Recapping All the Drama of the SheBelieves Cup

courtesy of Visa

In 2016, a year after the USWNT won their third World Cup, US Soccer announced the SheBelieves Cup. Four of the world’s top teams would compete in a round robin-style tournament on US soil. Five years later and it’s still going! This year, the US, England, Japan, and Spain battled it out for the title. In case you missed it, we’ve got a recap of all the action… And drama. 

SheBelieves Cup Day One

Japan vs Spain

The first day of competition did not disappoint. First up, Japan took on Spain. Spain gave the US a run for its money during the World Cup. And they’ve just gotten better. Alexia Putellas started off the scoring to give Spain the early lead. But Japan managed to equalize just before halftime. Spain wasn’t having that. They came into the second half with a fury. Forward Lucia Garcia scored twice, securing Spain’s W. While out Spanish player Mapi Leon didn’t get much action today, don’t count her out.

USA vs England

This game was the first time these two teams met again after their dramatic match during the semi-finals of the World Cup. Out lesbians Megan Rapinoe (USA), Ashlyn Harris (USA), Ali Krieger (USA), Tierna Davidson (USA), Adrianna Franch (USA), Jordan Nobbs (ENG), and Rachel Daly (ENG) were on the bench for most of the game. Leah Williamson (ENG) did get a start. So did Kelley O’Hara who looked in good form after recovering from an injury. You remember Kelley, right? She ran to the stands to kiss her girlfriend after the World Cup win and made every lesbian swoon? Anyway, the first half was scoreless, which caused many to think this game might end in 0-0 tie. Fools. Don’t you know Christen Press is not having any of that buffoonery. She scored an absolute banger that caused the commentator to lose his mind.


— espnW (@espnW) March 6, 2020

Carli Lloyd closed out the game with another goal, securing the USA’s 2-0 over England.

SheBelives Cup Day Two

England vs Japan

The second day of matches started off with England taking on Japan. English lesbians Jordan Nobbs and Rachel Daly got a start. With Nobb’s girlfriend, Leah Williamson, coming in as a sub later in the game. While Nobbs came off during stoppage time, Daly put in a full day’s work.

💪 90 minutes from @RachelDaly3 in a 1-0 win for @Lionesses#SheBelievesCup

— NWSL (@NWSL) March 8, 2020

Both teams stood at a stalemate until the 83rd minute, when England’s Ellen White scored the winning goal.

USA vs Spain

No doubt one of the most anticipated matches of the tournament. Fans were eager to see more of that technical Spanish soccer take on the US’s physical style of play. Megan Rapinoe of the USA and Mapi Leon of Spain both got a start this match. Mapi showed everyone why she deserves to be called one of the best defenders in the world as she helped her team keep the USWNT at bay for most of the game. But once Christen Press steps foot on that pitch, there’s no stopping her. She didn’t score, but she did assist Julie Ertz’s set piece header.

All hail @julieertz, our set piece queen 👑

— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) March 8, 2020

SheBelieves Cup Day Three

Spain vs England

The first game of the final day saw England take on Spain. Lesbians Rachel Daly (ENG), Leah Williamson (ENG), Jordan Nobbs (ENG), and Mapi Leon (SPN) all got a start. Spain had several chances, but English keeper, Carly Telford kept her team in the game. But, you have to score to win and England just could not capitalize on any of their chances. Spain finally got a break in the 83rd minute when Alexia Putellas scored the winning goal, making it her second goal of the tournament. Putellas’ overall performance during the tournament earned her the MVP award. The Spanish team is young, but showing lots of promise. Keep an eye on them during the next World Cup.

Alexia Putellas puts Spain ahead late on a powerful header!

— The Equalizer (@EqualizerSoccer) March 11, 2020

USA v Japan

This game was about much more than a trophy. The USWNT were declared the champs before they even set foot on the pitch due to goal differential. But they played anyway not just out of respect for their opponent, but to make an important point. The USWNT has been battling the US Soccer Federation for equal pay for some time now. And right in the middle of their tournament that seeks to empower women and girls in sports, the USSF argued that the women should not be paid the same as men because the women aren’t as skilled.

USSF using the exact same argument as every internet troll does in response to tweets/articles about women’s sports is pretty damn disappointing.

— John D. Halloran (@JohnDHalloran) March 10, 2020


In an act of protest, the entire team turned their training jerseys inside out and took the customary pre-game photo with their USA crests hidden, but their four stars clearly on display. Can we get the med team in here, because that was a sick burn.

#USWNT players wore their warmups inside out before playing Japan in the #SheBelievesCup. Why? Recently released legal filings revealed a line of sexist questioning and thinking from Federation lawyers. @ktrain_11 has more:


— The Equalizer (@EqualizerSoccer) March 12, 2020

Lesbian legend Megan Rapinoe had something to say about it as well with this rocket of a free kick. She reminded everyone of the power of lesbianism. 


— NWSL (@NWSL) March 12, 2020

You thought that was all? You should know better when golazo queen Christen Press is on the pitch.

Christen really turned and said “I want my chips with the dip.”

You love to see it.#SheBelievesCup | #USAvJPN

— NWSL (@NWSL) March 12, 2020

What did she do? She told the USSF to shut the hell up with their misogynist nonsense, that’s what.

Were these blatantly sexist comments purposely released during the SheBelieves Cup as a way to demoralize them? Maybe. Maybe not. What matters is that they were released at all, that our suspicious as to why these women aren’t being paid equally were confirmed. It’s one thing to acknowledge the biological differences between men and women, but to say these differences are the reason women should be treated as lesser is not acceptable. The USWNT sponsors thought so too as many of them voiced their disapproval of these comments. It’s 2020 and it seems like we’re still fighting the same old battles. But the USWNT will continue to fight. And in doing so they set an example for female athletes around the world. It’s just like Pino said, “you’re not lesser-than just because you’re a girl. You’re not better just because you’re a boy.” 

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