USWNT faces Norway in Algarve Cup today at 2 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
(Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will open its 20th Algarve Cup in Portugal on March 4 with a match against longtime rival Norway at Municipal Stadium in Vila Real de San Antonio, which sits on the border with Spain in the southeast of Portugal. The match kicks off at 2 p.m. ET and will be shown on FOX Sports 1.
The opening fixture of the 12-team tournament will pit the only two countries to have won Olympic gold medals in women’s soccer. The USA has met Norway 48 times – the most games against any opponent besides Canada and China PR – but the sides have not faced each other since the 2012 Algarve Cup, a 2-1 U.S. victory. The WNT will also face Switzerland on March 6 in Vila Real de San Antonio (12 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1) and finish Group B play on March 9 against Iceland in Lagos (1:30 p.m. ET). The USA’s final Group B match against Iceland will not be televised due to inadequate lighting at the Municipal Stadium in Lagos. The USA comes into the Algarve Cup with a 1-1-0 record in 2015, having lost to France 2-0 and defeated England 1-0 on a European tour in early February.
GOING FOR 10: The U.S. WNT last won the Algarve Cup in 2013, beating Germany 2-0 in the title game to earn its ninth cup, the most of any country. The U.S. team will train for eight days in Portugal before its opening match in a tournament that features six of the world’s top-10 ranked teams, including the top five. Brazil, currently ranked eighth, will be participating for the first time. In all, 11 of the 12 participating countries are ranked in the top-20 in the world.
22nd Annual Algarve Cup
Sweden, Germany, Brazil, China
USA, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland
Denmark, France, Japan, Portugal
ALGARVE CUP FORMAT: This will be the 22nd edition of the Algarve Cup, and for the first time in 14 years, it has undergone a change in the competition format. When the Algarve Cup expanded from eight to 12 teams in 2001, a Group C was created that generally consisted of lower-tier teams that were eligible to compete only for spots in the placement matches for seventh, ninth and 11th. This year, for the first time, all 12 teams will be competing for the tournament title. The final will be contested by the two group winners with the most points (or if all three group winners are tied on points, the top two will be determined by a series of tiebreakers). The third-place match will feature the third-best group winner against the best second-place team from the three groups. In addition, the fifth-place match will be played between the two remaining second-place teams; the seventh-place match between the two best third-place teams; the ninth-place match between the remaining third-place team against the best fourth-place team; while the 11th-place match will feature the remaining two teams that finished fourth in their groups.
ALGARVE CUP FAST FACTS
- There will be no overtime in the Algarve Cup placement games on March 11. If tied at the end of regulation, any of the six placement matches will go directly to penalty kicks.
- In each match, each team is allowed to perform six substitutions using four stops during the match. However, when the second half starts, each team can only make three stops to perform a maximum of six substitutions. During each stop, each team can substitute one or more players.
- The tiebreakers within the groups are as follows: 1) head-to-head result, 2) goal differential, 3) goals scored, 4) best Fair Play ranking from the group matches and 5) best FIFA ranking.
- If two or more teams have the same points in different groups, the tiebreakers to determine the placement matches will be: 1) goal differential, 2) goals scored, 3) best Fair Play ranking from the group matches and 4) best FIFA ranking.
- If a player earns two yellow card cautions during the tournament, she will receive a one-match suspension. A red card will also result in a one-game suspension.
- Two awards will be given out at the end of the tournament – Best Player and the Fair Play Award.
ALGARVE CUP BEGINS EIGHT-GAME RUN TO WORLD CUP: The USA heads into the Algarve Cup with eight games remaining before opening Women’s World Cup play on June 8 against Australia in Winnipeg. The U.S. team will play four matches in eight days at the Algarve Cup and then return home for four matches over April and May, the first of which will be played on April 4 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. More than 30,000 tickets have already been sold for the match. Last year at the Algarve Cup, the USA had its 43-game unbeaten streak snapped when it fell 1-0 to Sweden in its second group game. Prior to that, the USA’s most recent loss was a 1-0 defeat to Japan on March 5, 2012, in the third match of group play at the Algarve Cup. Since last year’s Algarve Cup, the USA has gone 14-2-4.
