CHICAGO (Monday, March 8, 2004) – U.S. Women’s National Team’s head coach April Heinrichs has named 20 players to the roster that will depart for Portugal on Wednesday (March 10) to participate in the 2004 Algarve Cup.
The USA will play three top European teams in the first round, opening the tournament against France on March 14 in Ferreiras, facing Denmark in Quarteira on March 16 and finishing first round play against 2003 Women’s World Cup runner-up Sweden in Lagos on March 18. None of the matches will be televised in the United States, but fans can follow the USA’s grueling schedule of four games in seven days online at ussoccer.com's MatchTracker presented by Philips Electronics.
The U.S. women just returned from the CONCACAF Final Round Olympic Women’s Qualifying Tournament in Costa Rica last Saturday after earning one of the regions two berths to Athens, Greece, in a 4-0 semifinal victory over Costa Rica. The U.S. went on to win the regional championship with a dramatic 3-2 comeback victory over fellow Olympic qualifier Mexico. It was the USA’s second major tournament championship of the year after winning the Four Nations Tournament in China in January.
Heinrichs chose 17 of the 20 players that were in Costa Rica, as veterans Joy Fawcett and Kristine Lilly will not travel to Portugal while 19-year-old forward Heather O’Reilly will travel to China with the U.S. Under-21 National Team. In their place, Heinrichs added defenders Brandi Chastain and Kylie Bivens, and midfielder Lori Chalupny.
The Algarve Cup will run from March 14-20 with four match days, featuring six matches each day. The USA has been placed in Group A. Group B features Norway, Finland, Italy and China. Canada was slated to be in the tournament, but withdrew and was replaced by Italy. Group C, which consists of four lower tier European teams, features host Portugal, Wales, Northern Ireland and Greece, which is preparing for the Olympics. All the games are played at small venues spread out all over the Algarve region with placement matches being contested on March 20.
This marks the ninth trip to the Algarve Cup for the U.S. women, who won the world’s most prestigious invitational women’s tournament last year, defeating China 2-0, and in 2000, when the USA beat Norway, 1-0, in the title game. The Algarve Cup is perhaps the world’s most competitive women’s international event outside of the Women's World Cup, the Olympics and the European Championship.
Since the expansion from eight to 12 teams three years ago, the Algarve Cup format has been as follows. The teams in Group A and B will compete for the title as the group winners will play in the championship game on Saturday, March 20. The two second-place group finishers in Groups A and B will play for third place while the third-place finishers will play for fifth. The Group C teams will be competing for a chance to play for spots 7-12 as the winner of Group C will play the fourth place team in Group A, the second place team in Group C will play the fourth place team in Group B and the third and fourth place finishers in Group C will play each other again.
The USA has not faced Denmark since a hard-fought 3-2 win in the fifth-place match of the 2002 Algarve Cup as Shannon MacMillan registered the only hat trick in U.S. Women’s National Team history that came in a one-goal win. The USA has played France eight times, but it has been almost seven years since the last meeting against the French, who qualified for their first Women’s World Cup in 2003. The USA is developing quite a rivalry with Sweden, meeting in the opening match of the 2003 Women’s World Cup as well as the last five Algarve Cups. The two teams met on Jan. 30, 2004, at the Four Nations Tournament, a 3-0 U.S. win.
Before 2000, the Algarve Cup was one of the few missing trophies in a very crowded case, but since then the USA has won the tournament twice. The U.S. women went four straight tournaments without an Algarve title before winning in 2000 as a Brandi Chastain penalty kick held up for a 1-0 victory over Norway. The USA has an 18-8-5 all-time record in the Algarve Cup.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster
|1||Scurry, Briana||GK||5'9"||09/07/71||Dayton, Minn.||UMass||132/0|
|2||Bivens, Kylie||D||5'5"||10/24/78||Upland, Calif.||Santa Clara||16/0|
|3||Rampone, Christie||D||5'6"||06/24/75||Point Pleasant, N.J.||Monmouth||112/4|
|4||Reddick, Cat||D||5'5"||02/10/82||Birmingham, Ala.||North Carolina||49/3|
|5||Osborne, Leslie||M||5'8"||05/27/83||Men. Falls, Wis.||Santa Clara||6/0|
|6||Chastain, Brandi||D||5'7"||07/21/68||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara||172/30|
|7||Boxx, Shannon||M||5'8"||06/29/77||Redondo Beach, Calif.||Notre Dame||16/9|
|8||MacMillan, Shannon||F||5'5"||10/07/74||Escondido, Calif.||Portland||167/60|
|9||Hamm, Mia||F||5'5"||03/17/72||Chapel Hill, N.C.||North Carolina||250/146|
|10||Wagner, Aly||M||5'5"||08/10/80||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara||56/14|
|11||Foudy, Julie||M||5'6"||01/23/71||Mission Viejo, Calif.||Stanford||246/43|
|12||Parlow, Cindy||F||5'11"||05/08/78||Memphis, Tenn.||North Carolina||136/68|
|13||Chalupny, Lori||M||5'4"||01/29/84||St. Louis, Mo.||North Carolina||4/0|
|14||LePeilbet, Amy||D||5'5"||03/12/82||Crystal Lake, Ill.||Arizona State||5/0|
|15||Markgraf, Kate||D||5'7"||08/23/76||Bloomfield Hills, Mich.||Notre Dame||112/0|
|16||Tarpley, Lindsay||M||5'6"||09/22/83||Kalamazoo, Mich.||North Carolina||16/5|
|17||Mitts, Heather||D||5'5"||06/06/78||Cincinnati, Ohio||Florida||12/0|
|18||Mullinix, Siri||GK||5'8"||05/22/78||Greensboro, N.C.||North Carolina||44/0|
|19||Hucles, Angela||M||5'7"||07/05/78||Virginia Beach, Va.||Virginia||29/1|
|20||Wambach, Abby||F||5'11"||06/02/80||Rochester, N.Y.||Florida||30/19|