Following two victories against Scotland in his first two matches as head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team, Tom Sermanni has named a 23-player roster that will travel to the 2013 Algarve Cup in Portugal.
This year's tournament is being staged a week later than in recent years, from March 6-13, and the U.S. team will depart for Europe on Feb. 25. The majority of the games will be played at small venues across the Algarve region on the southern coast of the country, with several matches at the 30,000-seat Algarve Stadium. The placement matches will take place on March 13.
For the first time, fans in the United States will be able to watch the Algarve Cup matches live on television. All four U.S. matches of the Algarve Cup are being distributed in the USA by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, Avail-TVN, DIRECTV and DISH for a suggested retail price of $14.95 per match. Additional same day replays will be available. Check with your Pay-Per-View provider for replay times. Fans can visit Integratedsportsnet.com for updates on the TV coverage.
The U.S. team, which has been placed into Group B at the annual tournament, will open play on March 6 against Iceland (9 a.m. ET) in Albufeira. The USA will face China on March 8, again in Albufeira (9 a.m. ET), and will finish the first round on March 11 against Sweden in Lagos (10 a.m. ET) in what will be the first meeting between the teams since former U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage returned home to coach her native country. Group A features Germany, Norway, Japan and Denmark. Group C features host Portugal, Hungary, Wales and Mexico.
Check out the full Algarve Cup 2013 schedule.
This will be the 18th trip to the Algarve Cup for the U.S. Women, who have won the tournament eight times, including three straight championships from 2003-05 at what has become one of the world's most competitive international women's events. Last year, the USA lost 1-0 to Japan in group play - which turned out to be the USA's only loss of the year - and were forced to the third-place match where the Americans rolled past Sweden 4-0 on Alex Morgan's first career hat trick.
Sixteen players from last year's Algarve Cup roster return, including the core of the U.S. team, many of whom have played in numerous Algarve Cup tournaments. Goalkeeper Hope Solo will not be one of them, however, as the USA's first-choice 'keeper has a long-standing wrist injury that has flared up recently and may require surgery. Solo has damage to ligaments in her right wrist, and although she was playing with the injury, with Women's World Cup qualifying not until the end of 2014, the team medical staff advised that now would be the time to address the situation.
With Solo out, veteran Nicole Barnhart, Jill Loyden and the uncapped Ashlyn Harris will compete for the starting spot.
With one exception, all the players Sermanni is bringing to Portugal were in the U.S. camp for the matches against Scotland in Florida and Tennessee. That would be18-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward Lindsey Horan, the first American female player to bypass college soccer and sign a professional contract overseas. The 5-foot-9 Horan was the leading scorer for the U.S. U-20 Women's National Team last year, but missed the U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan with a knee injury. She, along with fellow France-based players Tobin Heath (PSG) and Megan Rapinoe (Olympique Lyonnaise), will join the U.S. team on March 3 after their clubs - the two top teams in France -- clash in league play in Lyon on March 2.
USA Women's National Team roster for the Algarve Cup 2013:
Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City),
Ashlyn Harris (Duisburg),
Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC)
Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC),
Crystal Dunn (North Carolina),
Whitney Engen (Liverpool FC),
Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit),
Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC),
Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC),
Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
Yael Averbuch (Göteborg FC),
Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars),
Lauren Cheney (FC Kansas City),
Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-German),
Carli Lloyd (Western NY Flash),
Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City),
Heather O'Reilly (Boston Breakers),
Megan Rapinoe (Olympique Lyonnais)
Lindsey Horan (Paris Saint-German),
Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers),
Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC),
Christen Press (Tyresö FF),
Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)
What are your views? Leave your comments below
It's great that Heath and Rapinoe will play in the HUGE French Women's Division 1 match before travelling to Portugal.
No Hope Solo? No Heather Mitts?
US Soccer say that Hope Solo has a long-standing wrist injury that may require surgery. Solo has damage to ligaments in her right wrist, and although she was playing with the injury, with Women's World Cup qualifying not until the end of 2014, the team medical staff advised that now would be the time to address the situation.
Alex Schwartz said:
No Hope Solo? No Heather Mitts?
I can't find any significant reason why she has not been included :/
katrin goldhorn said:
where the heck is Lori Lindsey???? I was sooo looking forward to see her play (in person) and now she`s not on the roster?
Heather Mitts is apparently not on the roster due to a slight injury before the two friendlies agains Scotland. I think she played in the first one and worsened it. Tom Sermanni is also trying to give experience to as many new players as possible it seems.
I will miss Hope, and I wish her all the best in her upcoming surgery. And I am thrilled to see Christen Press in the line up with Alex, Lindsey, Sydney, and Abby!
Here's a great rundown on the roster for the Algarve cup, as well as some reasons for players' absences: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1539312-hope-solo-not-included-i... (and a sort of reason for Lori Lindsey..)