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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.

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!

Displaying one of the best work rates in the world, O'Reilly has been thundering up and down the right flank for the U.S. team since 2002 when she was only 17. O'Reilly holds the U.S. record for consecutive games played with 74 - a stretch that ran from Aug. 12, 2007, to Jan. 21, 2011, breaking the previous mark set by U.S. legend Carla Overbeck (63 games from 1993-96). O'Reilly scored her first career hat trick on Jan. 20, 2012, during CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying against the Dominican Republic in Vancouver, Canada.

Played in her first world championship at the senior level at the 2004 Olympics and was the second-youngest player on the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team … The youngest player named to the 2002 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup roster and the youngest gold medal winner on the 2004 Olympic team … In the 2000s, she won a championship in eight of the 10 years of the decade … 2012: Played 1,458 minutes in 27 matches, the second-most of any year in her WNT career, and started 17 … Had six goals and 13 assists – the second-most on the U.S. team – in what was her second-best scoring year ever … Played in four matches at the Olympics, starting two, and had one of the biggest assists in U.S. history with her cross to Alex Morgan for the game-winning goal in 123rd minute of the Olympic semifinal win against Canada … She came into the semifinal during overtime in the 101st minute and ran down Abby Wambach’s pass on the right wing before sending in the fateful service … Started three games at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament and had four goals and three assists … Registered her first career hat trick against the Dominican Republic in the first match of Olympic qualifying … 2011: Started all 18 games she played for the USA and her 1,418 minutes were fourth-best on the team … Scored three goals with three assists to hit 30 career goals and tie Brandi Chastain for 13th on the USA’s all-time scoring list … Started five games at the Women’s World Cup, her second World Cup tournament at the senior level, and scored one goal with one assist … Her fantastic shot from distance against Colombia in the USA’s second group game was one of the 10 finalists for FIFA Goal of the Year and gave her three career goals in the WWC … Missed the USA’s final group match against Sweden at the WWC with a minor injury … Passed 150 career caps, becoming just the 16th U.S. player to reach the mark … 2010: Tied Carla Overbeck for a U.S. record by playing in 62 consecutive matches in a streak that dates to 2007 … Played in all 18 matches for the USA, starting 17, while scoring two goals with six assists … Scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory against China in Kennesaw, Ga., in October and scored in a 4-0 triumph against Germany in May … With 27 career goals at the end of 2010, she moved into the list of top-15 all-time goal scorers in U.S. history … Played in all five matches at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament while registering three assists … Started both legs against Italy in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup playoff series … 2009: Played in all eight matches for the WNT, starting seven, and had a team-leading three assists … Moved into the top 25 in all-time caps … 2008: Had her best scoring year ever for the WNT (10 goals, 10 assists), becoming just the sixth female player in U.S. history to tally double figures in goals and assists in a calendar year … In 2008, she more than doubled her career assists … Started 33 of the 36 matches she played, leading the team in games played, while earning her minutes almost entirely at flank midfield … Scored against Italy at the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea … Got a key goal in the victory against Costa Rica during Olympic qualifying that sent the USA to China … Started all six games at the Olympics and was the second leading scorer for the USA with two goals and three assists … She got a goal in the first-round win against New Zealand, which was the fastest goal in Olympics history coming just 40 seconds into the game … Also scored in the Olympic semifinal against Japan, where she also had two assists to Angela Hucles … Had a huge assist in the quarterfinal win against Canada … Scored the winning goal in the USA’s