U.S. women’s national team coach Tom Sermanni has named four Reign FC players to his 24-player roster for the upcoming Algarve Cup in Portugal: goalkeeper Hope Solo, defender Stephanie Cox, midfielder Megan Rapinoe and forward Sydney Leroux.
The tournament goes from March 5-12, and the team leaves Tuesday. Here is a link to the schedule, where the U.S. will face Japan, Sweden and Denmark in Group B.
Elsewhere in the Algarve Cup, Group A contains Germany, Norway, China and Iceland. Group C holds Portugal, Austria, Russia and North Korea. Only Group A and B teams will compete for the tournament championship.
The USMNT has participated in the Algarve Cup 18 times previously and won nine, including the 2013 tournament.
Here is a news release quote:
“The group we’re in at the Algarve Cup will probably be the most significant test since I’ve come aboard and a different kind of challenge as we will be playing teams that have the belief and aim to come out to attack us and beat us. The dynamics of these games will be different than some of the more recent matches, and that’s something that we want, that we need and that the players are looking forward to.” — Sermanni
“Again, we’re going into a competition phase with a number of players unavailable and that’s something that we’ve had to adjust to over this past year. But players have come in and performed extremely well and that’s continued to increase the already intense competition in the squad.” — Sermanni
* * *
Here is the roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-Germain), Sarah Killion (UCLA), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): Sarah Hagen (Bayern Munich), Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)
* * *
Here are some additional notes from the news release:
- The USA has a 52-10-9 record all-time at the Algarve Cup and has scored 158 goals while allowing 54.
- U.S. forward Abby Wambach comes into the tournament with 165 career goals, 19 of which have been scored at the Algarve Cup in nine tournaments. Wambach is the top Algarve Cup scorer in U.S. history, having found the net six more times than Kristine Lilly’s 13 scores.
- Christen Press is the USA’s leading scorer this year with three goals and has scored 11 times in her first 14 games for the National Team.
- Hope Solo leads a group of three goalkeepers that features Jill Loyden and Alyssa Naeher. Solo is two shutouts away from tying Briana Scurry for the most in U.S. history at 71.
- U.S. midfielder Heather O’Reilly heads into the tournament with 196 career caps and could earn her historic 200th in the USA’s placement match if she features in all three group games. O’Reilly will be playing in her 12th Algarve Cup and made her U.S. debut at the Algarve Cup in 2002 at the age of 17.
- Last year, Rachel Van Hollebeke earned her 100th-career cap at the Algarve Cup.
- U.S. captain Christie Rampone, who currently is the second most-capped player in U.S. history with 289, will lead the U.S. team that features nine defenders. Rampone will be playing in her 13th Algarve Cup.
- Midfielder Carli Lloyd was the MVP of the 2007 Algarve Cup after scoring in all four games that year. She also scored three goals in the 2010 tournament and has 10 goals in total at the Algarve Cup. That ranks third among active players behind only Wambach (19) and Alex Morgan (11).
- Defender Whitney Engen made her U.S. debut at the 2012 Algarve Cup. Van Hollebeke made her debut at the 2008 Algarve Cup. Amy Rodriguez made her U.S. debut at the 2005 Algarve Cup.
- Sarah Killion, Samantha Mewis, Sarah Hagen and Naeher are all looking for their first cap at the senior level.
- U.S. midfielder Lauren Holiday will not be with the U.S. team for this tournament due to a family commitment.
- Defender Crystal Dunn is not ready for game action as she recovers from an ankle injury.