Opponent Watch: England’s Roster for the 2020 SheBelieves Cup

Update (01-Mar-2020):  Lucy Bronze is out due to a calf injury and has been replaced by  Alessia Russo.  (TheFA.com)

First to announce their official roster for this year’s SheBelieves Cup is the United States Women’s National Team’s first opponent:  England.

The rematch of 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal opponents will be played on Thursday, March 5th at 7:00 p.m Eastern (TV: ESPN2) .  (Full SheBelieves Cup TV/streaming schedule)

Phil Neville’s list has eight players born in 1997 or later, including two uncapped players who recently played collegiately in the United States:  Center back Grace Fisk of South Carolina (profile) and goalkeeper Sandy MacIver of Clemson (profile).  Both graduated after the fall 2019 season and are now playing professionally in the FA WSL.

External Link:  Phil Neville Names Youthful Squad as England Prepare to Defend SheBelieves Cup Title (TheFA.com)

The inclusion of youth can be partially explained by the unavailability of three key players due to injury or medical reasons:

Another contributing factor is the fact that under Neville, the Lionesses have struggled since June 2019, losing to the USA and then Sweden in the WWC, while going 2-1-3 (W-D-L) in their post-WWC friendlies.  (As hosts of the 2021 Women’s Euro, England is exempt from qualifying).

Notably left off of England’s roster is Reign FC striker Jodie Taylor, who turns 34 in May (TheFA.com profile, NWSL profile).  Neville’s public rationale for this omission is that Taylor has not played professionally since the end of the NWSL season. (Twitter)  Taylor last featured for England as a substitute in their 1:2 loss to Germany at Wembley in November (dfb.de), but missed the final match of 2019 due to a back injury (TheFA.com).

Another omission of note is dual-national center back Alana Cook, who was called into the Lionesses’ camp in October and then the USWNT’s in the following month.

Two training players will also be in camp for England:  Goalkeeper Hannah Hampton and current collegiate player Alessia Russo of North Carolina (profile).


Player’s names are linked to their TheFA.com profile, which have basic details (see below table), plus a short biographical write-up.  Positions are from the current “Squad” list on TheFA.com.

Goalkeepers (3):
Sandy MacIver (Everton)
Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City)
Carly Telford (Chelsea)

Defenders (9):
Millie Bright (Chelsea)
Lucy Bronze (Lyon)
Rachel Daly (Houston Dash)
Grace Fisk (West Ham United)
Alex Greenwood (Lyon)
Steph Houghton (Manchester City)
Abbie McManus (Manchester United)
Demi Stokes (Manchester City)
Leah Williamson (Arsenal)

Midfielders (5):
Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal)
Jill Scott (Manchester City)
Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City)
Georgia Stanway (Manchester City)
Keira Walsh (Manchester City)

Forwards (6):
Toni Duggan (Atletico Madrid)
Bethany England (Chelsea)
Lauren Hemp (Manchester City)
Chloe Kelly (Everton)
Nikita Parris (Lyon)
Ellen White (Manchester City)

Training Players (2):
Hannah Hampton (Birmingham City)
Alessia Russo (North Carolina)

The following table lists basic details for each player on the tournament roster, as well as the two training camp attendees.  Most information is pulled from each player’s TheFA.com profile (if available).  Some profiles are incomplete, lacking height and date of birth information.  Supplemental sources, such as the official list of players for the 2018 U-20 WWC, were used to fill in missing details.   Profiles on TheFA.com do not have international goals tallies.  Age is calculated as of the first match day of the SheBelieves Cup (05 March 2020).  Dates of Birth (D.O.B. column) are in “mm/dd/yyyy” format.

