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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.

Wambach, Rampone, and O'Hara Named Honorary Starters for 57th Annual Daytona 500

CHICAGO (Feb. 15, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s National Team has been named the Honorary Starter of the 57th Annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series set to take place on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. ET at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. NASCAR’s biggest race will be broadcast live on FOX, FOX Deportes and can be heard on the radio through MRN Radio and SiriusXM.

Forward Abby Wambach, defender Kelley O’Hara and WNT captain Christie Rampone will serve as the team’s representatives during the event and be the day’s Honorary Starters for the 200-lap, 500-mile race that kicks off the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Additionally, the trio will be introduced at the driver’s meeting and participate in pre-race ceremonies.

“We’re honored to welcome three members of the U.S. Women’s National Team as Honorary Starters for the DAYTONA 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “We’re looking forward to have these phenomenal athletes wave the green flag on both ‘The Great American Race’ as well as the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.”

This summer, the USA will face Australia, Sweden and Nigeria in Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The USA opens against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium, followed by Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg and Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver. 

The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup runs from June 6-July 5 and all 52 games will be shown live on FOX, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and on tablets and mobile devices through the FOX Sports GO app and FOXSportsGO.com.

Past DAYTONA 500 Honorary Starters include actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Richard Petty, NFL legend Ray Lewis and comedian Whoopi Goldberg.

Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long and follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

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!

Photo Gallery: WNT Training Camp Picks Up Intensity

Photos from the U.S. WNT's training sessions throughout Friday, Jan. 16. The WNT's January Camp runs through the end of the month before the team heads to Europe in early February for a pair of friendly matches against France on Feb. 8 in Lorient and against England on Feb. 13.


The U.S. captain is still one of her country's fastest, strongest and most tenacious players. The central defender became the first U.S. player to compete for four Olympic teams during the 2012 London Olympics. She also is the most-capped U.S. WNT Olympian, earning her record 17th cap during a 4-2 victory against France on July 25. The only mother on the team, she has two daughters and has rebounded strong from both pregnancies to seal her place as one of the most legendary players in U.S. history.

A high-scoring forward in college, she converted to defender for the USA when she made her debut in 1997 ... Named captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2008 … Is one of two players from a small soccer school ever to make an impact on the National Team ... Formerly Christie Pearce, she switched the back of her jersey to her married name in 2004 … After the retirement of Kristine Lilly in 2010, she became the most capped player on the U.S. team and the only active player remaining from the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team … Currently the most capped active player in the world … 2012: One of three U.S. players to play in all 32 matches, starting 31 … Has two assists during the year, upping her career total to 11 … Served her fifth year as captain and led the USA to its third consecutive Olympic gold medal … Played in her fourth Olympics, most of any U.S. player … One of three U.S. players to play every minute of all six games at the Olympics … Also played every minute of all five games at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament as the USA won the regional title in Vancouver, Canada … During 2012, she passed Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm to become the second most-capped player in U.S. and world history with a remarkable 276 games played and currently sits behind only Kristine Lilly (352) … 2011: Once again anchored the U.S. back line from her center back position, starting all 18 games she played while finishing third on the team in minutes played with 1,590 … Played in her fourth Women’s World Cup, joining just four other U.S. players to have accomplished that feat … She was the most capped player in the Women’s World Cup and ended the year with 244 games played, good for fourth all-time in U.S. history … Started all six games in Germany and was one of four players to play every minute … 2010: Gave birth to her second child, Reece, on March 6 and played her first club match exactly three months later on June 6 … Made her return to the U.S. lineup July 17, coming off the bench against Sweden in East Hartford, Conn., and slotted back into the starting lineup after that … Played 10 total games for the USA, starting nine, including all five at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament, where she played every minute … Also played every minute of both legs of the Women’s World Cup playoff against Italy ….2009: Played every minute of all five matches she started before taking a break at the end of the summer due to her pregnancy … 2008: Earned her 200th cap against New Zealand in the final first-round match at the 2008 Olympics, becoming the sixth U.S. player to hit the 200-cap mark … Had a stellar year at centerback captaining the National Team, starting all 35 matches in which she played and setting a U.S. record for minutes played in a calendar year at 3,066 … She was the first player ever to play more than 3,000 minutes in a year … Missed some training time after recovering from surgery to remove her gall bladder in May but did not miss any game action … Started all six games at the 2008 Olympics, playing every minute … The Beijing Olympics was her sixth world championship for the USA … 2007: Started all 20 games in which she played, playing all but 59 minutes of those games … Was the most-capped defender and second most-capped player on the 2007 Women’s World Cup team … Started all six games of the Women’s World Cup, her third WWC tournament, but the first time she had played in every match of the competition … 2006: Made her return to the National Team and played against Norway at the Four Nations Tournament in China just 112 days after having a baby … Played in 20 games, starting 17 … 2005: Took the year off to have her first child, Rylie Rampone, who was born Sept. 29 … 2004: Had a stellar year for the USA, starting 26 of the 28 matches she played, including every minute of the five matches in which she appeared at the 2004 Olympics ... Became the fifth most-capped defender in U.S. history during the year … 2003: Continued her steady play after making a complete comeback from ACL surgery, starting 15 of the 17 games in which she played … Started all four Women’s World Cup matches in which she played, playing every minute of those games … Became the 15th U.S. player to earn 100 caps when she played against Brazil on July 13 in New Orleans … She captained the USA for the first time in that match … 2002: Called into two training camps but did not play for the USA while recovering from ACL surgery … 2001: Played in four matches for the USA during a limited schedule, starting two … Missed the 2001 Nike U.S. Women’s Cup after tearing her right ACL while playing for the New York Power … 2000: Was one of the USA’s most consistent players, earning the starting spot at right back … In a breakout year, she started 30 of the 33 matches in which she played, including all five games at the Olympics and played 2,540 minutes … Scored two of her four career goals, both against Iceland on April 5, in Davidson, N.C. … 1999: A member of the 1999 Women’s World Cup championship team, she played in one match against Korea DPR ... The versatile defender played in 18 matches for the USA in 1999, starting eight ... 1998: Solidified her position as a solid starter in the defense, starting 14 of her 19 matches ... Started both matches as the USA took the gold medal at the 1998 Goodwill Games ... 1997: Started 16 of 18 games for the USA in 1997, her first year with the National Team, finishing third on the team in minutes played ... First trained with the USA at training camp in San Diego in January ... Traveled with the USA to Australia in February of 1997, making her debut against the Matildas on Feb. 28 in Melbourne ... Played the second half in Melbourne, then all 180 minutes of matches in Bathurst and Canberra, and her international career was off and running ... Played right midfield in all three games at Nike U.S. Cup 1997, scoring the 100th U.S. Women’s Cup goal against Australia in Ambler, Pa. ... First Appearance: Feb. 28, 1997, vs. Australia ... First Goal: May 2, 1997, vs. Korea Rep.

