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WNT Preps For Its 20th Algarve Cup

The WNT has once again encamped on the beautiful southern coast of Portugal for the annual Algarve Cup. This year’s tournament takes on increased importance with the 2015 Women’s World Cup about 100 days away. With group matches against Norway, Switzerland and Iceland in a span of six days, the coaches and players are looking forward to the excellent competition as they continue the process of building towards the World Cup.

Ellis Names U.S. WNT Roster for 2015 Algarve Cup

CHICAGO (Feb. 21, 2015) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named a 25-player roster that will travel to the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal. It will be the USA’s 20th trip to the Algarve Cup. 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. After a formal review by U.S. Soccer, Solo was reinstated to the squad after serving a 30-day suspension last month.

This year’s tournament will run from March 4-11, and the U.S. team will depart for Europe on Feb. 22. 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 11.

The USA will face 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup participant Norway on March 4 (2 p.m. ET) at the Municipal Stadium in Vila Real de San Antonio, which sits right on the border with Spain. The USA then takes on Switzerland, which will play in its first Women’s World Cup this summer, on March 6 (12 p.m. ET), also in Vila Real de San Antonio. The U.S. finishes group play on March 9 against Iceland at Municipal Stadium Lagos (1:30 p.m. ET), which is in the western part of the Algarve region.

The USA’s first two matches and its placement match on March 11 (time TBD) will be shown live on FOX Sports 1. Fans will be able to follow the U.S. matches on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp. Highlights will be available ussoccer.com. For the entire tournament schedule, please visit the Algarve Cup tournament page on ussoccer.com.

Six of the world’s top-10 ranked teams are in this year’s Algarve Cup, including the top five. Brazil, which is currently ranked eighth, will be participating for the first time. Eleven of the 12 participating countries are ranked in the top-20 in the world.

“The value of the Algarve Cup is of course great games against top teams in a tournament format without much rest,” said Ellis. “In any year, this tournament presents great challenges, but as we continue to progress towards the World Cup, we want to get tested at the highest possible levels. Our opponents at this tournament give us another opportunity to gauge our depth and fitness.”

Group A features Germany, Brazil, Sweden and China PR. Group C features host Portugal, Japan, France and Denmark.

This will be the 22nd edition of the Algarve Cup and for the first time in 14 years, it will undergo 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 place.

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.

The U.S. Women have won the Algarve Cup a record nine times, including an unprecedented three straight championships from 2003-05. The USA made the championship game for nine consecutive years from 2003-11 and most recently won the tournament in 2013, defeating Germany 2-0 in the final on two goals from Alex Morgan. Last year, the USA had its worst finish ever, taking seventh place with a 3-0 win against Korea DPR.

Eighteen players from last year’s Algarve Cup roster return, many of whom have played in numerous Algarve Cup tournaments.

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 FC)
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)

Additional Notes:

  • Christie Rampone and Megan Rapinoe return to the roster after overcoming injuries that caused them to miss the USA’s two-game European tour in early February, while Hope Solo returns after serving her suspension.
  • The USA has a 53-12-10 record all-time at the Algarve Cup and has scored 165 goals while allowing 61.
  • U.S. forward Abby Wambach comes into the tournament with 177 career goals, 21 of which have been scored at the Algarve Cup in 10 tournaments. Wambach is the top Algarve Cup scorer in U.S. history, having found the net eight more times than Kristine Lilly’s 13 scores.
  • Rapinoe and Lori Chalupny head into the tournament with 96 caps each and both could earn their 100th if they play in all four matches.
  • U.S. midfielder Heather O’Reilly heads into the tournament with 215 career caps and earned her 200th last year at the Algarve Cup. O’Reilly will be playing in her 13th Algarve Cup and made her U.S. debut at the tournament in 2002 at the age of 17.
  • Four other 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).
  • U.S. captain Rampone, who currently is the second most-capped player in U.S. history with 304, will lead the U.S. team that features 10 defenders. Rampone will be playing 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 Wambach (21) and Alex Morgan (11).
  • Defender Ali Krieger (2013) and midfielder Tobin Heath (2008) scored their first WNT goal at the Algarve Cup. Both against China PR.
  • U.S. midfielder Lauren Holiday missed last year’s tournament due to a family commitment. She has scored six goals in this tournament, as has O’Reilly.
  • 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.
  • Each team is allowed six substitutions per game 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.
  • There are no suspensions for yellow card accumulation during the tournament, but an ejection during the tournament will result in a one-game suspension.

