U.S. women, SheBelieves Cup coming to Atlanta

United States' Kelley O'Hara in action during the first half of an international friendly soccer match against Ireland Tuesday, April 11, 2023, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Credit: Jeff Roberson/AP

Credit: Jeff Roberson/AP

United States' Kelley O'Hara in action during the first half of an international friendly soccer match against Ireland Tuesday, April 11, 2023, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Atlanta is staking its claim as the center of soccer in the U.S.


The United States Soccer Federation, which is moving to Fayette County, announced on Thursday that the opening doubleheader in the SheBelieves Cup, featuring some of the best women’s national teams, will be played on April 6 in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The first match will feature the U.S. women’s national team and is scheduled to kick off at 12:30 p.m. The second match is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Grass will be installed at the stadium.

The tournament’s other three teams, and the site of the finals, will be announced. They are all expected to be past World Cup participants.

The SheBelieves Cup is an annual tournament that was founded in 2016. The U.S. has won it six times. The tournament is typically played in a round-robin format. Next year’s will be shortened to accommodate a compressed international schedule for women’s teams due to the Women’s World Cup being played in February and March, and the Olympics during the summer. The SheBelieves Cup will return to three doubleheaders in 2025.

“These are the first U.S. Soccer-controlled matches of the Olympic year for our women’s national team and we’re looking forward to a big turnout at one of the best stadiums in the world,” U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement provided by USSF. “We’re also excited to play our first match in the Atlanta area since we announced the site of our new National Training Center. From my time playing there for the Atlanta Beat, I know what the support for soccer and for our National Teams in the southeast is like and these opening games of the SheBelieves Cup in Atlanta will be a perfect way to launch our spring run to the Olympics next summer.”

SheBelieves Cup ticket presales for members who are Circle supporters of U.S. Soccer is scheduled to begin on Friday and end at 10 a.m. Dec. 25. A ticket is good for both matches. Tickets for the general public are scheduled to go on sale in mid-January after the remaining opponents are announced.

With four World Cup championships and four Olympic Gold medals, the U.S. women’s team is considered the best in the world. This will be the first time that the U.S. women’s team has played in Atlanta since 2016 when it defeated Netherlands in the Georgia Dome. It defeated Russia in the Georgia Dome in 2014. The U.S. women’s roster includes several players from Atlanta and the state, including Kelley O’Hara and Emily Sonnett.

The SheBelieves Cup joins the USSF’s move from Chicago, two matches in the Copa America next year that will feature the U.S. and Argentina in separate matches, and the 2026 World Cup as important soccer events scheduled to happen in the city. Other possibilities include the 2025 Club World Cup and 2027 Women’s World Cup. Past recent events include the city hosting a two friendlies between Premier League teams Newcastle and Chelsea, and Brentford vs. Brighton and Hove Albion, and Mexico playing Uzbekistan.

Atlanta is also the home of Atlanta United, which has led MLS in average attendance for each of its seven seasons.

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