- Cassandra (Cassie) Inacio
"SHE BELIEVES" CUP: THE TOURNAMENT AND THE MISSION
In 2018, the United States Women’s National team has mobilized a buzz around the SheBelieves Cup. The goal of the tournament is to not only inspire girls to believe in accomplishing any goal they desire, but also to encourage woman to set a confident and passionate example for the community. This movement was solely created by the players of the United States Women’s National Team and quickly has become an all-out movement involving woman from all over the world. The team has hoped to inspire a culture for generations to understand that through dedication, teamwork, perseverance, and passion, women can succeed. The campaign encourages others to support the effort by spreading positive messages and setting positive examples of success. The campaign was originally launched before the 2015 Women’s World Cup win, but quickly became a popular message that stuck in 2016.
That same year, the first inaugural invitational tournament emerged. The tournament is designed to incorporate only the best of the best, with just four participants in the Cup. The limited amount of teams gives fans the opportunity to watch the most talented women’s players in the world compete at the highest level. The 2016 SheBelieves Cup included, The United States, Germany, France, and England. The United States defeated Germany in the final 2-1. In 2017, the invitational event included the same four teams with France taking home the cup after a 3-0 win over The United States. This past March, the same teams competed at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, and the Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The United States defeated England 1-0 to win the Cup. All of the games took place over 7 days and all teams competed in all arenas.
The tournament benefits the teams with an opportunity to compete with the best in the world and get ready for their World Cup qualifying games this summer. From strictly a soccer stand point, the United States benefits from the Cup because it no longer has to travel to Portugal to participate in the Algarve Cup to seek out the highest competition, as they have done for the past 19 years before 2016. The United States team can compete at the highest level and display a moving message to all fans. The cup has quickly become one of the biggest womens soccer tournaments in the world and the teams have packed in high level competition in about a short window. To further the already lasting impact the National Team has with the SheBelieves movement, it donated some of the proceeds to the National Women’s Soccer League Player’s Association (NWSLPA) to fund for young women who are participating in the professional league, in the United States, financially during their effort to achieve their dreams.
Putting soccer aside, the the United States Women’s National Team has gone into the local communities on the SheBelieves tour in the hopes to encourage young girls to accomplish any dream they desire. To name a few: Christen Press chatted in New Orleans about having a good attitude and running the show while loving what you do; Julie Johnston spoke in Phoenix about having a strong drive and giving your dreams your all; Crystal Dunn spoke in San Antonio about women in top managerial jobs across all professions; Kelley O’Hara found time in Honolulu to discuss women in science and the importance of women blazing their own trail; Becky Sauerbrunn spoke in Orlando about breaking barriers for women; Megan Rapinoe took on Orlando to talk about women in art; Ashlyn Harris chatted in Detroit about giving young women a voice against bullying; Heather O’Reilly spoke in Chattanooga about young women in positions of leadership through academics and extra-curricular activities; and, Megan Klingenberg spoke about her own speciality restaurant that she hopes will change the culinary scene in Pittsburgh.
The message is bigger than the performance on the field. This commendable and innovative campaign seeks to enjoin women on the road to success to encourage and empower young women to strive and compete at the highest level to achieve any goal desired. The campaign encourages girls to dream big and never look back, to do the unimaginable and to work hard every day to achieve those goals. It creates the standard that women have the responsibility to set an example for young girls and provide and environment of belief to further slim gender disparities. The SheBelieves Cup reminds us all of the reason why we call soccer the beautiful game. It is more than just a sport, its an opportunity for us all to come together and achieve more.
Image credit: U.S. Soccer
About the Author:
Cassandra (Cassie) Inacio- Cassandra is from Manalapan NJ. She is a Rutgers University Women's Soccer alumna who competed in the 'Final Four' championship. Cassie played professionally in Sweden for one season and is now a rising 2L (Year II Law student) at New England Law [NESL] Boston.
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