One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories - WNT Trailer

ussoccer.com’s “One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.” returns in Spring of 2015 with the Women’s National Team. Stay tuned for information about the full release schedule!

WNT Falls to No. 3 France 2-0 in 2015 Opener

LORIENT, France (Feb. 8, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s National Team, in a key test to open the 2015 campaign and prepare for the FIFA Women’s World Cup later this year, fell 2-0 to No. 3 FIFA-ranked France in front of a sold-out crowd of 15,663 at Stade du Moustoir. 

Eugenie Le Sommer and Jessica Houara scored back-to-back goals early in the second half as France earned its first victory against the United States in 17 chances all-time. The No. 2-ranked USA is now 14-1-2 against France. 

All-time goal scoring leader Abby Wambach had a golden opportunity to change the momentum with the USA trailing by two goals after drawing a second-half penalty kick in the 66th minute, but France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi came up with a key save. 

One of France’s stars had to come out of the match early as Louisa Necib exited in the 40th minute. Kenza Dali replaced Necib, who injured her left foot during a one-on-one challenge against USA defender Lori Chalupny. 

The USA was without several key players for this match, including defender Christie Rampone (back), midfielder Megan Rapinoe (knee), forward Sydney Leroux (ankle) and goalkeeper Hope Solo (suspended). 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
FRA – Eugenie Le Sommer (Elodie Thomis), 50th minute: France broke the deadlock when Thomis got past Lori Chalupny and crossed from the right side of the box to Le Sommer, who had inside position against Meghan Klingenberg and headed the ball into the left side of the goal. USA 0, FRA 1 (SEE GOAL) 

FRA – Jessica Houara (Amandine Henry), 51st minute: France once again attacked down the right side as Henry slotted the ball to Houara. Houara was clearly looking to cross the ball in, but the ball looped over USA goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, hit the inside of the left post and crossed the goal line to push France’s lead to two goals. USA 0, FRA 2 (SEE GOAL) (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Becky Sauerbrunn, 4th and 7th minutes: USA center back Sauerbrunn played an important role in the game’s opening minutes. In the fourth minute, Sauerbrunn blocked a Gaetane Thiney shot, though France’s Eugenie Le Sommer eventually created a strong right-footed chance that sailed just wide right of the frame. Then in the seventh minute, Sauerbrunn quickly tracked back to intercept a pass intended for Gaetane Thiney in the right side of the box to halt the France attack. 

FRA – Laura Georges, 11th minute: The USA had a promising chance when Christen Press dribbled in to the right side of the box. Press went shoulder-to-shoulder with Georges, and Georges held her off with a left-footed block. 

FRA – Sarah Bouhaddi, 13th minute: Christen Press set up Alex Morgan who made a nice angled run to her left side outside the box. Morgan shot left-footed, searching for the far right post, but Bouhaddi dove to her left for the save. 

USA – Ashlyn Harris, 32nd minute: The stadium crowd bellowed as Louisa Necib took the corner kick from the right side. Carli Lloyd came up with the initial header clearance and France center back Laura Georges followed with a right-footed shot that was headed just underneath the crossbar, and Harris stretched for the save. 

FRA – Laura Georges, 45th minute: USA striker Alex Morgan darted into the box and eluded France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi who left her line. Morgan shot right-footed from eight yards out and Georges tracked back in time to block the shot and surrender a USA corner kick. 

USA – Sarah Bouhaddi, 66th minute: U.S. second-half sub Abby Wambach drew a penalty kick just a couple minutes after entering the match. Wambach shot right-footed toward the left side of the frame, where Bouhaddi dove to her right and saved with her right arm before smothering the ball. 

USA – Sarah Bouhaddi, 80th minute: The USA maintained some stronger possession and offensive sequences down the stretch, including a switch from left to right as Abby Wambach headed the ball toward Christen Press in this particular buildup. Press took a touch to her left outside the box and looked to bend the ball around Bouhaddi toward the far left post. However, Bouhaddi read the shot well and dove to her right for the save. 

