Why England Was the Frontrunner in the 2019 SheBelieves Cup

Wendy Stokesby:

Sports

Female football players have been an inspiration to young girls around the world for decades. Strong women like Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, and Michelle Akers have not just inspired female athletes but women in general from all walks of life. Watching women’s football live on television is enough to make you want to go out and conquer the world. This was especially true during the 2019 SheBelieves Cup when England took the title for the first time. The team’s skills, cohesiveness, and overall passion gave them a major advantage.

Whether you’re a women’s football fan or not, you could learn a thing or two from watching the athletes conquer the field and achieve their lifelong goals. If you missed out on the televised SheBelieves tournament this year, here’s how everything went down and why England was able to take the win.

Source: Sports Illustrated

First of all, what is the SheBelieves Cup?

This invitational women’s football tournament started in 2016 in response to the American “SheBelieves” campaign happening at the time. The main focus behind the campaign was to inspire young girls and women all around the globe to accomplish their dreams. The main idea is that if “she believes she can do it, she will.”

Every year the round-robin tournament hosts 4 teams from around the world to play in the US. The first three years of the tournament hosted the same 4 countries: United States, England, France, and Germany. This year the lineup was switched up by hosting Japan and Brazil instead of France and Germany.

Throughout the cup, there are 6 matches that take place on 3 separate days so that each team gets to play one another. The winner is determined by a point system – 3 points are awarded for a win, 1 point for a draw (or tie), and 0 points for a loss.

2019 SheBelieves Cup Results

The 2019 SheBelieves cup took place from February 27th to March 5th in Philadelphia, Nashville, and Tampa. England came in first place with 7 points followed by the US with 5. Japan finished with 4 points and Brazil with 0.

Source: The Telegraph

England as the Frontrunner

During the entire SheBelieves cup, England showed its strength and never once seemed like an underdog. Nobody was quite sure what England’s chances of winning the cup were, but they certainly started the tourney as a frontrunner. Here’s why:

In 2018 they lost just 2 matches out of 12

Last year the English women’s football team proved their standing with an impressive record of just 2 losses in a total of 12 matches. They have qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 4 times in the past (1995, 2007, 2011, and 2015). Every World Cup they have reached at least the quarter-final stage, and in 2015 they finished strong with the Bronze.

Clearly, The England Lionesses have always been a strong team throughout the years, and this was especially apparent during the 2019 SheBelieves Cup. Big things are expected from the team in the upcoming 2019 Women’s World Cup, and some people believe that they’ll even take the gold.

Source: Dirty South Soccer

Coach Phil Neville knows how to motivate his players

The players have to be given a good chunk of the credit for their many wins, but some of the credit is definitely deserved by head coach Phil Neville. Neville played professionally for 10 years on Manchester United; during that time the team won 6 Premier League titles, 3 Football Association cups, the Intercontinental Cup and the Champions League.

As head coach Neville has made the already strong team even stronger. He runs tough practices and knows exactly how to motivate his players. When they came in second at the last SheBelieves Cup, he told the women to remember the feeling of watching the US team accept the championship trophy. That was a major motivating moment for the Lionesses to hold the same gold trophy in 2019.

Source: Sky Sports

The current squad has 5 “Women’s Footballer of the Year” contenders

Some people might say a team is only as strong as its weakest player. But it also helps to have 5+ team members who are considered to be some of the best players in football. This year there are 5 top contenders from the Lionesses for the “Women’s Footballer of the Year” award.

Lucy Bronze, Isabel Christiansen, Fran Kirby, Jordan Nobbs, and Jodie Taylor are some of the best players in the game. This was obvious during their 3 matches at SheBelieves, and they’re expected to lead the team to victory at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

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