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The Week In Women’s Football: USA & Germany announce SheBelieves Cup squads; US to play Russia, Norway

This week, we present the rosters for U.S. and Germany in the SheBelieves Cup which begins this week, announce some upcoming internationals for the Americans against European sides and update some news on UWS adding another West Conference Franchise and a U-17 International World Cup Star from last summer.

U.S. England, France and Germany start SheBelieves Cup this week in Chester (suburban Philadelphia), Pennsylvania.

On March 1, England takes on France followed by the U.S. and Germany in Chester, Pennsylvania in the second year of what is quickly becoming one of the premier women's football tournaments in the world. On March 4, France plays Germany and the reigning Women's World Cup champions U.S. faces England—the Bronze medalists at the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada—at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. The tournament concludes on March 7 with Germany playing England and then the American side taking on France in RFK Stadium in Washington D.C.

Below are the rosters for the U.S. and Germany and this weekend we will run the rosters for England and France.

For the U.S., 19 of the 23 players are NWSL-tied with Crystal Dunn (Chelsea of England) and Alex Morgan (Olympique Lyon of France) playing abroad and Mallory Pugh (UCLA) and Brianna Pinto (CASL) still in school—Pinto in high school.

For Germany, the roster is entirely Frauen-Bundesliga-based with the exception of three with Olympique Lyon in France: defenders Josephine Henning, Pauline Bremer and midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan.

U.S. Women's National Team Roster by Position:

Goalkeepers - 3

Jane Campbell (Houston Dash)
Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride)

Defenders - 6

Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars)
Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride)
Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC)
Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars)
Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)

Midfielders - 8

Morgan Brian (Houston Dash)
Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC)
Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC)
Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers)
Carli Lloyd (Manchester City)
Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC)
Samantha Mewis (NC Courage)
Brianna Pinto (CASL)

Forwards - 6

Crystal Dunn (Chelsea Ladies FC)
Jessica McDonald (NC Courage)
Alex Morgan (Olympique Lyonnais)
Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars)
Mallory Pugh (UCLA)
Lynn Williams (NC Courage)

Germany Women's National Team Roster by Position:

Goalkeepers - 3

Laura Benkarth (SC Freiburg)
Almuth Schult (VfL Wolfsburg)
Lisa Weiß (SGS Essen)

Defenders - 9

Josephine Henning (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA)
Kathrin Hendrich (1. FFC Frankfurt)
Babett Peter (VfL Wolfsburg)
Pauline Bremer (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA)
Anna Blässe (VfL Wolfsburg)
Isabel Kerschowski (VfL Wolfsburg)
Verena Faißt (Bayern München)
Kristin Demann (1899 Hoffenheim)
Felicitas Rauch (1. FFC Turbine Postdam)

Midfielders - 6

Leonie Maier (Bayern München)
Alexandra Popp (VfL Wolfsburg)
Dzsenifer Marozsan (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA)
Sara Däbritz (Bayern München)
Sara Doorsoun (SGS Essen)
Linda Dallman (SGS Essen)

Forwards - 5

Anja Mittag (VfL Wolfsburg)
Mandy Islacker (1. FFC Frankfurt)
Lena Petermann (SC Freiburg)
Lina Magull (SC Freiburg)
Hasret Kayikci (SC Freiburg)

American Women will host Russia in April and then travel to Norway in June

The U.S. Women's National Team will host Russia on Thursday April 6 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco Texas (the home of MLS's FC Dallas) and then again on Sunday, April 9, at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston (the home of MLS' Houston Dynamo and the NWSL Houston Dash). Russia has qualified for this summer's UEFA Euro Finals in the Netherlands and was drawn into Group B with Germany, Italy and Sweden. Russia lost heavily to the U.S. twice in February of 2014, by a 7-0 score line in Boca Raton, Florida and then 8-0 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

The U.S. Women's National Team will play in Norway on June 11 at the Komplett Arena in Sandefjord, on the southeast coast about 75 miles south of Oslo. The Americans will play one other game in Europe before the Norway match, which has not yet been announced. Norway is also prepping for the UEFA Finals—which starts mid-June—and will be in Group A with host Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark. The two nations last met at the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal, with Norway scoring first through Ada Hegerberg (Olympique Lyon), but the Americans came back with two goals in the
second half by Carli Lloyd (Manchester City) to win 2-1.

New Franchise/World Class Player for UWS's West Conference

The two year old United Women's Soccer (UWS) added Los Angeles based So. Cal Crush F.C to the West Conference for this coming season. So. Cal Crush F.C. is a brand new franchise and seeks to create a derby type of rivalry with defending champions Santa Clarita Blue Heat. The team has signed a few players including forward Jamie Bell (Loyola Marymount University and FC Energia of Russia), 
Speaking of Santa Clarita Blue Heat, the 2016 UWS champions, they have signed a true burgeoning star on the international soccer scene: Venezuelan international forward Deyna Castellanos. The current Florida State University freshman is coming off her first year of collegiate soccer for the Seminoles, starting 13 out 13 games and was the team's joint-top goal scorer with seven goals in 2016. When she was 14, she was selected to the Venezuela side for the 2014 U-17 World Cup U-17, where she scored seven goals and three assists, sharing the Golden Boot award for top scorer with teammate Gabriela Garcia as the team exceeded all expectations and finished fourth. Last year, at the 2016 U-17 World Cup in Jordan, she finished fourth with five goals for the Bronze Boot for third top scorer and the Bronze Ball as the third best player. She scored against Cameroon in the 94th minute from a shot from inside the center circle for the winning goal in the group stage. Castellanos said: “I am very excited to be joining the Blue Heat this summer. I hear the quality of the league continues to grow and it will be a welcoming challenge for the team to defend the title from last year." The Blue Heat will have a strong squad as they defend their league crown, led by Castellanos and three Costa Rican internationals: forwards Melissa Herrera and Carolina Venegas and midfielder Katherine Alvarado 

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

Follow Tim on Twitter: @TimGrainey

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