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT heads north to England for a 3 p.m. ET match on Friday, Feb. 13.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1, Univision Deportes
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Additional Notes:

  • Head coach Jill Ellis’ starting lineup featured a 4-4-2 formation.
  • Ashlyn Harris earned her fifth-career cap in goal. She had two appearances in 2014.
  • The back line featured Lori Chalupny at left back, Meghan Klingenberg on the right side and the center back duo of Becky Sauerbrunn and Whitney Engen.
  • The USA midfield included captain Carli Lloyd on the left, Tobin Heath on the right and Morgan Brian and Lauren Holiday playing centrally.
  • Alex Morgan and Christen Press were paired up front. It marked Morgan’s first start and appearance since she injured her ankle against Guatemala at the 2014 CONCACAF Championship on Oct. 17.
  • In the 55th minute, Ali Krieger entered for Chalupny. Krieger moved to the right side and Klingenberg switched to the left.
  • Abby Wambach earned her 233rd-career cap when she replaced Brian in the 63rd minute.
  • Amy Rodriguez entered the match for Heath in the 77th minute. 

- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: Feb. 8, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Stade du Moustoir; Lorient, France
Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET
Attendance: 15,663 (so)
Weather: 46 degrees; Clear

Scoring Summary:   1 2  F
USA                            0 0 0
FRA                             0 2 2

FRA – Eugénie Le Sommer (Elodie Thomis) 50th minute
FRA – Jessica Houara (Amandine Henry)                51

Lineups:
USA: 24-Ashlyn Harris; 25-Meghan Klingenberg, 6-Whitney Engen, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 16-Lori Chalupny (11-Ali Krieger, 55); 17-Tobin Heath (8-Amy Rodriguez, 77), 15-Morgan Brian (20-Abby Wambach, 63), 12-Lauren Holiday, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 23-Christen Press, 13-Alex Morgan
Subs Not Used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 7-Shannon Boxx, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 14-Julie Johnston, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 19-Rachel Van Hollebeke, 21-Alyssa Naeher, 22-Crystal Dunn, 26-Tori Huster
Head coach: Jill Ellis

FRA: 1-Sarah Bouhaddi; 8-Jessica Houara, 4-Laura Georges, 2-Wendie Renard, 22-Amel Majri; 12-Elodie Thomis (11-Claire Lavogez, 74), 10-Camille Abily (23-Kheira Hamaroui, 82), 6-Amandine Henry, 14-Louisa Necib (7-Kenza Dali, 40); 17-Gaëtane Thiney (18-Marie Laure Delie, 87), 9-Eugénie Le Sommer (15-Elise Bussaglia, 74)
Subs Not Used: 1-Céline Deville, 3-Laure Boulleau, 5-Sabrina Delannoy, 13-Kadiatou Diani, 19-Gridge Mbock Bathy, 20-Anaig Butel, 21-Meline Gerard
Head coach: Philippe Bergeroo

Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 15 / 11
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 5 / 7
Offside: 0 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Tobin Heath (caution)             26th minute

Officials:
Referee: Pernilla Larsson (Sweden)
Assistant Referee 1: Anna Nystrom (Sweden)
Assistant Referee 2: Sabrina Keinersdorfer (Switzerland)
Fourth Official: Elodie Coppola (France)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Becky Sauerbrunn

