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Photo Gallery: WNT on the Pitch and with the Press

Photos from U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis's press conference and the team's final day of training before beginning the 22nd edition of the Algarve Cup against Norway on Wednesday afternoon. The game will be broadcast at 2 p.m. ET 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.

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.

Boxx has been one of the best defensive-oriented midfielders in the world since her excellent performance at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but has also been a vitally important part of the U.S. attack for her scoring and ability to set the team's ball-possession rhythm. Boxx surpassed 150 career caps in 2011 and started five matches at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, making the FIFA Women's World Cup All-Star Team.

Her rise to the National Team is a unique story in that she made the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team without ever previously earning a cap (the only player in history to do so) … Uncapped heading into the final two pre-2003 WWC matches, she was one of the revelations of the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup … Developed into one of the world’s best defensive midfielders and had started every game but one that she played since debuting in 2003 before hip and knee surgeries sidelined her in 2006 … She finished third in the voting for the 2005 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year … She had started 169 of her 180 career matches heading into 2013 … Has scored in five of the six matches she has played at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., just minutes from her hometown of Redondo Beach … 2012: Played in 27 games, starting 22 while scoring three goals with three assists … Suffered an injury early in the opening game of the 2012 Olympics, and missed the next four games, but recovered in time to start and play the entire championship match at Wembley Stadium in London, playing a key role in the USA winning its third consecutive Olympic gold medal … Played in four matches during Olympic qualifying, starting three … Scored the winning goal against Australia in a 2-1 victory at The Home Depot Center … 2011: Once again had a stellar year in the center of the midfield for the USA, starting all 17 games she played while scoring one goal (against Finland at the Algarve Cup) with two assists … Played 1,344 minutes and became one of just 16 players to surpass 150 caps for the USA … Started five matches at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, playing every minute, and was named to the FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team … Made the first penalty kick in the dramatic shootout triumph against Brazil in the quarterfinal … 2010: Started all 18 matches the USA played, one of just two players to do so, and her 1,399 minutes were third on the team … Scored one goal, the 21st of her career, in a win against Mexico … Had five assists on the year … Started all five matches at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament, registering two assists, and played all 180 minutes in the two-leg WWC playoff against Italy … 2009: Continued her consistent run in the center of the U.S. midfield by starting seven of the eight matches the USA played and playing in them all, scoring two goals … Scored the tying goal in regulation with just seconds left in the championship game of the Algarve Cup and opened the scoring with an early goal during a 4-0 win against Canada in Toronto … Led the USA in minutes played with 614 … 2008: Displayed the form that has made her one of the world’s best at her position, starting all 33 games she played … Finished second on the team in minutes played with 2,807 … Scored just one goal, but it was a crucial game-winner in a 1-0 victory against China in January to give the USA the Four Nations Tournament title … Played every minute of all six matches at the 2008 Olympics and was one of the USA’s most important players … Assisted on the game-winning goal in the Olympic quarterfinal win against Canada … Was on the 10-player short list for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year … 2007: Returned to the U.S. team at the Algarve Cup after recovering from major knee surgery, starting against Finland in the second group match and playing 90 minutes before coming off the bench in the final two games … Tallied her first goal of the year, and first since her injury, against Japan with a header in a 4-1 win on July 28 at Spartan Stadium … Started 14 of the 18 games she played, scoring four goals with three assists … Scored against England in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal … She started four of the five games in the Women’s World Cup but was given an undeserved red card in the semifinal against Brazil and was suspended for the third-place match … 2006: Started all three games at the Four Nations Tournament in China, helping the USA to the title, while scoring on a header against Norway … Started all four games at the Algarve Cup and was named Tournament MVP for the second time (also won the award in 2004) … After recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum in her hip, she tore the MCL and ACL in her right knee during practice in mid-July at Residency Training Camp and was out for eight months … 2005: Started all four games at the Algarve Cup, playing all but 23 minutes of the tournament … Started all nine games the USA played, was third in minutes played, and scored one goal (against Iceland) with one assist … 2004: Started 31 of the 32 matches she played and was second on the team in minutes played with 2,714 … Scored eight goals with five assists, including a goal in Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy’s last game on Dec. 8 … Scored her first career hat trick against Trinidad and Tobago at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Costa Rica … Started all six games at the 2004 Olympics, scored the opening goal of the tournament against Greece and had the game-winning assist against Japan in the quarterfinal … She captained the FIFA Women’s World All-Star Team against Germany in Paris in May, leading her team to a 3-2 victory …  Named MVP of the Algarve Cup in March as the USA defeated Norway 4-1 in the title game … Finished seventh in the voting for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year … 2003: Played in the final two matches before the Women’s World Cup, her first two career caps and starts, and scored goals in both games … Started all five games in which she played at the 2003 Women’s World Cup … Scored against Sweden in the opening game of the tournament and also against Canada to help clinch the third-place match, which was the 1,000th goal in U.S. WNT history … She was one of three U.S. players named to the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team … Set a U.S. record by scoring in her first three matches, against Costa Rica and Mexico right before the Women’s World Cup, and then in the tournament opener against Sweden … 2002: Called into training camp in January in Charleston, S.C. … 2001: Participated in training camp in October in San Diego, Calif. … Youth National Team: A member of the U.S. Under-21 National Team pool during 1995-96 … First Appearance: Sept. 1, 2003, vs. Costa Rica … First Goal: Sept. 1, 2003, vs. Costa Rica.

