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U.S. WNT Faces China PR in Crucial Group B Clash at Algarve Cup

U.S. Women’s National Team vs. China PR – Algarve Cup
Municipal Stadium; Albufeira, Portugal
March 8, 2013

U.S. WNT FACES CHINA PR IN CRUCIAL GROUP B CLASH AT ALGARVE CUP: The U.S. Women’s National Team is coming off a 3-0 victory against Iceland in its opening match of the 2013 Algarve Cup – the 50th all-time win in this tournament – and will face China PR in its second Group B match on Friday, March 8, at Municipal Stadium in Albufeira. That match, which is available to watch on TV or online via Pay-Per-View, will kick off at 9 a.m. ET and will go a long way to determining the USA’s championship game fate. The USA is currently in first place in Group B after China and Sweden drew 1-1 on the first match day and is enjoying a plus-3 goal differential over the other three teams, as well.

20th Annual Algarve Cup
The Algarve, Portugal
Group A
Germany, Norway, Japan, Denmark

Group B
USA, Sweden, Iceland, China PR

Group C
Portugal, Hungary, Wales, Mexico

20th Annual Algarve Cup Group B Standings and Schedule









United States
















China PR
















March 6
United States 3, Iceland 0
Sweden 1, China PR 1

March 8
United States vs. China PR
Sweden vs. Iceland

March 11
United States vs. Sweden
China PR vs. Iceland

Norway took early control of Group A with a 2-0 upset of 2012 Olympic silver medalist Japan, which brought a younger team to the Algarve Cup this year. Caroline Hansen and Ada Hegerberg scored in the eighth and 16th minutes, respectively, as new head coach Even Pellerud’s return to the Algarve Cup as head coach of Norway was a success. Pellerud, who won the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sweden, was Norway’s head coach at the first Algarve Cup in 1994, a tournament that Norway won. In the other Group A match, Denmark pulled off a mini-upset in holding Germany to a 0-0 draw. Several of Germany’s top attacking players did not play, and head coach Silvia Neid made three halftime subs and two more in the 66th minute, but Germany could not create a goal.

GROUP B RECAP: The U.S. emerged from the first day of Algarve Cup play at the top of the Group B standings with three goals and two points separating the Americans from second-place Sweden and China PR, which drew 1-1. Sweden’s lone goal came from defender Sara Thunebro in the 69th minute to equalize after China had gone ahead in the 32nd minute with a goal from Ren Guixin. Former U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage made all six allowed subs in the second half as she continues to formulate her squad for the 2013 European Women’s Championships that Sweden will host this summer. The USA’s 3-0 win marked the most goals scored of any team on the opening day of the tournament, all coming in the second half against a tough Iceland squad. The Americans failed to finish several quality chances in the second half, but headers from Rachel Buehler and Shannon Boxx, and a tap-in from Abby Wambach – her 154th career goal – were good enough for the win.

GROUP C RECAP: Host Portugal defeated Wales 2-0 as team captain Edite Fernandes scored in both halves, the first on a penalty kick. Mexico made its Algarve Cup debut a successful one, defeating Hungary 1-0 on a 48th-minute goal from Renae Cuellar.

For a full listing of the 2013 Algarve Cup tournament schedule and results, go to the tournament page on

The Algarve Cup takes place primarily at small stadiums throughout the southern region of Portugal, but for the first time the U.S. WNT games will be broadcast on television in the United States. The Algarve Cup is being distributed by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, Avail-TVN, DIRECTV and DISH for a suggested retail price of $14.95 per match. Additional same day replays will be available. Check with your Pay-Per-View provider for replay times. Fans can visit for updates on TV coverage. Fans can also watch the matches online via Pay-Per-View. For web-streaming information go to The U.S. matches can also be followed via’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.

