SheBelieves Cup: U.S. collegians get chance with England

Thursday's USA-England match at Orlando's Exploria Stadium in the SheBelieves Cup will be the biggest match for both teams since their memorable meeting in the 2019 Women's World Cup semifinals.

The game will be the first major test for Vlatko Andonovski since he took over as U.S. head coach in November.

For England's Phil Neville, he will look to get the Lionesses back on track after a difficult post-World Cup run.

England, which is preparing for Euro 2021 it will host, has played three friendlies against 2019 World Cup opposition and lost all three games: 2-1 to Norway, Brazil and Germany.

SheBelieves Cup is still a friendly tournament, and it will give Neville a chance to experiment. With that in mind, he has called up three uncapped players, all with ties to the U.S. college game:

-- Goalkeeper Sandy MacIver just signed with Everton after finishing up at Clemson.
-- Defender Grace Fisk played at Penn State and South Carolina and just moved to West Ham United.
-- Forward Alessia Russo has one more year of eligibility at North Carolina.

"Until you give young people an opportunity," said Neville, "you never know if they can step up. That's what we're going to do at the SheBelieves Cup."

The USA beat England, 2-1, in the semifinals in Lyon last July, but needed a save by Alyssa Naeher on Steph Houghton's late penalty to ensure the victory. England also exited Euro 2017 and the 2015 Women's World Cup in the semifinals.

Of the starters from the Lyon match, only star defender Lucy Bronze (out with a calf injury) and forward Beth Mead (knee injury) are missing.

England Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sandy MacIver (Everton; 0/0), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City; 4/0), Carly Telford (Chelsea; 24/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Millie Bright (Chelsea; 34/0), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash, USA; 33/3), Grace Fisk (West Ham United; 0/0), Alex Greenwood (Lyon, FRA; 44/3), Steph Houghton (Manchester City; 117/13), Abbie McManus (Manchester United; 17/0), Demi Stokes (Manchester City; 57/11), Leah Williamson (Arsenal; 14/1)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal; 60/7), Jill Scott (Manchester City; 146/24), Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City; 15/2), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City; 16/2), Keira Walsh (Manchester City; 26/0)
FORWARDS (7): Toni Duggan (Atletico Madrid, ESP; 76/22), Bethany England (Chelsea; 5/2), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City; 3/0), Chloe Kelly (Everton; 1/0), Nikita Parris (Lyon; 47/14), Alessia Russo (Univ. of North Carolina, USA; 0/0), Ellen White (Manchester City; 89/35)

2 comments about "SheBelieves Cup: U.S. collegians get chance with England".
  1. beautiful game, March 5, 2020 at 9:43 a.m.

    When is the next HeBelieves Cup?

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, March 5, 2020 at 4:03 p.m.

    March 20th :) I hope.

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