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WNT Opens Algarve Cup with 2-1 Victory against Norway

VILA REAL DE SANTO ANTONIO, Portugal (March 4, 2015) – Led by midfielder Carli Lloyd’s second-half brace, the U.S. Women’s National Team overcame a first-half deficit and defeated Norway 2-1 in Group B play at the 2015 Algarve Cup at Municipal Stadium.

Lloyd scored an 18-yard equalizer in the 55th minute and followed with a 62nd-minute penalty kick for the USA. In Wednesday’s other Group B match, Switzerland defeated Iceland 2-0. 

The USA resumes Group B action when it takes on Switzerland on Friday, March 6, at Vila Real de Santo Antonio (12 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). 

The WNT also donned their blue-gradient Nike away kit for the first time against Norway. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:

NOR – Ada Hegerberg (Kristine Minde), 43rd minute: Against the run of play, Norway’s Minde crossed the ball in from the right side to an unmarked Hegerberg in the middle of the box. Hegerberg rose up with a crisp header from seven yards out toward the center of the goal frame. U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo got a glove on the ball, but the deflection was not enough as it clipped the crossbar and crossed the goal line for the Norway lead. USA 0, NOR 1

USA – Carli Lloyd (Christen Press), 55th minute: Press’ through ball down the right side to Lloyd was partially deflected by Norway’s Inger Ane Hole, but Lloyd quickly gained possession. Lloyd spun counter clockwise to create a gap and from 18 yards out, ripped a shot into the left of the frame to tie the score. It was Lloyd’s first goal of 2015. USA 1, NOR 1 (SEE GOAL) 

USA – Carli Lloyd (penalty), 62nd minute: Christen Press drew a penalty kick when her shot from outside the box struck Norway defender Trin Ronning’s right arm. Lloyd took the subsequent penalty and placed it perfectly into the upper right corner of the frame for her second tally in a seven-minute stretch. In addition to her first two goals of the year, Lloyd is now up to 63 for her career. USA 2, NOR 1 (FINAL) (SEE GOAL 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Ali Krieger, 4th minute: Norway crossed the ball into the box from the right side and USA goalkeeper Hope Solo was unable to corral through traffic. Norway’s Emilie Haavi had a couple chances to score with Solo off of the line. Her first attempt struck teammate Ada Hegerberg. The second chance was then blocked by Krieger near the goal line as the U.S. surrendered a corner kick and came away unscathed. 

NOR – Silje Vesterbekkmo, 9th minute: Carli Lloyd stepped up to steal the ball from Norway in the midfield. She juked to the left to evade Norway captain Trine Ronning at the edge of the box and then shot left-footed toward the far right post. Vesterbekkmo alertly saved with her left foot to give up a U.S. corner kick. 

NOR – Silje Vesterbekkmo, 32nd and 33rd minutes: Norway’s goalkeeper faced an onslaught of USA scoring chances during this stretch, opening with a Lauren Holiday corner kick from the left side. Holiday’s delivery threatened the goal and Vesterbekkmo punched it away. Shortly after, Christen Press drove a low, long-range shot that ricocheted off of the left post. Then in the 33rd minute, Alex Morgan tried to flick the ball over Vesterbekkmo, but she sacrificed her body to deflect it away. 

USA – Hope Solo, 54th minute: Off of a Lene Mykjaland corner kick from the right side, the ball bounced among a scrum in the box and then was up for grabs as Solveig Gulbrandsen had space with a left-footed shot. Gulbrandsen fired toward the left of the frame, but Solo was up to the task with a close-range reaction save. 

Milestone Watch:

  • Abby Wambach made her 235th appearance and ranks sixth on the all-time WNT list, four games behind fifth-place Joy Fawcett (239 games from 1987-2004).
  • Defender Lori Chalupny and midfielder Megan Rapinoe earned their 97th-career caps. They are three appearances away from hitting the century mark, which 30 other WNT players have reached.
  • Goalkeeper Hope Solo earned her first win of the year and 125th of her career. She trails only Briana Scurry (133) on the all-time list. 

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT faces Switzerland in Group B play at the 2015 Algarve Cup on Friday, March 6. Kickoff is at 12 p.m. ET at Vila Real de Santo Antonio.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA moved to 28-19-2 all-time against Norway.
  • The U.S. is now 2-1-0 in 2015.
  • Head coach Jill Ellis’ lineup featured a 4-4-2 formation, anchored by goalkeeper Hope Solo who returned from a 30-day suspension to make her first appearance of 2015.
  • In front of Solo was a defensive line that included Ali Krieger at right back, Lori Chalupny at left back and the center back tandem of Becky Sauerbrunn and Julie Johnston. Johnston made her first appearance of the year and earned her sixth-career cap.
  • The USA midfield featured the same four players for a third straight game, with Lauren Holiday and Morgan Brian playing centrally, Carli Lloyd on the right side and Christen Press on the left.
  • Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach were paired up top, with Wambach wearing the captain’s armband.
  • To open the second half, Meghan Klingenberg replaced Chalupny at left back.
  • In the 78th minute, Tobin Heath entered for Press and then in the 79th minute, Sydney Leroux made her first appearance of the year when she replaced Morgan.
  • In the first minute of second-half stoppage time, Megan Rapinoe subbed in for Holiday.
  • Lloyd recorded the eighth multi-goal game of her WNT career. She had four multi-goal games in 2014 alone.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Norway
Date: March 4, 2015
Competition: 2015 Algarve Cup – Group B
Venue: Municipal Stadium; Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal
Kickoff: 2 p.m. ET
Attendance: 500
Weather: 63 degrees, cool and clear 

