The USWNT stepped up their preparations for the 2021 Olympics by defending the SheBelieves Cup, sweeping aside Canada, Brazil and Argentina en route to victory.
The invitational friendly tournament has been around since 2016, pitting four of the top teams in the women’s game up against one another in a round robin format.
As competition hosts, the USWNT are the only side to have competed in all six SheBelieves tournaments, and as a result now have a selection of tournament records to their name.
Victory in 2021 gave the USWNT their fourth SheBelieves Cup triumph, adding to the titles they won in 2020, 2018 and 2016.
No other side has won the competition more than once. France and England both have a single title to their name, with the former winning the tournament in 2017, and the latter in 2019.
Although the USWNT are the most decorated side in the short history of the SheBelieves Cup, 2021 marks the first time that they have defended their crown. In doing so, they became the first side to win back-to-back SheBelieve tournaments.
Having won the competition with a 100% record in 2016, the USA won just one game the following year to finish bottom of the pile. They then finished second to England in 2019 after drawing two of their three matches.
France and England both finished third the year after they won the competition.
The USWNT made another little piece of SheBelieves history in 2021 by becoming the first side to go an entire tournament without conceding.
Vlatko Andonovski’s side kept three consecutive clean sheets against Canada, Brazil and Argentina – beating the previous record that they had shared with France’s 2017 SheBelieves Cup winning side of just one goal conceded.
Alyssa Naeher was responsible for the shutouts against Canada and Brazil, while Jane Campbell was between the sticks against Argentina.
The USWNT set records at either end of the pitch in the 2021 tournament, with the nine goals they scored across the three games another competition best.
This record should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt given that six of their nine goals did come against Argentina – a late addition to the tournament and at 31 in the Fifa world rankings, the lowest ranked side to appear in the competition.
Prior to the 2021 tournament, the most goals in a single tournament had been the seven scored by England during the 2019 tournament.
Not only did the USWNT defend their SheBelieves Cup title for the first time, they defended it in style.
Since winning the inaugural tournament in 2016, no team had won three from three at the SheBelieves until the USA did it again in 2020 with victories over England, Japan and Spain.
They then repeated the feat in 2021 with another 100% record, making them the first team in the competition’s history to go consecutive tournaments with a perfect record.
The USWNT are currently in the midst of the the longest winning streak in SheBelieves Cup history.
Having finished the 2019 tournament with a 1-0 victory over Brazil, followed by their flawless records in the 2020 and 2021 tournaments, the USA have now won seven consecutive matches at the SheBelieves.
The USWNT are also in the midst of the competition’s longest unbeaten run. They have not lost in their last 12 SheBelieves Cup outings – a run stretching back to their 3-0 defeat to France in the final match of the 2017 tournament.
Prior to the 2021 tournament, the SheBelieves Cup top scorer had always netted two goals – no more, no less.
It was Alex Morgan in 2016, Camille Abily in 2017, Eugenie Le Sommer and Ellen White in 2018, Tobin Heath, Beth Mead, Yuka Momiki and Megan Rapinoe in 2019 and Mana Iwabuchi, Lucia Garcia, Alexia Putellas and Christen Press in 2020.
But Rapinoe made tournament history in 2021 by netting three goals – one against Brazil and a brace against Argentina.
With her three goals in the 2021 tournament, Rapinoe overtook Ellen White to become the SheBelieve Cup’s all-time top scorer.
The OL Reign forward has moved onto seven goals at the invitational tournament, with the England striker on five.
Rapinoe’s USWNT teammates Alex Morgan and Christen Press sit joint third in the all-time standings with four goals each.