Since the expansion to 12 teams 12 years ago, the Algarve Cup format has been as follows: The winners of Groups A and B will compete for the Algarve Cup championship, this year to take place on Wednesday, March 13. The two second-place finishers in Groups A and B will play for third place while the third-place finishers in each group will play for fifth. The Group C teams will be competing for a chance to play for spots seven through 12 as the winner of Group C will play the best fourth-place team from Groups A or B for seventh place. The second-place team in Group C will play the worst fourth-place team from Groups A or B for ninth place, and the third- and fourth-place finishers in Group C will play each other for 11th place. There are provisions in the regulations this year for an adjustment to the format for placement games if the teams that finished third in both groups are playing each other in the group phase of this summer’s European championships.

The Algarve Cup begins a stretch of seven consecutive road matches for the U.S. Women, six in Europe and one in Toronto, Canada in June.

2013 U.S. WNT Schedule



Result/Time (ET)

U.S. Goal scorers/TV


Feb. 9


4-1 W

Press (2), Boxx, Leroux

EverBank Field; Jacksonville, Fla.

Feb. 13


3-1 W

Rapinoe, Wambach, Press

LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.

March 6*


3-0 W

Buehler, Boxx, Wambach

Albufeira; Portugal

March 8*

China PR

9 a.m. ET


Albufeira; Portugal

March 11*


11 a.m. ET


Lagos; Portugal

March 13*




TBD; Portugal

April 5




Offenbach; Germany

April 9


1 p.m. ET


The Hague; Netherlands

June 2


4:30 p.m. ET


Toronto; Canada

* Algarve Cup

The USA comes to the 2013 Algarve Cup with a 23-player roster. U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni has brought three goalkeepers, seven defenders, eight midfielders and five forwards. Of the USA’s 23 players, just four are over 30 in team captain Christie Rampone (37 years old), Shannon Boxx (35), Abby Wambach (32) and Nicole Barnhart (31). The youngest player on the squad is 18-year-old forward Lindsey Horan who is one of two players on the roster without a cap. Sixteen of the players on the roster were at the tournament last year. Four players – defender Crystal Dunn, midfielder Kristie Mewis, Horan and forward Christen Press – are at their first Algarve Cup. Twenty-two of the 23 players on the roster are professionals with 18 set to play in the NWSL this coming season while four are based in Europe and one – Dunn – has a year of college soccer remaining.

U.S. Women’s National Team
2013 Algarve Cup Roster by Position – DETAILED ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), 24-Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), 21-Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC)
DEFENDERS (7): 19-Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), 6-Crystal Dunn (UNC), 14-Whitney Engen (Liverpool, England), 11-Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), 3-Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 16-Yael Averbuch (Göteborg, Sweden), 7-Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), 12-Lauren Cheney (FC Kansas City), 17-Tobin Heath (PSG, France), 10-Carli Lloyd (Western New York Flash), 8-Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), 9-Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Lyon, France)
FORWARDS (5): 22-Lindsey Horan (PSG, France), 2-Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), 13-Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), 23-Christen Press (Tyresö, Sweden), 20-Abby Wambach (Western New York Flash)

U.S. WNT forward Abby Wambach was named the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year at the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or gala in Zurich, Switzerland, in early January and all eyes will be on her as she inches closer to the world goal scoring record. Wambach is currently sitting on 154 career goals after scoring against Iceland on March 6 in the USA’s Algarve Cup opener and is now only four behind the legendary Mia Hamm, the 2001 and 2002 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, who had 158 career international scores from 1987-2004. will provide coverage of Wambach’s climb to the record and you can join the chase by using the hashtag #ChasingMia.


