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The Week in Women's Football: Neville announces first England squad; USWNT and France kick-off SheBelievesCup; Mexico on fire in Turkish Cup;

This week we look at the first day of matches in the U.S. hosted SheBelieves Cup, involving England, France and Germany for the third year running, as well as the rosters for the four sides. We also look at the roster for France's B team with a few notable players, who are at the Turkish Women's Cup spring tournament, along with CONCACAF's Mexico, who began the tournament with two consecutive wins.


The SheBelievesCup Begins in the U.S. with wins for the U.S. and France.

In the first day of the SheBelieves Cup in the U.S. on March 1, with windy, rainy and cold conditions in Columbus, Ohio, England shocked France with three goals in the first half, including an early goal from Barcelona-based Toni Duggan (7th minute), a 28th minute goal from midfielder Jill Scott (Manchester City) and Jodie Taylor's (Seattle Reign for 2018) strike in the 39th minute. Fran Kirby (Chelsea_ added a fourth tally midway through the second half to provide England a final margin of 4-1. Scott's Man City teammate Karen Bardsley, who was raised in the U.S. and played collegiately at Cal State-Fullerton and for three years in WPS with Sky Blue FC, held the French to one goal, a 77th minute consolation through Gaetane Thiney (Paris FC), whose long shot was deflected by defender Millie Bright (Chelsea) and wrong-footed Bardsley. English defender Anita Asante, who hadn't played for the national team since 2015 but has been one of the top players in the Swedish Damallsvenskan before joining Chelsea recently and played in the States with 4 clubs in WPS, went off in the 14th minute due to a knee injury, providing Man City's Abbie McManus her senior debut. We all hope Asante will be back with the national side in short order.

Recently appointed head coach Phil Neville got off to a perfect start in his Lionesses head coaching debut; the controversial choice without much head coaching experience and none with women's teams, had his side playing out of the back on the ground rather than frequent punting and England was virtually even in the percentage of possession with France for the game (49%-51%), with the 2017 Women's World Cup host usually dominate in that statistic in most of their games. France goalkeeper Karima Benameur of Paris FC was the starter for Corinne Diacre's side.

The U.S won the second game of the day with a 1-0 over Germany from a 17th minute goal by Megan Rapinoe from goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher's long punt from the back which Alex Morgan flipped forward to a streaking Rapinoe, who scored past the German keeper in front of 14,591 courageous fans who braved wintery conditions.

The third edition of the She Believes Cup once again features the U.S., Germany, France and England. France won the tournament last year and the Americans won the inaugural edition in 2016.

U.S. Soccer is hosting the first SheBelieves Summit on March 3 in New York City. The purpose of the Summit is a day-long festival to celebrate opportunity, empower attendees and equip young women with the inspiration, tools and connections to pursues and accomplish their goals—in life, in school, on fields and in their future careers.

Significantly this year, three of the four head coaches at the tournament are women: America's Jill Ellis, Corinne Diacre of France and Steffi Jones from Germany. The lone male is Phil Neville, the former Manchester United, Everton and English National Team defender.

The tournament format will be the same as the first two years. The winner will be based on total points (three for a win, one for a draw), with the first tie-breaker being overall goal difference, followed by goals scored, then head-to-head result and lastly, FIFA ranking if necessary. Teams are allowed six substitutes per game as it is a friendly tournament.

The final 23 player roster for the U.S. includes sixteen players from last year's roster. Twelve U.S. players will be participating in their third SheBelieves Cup. The average age of the U.S. roster is 25.8 years-old. There are 21 NWSL players selected, one player playing in Europe (Morgan Brian) and one collegian in Tierna Davidson (Stanford University). Forward Savannah McCaskill and defender Davidson are both making their first tournament roster after earning their first caps on Jan. 21 vs. Denmark in San Diego. Sofia Huerta and Andi Sullivan also made their first tournament rosters with the U.S. WNT.

