“Inspiring the Next Generation”: SheBelieves Cup 2023

Sara Paredes, Feature Editor

From Feb. 16-22, the eighth annual SheBelieves Cup took place between the United States, Japanese, Brazilian and Canadian Women’s National soccer teams, occurring in cities across the U.S., such as Orlando, FL., Nashville, TN and Frisco, TX. The four-team international tournament declares a winner through total points. 

The SheBelieves movement— coined after the U.S. Women’s National Team’s run-up to the Women’s World Cup in 2015— aims to uplift and encourage young women to work toward their dreams: athletic or not. In this year’s cup, the first matchday of three consisted of Brazil taking a 1-0 win over Japan, and the USWNT defeating Canada 2-0. 

Going into Feb. 16, the Canadian Women’s National Team announced that they would play the tournament in protest as a result of its unresolved pay equity dispute with the Canadian National Federation of Independent Unions. The team arrived at their training session on Feb. 15 with their jerseys inside out, demonstrating their protest for equitable pay and working conditions. 

Throughout the second matchday, on Feb. 19, the USWNT beat Japan 1-0, and Canada defeated Brazil 2-0. The USWNT currently leads the tournament in points, being the only team to have won all of their games. On matchday three of three, the USWNT defeated Brazil 2-1, and Japan beat Canada 3-0. 

For Miami Palmetto Senior High junior and Girls Varsity Soccer player Catherine Green, her experience while “ballgirling” for the SheBelieves Cup’s USWNT vs. Germany match in 2018 fostered an appreciation for advocacy and awareness of women’s issues in sports. 

“I think that [the tournament] does help promote equal pay and help spread awareness of the issues at hand for all women’s soccer teams, because it is a nationally televised event and the [USWNT] is very prominent in the soccer world, more than most, and with their social media spread of the tournament and all the attention it gets in the United States it’s definitely something that shows people what’s going on,” Green said. “And for me, it’s the same. I believe that women should be getting paid the same as men are for soccer specifically, and overall in sports because I do believe that the women’s [team] bring in just as much revenue if not much more than the men’s team, and it’s just what’s right.”

Green, a soccer player for 10 years, has seen her love for women’s soccer grow in coordination with the SheBelieves movement’s motto, ensuring that young girls feel empowered and uplifted throughout their athletic careers. 

“It was definitely a fun experience being a ballgirl for this event; I got to meet some of the players which was very fun. I know it was a little while ago, but just going and watching soccer games that I love is super fun. I know that a lot of young girls look up to these players and it’s nice to see people taking steps forward in the right direction,” Green said.