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Photo Gallery: WNT Continues Algarve Cup Prep

Photos from the U.S. WNT's fourth day in Portugal ahead of the annual Algarve Cup. The USA takes on Norway on March 4 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.

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.

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.

WNT Caps Off European Trip with 1-0 Victory against England

MILTON KEYNES, England (Feb. 13, 2015) – Alex Morgan scored the 50th goal of her career and the U.S. Women’s National Team notched its first win of the year, defeating No. 6 -ranked England 1-0 in front of 14,369 spectators at stadiummk. 

The USA now looks ahead to the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal, opening against Norway on Wednesday, March 4 (2 p.m. ET; FOX Sports 1). The WNT’s first home game of the year is April 4 against New Zealand at Busch Stadium in St. Louis (live on FOX Sports 1), where more than 28,000 tickets have already been sold (TICKETS).

The U.S. improved to 8-3-1 all-time against England. Seven of those eight wins have come by shutout.

The United States had many other moments to add to the scoring column, earning 10 corner kicks and a significant advantage in possession. However, the U.S. could not quite capitalize and England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley had a strong performance that included five saves.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Alex Morgan (Lauren Holiday), 25th minute: Morgan Brian started the sequence with a quick pass from the right flank to Holiday, who then crossed left-footed to Alex Morgan in the middle of the box. Morgan rose over England captain Steph Houghton and headed the ball toward the left of the frame. Goalkeeper Karen Bardley got her right glove on the shot, but it was not enough to prevent the ball from crossing the goal line as the USA scored the only goal it would need. USA 1, ENG 0 (SEE GOAL) (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
ENG – Steph Houghton, 21st minute: In one of the USA’s first attacking sequences in the first half, Morgan Brian collected the ball at the edge of the box and ripped a shot. However, England’s captain Houghton lunged in for the block and denied the opportunity. 

ENG – Karen Bardsley, 40th minute: USA right back Ali Krieger received the ball from Abby Wambach at the edge of the box and tried to sneak a shot past Bardsley at the near right post, only to see Bardsley cover the space well for the save.

ENG – Steph Houghton, 45th minute, +1: Left back Meghan Klingenberg crossed a dangerous ball into the box with Abby Wambach lurking in front of the goal. Instead, Houghton positioned herself in between to deflect the cross just wide right of the frame.

USA – Ashlyn Harris, 56th minute: Until this point, England was without a shot on frame, but Fran Kirby ended that stretch with a pacey strike from well outside the box. Harris stretched for the clutch save, parrying the ball just enough to push it off the crossbar. That left a rebound opportunity, which Jodie Taylor got on the end of and placed into the back of the net. However, the assistant referee ruled that Taylor was offside, nullifying the goal.

ENG – Karen Bardsley, 62nd minute: Alex Morgan looked to add to her goals total, escaping some contact from Laura Bassett and finding enough space to let off a left-footed shot toward the right post. Morgan did not quite get everything behind it, and Bardsley collected with the save to her left.

USA – Ali Krieger, 90th minute, +4: England had one final moment to squeeze out an equalizer, but on Eniola Aluko’s cross from the right side into the six-yard box, Krieger headed clear to maintain the shutout.

Milestone Watch:

  • With her 50th goal, Alex Morgan is now the 10th WNT player to reach that milestone. Morgan is now three goals behind ninth-place Carin Gabarra (53 goals from 1987-1996).
  • Abby Wambach became the sixth WNT player to earn 200 starts, joining Kristine Lilly (330), Christie Rampone (270), Julie Foudy (260), Mia Hamm (247) and Joy Fawcett (234). Wambach has now earned 234 caps, which also ranks sixth all-time.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT returns to action at the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal, starting against Norway on Wednesday, March 4. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. ET at Vila Real de San Antonio.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Additional Notes:

  • Head coach Jill Ellis made two starting lineup changes from the USA’s previous match against No. 3-ranked France.
  • Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris earned her second straight cap and appeared for the sixth time in her career.
  • The back line included the center back pairing of Becky Sauerbrunn and Whitney Engen, Meghan Klingenberg on the left and Ali Krieger on the right. Krieger earns her first start of the year after coming off the bench against France.
  • The midfield in the USA’s 4-4-2 included Lauren Holiday and Morgan Brian in the center, Carli Lloyd on the left and Christen Press on the right.
  • Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach were paired up top. Wambach, who was a second-half sub against France, wore the captain’s armband.
  • Defender Crystal Dunn made her first appearance of the year and collected the 24th cap of her career, replacing Klingenberg in the 79th minute.
  • In the waning moments, Amy Rodriguez entered for Morgan in the 90th minute and Kelley O’Hara replaced Press in the second minute of stoppage time. 

