Here’s What The USWNT’s 2021 Schedule Looks Like
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As much as people love to hate on 2020 for being a crappy year, the sad truth is that as the calendar turns to 2021, our problems won’t magically go away. It’ll be many months — years even — until the Covid-19 vaccine can be fully administered to the global population. Most of the world’s governments are still doing everything in their power to ignore climate change. And let’s not forget police officers are still shooting unarmed Black men with near impunity. But one thing the change in year will bring about is more games on the 2021 USWNT schedule.
Because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the USWNT played nine matches in 2020 (winning them all). While that’s five more than the USMNT played, it was a fraction of the 24 the women played in 2019.
The USWNT missed out on one of its major tournaments in 2020: the Olympics. While mostly a U-23 competition on the men’s side, for the women the Olympics are up there right behind the Women’s World Cup in importance. (This despite the fact the Olympics allows fewer women’s teams than men’s teams and labels the groups E-G while giving the men’s tournament groups alphabetical preference (A-D).)
The 2020 Olympics in Japan were rescheduled for 2021 and will be a highlight of the 2021 USWNT schedule. The tournament will run from July 21-Aug. 6, though specific dates and draws have yet to be determined.
With Covid-19 still ravaging the planet, FIFA decided in December to canceled just about every youth competition in 2021. The 2020 U-20 Women’s World Cup to be hosted by Costa Rica and Panama was initially moved to 2021 then canceled outright. The 2021 U-17 Women’s World Cup was pushed back to 2022. We won’t be seeing the USWNT youth teams compete for championships in 2021.
We’ll get our first chance to see the USWNT with a pair of friendlies against Colombia to cap off the January camp. The U.S. will play Las Cafeteras on Jan. 18 and Jan. 22, both at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
Those matches will set the stage for the 2021 SheBelieves Cup, which won’t include a European nation for the first time ever. This time around, the USWNT will face Canada, Brazil and Japan from Feb. 18-24, with all matches at Exploria Stadium.
As for the rest of the 2021 USWNT schedule, the FIFA international calendar has six windows for the women’s game in 2021 (one more than the men). The dates are as follows:
FIFA Women’s Soccer International Calendar (2021 USWNT Schedule Dates)
- Feb. 15-24 (3 matches)
- April 5-13 (2 matches)
- Jun 7-16 (3 matches)
- July 21-Aug. 6 (Olympics)
- Sept. 13-21 (2 matches)
- Oct. 18-26 (2 matches)
- Nov. 22-Dec. 1 (3 matches)
Beyond the Olympics, we don’t yet know when and where the USWNT will be playing, but we can be pretty confident there will be matches within those dates — assuming there isn’t another unforeseen catastrophe in 2021.
#USWNT dates for 2021:January camp Jan 9-29
SheBelives Cup Feb 8-25
April Camp April 5 - 13
June Camp June 6 - 16
Olympic Prep Camp June 30 - July 4
— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) September 12, 2020
One thing the USWNT won’t have to worry about in 2021 is Women’s World Cup qualifying. Concacaf begins qualifying for the 2022 Concacaf Women’s Championship, the tournament that serves as qualifying for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, in November. The U.S. and Canada are given direct entries to the Concacaf championship and thus won’t compete for a World Cup spot until the July 2022 tournament.
We’ll be sure to let you, our dear readers, know as soon as more matches are put in the 2021 USWNT schedule. Until then, you can check out the 2021 USMNT schedule, which will be a big one for Gregg Berhalter and the men.