Table 1:  England’s Roster for 2020 SheBelieves Cup – Detailed

                                                Height   |   Senior WNT
Player              P.     D.O.B.      Age    ft/in  cm  | Caps    Debut^
MacIver, Sandy      GK   06/18/1998   21.71   5'9"   175 |   0
Roebuck, Ellie      GK   09/23/1999   20.45   5'9"   174 |   4   08-Aug-18
Telford, Carly      GK   07/07/1987   32.66   5'9"   174 |  24   11-Mar-07
Bright, Millie      DF   08/21/1993   26.54   5'10"  179 |  34   20-Sep-16
Bronze, Lucy        DF   10/28/1991   28.35   5'8"   172 |  81   26-Jun-13
Daly, Rachel        DF   12/06/1991   28.25   5'8"   173 |  33   04-Jun-16
Fisk, Grace         DF   01/05/1998   22.16   5'8"   172 |   0
Greenwood, Alex     DF   09/07/1993   26.49   5'6"   168 |  44   05-Mar-14
Houghton, Steph     DF   04/23/1988   31.87   5'9"   174 | 117   08-Mar-07
McManus, Abbie      DF   01/14/1993   27.14   5'7"   171 |  17   01-Mar-18
Stokes, Demi        DF   12/12/1991   28.23   5'4"   162 |  57   17-Jan-14
Williamson, Leah    DF   03/29/1997   22.93   5'7"   170 |  14   08-Jun-18
Nobbs, Jordan       MF   12/08/1992   27.24   5'3"   159 |  60   06-Mar-13
Scott, Jill         MF   02/02/1987   33.09   5'11"  181 | 146   31-Aug-06
Staniforth, Lucy    MF   10/02/1992   27.42   5'2"   157 |  15   04-Sep-18
Stanway, Georgia    MF   01/03/1999   21.17   5'3"   161 |  16   08-Nov-18
Walsh, Keira        MF   04/08/1997   22.91   5'6"   168 |  26   28-Nov-17
Duggan, Toni        FW   07/25/1991   28.61   5'6"   168 |  76   19-Sep-12
England, Bethany    FW   06/03/1994   25.75   5'5"   166 |   5   29-Aug-19
Hemp, Lauren        FW   08/07/2000   19.58   5'4"   163 |   3   08-Oct-19
Kelly, Chloe        FW   01/15/1998   22.14   5'3"   161 |   1   08-Nov-18
Parris, Nikita      FW   03/10/1994   25.99   5'4"   162 |  47   04-Jun-16
White, Ellen        FW   05/09/1989   30.82   5'7"   170 |  89   25-Mar-10
---Training Players-------------------------------------------------------
Hampton, Hannah     GK   11/16/2000   19.30   5'8"*  173 |   0
Russo, Alessia      FW   02/08/1999   21.07   5'9"   174 |   0

*Height not from an official source.
^Debut dates intentionally listed in a different format from dates of births.


WWC ’19 Experience:  Sixteen players from the Lionesses’ 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad are included on this roster.  The other seven players are Karen Carney, who retired and six active players:  Karens Bardsley, Beth Mead, and Fran Kirby, who are all unavailable due to injuries or medical reasons (as mentioned above), plus Jodie Taylor, goalkeeper Mary Earps, and midfielder Jade Moore.

A Key Post-WWC Returnee:  Midfielder Jordan Nobbs, who missed last year’s WWC due to an ACL injury suffered in November 2018, rejoined the Lionesses in October 2019 (TheFA.com).

Fourteen Return from 2019:  Just 14 of England’s 23 players were members of the Lionesses’ 2019 SheBelieves Cup squad which won that tournament and “lifted the prestigious trophy.”

NCAA Connections:  Four rostered players played collegiately in the United States.  Besides uncapped players Grace Fisk (South Carolina / Penn State) and Sandy MacIver (Clemson),  Demi Stokes played for South Florida (profile) while Rachel Daly played for St. John’s (profile).  And, as mentioned in the write-up, training player Alessia Russo is a current North Carolina Tar Heel.

Man City, Man:  The current leaders of the FA WSL, Manchester City, provide 8 of the 23 players named on England’s roster.  Chelsea and France’s Olympique Lyonnais are each represented by three players, while Arsenal and Everton are the only other clubs with more than one representative. A total of 18 players currently ply their trade in the FA WSL.

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