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. England
Date: Feb. 13, 2015
Competition: International Friendly 
Venue: stadiummk; Milton Keynes, England
Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET
Attendance: 14,369
Weather: 41 degrees; Scattered clouds 

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

USA – Alex Morgan (Lauren Holiday) 25th minute 

Lineups:
USA: 24-Ashlyn Harris; 11-Ali Krieger, 6-Whitney Engen, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 25-Meghan Klingenberg (22-Crystal Dunn, 79); 23-Christen Press (5-Kelley O’Hara, 90+2), 15-Morgan Brian, 12-Lauren Holiday, 10-Carli Lloyd; 13-Alex Morgan (8-Amy Rodriguez, 90), 20-Abby Wambach (capt.)
Subs Not Used: 7-Shannon Boxx, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 14-Julie Johnston, 16-Lori Chalupny, 17-Tobin Heath, 19-Rachel Van Hollebeke, 21-Alyssa Naeher, 26-Tori Huster
Head coach: Jill Ellis

ENG: 1-Karen Bardsley; 2-Alex Scott, 5-Steph Houghton (capt.), 6-Laura Bassett (19-Jessica Clarke, 90), 3-Demi Stokes (14-Alex Greenwood, 70); 7-Jordan Nobbs (16-Fara Williams, 81), 8-Jill Scott, 4-Jo Potter (20-Eni Aliko, 79), 11-Karen Carney; 9-Jodie Taylor (22-Lianne Sanderson, 81), 10-Fran Kirby,
Subs Not Used: 12-Gemma Bonner, 13-Siobhan Chamberlain, 15-Casey Stoney, 17-Katie Chapman, 18-Jade Moore, 21-Carly Telford
Head coach: Mark Sampson 

Stats Summary: USA / ENG
Shots: 12 / 3
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 10 / 2
Fouls: 3 / 7
Offside: 1 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Sandra Bastos (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Olga Almeida (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Maria Joao Freire (POR)
Fourth Official: Lorraine Clark (SCO)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Christen Press


Rodriguez has loads of international experience, having played in two FIFA youth Women's World Cups, five starts in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and two Olympics in 2008 and 2012. In the 2008 Summer Games, Rodriguez started the last five matches of the tournament. Her tremendous speed always causes problems for opponents as she can certainly stretch any defense. One of the USA's best scrappers in the box, she scored the lone goal in the second leg of the USA’s two-game playoff against Italy, a 1-0 victory, that clinched the berth to Germany.

Saw her first significant action for the full National Team in 2008 after playing in youth World Cups in 2004 and 2006 … First cap with the WNT came in 2005 when she was a senior in high school … 2012: Played in 29 matches, a career high, while starting five games … Scored nine goals with five assists … Tied a U.S. record with five goals in a match, all in the second half, when she came into the first match of the year at CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying against the Dominican Republic in Vancouver, Canada … All of her goals came as a substitute … Also scored against Brazil and nabbed the winning goal against Canada in the waning minutes of a 2-1 victory in a friendly in Sandy, Utah …  Played in four matches at the Olympics, all off the bench, and won her second Olympic gold medal … Played in all five games at CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying, which included three starts, and had six goals and three assists … 2011: Started all 18 games she played for the USA and saw 1,102 minutes of action … Scored four goals with three assists … Played in her first Women’s World Cup at the senior level, starting the first five matches of the tournament … 2010: Played in 17 matches, starting 11, and finished third on the team in scoring with seven goals (topping her career high of six achieved in 2008) and one assist … Scored her first career hat trick against Guatemala at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament, in which she played four games, starting three, and scored four times … Scored one of the biggest goals of her career in the second leg of the Women’s World Cup playoff series against Italy, pounding in the game-winner in a 1-0 victory on Nov. 27 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. … Started both legs of the playoff series and played all but five minutes over the two games … 2009: Started five of the seven games she played for the USA … 2008: Played in 26 matches while starting 11 … Scored her first two full international goals in the first match of the year against Canada and added another against Norway in the Algarve Cup … Made a strong run to earn a spot in the Olympic Team, then came off the bench in the first match before starting the final five games … Scored once at the Olympics, against New Zealand, but had two assists, including the pass on the game-winner to Carli Lloyd in the gold medal game … Scored six goals with seven assists on the year including two game-winners against Brazil in 1-0 victories at the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea and in a friendly match in Commerce City, Colo., before the Olympics … 2006: Earned three caps in 2006, all off the bench at the Algarve Cup … 2005: Earned two caps at the Algarve Cup, playing as a sub against Finland and Denmark … Worked her way from the U.S. U-17s to the U-19s to the U-21s to the full WNT during the course of a year from March of 2004 to March of 2005 … Youth National Teams: A member of the U.S. squad at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, she had scored 14 goals in total 20 matches for the U-20s in 2006 heading into the World Cup, where she scored two goals as the USA finished fourth … Finished her U-20 career with 11 goals in 19 U-20 international matches … Helped the USA qualify for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup by scoring four goals in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in Mexico in January of 2006 … Scored the first goal in the 3-2 championship game win over Canada … A member of the U.S. U-19 team that participated in the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand, she was the only uncapped player on the roster heading into the tournament … Scored in her first game in Thailand against South Korea and finished the tournament with two goals and two assists … Played on the USA’s 2005 Nordic Cup championship team in Sweden with the U-21s … Played with the U.S. U-16s and U-17s in 2001 and 2002 and started moving between the U-17s and U-19s in 2003 and 2004 … First Appearance: March 11, 2005, vs. Finland … First Goal: Jan. 16, 2008, vs. Canada.

