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Hope Solo

2010 Algarve Cup Venues Finalized

CHICAGO (February 16, 2010) – The kickoff times and venues for the U.S. Women’s National Team at the 2010 Algarve Cup have been confirmed, with the five-time Algarve Cup champions opening up against Iceland on February 24 at Municipal Stadium in Vila Real de San Antonio, which is located near the Portuguese-Spanish border. Kickoff time is 3 p.m. local and 10 a.m. ET. Fans can follow all the U.S. matches on’s MatchTracker.

The USA’s other Group B matches will be played on Feb. 26 at José Arcanjo Stadium in Olhão against Norway (kickoff at 3 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET) and on March 1 in Ferreiras at Parque Desportivo da Nora (kickoff at 3 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET).

The USA’s group matches pit the Americans against the home countries of two of its coaches. U.S. assistant coach Hege Riise was a star for the Norwegian National Team from 1990-2004, earning 188 caps while U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage was Sweden’s greatest-ever player, earning 146 caps from 1975-1996.

The U.S. team must win its group to earn a place in the championship game, which will be played at the Estadio Algarve in Faro, a 30,000-seat venue built for the 2004 European Championships. The third-place match will be played in Ferreiras. Aside from the Estadio Algarve, the venues for the rest of the matches are small stadiums spread out along the southern coast of Portugal.

The kickoff time for the March 3 championship game as well as the other placement games have yet to be set. Host Portugal will play its placement match at Estadio Algarve no matter where they finish in Group C.

Consistent rain has been hitting the Algarve region for several weeks and is forecast to carry through to the tournament, which certainly could impact playing conditions at all the venues.

Since the expansion from eight to 12 teams eight years ago, the Algarve Cup format has been as follows: The teams in Group A and B will compete for the title as the group winners will play in the championship game on Wednesday, March 3. The two second-place finishers in Groups A and B will play for third place while the third-place finishers will play for fifth. The Group C teams will be competing for a chance to play for spots 7-12 as the winner of Group C will play the best fourth place team from Groups A or B for seventh place. The second place team in Group C will play the worst fourth place team from Groups A or B for ninth place and the third and fourth place finishers in Group C will play each other for 11th place.