Alessia Russo to join England squad for SheBelieves Cup, with Lucy Bronze ruled out

Wednesday 26 Feb 2020
Alessia Russo has been based in America since 2017, playing her football for the North Carolina Tar Heels

Alessia Russo has been called into Phil Neville’s SheBelieves Cup squad after Lucy Bronze was withdrawn with a calf injury.

Russo, 21, had initially been selected as a training player for the Lionesses as they look to defend the title they won last year.

The uncapped North Carolina Tar Heels forward helped England win bronze at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup two years ago, having been capped at every age level with the Young Lionesses.

Anna Patten will take Russo’s place as a training player, with the University of South Carolina defender having also been part of that successful Young Lionesses squad in 2018, alongside Birmingham City goalkeeper Hannah Hampton.

Patten had originally been named in the U21 squad to face France in a double-header next week. Meanwhile, Olympique Lyonnais right-back Bronze will remain in France for treatment.

Anna Patten (left, pictured with Lauren Hemp) has joined the Lionesses senior squad as a training player

The Lionesses begin the SheBelieves Cup in Orlando against hosts and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions USA at the Exploria Stadium on Thursday 5 March (kick off 7pm local time, Friday 6 March 0.00am UK).

Neville's group then travel to Harrison, New Jersey to take on Japan at the Red Bull Arena on Sunday 8 March (kick off 2.15pm local time, 6.15pm UK), before finishing off against tournament newcomers Spain at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco on Wednesday 11 March (kick off 4.15pm local time, 9.15pm UK).

All three fixtures will be broadcast live on the BBC.

By Nicholas Veevers