2015 U.S. WNT SCHEDULE:
|Feb. 8||France||12 p.m. ET||0-2 L||Stade du Moustoir; Lorient, France|
|Feb. 13||England||3 p.m. ET||1-0 W||stadiummk; Milton Keynes, England|
|March 4||Norway*||2 p.m. ET||FOX Sports 1||Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal|
|March 6||Switzerland*||6 p.m. ET||FOX Sports 1||Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal|
|March 9||Iceland*||1:30 p.m. ET||—||Lagos, Portugal|
|March 11||TBD*||TBD||FOX Sports 1||TBD, Portugal|
|April 4||New Zealand||2:30 p.m. CT||FOX Sports 1||Busch Stadium; St. Louis, Mo.|
|May 10||Ireland||11:30 a.m. PT||FOX Sports 1||Avaya Stadium; San Jose, Calif.|
|May 17||Mexico||6 p.m. PT||FOX Sports 1||StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.|
|May 30||Korea Rep.||4:30 p.m. ET||ESPN, WatchESPN||Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.|
|June 8||Australia||6:30 p.m. CT||FOX||Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada|
|June 12||Sweden||7 p.m. CT||FOX||Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada|
|June 16||Nigeria||5 p.m. PT||FOX||BC Place Stadium; Vancouver, Canada|
* Algarve Cup
USA DRAWN INTO GROUP D AT 2015 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: At the Final Draw conducted on Dec. 6 in Ottawa, the U.S. Women’s National Team was drawn into Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup where it will face Australia, Nigeria and Sweden. The seventh Women’s World Cup will take place from June 6-July 5 in Canada. The U.S. will open the tournament against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium, face Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg, and finish Group D play against Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver. The USA, Nigeria and Sweden have competed in every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
21 AND COUNTING: Abby Wambach comes into the 2015 Algarve Cup with a world record 177 international goals, of which 21 have been scored at the Algarve Cup. Heading into her 11th Algarve Cup tournament, she also has 19 career goals against the USA’s three group opponents – 12 against Norway, one against Switzerland and six against Iceland.
25 TO ALGARVE: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named a 25-player roster for the 2015 Algarve Cup but before the competition begins, Ellis will name 23 players to the tournament roster to face Norway, Switzerland and Iceland in Group B. The roster includes 22 of the 24 players that were in Europe for the USA’s recent matches against France and England, with midfielder Megan Rapinoe, defender Christie Rampone and goalkeeper Hope Solo added.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (10): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)
U.S. ROSTER NOTES:
- Forward Alex Morgan did not play in last year’s Algarve Cup as she was recovering from an ankle injury. Midfielder Lauren Holiday missed last year’s tournament due to a family commitment. She has scored six goals in the Algarve Cup.
- Holiday, the 2013 NWSL MVP and 2014 NWSL Championship Game MVP, was also the 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year.
- Hope Solo comes into the tournament with a U.S. record 78 career shutouts.
- U.S. captain Christie Rampone is currently the second most-capped player in U.S. and world history with 304. Rampone could play in her 14th 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 Abby Wambach (21) and Morgan (11).
- Four players made their WNT debut at the Algarve Cup: goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris (2013), defender Whitney Engen (2012), defender Rachel Van Hollebeke (2008) and forward Amy Rodriguez (2005).
- Defender Ali Krieger (2013), defender Whitney Engen (2013) and midfielder Tobin Heath (2008) scored their first WNT goal at the Algarve Cup. All against China PR.
- Veteran midfielder Shannon Boxx could see her first action in a game since April of 2013 when she played against Germany in a 3-3 tie in Offenbach. Boxx’s long layoff was due to injuries, but also pregnancy, as she gave birth to a baby daughter a little more than one year ago. Boxx has 27 goals in 186 caps for the USA and played in the past three Women’s World Cup and three Olympic tournaments.
- Lloyd was the only player to log all 450 minutes during the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. She was named MVP of the tournament after scoring five goals.
- Lloyd led the USA in scoring in 2014, finding the net 15 times, tying her career high in a calendar year. Wambach was second with 14 goals. Lloyd also led the USA in assists with eight.
- Nine players on the roster are trying to make their first Women’s World Cup squad: Harris, Alyssa Naeher, Crystal Dunn, Engen, Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Morgan Brian, Sydney Leroux and Christen Press.
- Brian, the USA’s youngest player at age 22, was the 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year.
- While Wambach is the USA’s top scorer on the roster with 177 goals, Lloyd is next with 61 career international goals and Morgan has 49. Heather O’Reilly has scored 41.
- With 14 goals in 2014, Wambach reached double-figures in eight different calendar years. Mia Hamm still holds the record with nine years in double-figures.
- Rodriguez had an excellent 2014 NWSL season with 13 goals in the regular season, good for second in the league and most from the run of play. She scored three more in the playoffs, including both goals in the NWSL title game. Rodriguez has 28 international scores.
- Press’ four-goal performance against Argentina in Brazil in December was the ninth such game in U.S. history and second of 2014 after Wambach scored four times against Costa Rica in the championship game of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship. It was the first-career hat trick for Press.
- Lloyd and Press led the USA with 23 appearances (out of 24 total games) in 2014. Lloyd started all 23.
