2020 SheBelieves Cup: England Confirmed, But Germany, France, and Brazil Have Other Plans

Update (13-Jan-2020):  U.S. Soccer has finally published the schedule for this year’s SheBelieves Cup.  The fourth team will be Spain Full details, here.

Update (05-Jan-2020):  On December 20th, the JFA published preliminary calendars for their national teams, confirming Japan‘s participation in this year’s tournament.  The identity of the final team has yet-to-be officially confirmed.

Although the teams for the 2020 edition of the SheBelieves Cup have yet to be officially announced, we do have a very good idea of which teams will not be competing against the host, the United States Women’s National Team.

That is because the fields for two other friendly tournaments which will be held during the same international window, the Algarve Cup, as well as a new four-team tournament hosted by France, were both officially confirmed last week.

Also, earlier in November, the FA confirmed that England (#5T) will once again be participating in the SheBelieves Cup.  That nugget was buried in the FA’s press release about their hiring of former USWNT high performance coach Dawn Scott.


ALGARVE CUP

On November 27th, the 2020 Algarve Cup field was announced (FPF, in Portuguese).  Just eight teams will be participating in the 27th edition of this friendly tournament:  #2 Germany, #5T Sweden, #12 Norway, #14 Italy, #15 Denmark, #18 Belgium, #23 New Zealand, and the hosts, #31 Portugal.

The 2020 edition will be just the second time since 2002 when the Algarve Cup had less than 11 teams (2016, 8 teams).  (Wikipedia)

Based on this Icelandic FA news item, it appears that #17 Iceland had applied to participate in next year’s Algarve Cup, but was not invited.  The following is a Google Translate version of the news item, with just minor editing for clarity:

The “A” women’s national team will not be among the participating nations at the Algarve Cup 2020, but Iceland has played at the tournament uninterrupted since 2007.

KSÍ applied as normal for the team to participate in this year’s tournament in Portugal, but the organizers have decided to reduce the number of teams to 8 and Iceland is not included.

Work is under way to find another project for Iceland in March and will be announced later.


TOURNOI de FRANCE

On November 28th, FFF Executive Committee minutes revealed that #4 France would be hosting #3 Netherlands, #7 Canada, and #11 Brazil in a four-team tournament in two cities:  Calais and Valciennes. (footofeminin.fr)  The name “Tournoi de France” is used in the minutes.


OLYMPIC QUALIFYING – ASIA

As in the previous Olympic year, 2016, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will be holding the final phase of their qualification tournament for the Women’s Football Tournament at the Summer Olympics.

This means that four of the top five Asian teams – #8 Australia, #9 Korea DPR, #16 China PR, and #21 Korea Republic – will not be available.

The host of the Summer Olympics, #10 Japan, are exempt from qualifying, and thus should be free.  As Japan participated in the 2019 edition of the SheBelieves Cup, they are most likely one of the four teams in next year’s edition.


OTHER FRIENDLY TOURNAMENTS

While the fields for other friendly tournaments, such as the Cyprus Cup, the Istria Women’s Cup (Croatia), and the Turkish Women’s Cup have not yet been announced, these tournaments are unlikely to be preferred “destinations” for any of the available Top 20 WNTs.


SO, WHO’S LEFT?  (Among the Top 20 WNTs)

As mentioned earlier, #10 Japan should be free.  Also available are #17 Iceland (see above).  As should be #19 Switzerland (per their calendar).

However, the top team – not named Japan – with no announced plans for the March window is…

#13 Spain.

And, alas, a potential rematch of that gut-wrenching 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Round of 16 match.

The teams and match schedule for the 2020 SheBelieves Cup should be announced in the next few weeks.


BONUS

Here’s a quickly put together table showing what March friendly tournaments each of the current Top 30+ Women’s National Teams have participated in, since 2012.  Please note that this is not complete, as blanks do not necessarily indicate that a team was inactive (i.e., did not play in any friendly tournament or friendly matches) during the March international window.