CHICAGO (Thursday, February 27, 2003) - U.S. Women's National Team head coach April Heinrichs has named the 20 players who will travel to Portugal on March 7 to participate in the 10th Algarve Cup, the most prestigious invitational women’s tournament in the world, which is being held from March 14-20, 2003, at 12 small venues on the scenic Southern coast of Portugal. 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.
For the second time, the tournament will feature 12 teams, up from eight that played for the title in the Algarve region of Portugal for the first eight years of the competition. The USA was drawn into Group A, which looks to be the most difficult of the three groups, and will face regional rival Canada, Olympic champion Norway and European runner-up Sweden in first-round play. All three teams have qualified for the 2003 Women’s World Cup in China.
The USA will open the Algarve Cup on Friday, March 14 against Canada, face Norway on Sunday, March 16, and finish first-round play against Sweden on Tuesday, March 18. The placement games will take place on Thursday, March 20, making for a grueling schedule of four games in seven days. Fans will be able to follow the U.S. games online at ussoccer.com's MatchTracker presented by Philips Electronics.
Group B features China, Denmark, France and Finland. Group C, which features lower-tiered teams, consists of host Portugal, Ireland, Wales and Greece, which is preparing its team for the 2004 Olympic Tournament.
The teams in Group A and B will compete for the title as the group winners will play in the championship game in Loulè on 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.
At last year’s Algarve Cup, the USA tied Sweden, 1-1, in the opening match, defeated England 2-0 in the second game and then fell to Norway 3-2 in the final group game. In the match for fifth place, the USA defeated Denmark, 3-2, as MacMillan registered the only hat trick in U.S. Women’s National Team history that came in a one-goal win. China took the 2002 title, defeating Norway 1-0 in the final.
Heinrichs will bring a full roster this year, including 17 WUSA players who will leave their pre-season training camps for the tournament, two college players in Cat Reddick and Lindsay Tarpley of UNC, and high school senior Heather O’Reilly. Reddick has recovered from a foot injury which caused her to miss the Four Nations tournament in China, while Tarpley and O’Reilly, two of the stars of the USA’s U-19 World Championship Team, continue to perform well for the full Women’s National Team.
Defenders Joy Fawcett and Danielle Slaton (who is recovered from knee surgery), midfielder Lorrie Fair, and forwards Tiffeny Milbrett and MacMillan, all of whom did not play in the USA’s last match, a 1-0 victory over Iceland on Feb. 16, return to the fold, and complete a roster that also includes forward Mia Hamm, and midfielders Julie Foudy and Kristine Lilly, who did not play in the Four Nations Tournament in China in January.
This will be the eighth appearance by the U.S. women at the Algarve Cup, which before 2000, was one of the few missing trophies in a very crowded case. 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 in the championship game. The USA has a 16-8-3 all-time record in the tournament.
The USA has a 24-3-2 record against Canada all-time, but since 2000, the USA is 6-2-2 against their Northern rivals who have made great strides under head coach Even Pellerud. To the USA’s chagrin, Norway remains the only team in the world with a winning record against the Americans, currently at 15-18-2, but the USA has won the last two meetings between the teams, 4-0, and 3-1, most recently at the Four Nations Tournament in China. The USA has a 10-2-4 overall record against Sweden, but none of the wins have been by more than three goals and seven have been by two goals or less.
U.S. Women's National Team
|1||Scurry, Briana||GK||5'9"||09/07/71||Dayton, Minn.||UMass/Atlanta||113/0|
|2||Fair, Lorrie||M||5'3"||08/05/78||Los Altos, Calif.||North Carolina/Philadelphia||111/7|
|3||Pearce, Christie||D||5'6"||06/24/75||Pt. Pleasant, N.J.||Monmouth/New York||94/4|
|4||Reddick, Cat||D||5'5"||02/10/82||Birmingham, Ala.||North Carolina/--||26/1|
|5||Roberts, Tiffany||M||5'3"||05/05/77||San Ramon, Calif.||North Carolina/Carolina||94/7|
|6||Chastain, Brandi||D||5'7"||07/21/68||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara/San Jose||163/29|
|7||O'Reilly, Heather||F||5'4"||01/02/85||East Brunswick, N.J.||--/PDA Torpedoes||13/2|
|8||MacMillan, Shannon||F||5'5"||10/07/74||Escondido, Calif.||Portland/San Diego||149/52|
|9||Hamm, Mia||F||5'5"||03/17/72||Chapel Hill, N.C.||North Carolina/Washington||229/136|
|10||Wagner, Aly||M||5'5"||08/10/80||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara/San Diego||37/8|
|11||Foudy, Julie||M||5'6"||1/23/71||Mission Viejo, Calif.||Stanford/San Diego||221/39|
|12||Parlow, Cindy||F||5'11"||05/08/78||Memphis, Tenn.||North Carolina/Atlanta||120/57|
|13||Lilly, Kristine||M||5'4"||07/22/71||Wilton, Conn.||North Carolina/Boston||245/90|
|14||Fawcett, Joy||D||5'6"||02/08/68||Huntington Beach, Calif.||California/San Diego||207/26|
|15||Sobrero, Kate||D||5'7"||08/23/76||Bloomfield Hills, Mich.||Notre Dame/Boston||87/0|
|16||Milbrett, Tiffeny||F||5'3"||10/23/72||Portland, Ore.||Portland/New York||185/96|
|17||Hucles, Angela||M||5'7"||07/05/78||Virginia Beach, Va.||Virginia/Boston||14/1|
|18||Mullinix, Siri||GK||5'8"||05/22/78||Greensboro, N.C.||North Carolina/Washington||35/0|
|19||Slaton, Danielle||D||5'6"||06/10/80||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara/Carolina||35/1|
|20||Tarpley, Lindsay||F||5'6"||09/22/83||Kalamazoo, Mich.||North Carolina/--||4/0|