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            0          2          2
NOR                            1          0          1

NOR – Ada Hegerberg (Kristine Minde)                    43rd minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (Christen Press)                            55
USA – Carli Lloyd (penalty kick)                                62 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 26-Julie Johnston, 16-Lori Chalupny (25-Meghan Klingenberg, 46); 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Lauren Holiday (15-Megan Rapinoe, 90+1), 14-Morgan Brian, 23-Christen Press (17-Tobin Heath, 78); 13-Alex Morgan (2-Sydney Leroux, 78), 20-Abby Wamach (capt.) (8-Amy Rodriguez, 56)
Subs Not Used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Whitney Engen, 7-Shannon Boxx, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 19-Rachel Van Hollebeke, 22-Crystal Dunn, 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis

NOR: 12-Silje Vesterbekkmo; 6-Maren Mjelde, 7-Trine Rønning (capt.), 2-Marita Lund, 3-Inger Ane Hole; 17-Lene Mykjåland, 8-Solveig Gulbrandsen (14-Gry Tofte Ims, 74), 20-Emilie Haavi (19-Marie Markussen, 69); 18-Kristine Minde, 8-Isabel Herlovsen, 21-Ada Hegerberg
Subs Not Used: 1-Ingrid Hjelmseth, 4-Melissa Bjånesoy, 5-Hedda Gardsjord, 10-Maria Thorisdottir, 11-Ida Elise Enget, 13-Ingrid Moe Wold, 15-Anja Sønstevold, 16-Andrine Hegerberg, 22-Cathrine Dekkerhus, 23-Cecille Fiskerstrand
Head coach: Even Pellerud 

Stats Summary: USA / NOR
Shots: 12 / 5
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 8 / 3
Fouls: 5 / 11
Offside: 4 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
NOR – Trine Ronnin (caution)                        62nd minute

Officials:
Referee: Esther Staubil (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Belinda Brem (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Susanne Kung (SUI)
Fourth Official: Gladys Lengwe (ZAM)

Budweiser Woman of the Match:  Carli Lloyd

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.

Photo Gallery: Customizing the WNT Kit

ussoccer.com takes you behinds the scenes of the WNT equipment room to get a sneak peek at how the team's jerseys are customized for each player. WNT Equipment Manager Matt Owens painstakingly works over the 300+ degree heat press to apply the necessary numbers and name plates to all the players jerseys so they are ready for game day. 

The USA opens its 20th Algarve Cup campaign against Norway on Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET. 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 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.

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 of the USA's best and most crafty dribblers, she has taken on a greater role in 2012 as both a starter and a key sub in the midfield. Heath scored two goals in two starts during CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying in Vancouver, Canada, finding the net during the 14-0 rout of the Dominican Republic on Jan. 20, 2012. She also tallied the game-winner during the USA's 3-0 victory against Costa Rica on Jan. 27 to clinch a spot in the 2012 London Olympics.