final match of the year, a 1-0 victory against China in Detroit … Scored four times on the USA’s Achieve Your Gold Tour following the Olympics … 2007: Played in 22 games, starting 15, and had her best-ever scoring year to date with seven goals … Scored twice at the 2007 Women’s World Cup, including a crucial tying goal against Korea DPR in the first match of the tournament … Played in all six games at the WWC, starting five … Also scored against Norway in the third-place match … Scored one of her best goals on a blast against Canada on May 12 … Also scored against England at the Four Nations Tournament in January … 2006: Played in 14 matches, starting 11, and scored three goals … Played in three matches at the Four Nations Tournament, starting one … Had an excellent tournament in starting all four matches at the Algarve Cup and played 90 minutes for the first time against Denmark, a match in which she scored twice ... It was the first two-goal game of her career … Also scored against Ireland … 2005: Played in all four matches at the Algarve Cup, starting one, which was her first start since breaking her leg in June of 2003 … Played in seven matches during the year, starting three, and scored one goal, that against Ukraine in Portland, Ore. … 2004: Named U.S. Soccer’s Young Female Athlete of the Year … Played in 12 matches off the bench and made a late run during the Olympic Residency Camp to earn a spot on the roster for Greece … Picked up two assists in her first match after being named to the Olympic roster during a 3-1 win against Australia … Scored one of the most important goals in U.S. history in overtime against Germany in the Olympic semifinal off an assist from Mia Hamm to help the USA to a 2-1 win … 2003: Earned 10 caps and scored two goals, but suffered a broken fibula in her left leg on June 14 against Ireland in Salt Lake City just 74 seconds into the game after colliding with the Irish goalkeeper while scoring her third full National Team goal … Did not recover sufficiently in time to make the Women’s World Cup Team … 2002: Played in eight games, including her debut against Sweden at the Algarve Cup, and scored her first full international goal against Italy at the Nike U.S. Women’s Cup in Cary, N.C. … At the age of 17, she earned four caps at the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March of 2002, playing against Sweden, England, Norway and Denmark … Youth National Teams: A key player on the USA’s 2002 U-19 World Championship team, scoring four goals with seven assists to help the USA to the first-ever world championship for youth women … Played a part in the golden goal against Canada in the USA’s 1-0 win in the championship game, keeping a cross alive with a hard near-post run before Lindsay Tarpley finished it to end the game … She scored 18 goals in 18 U-19 internationals … A member of the 2002 Under-19 CONCACAF Qualifying Team, she helped the USA qualify for the 2002 FIFA Under-19 Women’s World Championship, playing in all three matches and scoring seven goals with four assists ... A member of the USA’s 2005 U-21 Nordic Cup title team, scoring four goals in four matches including one in the championship game win against Norway … First Appearance: March 1, 2002, vs. Sweden … First Goal: Oct. 6, 2002, vs. Italy.
Allocated to the Boston Breakers for the 2013 NWSL season … 2012: Signed with the Boston Breakers for the 2012 WPS season before the league folded … 2011: Played 929 minutes for her home state Sky Blue FC, starting 10 of the 11 matches she played … Scored one goal with one assist … 2010: Started all 22 games she played in for Sky Blue while playing every minute of those games … Scored one goal with a team-leading five assists and was named to the WPS All-Star Team … 2009: Allocated to Sky Blue FC in her home state of New Jersey for the inaugural WPS season … Played every minute in each of her 17 matches during the regular season, helping Sky Blue to a fourth-place finish in the league and the final playoff berth … She then helped lead Sky Blue to an emotional three-game playoff run, winning all three matches on the road, and scored the winning goal in the WPS championship game victory against Los Angeles … Named MVP of the WPS Championship Game but, in the post-game interview, deferred the honor to Christie Rampone … Youth: Played from 1994-99 for the East Brunswick Dynamite, then switched to the PDA Splash for two years and the PDA Torpedoes for one year …Won state titles with the Dynamite in 1994 and 1995 and with the Splash in 2001.
