"Algarve has been trouble for us in the past," said DiCicco, who has coached two Algarve Cup teams that failed to take top honors. "There are six World Cup teams participating, but generally the teams are not at peak performance. No one is playing great soccer right now. The Algarve Cup is just a chance to see the teams and leap ahead in training. We learn a lot from these events."
U.S. midfielder Michelle Akers, who suffered a gash over her left eye that required 25 stitches and three broken bones in her left cheek from a head-head collision with Norway's Linda Medalen in the match with the FIFA World Stars on Feb. 14, has been cleared to play. Akers had minor surgery last Wednesday to remove accumulate blood and small bone fragments from her cheek and then was cleared to play on Friday, three weeks earlier than doctors had originally predicted. She will travel with the team to Portugal.
U.S. forward Mia Hamm will travel to Portugal with 104 career international goals and is just four scores away from breaking the all-time international scoring record of 107 goals held by the long-retired Elisabetta Vignotto of Italy. Vignotto played the bulk of her national team career in the 1970s, earning 109 caps for Italy, but played club soccer for 20 years.
It was previously reported that Vignotto's world scoring mark was 108 goals, but upon further research by the Italian Women's Soccer Federation, it has been confirmed that the record is in fact 107. Hamm has four matches in Portugal to pursue the record, and then will come back home to face Mexico on March 28 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., as part of a doubleheader with the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS.
Hamm is one goal shy of tying another Italian legend, Carolina Morace, for second place on the world's all-time goal scoring list. U.S. midfielder Michelle Akers is fourth on that list with 100 career international goals. The great Pele is the men's all-time international scoring leader with 77 career goals.
The USA opens the tournament on March 14 against Sweden in Silves, faces Finland on March 16 in Quarteira, and finishes first-round play against defending Women's World Cup champion Norway on March 18 in Albufeira. All the venues are within a 30-minute bus ride in the Algarve region, which is four hours by bus from Lisbon. The other group features China, Denmark, Australia and Portugal. The group winners will meet for the championship on March 20, with the second place finishers playing for 3rd place, the third place finishers playing for 5th and the fourth place finishers playing for 7th.
6th Algarve Cup Tournament Schedule -- 1999
Sun., Mar. 14, 1999
Tues., Mar. 16, 1999
Thurs., Mar. 18, 1999
Sat., Mar. 20, 1999
|1||Scurry, Briana||GK||5-8||145||9/7/71||Dayton, Minn.||UMass||80|
|2||Fair, Lorrie||D||5-3||125||8/5/78||Los Altos, Ca.||UNC||38/1|
|3||Pearce, Christie||D||5-6||140||6/24/75||Pt Pleasant, N.J.||Monmouth||40/2|
|4||Overbeck, Carla||D||5-7||125||5/9/69||Chapel Hill, N.C.||UNC||131/7|
|6||Chastain, Brandi||M||5-7||130||7/21/68||San Jose, Ca.||Santa Clara||82/17|
|7||Whalen, Sara||D||5-5||130||4/28/76||Greenlawn, N.Y.||UConn||26/1|
|8||MacMillan, Shannon||F||5-5||130||10/7/74||Escondido, Ca.||Portland||66/15|
|9||Hamm, Mia||F||5-5||125||3/17/72||Chapel Hill, N.C.||UNC||160/104|
|10||Akers, Michelle||M||5-10||150||2/1/66||Orlando, Fla.||UCF||128/100|
|11||Foudy, Julie||M||5-6||130||1/23/71||MV, Ca.||Stanford||141/27|
|12||Parlow, Cindy||F||5-11||145||5/08/78||Memphis, Tenn.||UNC||43/17|
|13||Lilly, Kristine||F||5-4||130||7/22/71||Wilton, Conn.||UNC||166/66|
|14||Fawcett, Joy||D||5-5||130||2/8/68||Hunt. Beach, Ca.||California||129/18|
|15||Venturini, Tisha||M||5-6||125||3/3/73||Modesto, Ca.||UNC||114/38|
|16||Milbrett, Tiffeny||F||5-2||125||10/23/72||Portland, Ore.||Portland||105/47|
|18||Webber, Saskia||GK||5-9||145||6/13/71||Princeton, N.J.||Rutgers||23|
|20||Sobrero, Kate||D||5-9||140||8/23/76||Bloomfield Hills, Mich.||UND||16/0|
|22||Fotopoulos, Danielle||F||5-11||165||3/24/76||Altamonte Sprgs, Fla.||Florida||12/5|
|General Manager||Brian Fleming||Lake Mary, Fla.|
|Head Coach||Tony DiCicco||Wethersfield, Conn.|
|Asst. Coach||Lauren Gregg||Charlottesville, Va.|
|Asst. Coach||Jay Hoffman||Chagrin Falls, Ohio|
|Team Administrator||Melissa Pilgrim||Lake Mary, Fla.|
|Trainer||Sue Hammond||Lake Mary, Fla.|
|Equipment Manager||Dainis Kalnins||Des Moines, Iowa|
|Massage Therapist||Clint Wynn||Gainesville, Fla.|
|Press Officer||Aaron Heifetz||West Los Angeles, Calif.|