sixth-ranked Canadians with Five Things to Know about Canada.
CANADA RETURNS TO SHEBELIEVES CUP
After debuting at the SheBelieves Cup debut in 2021, Canada will be making its second appearance in the tournament. Canada finished third in 2021, the entirety of which was played at Exploria Stadium due to COVID-19 protocols.
Canada fell to the USA 1-0 in its opening match at the 2021 SBC after 79th minute strike from the USA’s Rose Lavelle, but rebounded with a dramatic 1-0 win of its own on the second match day, topping Argentina 1-0 behind a goal from Sarah Stratigakis in second-half stoppage time.
Brazil bested Canada 2-0 on the third and final match day of the tournament, buoyed by a pair of first-half goals.
INSIDE THE ROSTER
Sixteen of the 23 players Canada head coach Bev Priestman named to the final roster for the 2023 SheBelieves Cup were on Canada’s 2020 Olympic Team, led by one of the all-time legends in the game in forward Christine Sinclair. Sinclair is the most-capped active player in the world with 319 international appearances and is the all-time leading scorer in international soccer with 190 career goals.
Midfielder Sophie Schmidt is the next most experienced player on Canada’s roster with 218 caps while defender Kadeisha Buchanan (128 caps) and midfielder Jessie Fleming (111) have also eclipsed the 100-cap milestone.
Forward Janine Beckie, who could join Canada’s 100 cap club this tournament, is the second leading scorer on this roster with 36 goals in her 98 international appearances, followed by Manchester United forward Adriana Leon with 28 goals in her 92 caps.
Canada’s roster features eight current NWSL players and two players current playing in U.S. colleges. Of the 13 Canadians currently playing in Europe, six previously played in the NWSL and all 13 played collegiate soccer in the USA.
CANADA WOMEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEM ROSTER BY POSITION
Goalkeepers (3): 1-Kailen Sheridan (San Diego Wave FC, USA), 18-Sabrina D'Angelo (Arsenal FC, ENG), 22-Lysianne Proulx (SCU Torreense, POR)
Defenders (8): 2-Allysha Chapman (Houston Dash, USA), 3-Kadeisha Buchanan (Chelsea FC, ENG), 4-Shelina Zadorsky (Tottenham Hotspur, ENG), 5-Quinn (OL Reign, USA), 6-Gabby Carle (Washington Spirit, USA), 10-Ashley Lawrence (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), 14-Vanessa Gilles (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA), 21-Jade Rose (Harvard University, USA)
Midfielders (4): 7-Julia Grosso (Juventus FC, ITA), 8-Simi Awujo (USC, USA), 13-Sophie Schmidt (Houston Dash, USA), 17-Jessie Fleming (Chelsea FC, ENG)
Forwards (8): 9-Jordyn Huitema (OL Reign, USA), 11-Clarissa Larisey (BK Häcken FF, SWE), 12-Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns FC, USA), 15-Evelyne Viens (Kristianstads DFF, SWE), 16-Janine Beckie (Portland Thorns FC, USA), 19-Adriana Leon (Manchester United FC, ENG), 20-Cloé Lacasse (SL Benfica, POR), 23-Jenna Hellstrom (Dijon Football Côte d’Or, FRA)
SERIES HISTORY: USA vs. CANADA
The USA and Canada are set to meet for the 64th time overall in a series that dates back to 1986 when the USWNT was in its second year in existence. Canada is the most common opponent in USWNT history and the USA leads the overall series 52-4-7. Thursday’s matchup will be the second meeting between the teams in the SheBelieves Cup and will mark the fifth meeting between the teams in the last four years. The USA has won three of the last four meetings between the teams, though the last three meetings have all been decided by a 1-0 score line.
The teams last squared off in the final of the 2022 Concacaf W Championship on July 18 in Monterrey, Mexico. The USA prevailed 1-0 on a penalty kick goal from Alex Morgan in the 78th minute to seal the regional title and earn a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The USA, which outshot Canada 17-11 on the night, became just the second nation to earn a berth into the Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament at Paris ’24, joining hosts France, while Canada will play Jamaica — which beat Costa Rica 1-0 in stoppage time in the Third-Place match — in a playoff series in September of 2023 to determine Concacaf’s second and final representative at the Olympic Games.
Prior to the matchup in Mexico, the USA and Canada last met in the semifinals of the delayed 2020 Olympics, a 1-0 victory for the Canadians on August 2 in Kashima, Japan. Despite having the better of the attack for much of the match and outshooting Canada, 17-5, on the day, a 75th-minute penalty kick from Jessie Fleming proved to be the difference as Canada recorded just its fourth win ever over the USA and its first since 2001. Following the semifinal win, which ended a 36-match winless run for Canada against the USWNT in last summer’s Olympics, Canada went on to claim its first Olympic gold medal, topping Sweden 3-2 in penalty kicks in the final after a 1-1 result through regulation.
2022 IN REVIEW
The 2023 SheBelieves Cup will mark the first international matches of the year for Canada, which is currently ranked No. 6 in the latest FIFA Women’s World Rankings. Canada amassed an overall record of 11 wins, three draws and three losses in 2022, which included a victory over Germany at the Arnold Clark Cup last February, a 2-0 friendly win over Nigeria in April, four wins at the Concacaf W Championship and a five-game winning streak following its loss to the USA in the CWC final.
During that five-game win streak, Canada registered 1-0 and 2-1 wins in Australia against the Matildas, a 4-0 victory over Morocco in Spain and a 2-1 victory over Brazil on Nov. 11. The win streak was snapped with a 2-1 loss to Brazil on Nov. 15 in São Paulo, as Brazil scored the game winner in second-half stoppage time.
GROUP B AWAITS CANADA
Like the three other teams participating in the SheBelieves Cup, Canada has its sights fixed on the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup where it was drawn into Group B and will play the entirety of its group stage matches in Australia. Canada will face Nigeria on July 21 to open the tournament in Melbourne/Naarm and will then face off against the Republic of Ireland on July 26 in Perth/Boorloo before playing its third and final group stage game back in Melbourne on July 31 against the co-host Matildas.
Canada, which like the USA qualified for the 2023 World Cup by advancing out of its group at the 2022 Concacaf W Championship, has qualified for every FIFA Women’s World Cup since 1995. Canada’s best showing came in 2003 when it finished fourth, falling to the USA 3-1 in the third-place match.
At the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, Canada finished second in Group E to advance to the Round of 16, where it lost to Sweden 1-0.