2013: Allocated to her home state Sky Blue FC for the inaugural NWSL season … 2011: Signed with magicJack for the 2011 WPS season and played every minute of all 11 games she played in helping the club to a playoff berth … Had one assist … 2010: Played in 16 matches for Sky Blue, starting 14 … Named as a WPS All-Star Game reserve … 2009: Allocated to Sky Blue in her home state of New Jersey for the inaugural WPS season in 2009 … She helped lead underdog Sky Blue to the inaugural WPS championship, taking over as head coach with two games left during what was a tumultuous regular season and leading the team to one regular season win, the final playoff berth and three dramatic road wins in the playoffs to claim the title … Missed a few games early in the WPS season due to injury but ended up starting 14 games and was a WPS All-Star, starting in the All-Star Game … Named the WPS Sportswoman of the Year … Played a key role in shutting out a powerful Los Angeles Sol attack in the 1-0 WPS title game victory, all while almost three months pregnant … 2003: With the New York Power of the WUSA, started and played every minute of 18 matches, recording one assist … 2002: Recovered from ACL surgery at the end of the 2001 season to play 1,699 minutes over 19 matches, all of which she started … 2001: Was a founding player in the WUSA for the New York Power …  Helped lead the Power to the WUSA playoffs before tearing her ACL just two minutes into the third to last match of the regular season … Started 18 matches for the Power and played every minute until her injury … 1998: Played several matches for the New Jersey Stallions of the W-League during the summer of 1998 … Youth: Played youth club with the Twin County Saints.

Full name is Christie Patricia Rampone (née Pearce) … Married Chris Rampone on Nov. 9, 2001, in Jersey City, N.J. … Graduated from Monmouth with a degree in special education and has her teaching credential ... Received an Honorary Doctorate from Monmouth in Public Services in May of 2005 … Also volunteered as a soccer coach and basketball coach at the middle school where she was student teaching ... Worked in classroom situations with communication-handicapped children ... A lifetime New Jersey resident, she moved to California for two years to train for the 2007 WWC and the 2008 Olympics but now is back home for good … Has a black Labrador named Tiger, who serves as her alarm clock and running buddy and a yellow lab named Murphy, who likes to escape from the backyard … Owns a self-storage facility in Manchester, N.J., called Airship Self Storage (call if you need a unit) … Is sometimes known as Captain America and the Ultimate Soccer Mom … Has a website at www.christierampone.com

Was a two-sport star at Monmouth University in New Jersey … Is the school’s all-time leading scorer in soccer … Was the starting point guard on the basketball team, but opted to miss numerous games during her senior season while training and traveling with the National Team ... Started all 80 games in her soccer career, scoring 79 career goals with 54 assists for 212 career points ... Was a First-Team All-Mid-Atlantic Region selection and 1995 and 1996 Northeast Conference Player of the Year in soccer ... Led Monmouth to a 51-11 mark over her last three seasons, including a 17-5 record as a senior ... Ranked third nationally in scoring as a senior with 75 points, fourth in goals with 29, seventh in assists with 17 and second in game-winning goals with nine ... Monmouth’s record holder for goals, assists and points in a season, she posted 10 multiple-goal games as a senior ... Finished eighth in the nation in 1995 with 19 goals and 15 assists for 53 points ... Co-captained the basketball team as a senior and was considered the quickest player on the team, a tenacious one-on-one defender and an excellent passer ... Played both the point guard and shooting guard positions for Monmouth ... Had a career-high 22 points vs. Rider during the 1995-96 season, picked up a career-high 13 assists vs. Marist that same season, and had a career-best 10 steals vs. Fairleigh Dickinson the year before ... Holds the school record for steals in a season (79) as well as in a game and a career ... Also played in two lacrosse games for Monmouth as a senior ... High School: Heralded as the finest athlete Ocean County has ever produced, earning all-league honors in basketball, soccer and field hockey ... As a senior at Point Pleasant Boro High School, she became the first person to lead the Shore Conference in scoring in soccer, basketball and field hockey ... Scored 2,190 career points in high school basketball ... Was named New Jersey Female Athlete of the Year by the New Jersey Nets as a senior.

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