The three players on the preliminary roster in Orlando who did not make the 23-player roster are midfielder Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit for 2018, coming back from injury last season with the now defunct Boston Breakers), forward Ashley Hatch (who won a Westfield w-League title last month in Australia for Melbourne City and will play for the Washington Spirit in 2018) and defender Hailie Mace (UCLA). Mace, who will be a senior in the fall, led the Bruins in scoring last season with 15 goals and three assists as they made the College Cup Final. Up until the last college season in which she played forward, Mace played defense and has trained with the U.S. U-23 WNT in the back as well. She has started 62 consecutive games for UCLA.



U.S. Women's National Team 2018 SheBelieves Cup Roster by Position; Caps/Goals
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Jane Campbell** (Houston Dash; 2/0), 24-Ashlyn Harris*** (Orlando Pride; 14/0), 1-Alyssa Naeher*** (Chicago Red Stars; 24/0)

DEFENDERS (7): 7-Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage; 14/0), 17-Tierna Davidson* (Stanford; 1/0), 14-Sofia Huerta* (Chicago Red Stars; 3/0), 5-Kelley O'Hara*** (Utah Royals FC; 105/2), 2-Casey Short** (Chicago Red Stars; 19/0), 22-Taylor Smith* (Washington Spirit; 8/0), 16-Emily Sonnett*** (Portland Thorns FC; 13/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): 6-Morgan Brian*** (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 69/6), 8-Julie Ertz*** (Chicago Red Stars; 58/15), 9-Lindsey Horan*** (Portland Thorns FC; 44/4), 10-Carli Lloyd*** (Sky Blue FC; 247/98), 20-Allie Long** (Seattle Reign FC; 33/6), 3-Andi Sullivan* (Washington Spirit; 8/0)

FORWARDS (7): 19-Crystal Dunn*** (NC Courage; 58/23), 21-Savannah McCaskill* (Sky Blue FC; 1/0), 13-Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride; 135/81), 23-Christen Press*** (Houston Dash; 97/44), 11-Mallory Pugh*** (Washington Spirit; 30/8), 15-Megan Rapinoe* (Seattle Reign FC; 130/34), 12-Lynn Williams** (NC Courage; 16/4)

*First SheBelieves Cup
**Second SheBelieves Cup
***Third SheBelieves Cup



Germany uses mostly a home-based side

Germany's roster for the 2018 SheBelieves Cup is entirely based in the Frauen-Bundesliga except for midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsán of Olympique Lyon in France, who is in her second year with the French League Champions and UEFA Women's Champions League winners.

Goalkeepers:

12 Laura Benkarth – SC Freiburg
21 Carina Schlüter – SC Sand
1 Almuth Schult – VfL Wolfsburg

Defenders:

14 Anna Blässe – VfL Wolfsburg
15 Sara Doorsoun – SGS Essen
2 Johanna Elsig – Turbine Potsdam
17 Verena Faißt – Bayern München
3 Kathrin Hendrich – 1. FFC Frankfurt
7 Jacqueline Klasen – SGS Essen
4 Leonie Maier – Bayern München
5 Babett Peter – VfL Wolfsburg

Midfielders:

26 Sharon Beck – Hoffenheim
13 Sara Däbritz – Bayern München
16 Linda Dallmann – SGS Essen
8 Lena Goeßling – VfL Wolfsburg
22 Tabea Kemme – Turbine Potsdam
20 Lina Magull – SC Freiburg
10 Dzsenifer Marozsán – Olympique Lyon

Forwards:

19 Svenja Huth – Turbine Potsdam
9 Mandy Islacker – Bayern München
23 Hasret Kayikci – SC Freiburg
11 Alexandra Popp – VfL Wolfsburg
27 Lea Schüller – SGS Essen

On Call:

18 Melanie Leupolz – Bayern München
28 Lena Petermann – SC Freiburg
25 Felicitas Rauch – Turbine Potsdam
24 Bianca Schmidt – Turbine Potsdam
30 Lisa Schmitz – Turbine Potsdam




Corinne Diacre names France squad with only one member from a club abroad

France coach Corinne Diacre took 23 players to the SheBelieves Cup. The side is entirely home-based except for Laura Georges, who played collegiate at Boston College in the U.S. and recently moved to Bayern Munich in Germany from Paris St. Germain.

Note: Below, we present and discuss the France B Team Roster, which was playing at the Turkish Cup.