- Naeher, the 2014 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year for the Boston Breakers, made her USA debut against Argentina on Dec. 18, 2014, and became the 22nd goalkeeper to suit up for the U.S. WNT.
- Naeher also became the seventh U.S. WNT goalkeeper to earn a shutout in her first appearance. The others are Gretchen Gegg (1986), Amy Allmann (1987), Mary Harvey (1989), Briana Scurry (1994), Solo (2000) and Emily Oleksiuk (2001).
- Left back Lori Chalupny played in three matches in the International Tournament of Brasilia last December, starting them all, while making a return to the U.S. team for the first time since the fall of 2010. She now has 96 caps and potentially could reach 100 at the Algarve Cup.
- All nine NWSL clubs are represented on the roster.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS:
- With three goals against Argentina on Dec. 18, Carli Lloyd upped her career total to 61 and moved into sole possession of seventh place on the U.S. WNT’s all-time goal scoring list, passing Shannon MacMillan who scored 60 goals in her career. Lloyd is the highest-scoring player in U.S. history who has played exclusively as a midfielder.
- Heather O’Reilly is the ninth player to hit 200 caps in U.S. history after reaching the milestone against Korea DPR on March 12, 2014. Now with 215, she is seventh on the USA’s all-time list. Abby Wambach (234) and Christie Rampone (304) are the only active players ahead of her.
- O’Reilly is the second-youngest player to hit 200 caps for the USA. Lilly was 28 years, 9 months and 15 days old when she earned cap No. 200 on May 7, 2000. O’Reilly was 29 years, 2 months and 10 days old when she earned her 200th cap.
- O’Reilly is currently sixth all-time in assists with 52 and is 13th all-time in goals with 41.
- In addition to breaking Mia Hamm’s world scoring record, Wambach’s June 20, 2013,performance against the Korea Republic also made her the USA’s all-time leader in multiple-goal games with 39 for her career. She has since added four more and now sits at 43. She has 35 two-goal games, five hat tricks, two four-goal games and one five-goal game.
- Sydney Leroux is 15th on the all-time U.S. WNT goal scoring list with 33 goals.
- With her game-winning goal against England on Feb. 13, Alex Morgan became the 10th player in U.S. history to score 50 or more goals.
U.S. WNT AT THE ALGARVE CUP
- The USA has a 53-12-10 record all-time at the Algarve Cup.
- The USA has scored 165 goals while allowing 61 at the Algarve Cup.
- 38 different players have scored for the USA at the Algarve Cup.
- The USA has never lost at the Vila Real de San Antonio venue, site for its first two matches of the 2015 Algarve Cup, going 8-0-1 over the years. At the Lagos venue, where the USA will play its third Group B match, the USA has a losing record, going 4-5-1 over the years.
- The most goals the USA has scored in an Algarve Cup game is seven, achieved against Portugal in 2000.
- The most goals the USA has scored in an Algarve Cup game not against Portugal is five, achieved against France in a 5-1 win in 2004 and twice against Denmark in 5-0 wins in 2006 and 2012.
- The U.S. Women have gone 13-1-5 in openers of the annual tournament the past 19 times they have attended. The only loss came in 2001 when the USA brought a very young team to the Algarve during WUSA pre-season camps.
- Until the USA lost to Japan 1-0 in the third group match at the 2012 Algarve Cup, the Americans had not lost a match in regulation at the Algarve Cup since 2004, a 3-1 setback to Sweden. The USA still made the title game that year and won its second Algarve Cup title 2-0 against China. The USA went unbeaten in 31 straight Algarve Cup matches before the loss to Japan, a tournament record.
- Fourteen players on the roster have scored at the Algarve Cup: Abby Wambach (21 goals), Alex Morgan (11), Carli Lloyd (10), Lauren Holiday (6), Heather O’Reilly (6), Sydney Leroux (5), Megan Rapinoe (4), Shannon Boxx (3), Christen Press (2), Amy Rodriguez (2), Rachel Van Hollebeke (1), Whitney Engen (1), Tobin Heath (1) and Ali Krieger (1),
- Wambach’s 21 goals are tops all-time at the Algarve Cup for a U.S. player and one of the leaders all time in the 22-year history of the tournament.
- The USA had been shut out in just eight of its 75 all-time Algarve Cup games (with two coming in 2001), before being shutout twice in 2006, with both games ending 0-0 in regulation against China and Germany. The USA was shutout again last year in a 1-0 loss to Sweden in its second group match. The tie against China in the 2006 Algarve opener broke a streak of 17 straight games in which the USA had scored at this tournament.
- Four teams have played in all 22 Algarve Cups so far: Denmark, Norway, Sweden and host Portugal.