World Champion USWNT Hosts First Of Its Kind SheBelieves Cup

World Champion USWNT Hosts First Of Its Kind SheBelieves Cup

Kelley O'Hara SheBelieves Cup

The U.S. women have already qualified for this summer’s biggest soccer event but they aren’t waiting to take on their global competitors. This year, the USWNT is hosting the inaugural SheBelieves Cup March 3-9. Top international contenders Germany, France, and England will also participate.

#SheBelieves Movement

The women of the USWNT give an inspired performance every time they step onto the field. That’s why they want to inspire young girls to accomplish all of their goals, on and off the pitch. In addition to the SheBelieves Cup, U.S. Soccer will host a “Girls Fantasy Camp” in Nashville during the tournament for girls aged 13-15 in an effort to grow the sport.

The Roster

The official roster for the cup includes five Eastbay cover athletes: Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn, Morgan Brian, Heather O’Reilly, and Alex Morgan. See the full roster below:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)

DEFENDERS (9): Lauren Barnes (Seattle Reign FC), Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)

The Schedule

March 3: Germany vs. France, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla. 5 pm ET
March 3: USA vs. England, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla. 7:30 pm ET
March 6: USA vs. France, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tenn. 3 pm ET
March 6: Germany vs. England, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tenn. 5:30 pm ET
March 9: France vs. England, FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Fla. 5 pm ET
March 9: USA vs. Germany, FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Fla. 7:30 pm ET

2015 In Review: The Best Of Eastbay Athletes

2015 In Review: The Best Of Eastbay Athletes

2015 has become the past. While there are many incredible sports moments yet to come in 2016, this is a time to look back at all the major feats our Eastbay athletes accomplished this past year — they did pretty well.

Eastbay Soccer Covers

2015 World Cup Champions

Leading up to the tournament, we featured not one, but seven, USWNT players on either the catalog or eastbay.com. That included the likes of Sydney Leroux, Kelley O’Hara, Heather O’Reilly, Becky Sauerbrunn, Morgan Brian, Lauren Holiday, and Alex Morgan. Those players dedicated their lives to that one goal, and they brought home the trophy for the first time since 1999.

Eastbay Basketball Covers

NBA Finals + NBA MVP + 24-0 Start

He’s the best, and those accomplishments above prove it. In 2015, Stephen Curry didn’t just win the league’s MVP award and bring Golden State its first championship in 40 years, but he went on to lead the Warriors to an NBA-record 24-0 start to the 2015-16 season. 2015 was Curry’s year.

No. 7 Overall NBA Draft Pick

Emmanuel Mudiay didn’t take the traditional path to the NBA. He skipped the whole college thing so he could play basketball professionally in China to prepare himself for the NBA.  Well, it worked, because the explosive and versatile Mudiay was drafted No. 7 overall by the Denver Nuggets.

WNBA MVP

Elena Delle Donne’s 2015 season was one of the best in WNBA history. She averaged 23.4 points per game, which is fifth best in league history, and she set a league record by converting on 95 percent of her free throws. Delle Donne was the definition of efficiency, game in and game out — that’s the Eastbay way.

Eastbay Football Cover

Best Start In Team History (14-0)

The Carolina Panthers were doubted. Critics and fans thought of the Panthers as, at best, an above-average football team, but no one gave them the credit of an elite team. Fortunately, Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly feed off that doubt. It drives them to be their best. Those two led Carolina to its first-ever 14-0 start, and with the playoffs starting, it could become ever better. Plus, Newton is a frontrunner for the league’s MVP award.

Top 15 On NFL’s Top 100 Players Of 2015 List

Two of our Eastbay athletes made that list: DeMarco Murray (No. 4) and Luke Kuechly (No. 14). You just read about Kuechly’s outstanding 2015, but Murray’s season didn’t quite live up to the high expectations. After one of the best seasons we’ve ever seen in 2014-15, Murray stumbled a bit this year, but there’s no denying his talent.

Eastbay Baseball Covers

Cubs Rookie Home Run Record + Wild Card Berth

Few players in the MLB have the power of Kris Bryant. After finally being called up by the Chicago Cubs, Bryant took off running at the plate, becoming one of the league’s most feared power hitters. His 26 homers put him atop the list of Cubs rookies, ahead of Hall of Famer Billy Williams. That power helped Chicago reach the postseason for the first time since 2008. The future looks bright for Bryant, that’s for sure.

Superstar In The Making

The shortstop position in Boston hasn’t been this solidified since Nomar Garciaparra was traded in 2004. With Xander Bogaerts on the diamond, Boston’s infield no longer has any problems. Once ranked the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball, Bogaerts has sky-high expectations, and he lived up to the hype in 2015. Not only was he a defensive juggernaut, but he excelled at the plate, hitting .320 with seven homers and 81 RBIs. The potential here is endless — just wait until next season.

Like we said, 2015 is gone now, but these accomplishments will live on forever. Congrats to all our dedicated Eastbay athletes who know winning takes discipline, training, and desire. Keep up the hard work — 2016 is going to be one to remember.

MLB National League MVP

In just his fourth season in the big leagues, at 22 years and 353 days old, Bryce Harper bagged his first MVP award, making him the third youngest player to ever do so. And it was certainly deserved. Harper finished the season with a .330 average, hitting 42 home runs and 99 RBIs. The stats speak for themselves.

Kelley O’Hara’s Back For More

Kelley O’Hara’s Back For More

Kelley-Ohara

2016 is shaping up to be another big year for defender Kelley O’Hara. In 2015, Kelley was part of the U.S. women’s national soccer team that brought home the trophy in Canada. This summer, she’s hoping to be back on the international stage to help her country win another piece of hardware. Even though she already won this tournament back in 2012, she’s as motivated as ever to repeat as world champions.

Can her squad be the last team standing once again? Only time will tell, but based on her rigorous training and driven attitude, no one wants it more.

“Preparation is 100 percent mental and 100 percent physical,” Kelley said. “It’s everything. If you can get one percent better in every area, you’re going to be better than your opponent.”

To stay on the top of her game as the pressure rises, Kelley knows she has to stay focused. “It’s just a grind in all aspects,” the defender said. “Your mind is going to start telling your body you don’t want to do this anymore, but if you can control your mind, you can keep pushing.”

At 27 years old, she has overcome a lot in her career, including a serious ankle injury in 2013 that cut her season short and forced her to have reconstructive surgery. But Kelley used the recovery time as fuel to get even better. “I can say it went smoothly overall, but there were definitely times when I thought, ‘This is not going well,’” she said. “You kind of feel bad for yourself for a little bit, and then you just go to physical therapy, keep pushing through, and hope for the best.”

That will to continue has never been questioned, though. If you need an example of Kelley’s toughness and drive, you can look back to the quarterfinal matchup between U.S. and China last summer. Kelley suffered an accidental headbutt from a Chinese player that caused blood to flow down her face. With what was thought to be a broken nose at the time, Kelley soldiered on, refusing treatment until she was ordered to do so by the referee. Despite being subbed out, her never-quit attitude solidified her as one of the toughest players on the pitch, and she’s hoping to bring that same toughness to the team this summer.

As August approaches, you can bet Kelley is more motivated than ever. She wants to win for her country, her teammates, her coaches, and for herself. “It’s an honor and a privilege because I’m living my dream job and my dream life,” she said. “I love to play soccer, but I also love the fact that I can inspire younger girls, not just to be professional athletes, but to be their best self and go after what they want in their life.”