France SheBelieves Cup Roster

Goalkeepers:

Karima Benameur—Paris FC
Sarah Bouhaddi—Olympique Lyonnais
Solene Durand—EA de Guingamp

Defenders:

Estelle Cascarino—Paris FC
Laura Georges—Bayern Munich (Germany)
Sakina Karchaoui—Montpellier HSC
Amel Majri—Olympique Lyonnais
Griedge MBock Bathy Nka—Olympique Lyonnais
Eve Perisset—Paris Saint-Germain FC
Marion Torrent—Montpellier HSC
Aissatou Tounkara—Paris FC

Midfielders:

Maeva Clemaron—FC Fleury 91
Aminata Diallo—Paris Saint-Germain FC
Kadidiatou Diani—Paris Saint-Germain FC
Onema Grace Geyoro—Paris Saint-Germain FC
Amandine Henry—Olympique Lyonnais
Gaetane Thiney—Paris FC

Forwards:

Viviane Asseyi—Olympique de Marseille
Valerie Gauvin—Montpellier HSC
Eugenie Le Sommer—Olympique Lyonnais
Marie-Charlotte Leger—Montpellier HSC
Faustine Robert—EA de Guingamp
Ouleymata Sarr—Lille OSC




Phil Neville's First England Squad has two players based abroad

All of Phil Neville's England roster for the SheBelieves Cup are based in England except for Toni Duggan (Barcelona in Spain) and Jodie Taylor (who won a W-League title in Australia with Melbourne City and will play for the Seattle Reign in 2018 in the NWSL). Chelsea's Hannah Blundell is the lone player without a full England cap. Neville will be assisted by Mo Marley, who has been the interim head coach since last September, after Mark Sampson was dismissed by the English Football Association. Former national team captain Casey Stoney (ex-Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea) who announced her retirement from playing last month, will also be on the bench in a coaching position along with Mark Mason as goalkeeping coach.

Goalkeepers:

Karen BardsleyManchester City
Siobhan Chamberlain—Liverpool
Carly Telford—Chelsea

Defenders:

Anita Asante—Chelsea
Hannah Blundell—Chelsea
Millie Bright—Chelsea
Lucy Bronze—Lyon
Gabby George—Everton
Alex Greenwood—Liverpool
Steph Houghton—Manchester City
Demi Stokes—Manchester City

Midfielders:

Isobel Christiansen—Manchester City
Jordan Nobbs—Arsenal

Jill Scott—Manchester City
Keira Walsh—Manchester City
Fara Williams—Reading

Forwards:

Karen CarneyChelsea
Toni Duggan—Barcelona (Spain)
Fran Kirby—Chelsea
Melissa Lawley—Manchester City
Nikita Parris—Manchester City
Jodie Taylor—Melbourne City (Australia)/Seattle Reign (USA)
Ellen White—Birmingham City



France B and Mexico Squads go to Turkish Women's Cup - while Nigeria is a late withdrawal

Though not as prestigious as the Algarve and Cyprus Cup spring tournaments for National Teams, this year's Turkish Women's Cup brought together an interesting lineup of teams from around the world, including a team from CONCACAF, CAF and the AFC, as well as many from across UEFA, with Mexico, Nigeria and Jordan respectively the non-European representatives. The original lineup for 2018 included: France B, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Mexico, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Poland, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine, but Nigeria withdrew late last week from the tournament. Games were set for February 28th, March 2nd, March 4th and final placement games on March 6th.

Besides the top team which is playing at the SheBelievesCup in America, France B also named a 20 woman squad to play in the 12 team Turkish Women's Cup 2018, including 23-year-old Claire Lavogez, who left Paris St. Germain for Fleury 91 recently. Lavogez played for France at the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada and is expected to be a key part of the 2019 WWC team. Daphne Corboz, who played on loan from Sky Blue FC with Fleury 91 over the winter, is also on the B side. Corboz was born in the States but qualifies for France through her French-born parents.


