U.S. To Play France at Stadium Algarve in Final Group B Game;
Lopez Replaces Rampone on U.S. Roster
CHICAGO (February 28, 2006) – Numerous changes in venues and kickoff times have been made to the schedule for the 2006 Algarve Cup in order to accommodate Eurosport, which will televise eight matches of the tournament.
The only change to the previously announced schedule for the U.S. team is to the venue and start time of their final Group B match against France on March 13. The two teams will now square off at the beautiful Stadium Algarve, built for the 2004 European Championships, kicking off at 3:30 p.m. local time, 10:30 a.m. ET. That match will be followed by a clash between Germany and Norway at 6:30 p.m. local time in a rematch of the 2005 European Women’s Championship Final.
The Algarve Cup championship and third-place matches will also take place at the Stadium Algarve.
All of the U.S. matches can be followed live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
The USA opens the tournament against China on March 9 at São Luis Stadium in Faro, faces Denmark on March 11 at Municipal Stadium in Quarteira and finishes the first round against France on March 13 at the Stadium Algarve. The U.S. team will leave for Europe on March 1.
Usually a 12-team tournament, only 11 teams will compete in 2006, as Group C contains just three nations. The 11-team Algarve Cup will feature four match days – March 9, 11, 13 and 15 – with five matches each day. Group A features Germany, Sweden, Finland and Norway. Host Portugal, second-time participant Mexico and Ireland make up Group C . All the games are played at venues spread out over the Algarve region on the southern coast of the country with the placement matches being contested on Wednesday, March 15.
After expanding from eight to 12 teams five years ago, the 2006 Algarve Cup takes on a slightly different format. With the field cut by one, it no longer becomes necessary to play an 11th place match. The teams in Group A and B will compete for the title as the group winners will play in the championship game. The two second-place 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 7-11 as the winner of Group C will play the best fourth place team from Groups A and B. The second place team in Group C will play worst fourth place team Groups A or B. The third and final finisher from group C earns 11th place.
In one roster change for the USA, 19-year-old defender Stephanie Lopez has replaced veteran Christie Rampone on the Algarve Cup roster. Lopez, who planned to join the U.S. U-20 Women's National Team for a training camp in Texas, will now attend her second Algarve Cup. A veteran of several U.S. Women's National Teams, including the group that played in the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship, Lopez earned her first and thus far only senior team cap at the Algarve Cup last year, making her debut against Denmark. Lopez was slated to train with the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team at an event in Texas, but will instead go with the senior team. In August, she will play with the U-20s at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia.
13th ANNUAL ALGARVE CUP
THE ALGARVE, PORTUGAL
Norway, Sweden, Finland & Germany
Denmark, France & China, USA
Ireland, Portugal & Mexico
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