WNT Feb 18, 2011
It's time once again for the annual trek to Portugal for the U.S. WNT, which will be participating in the Algarve Cup for the 16th time. The Algarve Cup -- the biggest little tournament in the world -- has long been one of the favorite trips for the U.S. team, mostly for the great games, the food, the beautiful coast line and hopefully, the nice weather. All the U.S. players (except for the ones based locally) are flying into the New York/New Jersey area today to catch the evening team flight to Portugal. The veterans are familiar with the rhythm of this trip: overnight flight to Lisbon, morning arrival, a three-hour bus ride south to the Algarve region and then the battle to stay up the whole day, helped along by an afternoon training. Before the WNT Blog had to get to the airport, we had some time to cruise around Newark looking for a bite to eat and look what we came upon (above). Some of the best BBQ in Newark/Elizabeth, N.J. for sure and good prep for the trip, at least for the staff.
This year's Algarve Cup will be a unique one for the USA as it faces the always-tough Japanese to open the tournament on March 2. It will be the first meeting between the teams since the 2008 Olympic semifinal in Beijing. This is the first time the Japanese have traveled to Portugal for this tournament, and they are obviously gearing up for what they hope will be a breakthrough Women's World Cup tournament. The USA will hope get a positive result against Japan, another against Norway two days later, followed by a group finale against the feisty Finns. Fans will be able to follow all the games on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker as well as see highlights on our website as well. Wish us a "Boa Viagem" and we'll Blog at you from the Algarve.