2013: Allocated to the Seattle Reign for the inaugural season of the NWSL, but will miss the season due to pregnancy … 2011: Played 641 minutes over 10 matches for the Philadelphia Independence of the WPS, starting six, and scored two goals … Scored in both of Philadelphia’s playoff matches, tallying the second goal in the 2-0 victory over magicJack in the Super Semifinal and then equalized in the 88th minute of the championship game against the Western New York Flash, sending the game to OT before Philly eventually fell in penalty kicks … 2010: Had a breakout season with the Philadelphia Independence, leading the team in scoring with 12 regular season goals and six assists … Finished third in the league in goals … Scored the winning goal in the first round of the playoffs in overtime against the Washington Freedom to send her team to the Super Semifinal … Finished second on the team in minutes played with 2,001 … Named to the WPS Best XI and a starter in the WPS All-Star Game … 2009: The No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 WPS College Draft by the Boston Breakers for the inaugural WPS season in 2009 … Started 11 of the 17 games she played for the Breakers, scoring one goal … Traded to the Independence on Sept. 29, 2009, during the WPS offseason, along with the Breakers’ first-round draft pick (fifth overall), for Philadelphia’s two first round selections (second overall and 11th overall) in the 2010 draft … Youth: On the youth level, she played for West Coast SC from U-12 through U-14 before changing to the Laguna Hills Eclipse at the U-14 level … Won the state, regional and national title as U-15s and U-18s (in 2005) with the Eclipse.

 Full name is Amy Joy Rodriguez … Nickname is “A-Rod” … Graduated with degree in psychology from USC … Married former USC water polo player Adam Shilling in October of 2011 … Enjoys wakeboarding and camping with her family … Oldest of three children, her younger sister Lauren played club for West Coast FC and will attend her cross-town rival UCLA … Father is of Cuban descent, and she speaks a bit of Spanish and hopes to one day be fluent … Favorite band is Coldplay … Loves chocolate … Favorite soccer players are Lionel Messi and Robin van Persie … Is an excellent hair braider … Has recently taken up a new passion for reading … Favorite color is green … Enjoys shopping and getting her nails done … Says her favorite pet is her little sister, Lauren, who is known as “L-Rod.” Finished her college career as the fourth all-time leading scorer in school history at USC with 31 goals and 17 assists (79 points) … Twelve of her goals were game-winners … As a senior in 2008, she led the Trojans with eight goals in 20 games and was selected First-Team All-Pac-10 and a Third-Team NSCAA All-American, leading the USC to the NCAA Tournament … She missed the first three games of the season while at the Olympics … As a junior, she helped lead USC to its first NCAA title, starting 21 of 25 matches … She scored twice in the NCAA semifinal in a massive upset of UCLA … She was named to the All-NCAA Tournament Team and the Offensive MVP of the Final Four … Was Second-Team All-Pac 10 … Led the Trojans in scoring in 2007 with 10 goals and three assists on the way to a 20-3-1 record and the NCAA championship … As a sophomore in 2006, she missed USC's first four games while competing with the U.S. Under-20 National Team at the U-20 FIFA Women’s World Championships in Russia ... Started 14 of 16 games after her return, scoring the game-winning goal in USC's NCAA First Round upset of Santa Clara ... Finished with four goals and three assists ... Had a solid freshman year, leading the team in scoring with nine goals and seven assists while compiling a 13-6-2 record … She was named an NSCAA Third-Team All-American … Also named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-Pac 10 … She had four game-winning goals on the year … High School: Attended Santa Margarita Catholic High School but was home schooled for first semester of her senior year due to playing in the U-19 World Championship … The 2004 Gatorade and Parade Girls’ High School Player of the Year … Was also the NSCAA Player of the Year … The MVP of her high school team and an All-League and All-CIF selection as a junior and senior and team captain as a senior … The Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times Girls’ High School Player of the Year … Named an NSCAA and Parade All-American in 2003 and 2004 … Was the Female Athlete of the Year at SMCHS.
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