Full name is Heather Ann O’Reilly … Married to former North Carolina lacrosse player Dave Werry in the fall of 2011 in Chapel Hill, N.C. … Nickname is “HAO” (her initials pronounced HEY-oh) … Majored in education at North Carolina … Graduated from UNC in the winter of 2009 after completing her student teaching requirements … Played point guard for her high school varsity basketball team as freshman, junior and senior … Her youth club, PDA in New Jersey, named a girls’ team after her called PDA O’Reilly … Gives considerable credit to PDA for helping develop her as a player and to this day considers it her soccer home … Father Andy was a three-time All-American in track at Villanova in the early 1970s … Brother Kevin ran cross-country and track at the Air Force Academy … Biggest sports thrills include winning three Olympic gold medals, winning the Under-19 World Championship in Canada in 2002 and winning two NCAA titles at UNC ... One of her favorite books is “Tuesdays with Morrie” ... Favorite food is cereal ... Favorite movie is “The Shawshank Redemption” ... Her favorite color is Carolina Blue … Hobbies include following UNC athletics, watching movies and reading … Has an enormous sweet tooth … Resides in Boston where her husband is earning his MBA at Harvard … Moved to Boston from New York City … Has three older brothers, whom she credits for getting her into sports … Enjoys working with kids, especially in her volunteer work with America SCORES, a soccer program with the purpose of providing boys and girls with an alternative to spending after-school time on the streets … Traveled to Rwanda as an athlete ambassador for Right to Play in 2012 … Has a website at www.oreillysoccer.com.As a senior she had a dream season, leading North Carolina to its 18th NCAA women's championship with a 2-1 victory against top-ranked and previously unbeaten Notre Dame … The Tar Heels finished with 27 successive wins (27-1-0) after a season-opening loss in overtime at Texas A&M, tying the school record for victories in a season … Scored in the semifinal victory against UCLA and in the national championship game, earning Offensive MVP honors … Scored 12 goals with 16 assists as a senior, ending her college career with 59 career goals and 49 assists for 167 points, including 15 goals and 14 assists in the NCAA tournament, tying Mia Hamm for second place in Carolina history and ending fourth all-time in NCAA playoff history … Won the prestigious NCAA Honda Award as a senior … Also was a three-time nominee for the award … Named a Hermann Trophy finalist for the second time as a senior … Won the NCAA Top VIII Award, given to NCAA athletes based on athletic and academic achievements … Named the 2006 Soccer America Women’s Player of the Year … Was the ESPN The Magazine All-Academic Player of the Year as a senior at UNC … As a junior, she helped lead UNC to a 23-1-1 record with a team-leading 18 goals and 11 assists … Started all 24 games in which she played and earned ACC Offensive Player of the Year honors, as well as Second-Team NSCAA All-American honors … Also named First-Team All-ACC for the second year in a row … An ACC All-Academic Team selection and was named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American … Had a great sophomore season after which she was named First-Team NSCAA All-American and First-Team All-ACC … Finished as UNC’s leading scorer with 37 points (13 goals and 11 assists), despite missing the first two matches of the season while playing with the Olympic Team … A finalist for the prestigious NCAA Honda Award … Led the Tar Heels to a 20-1-2 record overall, the ACC regular season championship, a consensus No. 1 finish in all four national polls at the close of the regular season and the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament … Came on strong to have a stellar freshman season at UNC after the recovery from her broken leg hampered her early in the season … Played in 25 games for the Tar Heels, starting 20, and scored 16 goals with 11 assists for 43 points, good for third on the team … Scored in all six of her team’s NCAA playoff matches to help lead UNC to the NCAA Championship and a perfect 27-0-0 record … Scored twice in the NCAA title game and once in the semifinal and was named Offensive MVP of the Final Four … Named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team … Broke the UNC record for goals in an NCAA Tournament with eight and she added two assists for 18 points … Scored 13 of her 16 goals in the final 12 games of the season … Named to the All-ACC Second Team and was an NSCAA Third-Team All-American … High School: Attended East Brunswick High School in her hometown of East Brunswick, N.J. … One of the finest players in New Jersey history, she was All-Conference, All-County and All-State all four years … EBHS MVP as a freshman, sophomore and junior … The New Jersey Player of the Year for 2001 as a junior … An NSCAA All-American four times from 1999 to 2003 … A Parade All-American in 2001 as a junior when she led the Lady Bears to the state title … She was a Parade All-American and the Parade National Player of the Year as a senior … Was also the Gatorade National High School Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year … Was Soccer America’s No. 1 college recruit in the country … Scored 143 goals in her high school career.
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