2013: Allocated to the Chicago Red Stars for the inaugural NWLS season … 2011: Signed with magicJack for the 2011 WPS season and played 833 minutes in 10 games while starting them all … Helped the club make a run to the playoffs in the second half of the season and win the quarterfinal match against the Boston Breakers … Played all 90 minutes for magicJack in both playoff matches … 2010: Started the season with St. Louis Athletic, playing every minute of six games while scored one goal with three assists, but after the team ceased operations, she signed with FC Gold Pride, helping the squad to the WPS regular season title and championship … Ended up starting 19 of the 20 total games she played … Totaled one goal with five assists on the season … A WPS All-Star Game starter and the fifth overall vote-getter … 2009: Allocated to Los Angeles Sol for the inaugural WPS season in 2009 where she was the team captain …  Started 18 of 19 matches she played for the Sol, scoring three goals with three assists … Named to the WPS First Team and played in the WPS All-Star Game … Her tremendous play in midfield all season long helped the Sol to a first place finish during the regular season with a 12-3-5 record and a berth in the WPS Championship Game … 2003: Had her best WUSA season with the New York Power, starting all 21 games and scoring one goal … Named to the All-WUSA First-Team … Named to the WUSA All-Star Team … 2002: Played in 20 games, starting 15 for the San Diego Spirit … Recorded two goals and two assists … Traded to the New York Power on Sept. 30 … 2001: Was drafted in the third round, 19th overall in the 2001 inaugural draft by the San Diego Spirit … The iron-woman of the Spirit, Boxx started all 21 matches and missed only 20 minutes of action all season long … Led the team in fouls committed (48) and fouls suffered (42) … Scored three goals and added five assists for 11 points … Captained the Spirit in the one match Julie Foudy missed due to National Team commitments. … Etc.: Played with women’s club Ajax of Los Angeles in 1994 when she was in high school and in 2000 and 2005 … Also played with the Boston Renegades in 1999 … Did a stint with Saarbrücken of the German Women’s Bundesliga in 1999-00 … Played youth club with the Torrance United Waves from 1988-94, helping the team to regional titles in 1993 and 1994, earning tournament MVP honors both years. 

Full name is Shannon Leigh Boxx … Nickname is “Boxxy” … Graduated from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters in 1999 with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and African-American studies … Revealed in 2012 that she had Lupus, but has coped with the disease extremely well and has become a spokesperson for the cause … Her sister Gillian won a gold medal in softball at the 1996 Olympics and is now a firefighter in San Jose, Calif. … She and her sister have identical Olympic rings tattoos on their ankles … Also played softball, volleyball and basketball in high school … The Ocean League Scholar Athlete in 1995 and her high school’s female athlete of the year … A three year honor roll member in both high school and at Notre Dame … Participated in the Avon 3-Day Walk for Breast Cancer Research from Santa Barbara to Malibu, Calif. … Favorite meal is Mom’s homemade chili … Always tries to eat banana pancakes the morning before a game … Loves stale Peeps … Favorite non-soccer athlete is Michael Jordan … Prior to breaking into the National Team, she was accepted into a master’s program for clinical psychology at Pepperdine in Malibu, Calif.

Attended Notre Dame from 1995-99 … Led Fighting Irish to 89-8-4 record during her four-year career … Ranks among top 15 in school history in six career categories – consecutive games played (101 – tied/third), total games played (101 – tied/fourth), assists (57 – sixth), points (135 – 12th) and goals (39 – 15th) … One of 12 players in school history with at least 30 career goals and 30 career assists, as well as 11 Fighting Irish players who have appeared in every game of their Notre Dame careers … A member of the Soccer America All-Freshman Team in 1995 and an All-Big East selection in 1995, 1996 and 1997 … As a freshman in 1995, she helped Notre Dame to its first NCAA women’s soccer title in addition to College Cup berths in 1996 (title game) and 1997 (semifinals) and four Big East titles … Earned Big East Scholar-Athlete Award in 1998 … High School: Attended South Torrance High School from 1991-95 … A Parade High School All-American in 1995. 

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