As preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup begin, five Chicago Red Stars will join their respective national teams to participate in the annual SheBelieves Cup later this month. Julia Bianchi (Brazil), Tierna Davidson (USA), Alyssa Naeher (USA), Bianca St-Georges (CAN) and Mallory Swanson (USA) will face off against each other to see who takes home the 2023 SheBelieves Cup.
For defender Tierna Davidson, she will join her first U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) camp since last year’s SheBelieves Cup. Davidson played in all three matches for the USWNT in last year’s cup, and started in the opening match against the Czech Republic and the final against Iceland. The defender’s three matches for the USWNT last year were the only matches Davidson played before sustaining a season-ending injury during the Red Stars’ preseason. The 2019 Women’s World Cup champion spent the rest of 2022 recovering from her injury and spent part of the Red Stars’ offseason training overseas with VfL Wolfsburg Women.
Joining Davidson will be Alyssa Naeher and Mallory Swanson, both of whom are coming off impressive performances for the USWNT in their games against New Zealand. Both Naeher and Swanson started in the first match against New Zealand, with Naeher recording a clean sheet and Swanson scoring two goals for the national team. In the second match, Swanson scored her third goal in two matches in another dominating performance for the USWNT.
Red Stars defender, Bianca St-Georges, will represent Canada as the team prepares for the SheBelieves Cup. St-Georges enters 2023 after an outstanding 2022 season, both for the Red Stars and for Canada. St-Georges played in six matches, starting in five, for Canada and was a part of the team that took home silver medal at the 2022 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, helping Canada secure a spot in the 2023 Women’s World Cup. For the Red Stars, St-Georges played in 15 matches, starting in 13, and finished the season with two goals and two assists. St-Georges scored her first regular-season goal during the Red Stars’ regular-season opening game against Racing Louisville FC.
Newly signed midfielder, Julia Bianchi, will join the Brazilian national team for the SheBelieves Cup. Bianchi has previous experience with the SheBelieves Cup as the midfielder played and scored for the Brazilian national team the last time they participated in the tournament. In 2021, Bianchi pounced on a ball that bounced around Canada’s 18-yard box and found the back of the net for the Brazilian side. Bianchi was again called to serve the national team in 2021 as a part of the team that played in the summer Olympics. The team made it to the quarterfinals before losing to Canada in penalties. Since 2020, Bianchi has played nine matches with Brazil, started in three and scored two goals.
The 2023 SheBelieves Cup kicks off Thursday, February 16, at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida, as Japan takes on Brazil (3 p.m. CT) and the USA faces Canada (6 p.m. CT).
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