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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.

Photo Gallery: WNT Gets Out on the Practice Pitch

Photos from the U.S. WNT's second day of training in Portugal ahead of the annual Algarve Cup, which begins on March 4, when the USA takes on Norway in its opening Group B match. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and will also be available on FOX Sports Go. Fans can also follow U.S. Soccer's coverage on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt, @ussoccer_esp and Instagram @ussoccer_wnt.

Photo Gallery: WNT Players Stretch Their Legs in Portugal

Photos from the U.S. WNT's first day of training in Portugal ahead of the annual Algarve Cup, which begins on March 4, when the USA takes on Norway in its opening Group B match. 

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.

U.S. MNT and WNT 2015 Nike Away Kit Debuts This March

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CHICAGO (Feb. 16, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams have unveiled a bold new away Nike kit that features a stylish gradient design.

The WNT will introduce the kit when it travels to Portugal for the 2015 Algarve Cup from March 4-11, and the MNT will wear the kit for the first time on March 25 against Denmark.


One of the USA's fastest players and hardest runners, Morgan has become a consistent scoring threat with her breakout 2012 campaign. She scored 14 goals in a 12-game stretch from January to late May of 2012, including three straight two-goal efforts. She earned her first career hat trick on March 7, 2012, during a 4-0 victory against Sweden in the third-place game of the Algarve Cup. Morgan tallied one of the most important goals in recent U.S. history when she scored the winning goal in stoppage time to give the U.S. a 1-0 victory against Italy on Nov. 20, 2010, in the first leg of the FIFA Women's World Cup Playoff.