One of the USA’s most skillful players and dynamic dribblers, she has been a member of the last three world championship squads … 2012: Had her best year yet for the U.S. WNT, playing in 26 matches and starting 16, both career highs … Scored four goals with seven assists, also career highs for a year … Played in all six games at the 2012 Olympics, starting four, while winner her second gold medal … Had three assists in the Olympics, one against France on Alex Morgan’s second goal, one against Colombia on Abby Wambach’s goal and one to Sydney Leroux against New Zealand … Played in two matches at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament, both starts, and scored two goals … Also scored against Sweden and Germany during the year …  2011: Had a quality “rebound” year after not seeing any National Team action 2010, playing in 15 games with two starts … Scored one goal with two assists, with her lone score coming in the final game of the year, a 1-1 draw with Sweden … Played in four matches off the bench at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, including the quarterfinal, semifinal and final in what was her first World Cup at the senior level … 2010: Did not play for the USA as she recovered from illness and a major ankle injury suffered early in the WPS season that eventually required surgery … 2009: Was named the 2009 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year … Played in two matches for the USA, both against Canada in July … 2008: Made her first WNT roster and debuted at the Four Nations Tournament in China … Nutmegged a Finland player on her first touches in her first cap … As the youngest player (20) on the 2008 Olympic gold medal team, she saw action in three games off the bench … Earned her first 17 caps for the USA in 2008 and scored two goals, including her first, which came against China at the Algarve Cup … 2007: Trained with the Women’s National Team in January for the first time … Youth National Teams: Played for the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team in 2009 … Started for the silver medal-winning U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team at the Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro in the summer of 2007 … Was one of the standout players for the USA at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia, where she played in three matches … One of five players to make the World Cup roster without participating in CONCACAF Qualifying … The third youngest player on the World Cup roster … Played in 24 matches for the U-20s in 2006, scoring five goals including two in international matches … Scored her first international goal at the U-20 level against Canada in April in Brazil … Trained with the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team for the first time in March of 2006 … Made a late run to make the World Cup roster after an excellent performance at the Ricardo Teixeira Cup in Brazil in April … Finished her U-20 international career with 14 caps and two goals … Also saw time in U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team in 2006 during a trip to Holland in April … Played with the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team in 2004 and 2005 and the U.S. U-16 Girls’ National Team in 2003 and 2004 … Participated in the U-14 Girls’ National Team Identification Camp … First Appearance: Jan. 18, 2008, vs. Finland … First goal: March 5, 2008, vs. China.

2013: Allocated to the Portland Thorns for the inaugural NWSL season … 2012: Played briefly with the New York Fury in the WPSL … Signed with Paris Saint-German in the French First Division for the second half of the 2012-2013 season … 2011: Played 571 minutes in 12 matches for Sky Blue FC, starting three, and had one assist … 2010: The No. 1 pick in the 2010 WPS Draft by the expansion Atlanta Beat … Played in just three matches for the Beat before suffering a season-ending ankle injury … Traded to her home state Sky Blue FC on Dec. 10 along with Eniola Aluko and Angie Kerr in exchange for Sky Blue FC’s pair of first-round picks in the 2011 WPS Draft and future considerations … Youth: Helped the PDA Wildcats win one club national championship, in 2003 as U-14s, and into two other club national championship tournaments … Helped the PDA Wildcats to the U-17 club National Championship game in 2005.

Full name is Tobin Powell Heath … Nickname is “Tobs” … Enjoys playing any sport, hanging out with the family and spending time outdoors … Also a talented tennis player … Loves the beach and the water and was voted to have the “Best Tan” by her U-20 WNT teammates … An avid reader of ussoccer.com ... Is learning how to surf … Loves a good hamburger, as well as waffles and mango … Skateboarded around campus and to class at UNC … Enjoys all the traveling that an international player gets to do but also gets homesick … Featured in three much-viewed ussoccer.com videos: “Ball Trick Battle” with Casey Nogueira when both were U-20s in 2006, “Tobin Heath: WALKABOUT” in 2008, which won ussoccer.com’s Best Video of the Year and “Trick Shot Battle” with Yael Averbuch in 2011, that has more than 185,000 YouTube views.

As a senior at North Carolina, she scored five goals with 10 assists for the Tar Heels, who compiled a record of 23-3-1 and pulled out 1-0 victories in both the NCAA semifinal and championship game … Was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team … Finished her UNC career with 19 goals and 32 assists … Was a major factor in leading UNC to its second straight NCAA title (and three in four years) and fourth straight Atlantic Coast Conference title … Heath was named First-Team All-ACC and was a First-Team NSCAA All-American, her third selection for each … Was also the first runner-up for the MAC Hermann Trophy, given to college soccer’s top player … Also named a First-Team Soccer America MVP … As a junior for the Tar Heels, she scored eight goals with eight assists while starting 25 of the 26 matches in which she played, helping UNC to a 25-1-2 record and the NCAA title … She missed UNC’s first match of the year while at the Olympics … Named Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-ACC … As a sophomore, she started 21 of the 23 games she played, scoring two goals with five assists … A First-Team NSCAA All-American and First-Team All-ACC pick, she was also named a Soccer America MVP … A consensus freshman All-America on UNC’s 2006 national championship team, she was named an NSCAA Second Team All-American and Second-Team All-ACC as well ... Started 22 of the 23 games she played for the Tar Heels at the left midfield spot, scoring four goals with nine assists  … Missed the first five games of the season playing with the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team at the World Cup in Russia ... Made her Tar Heel debut against Washington on Sept. 8 and then started the final 22 games of the season … An Academic All-ACC Team selection ... Named to All-Tournament Team at 2006 NCAA College Cup … High School: Committed to attend UNC heading into her junior year of high school … A Parade All-American as a freshman, sophomore and junior at Ridge High School ... The New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior … Did not play high school soccer her senior year, opting instead to train with boys … Led Ridge High School to one state championship … Was an NSCAA All-American as a sophomore and junior … Named the Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year ... Named to the Newark Star Ledger’s First-Team All-State and the paper’s New Jersey Player of the Year.

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