France B Squad:

Goalkeepers:

Romane Munich—ASJ Soyaux-Charente

Pauline Peyraud-Magnin—Olympique Lyonnais

Defenders:

Annaig Butel—Paris FC

Hawa Cissoko—Olympique de Marseille

Marine Dafeur—LOSC Lille Métropole

Thea Greboval—Paris FC

Charlotte Lorgere—EA de Guingamp

Anais M;Bassidje—Olympique de Marseille

Midfielders:

Charlotte Bilbault—Paris FC

Anna Clerac—ASJ Soyaux

Daphne Corboz—Fleury 91 FC/Sky Blue FC (USA)

Kenza Dali—Lille OSC

Ines Jaurena—Paris FC

Lea Le Garrec--EA de Guingamp

Forwards:

Nadjma Ali Nadjim—FC Girondins de Bordeaux

Delphine Cascarino—Olympique Lyonnais

Claire Lavogez—FC Fleury 91

Clara Mateo—Paris FC

Lindsey Thomas—FC Girondins de Bordeaux

Danielle Tolmais—ASJ Soyaux



Mexico Wins First Two Games in Turkey

Mexico as always has drawn on a healthy number of Mexican-Americans for their squad, including professionals and college players based in the States. For the squad for the Turkish Cup, Mexico has taken goalkeeper Bianca Henninger (Houston Dash—USA), Kiana Palacios and Kaitlyn Johnson (both Sky Blue FC—USA), Vanessa Flores (West Virginia University—USA), Monica Flores (University of Notre Dame—USA) and Naria Sanchez (University of Santa Clara--USA).

European-based players include: Greta Espinosa and Veronica Charlyn Corral (both Levante—Spain), a quartet that played with 2017 Iceland Urvalsdild league champions Thor/KA—Bianca Sierra, Natalia Gomes-Junco (born in Mexico but played at Louisiana State University and was a U-19 assistant coach at Thor/KA), Stephany Mayor and Ariana Calderon (ex-Long Island University at Brooklyn). One other foreign-based player is Christina Ferral—Tampico born but who played a few years at the University of South Florida—who is currently with Olympique de Marseille of the French Feminine Division 1. Two other CONCACAF imports for Marseille, that is currently bottom of the table in France and in relegation danger at the end of the season, are 22-year-old Canadian forward Marie-Yasmine Alidou d'Anjou from Montreal—who scored on her debut for the club—and 25 year old Canadian goalkeeper Genevieve Richard—who played at the University of Wisconsin and then for three years at Nojima Stella in Sagamihara (a suburb of Tokyo) before joining Marseille last August. The team's other import is forward Fanndís Friðriksdóttir; the Icelandic international veteran is closing in on 100 full national tam caps and played in the last three EURO Finals, including last summer in the Netherlands. She has played professionally at home and in Norway and is the first Icelandic player to play in France's top league.

Other Mexican players on the Turkey-bound side are American-born Renae Cuellar, a 2011 WWC alternate and 2015 WWC team member who has played in Sweden, the NWSL, Germany and South Korea; she took time off to give birth to a son last year. Home-based club players from Mexico include two players from Pachuca—veteran forward Monica Ocampo along with her teammate Karla Nieto, while Lydia Rangel (Ex-Huelva of Spain and Sky Blue FC in NWSL in 2013) and Nancy Antonio both play at Club Tigres. Tania Morales is with Club Guadalajara and 2011 and 2015 WWC goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago plays at Club America of Mexico City (she has played in Iceland, Cyprus and the NWSL).

Stephany Mejia played with the University of California—Berkley and could have played for the U.S. (where she was born), Mexico (her mother's home country) or Honduras (where her father was from) and is currently without a club.

Mexico is making positive waves at the tournament with a 5-0 win over Latvia on February 28. Veronica Corral, Stephany Mayor, Stephany Mejia, Nancy Antonio and Natalia Gómez-Junco all scored. Two days later, Mexico again scored 5 goals, this time against Jordan, with the team from West Asia replying with a lone strike. Stephany Mayor scored a brace in the last twenty minutes of the match, with Renae Cuéllar (from the penalty spot), Kaitlyn Johnson and Charlyn Corral also scoring.



Tim Grainey is a contributor to Tribal Football. His latest book Beyond Bend it Like Beckham on the global game of women's football. Get your copy today.

Follow Tim on Twitter: @TimGrainey

Tim Grainey
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Tim Grainey

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