WNT Bowlerama

Getting out of the hotel for a night while in France, team bonding, and of course, some competition, all came together at the U.S. WNT Bowling Tournament. There were many pins knocked down, many more left standing, and in the end, a triumph for the “Bowling Brunettes.”
Earned her first four caps in 2001, playing against Italy in Rieti, Italy, and then playing three matches in the 2001 Algarve Cup in Portugal, starting against Portugal and coming on as a substitute against Sweden and Norway … Broke into the national team full time until 2005 … Has since developed into one of the USA’s best and most consistent players … 2009: Played every minute in five matches for the USA, captaining the USA to its 1-0 victory against Germany in October … Took over as the role as U.S. captain after Christie Rampone stopped competing in August due to her pregnancy … 2008: After playing in the midfield in 2007, she moved to outside back, which is where she started her WNT career and played 34 matches, starting 32 while finishing fourth on the team in minutes played … Scored two goals and one assist as she evolved into one of the best attacking outside backs in the world … Was forced out of the USA’s first Olympic match after just 15 minutes with a concussion and missed the second game of group play against Japan, but came back to play every minute of the remaining four matches … Scored one of the most important goals in U.S. history against Japan in the semifinal, blasting in the go-ahead goal just before halftime … 2007: Played in every game in 2007, one of just two players to do so … Started 23 of the 24 games the U.S. played, including all six at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup … Played every minute of every game at the WWC, one of two players to accomplish that feat … Scored twice at the Women’s World Cup, including the game-winner in the 1-0 victory against Nigeria to finish group play … Also scored against Norway in the third-place match, where she also had an assist … Had four goals and three assists during the year … Scored against China at the Four Nations Tournament Championship in January in Guangzhou, China, helping the U.S. to a 2-0 win and the tournament title… Also scored in a 6-2 win against Canada in a May friendly … 2006: Started two games at the 2006 Four Nations Tournament in China, but suffered a serious concussion against France and was out of action for four months … 2005: Voted the 2005 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year … Had a breakout tournament at the Algarve Cup, starting all four matches for the USA, playing mostly at left back, as the USA did not allow a goal and won the tournament championship … Played in six total games during the year, starting them all, and scored one goal, that coming against Canada … 2004: A member of the 2004 Olympic Residency Training Camp, she played in four matches during the year, scoring her first career goal on May 9 against Mexico … 2003: Earned one cap in 2003, that coming against Italy … Youth National Teams: A key member of the USA’s 2002 Under-19 World Championship Team, she was the unsung hero of the team for her tireless work and poise in the midfield … Also a key member of the U.S. team that qualified in Trinidad & Tobago for the World Championship … Helped the U.S. U-21s to the Nordic Cup titles in 2003 in Denmark, 2004 in Iceland and 2005 in Sweden … Also a member of the USA’s 2001 Under-21 Nordic Cup championship team, scoring two goals in the tournament, one against Denmark and then against Sweden in the championship game … Earned 14 Under-21 caps and 21 Under-19 caps during her youth career … Also played with the U.S. U-16 National Team in 2000, meaning that by the age of 17, she had played for the USA at four levels … First Appearance: March 7, 2001, vs. Italy … First Goal: May 9, 2004, vs. Mexico.
2009: Allocated to St. Louis Athletica for the inaugural WPS season in 2009 where she captained the team … Helped Athletica to a second place finish during the regular season with a record of 10-6-4 and a berth into the Super Semifinal match … Named to the All-WPS First Team and played in the WPS All-Star Game … Played 18 matches for her hometown Athletica, scoring two goals with one assist … Tied for first as the most fouled player in the WPS … Youth: Played for the Gateway Strikers as a forward from 1994-95 before moving to JB Marine, where she played for eight years ... Won the U-23 national championship with JB Marine in 2004.

Full name is Lori Christine Chalupny … Nickname is Chalupa (cha-loop-uh) or Chalups (kuh-lups) … On the Honor Roll at Nerinx Hall as a sophomore, junior and senior …Volunteered for the St. Louis Crisis Nursery, a haven for troubled kids … Her favorite color is Carolina Blue … Enjoys tennis, hanging out with her 15-year-old sister Casey and chasing around her black lab, Mr. Eko … Honored for maintaining an “A” average in math for all four years at Nerinx … Had perfect attendance through fifth grade, then soccer trips started … Loves sweets, especially chocolate … Owns her own bowling ball and shoes and bowls in a league … Eats filet mignon for dinner the night before leaving for any national team trip.

As a senior, she started all 23 games she played in, scoring 10 goals with eight assists and finished her college career with 30 goals, an impressive number from the midfield … Helped UNC to a 23-1-1 record in her final college season … Named First-Team NSCAA All-American for the second year in a row, and First-Team All-ACC for the third year in a row … Also named a Soccer America MVP … As a junior, she started 22 of 23 games she played for the Tar Heels, scoring six goals with five assists … She was named First-Team All-ACC and a First-Team NSCAA All-American … As a sophomore, she had a stellar season, helping UNC to the NCAA title and a perfect 27-0-0 record … Started 26 of 27 games and scored 11 goals with 12 assists … Named First-Team All-ACC and an NSCAA Second-Team All-American … Named to the ACC All-Freshman Team in 2002 ... Due to injuries, she missed a large part of the second half of the season, but played in 16 games, starting 11 and had three goals and seven assists ... Attended Nerinx Hall in St. Louis, Mo. … Was an All-Conference and All-State selection as a sophomore, junior and senior … Helped the Markers to an undefeated regular season as a junior … Named NSCAA and Parade All-American as a junior and senior.

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