She burst onto the international scene at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, helping the USA to the championship and scoring the winning goal in the final against Korea DPR … 2012: Had one of the best scoring years in U.S. history, pounding in 28 goals with 21 assists to lead the team in both categories … Was named the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year for the first time … Her goal total was the third-best in U.S. history behind only Michelle Akers (39 in 1991) and Abby Wambach (31 in 2004) … Her assist total was tied for second-best in U.S. history behind only Mia Hamm (22 in 2004) and tied with Carin Gabarra (21 in 1991) … Finished third in the voting for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year and attended the Gala Awards ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland … Became a starter for the first time in the fifth game of the year, a 4-0 victory against Canada in the championship of the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Vancouver, Canada … She torched Canada with two goals and two assists and would go on to start every game but one the rest of the year … Ended the year with 31 matches played and 27 starts … Started all six games at the 2012 Olympics, her first, playing all but 27 minutes of the tournament … Scored three goals in the Olympics, two against France in the opening match, including the crucial equalizer to make it 2-2, and one of the most dramatic goals in women’s soccer history in the 123rd minute of the semifinal against Canada … The game-winner against Canada at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, was the latest goal ever scored in FIFA history … Her looping header off a cross from Heather O’Reilly came just moments before the final whistle … Also had four assists at the Olympics, which included setting up Abby Wambach goals against North Korea and in the quarterfinal against New Zealand, and the first goal in the Olympic Final to Carli Lloyd … Played in four games at CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying, starting just the final, and had four goals and six assists … Her two goals against Canada in Olympic qualifying started a three-game streak in which she scored two goals in each game, which included a last-gasp winner against New Zealand during a 2-1 victory in front of a sold-out crowd at FC Dallas Stadium … In the third-place match of the Algarve Cup against Sweden in Portugal, she registered her first career hat trick … Had nine multiple-goal games on the year, including her second career hat trick, which came against Ireland in Portland, Ore., as she scored three times in a 21-minute span at the end of the first half … Scored in 18 of her 31 matches … Was named the FOX Soccer Player of the Year for men or women … 2011: Had a breakout performance at the Women’s World Cup, her first at the senior level, when she came off the bench for five of the six games and became, along with Abby Wambach, one of two U.S. players to score in the World Cup semifinal and championship game … Scored the third and game-clinching goal in the 3-1 victory over France in the semifinal and then tallied against Japan in the final to open the scoring … Also had an assist to Wambach in the championship game, becoming the first U.S. player to get a goal and an assist in the World Cup final … Played in 19 total matches, starting just two, but scored six goals with two assists … Scored three goals at the Algarve Cup in Portugal and was given the Top Scorer Award … Named one of 10 players on the short list for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year … 2010: Earned her first career cap on March 31 against Mexico in Salt Lake City, coming on at halftime in a match played on a snow-covered field … Played in eight matches, all off the bench, and scored one of the most important goals in recent U.S. history when she came into the first leg of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Playoff against Italy in Padova on Nov. 20 and scored the winning goal in stoppage time to give the USA a 1-0 victory … Scored her first career goal on Oct. 2 against China in Chester, Pa., tallying the tying goal in the 1-1 draw with seven minutes left … Was the youngest player on the U.S. team at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament where she played in four games and scored two goals against Guatemala and Costa Rica … 2009: Earned her first call-up to the senior side in December … Youth National Teams: Finished her U-20 career with 10 career caps and five goals … Four of those goals came at the 2008 FIFA Women’s World Cup where she won the Silver Ball as the second-best player in the tournament and Bronze Shoe as the third-leading scorer … Scored against France, twice against Argentina and then in the championship game against Korea DPR in the 42nd minute after a slaloming run … Played in four games at the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament, scoring one goal against Cuba while picking up three assists … First Appearance: March 31, 2010, vs. Mexico … First Goal: Oct. 2, 2010, vs. China.
Allocated to Portland Thorns FC for the 2013 NWSL season … 2012: Played several matches with the Seattle Sounders in the W-League … 2011: Taken first overall in the 2011 WPS Draft by the Western New York Flash and helped the club to the WPS title in its first year … Played 689 minutes in 13 games for the Flash, starting six, and had four goals (tied for second-most of any WNT player) with three assists … Played 106 minutes of the championship game during the penalty kick win against Philadelphia … Club: Captained the 2006 Cal South ’89 State Team to the U-17 national title … Played club for Cypress Elite from ages 14-18 … Played a few matches at the U-20 level for the San Diego Surf.
Full name is Alexandra Patricia Morgan … Nicknames are “Al” or “Ali” … Graduated in December 2010, a full semester early, with a degree in political economy … Appeared in the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in body paint … Walked in the Just Dance 4 runway show during New York Fashion Week in the fall of 2012 and would love to have the experience again … Has a cat named Brooklyn that has six toes on both front feet … Enjoys shopping … Enjoys doing Vinyasa Yoga and recently started doing spin classes, especially enjoys FlyWheel … Supports Barcelona but enjoys watching all good soccer … Enjoys playing and watching tennis, especially the majors … Enjoys snowboarding and wakeboarding … Lettered in track for two years in high school, running the 100-meter, the 200-meter and competing in the high jump … She also played volleyball in high school, in which she lettered twice, and was a right outside hitter but had to stop playing due to soccer commitments … Studied in Madrid in the summer of 2009 and speaks a bit of Spanish … Has a license to drive a motorcycle, but doesn’t … Obsessed with the number 13 … Favorite TV shows are “Modern Family” and “The Amazing Race.”Concluded her college career at California in the fall of 2010 tied as the third all-time scorer in school history with 45 goals and in sole possession of third place in points (107) … Had she not missed numerous games as a senior while playing for the National Team, likely would have finished atop both lists … Played in 67 games in her college career, starting 61, and fired 272 shots … She was a four-time All-Pac-10 selection … As a senior, she played in only 12 games due to National Team commitments but still led the Bears in goals (14) and points (30) and was first in the nation for the majority of the season in goal scoring … She capped off her career by being named on NSCAA First-Team All-American … She was a finalist for the Hermann Trophy as a senior despite only playing in 12 matches … One of four finalists for the Honda Award, given to the best overall candidate in each sport … She led her Bears to the NCAA Tournament in each of her four years, advancing to the second round twice … As a junior in 2009, she led Cal in goals (14), assists (8), points (36), shots (97) and shots on goal (55) and tallied three game-winning goals … As a sophomore in 2008 she led Cal in points (23), goals (9), shots (76) and shots on goal (39) … As a freshman in 2007, she started 15 of the 17 games she played in but missed four games at the beginning of the season due to a sprained ankle … Led Cal in points (18) and goals (8) … Tallied game-winning goals against San Diego State, Saint Mary’s and No. 1 Santa Clara … Posted a hat trick against Saint Mary’s and had two goals at Arizona State … In the spring, she scored a hat trick in Cal’s 3-2 win against North Carolina … High School: Attended Diamond Bar High School where she was an NSCAA All-American and a three-time all-league pick.
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