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SheBelieves Cup: USWNT announces field for February tournament

The United States women’s national team will be overwhelming favorites to comfortably win the 2022 SheBelieves Cup next month in California and Texas.

The FIFA-ranked No. 1 USWNT will face No. 16 Iceland, No. 22 New Zealand, and No. 24 Czech Republic in what will be a challenging but relatively-straightforward tournament for a team moving into a new era with the retirement of Carli Lloyd and progress of Catarina Macario and Trinity Rodman.

The Yanks have won the last two SheBelieves Cups and still have Alex Morgan, Becky Sauerbrunn, Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, and a host of magnificent talents and boast a tremendous record against the field.

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The USWNT is 16-1-1 all-time against New Zealand, has 12 wins and two draws in 14 matches against Iceland, and beat the Czech Republic in their only meeting back in 2000.

Czechia won one match in 2021, against Cyprus, and was beaten 4-0 by Iceland. The Icelandic team only lost twice last year, to Italy and the Netherlands, and also boasts a win over Japan in the Netherlands plus a draw with Italy.

New Zealand beat South Korea in a November friendly but lost all of its 2021 matches including a 6-1 pasting by the USWNT at the Olympics.

The tournament should give USWNT boss Vlatko Andonovski a terrific opportunity to continue growing the experience levels of the next generation leading up a World Cup year in 2023.

Andonovski has 28 wins, five draws, and two losses in an exceptional start to life at the helm but his Bronze Medal at the Olympics was only likely that color because of a lack of star turns from veterans in Tokyo.

The program is tasked with identifying its next long-term goalkeeper -- Jane Campbell seems the front runner -- and will continue to develop Tierna Davidson, Alana Cook, Macario, Sophia Smith, and others.

The United States has won four-of-six SheBelieves Cups and every field was significantly stronger than February’s cast.

2022 SheBelieves Cup schedule

Feb. 17 in Carson, Calif.
Iceland vs New Zealand, 8pm ET - ESPN
USWNT vs Czech Republic, 11pm ET

Feb. 20 in Carson, Calif.
USWNT vs New Zealand, 3pm ET - ABC
Czech Republic vs Iceland, 6pm ET

Feb. 23 in Frisco, Texas
New Zealand vs Czech Republic, 6pm ET
USWNT vs Iceland, 9pm ET - ESPN

How to watch 2022 SheBelieves Cup, TV, stream info

Dates: Feb. 17-23
TV Channel: ESPN/ABC
Online: Stream via ESPN+

Follow @NicholasMendola