  • U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni initially named 23 players to the Algarve Cup roster, all of whom are eligible to play in the tournament. Each team is allowed six substitutes per match.
  • The USA will be without midfielder Lauren Cheney for the rest of the tournament as she has returned home due to a family matter.
  • U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd took a knock to her left shoulder against Iceland and is listed as doubtful for Friday’s match against China PR.
  • Sermanni made just one substitution in the opening-game win against Iceland, meaning that 11 players have yet to see action in the tournament.
  • With her start against Iceland, U.S. defender Rachel Buehler became the 29th female player to play 100 times for her country and scored her fourth career goal to mark the occasion.
  • Eighteen of the players on the U.S. roster are set to play in the new National Women’s Soccer League. Midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath are scheduled to join their NWSL clubs after the completion of their French league seasons for Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain, respectively.
  • Forward Christen Press (Tyresö in Sweden), midfielder Yael Averbuch (Göteborg in Sweden), forward Lindsey Horan (Paris Saint-Germain in France) and defender Whitney Engen (Liverpool in England) are playing in Europe while defender Crystal Dunn still has a year of college eligibility left at North Carolina.
  • The 18-year-old Horan, who will turn 19 in May, was the first American player to skip college soccer and sign a professional contract in Europe. Horan has played for the USA at the U-17 and U-20 levels and is age-eligible for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. She is the youngest field player to be called into the full Women’s National Team since Amy Rodriguez made her debut at the Algarve Cup in March of 2005. Rodriguez had turned 18 just about a month before debuting for the full National Team.


  • The USA is 50-10-8 all-time in the Algarve Cup.
  • The USA has scored 150 goals while allowing 53 at the Algarve Cup.
  • The U.S. Women have gone 13-1-4 in openers of this annual tournament the past 18 times they have attended. The only opening game loss came in 2001 when the USA brought a very young team to the Algarve during WUSA pre-season camps.
  • Ten players on the USA’s roster have scored at the Algarve Cup: Abby Wambach (19 goals), Carli Lloyd (10), Alex Morgan (8), Lauren Cheney (6), Heather O’Reilly (5), Shannon Boxx (3), Sydney Leroux (2), Megan Rapinoe (2), Tobin Heath (1) and Rachel Buehler (1).
  • Wambach’s 19 goals are tops all-time at the Algarve Cup for a U.S. player and one of the leaders all-time in the 20-year history of the tournament.
  • The USA had been shut out in just seven of its 68 all-time Algarve Cup games (with two coming in 2001), but was shut out twice in 2006, with both games ending 0-0 in regulation against China and Germany. The tie against China in the 2006 Algarve opener broke a streak of 17 straight games in which the USA had scored at this tournament.
  • Four teams have played in all 20 Algarve Cups so far: Denmark, Norway, Sweden and host Portugal.


  • The USA played China three times to end the Fan Tribute Tour last December, winning the three matches in Detroit, Houston and Boca Raton, Fla., by a combined 10-1 score.
  • The U.S. holds a 20-game unbeaten streak against China PR with a 17-0-3 record dating back to a 2-0 victory on March 20, 2003, at the Algarve Cup in Loule, Portugal.
  • Overall, the U.S. Women are 29-8-12 in the series that started with a 2-1 win on July 20, 1986. During that span, the U.S. has an 82-34 scoring margin.
  • The USA is 4-1-1 all-time against China at the Algarve Cup. The most recent meeting was in 2008, a 4-0 victory at the same stadium where the USA will face China on March 8 in Albufeira in what was opening game of that Algarve Cup.
  • The U.S. famously defeated China 5-4 in a shootout during the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup on July 10 in Pasadena, Calif. Brandi Chastain tallied the game-ending penalty kick.
  • The USA won on its home soil against China in the first-ever women’s soccer event at the 1996 Olympics, earning a 2-1 victory in the gold medal game on Aug. 1 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga. Shannon MacMillan had the game-opening goal and Tiffeny Milbrett scored the eventual game-winner midway through the second half.
  • The U.S. and China met four times last year. The U.S. cruised to 4-1 victory on May 27 in front of a sellout crowd of 18,573 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., and then posted a 2-0 win at Ford Field in Detroit on Dec. 8, a 4-0 win at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Dec. 12 and a 4-1 win on Dec. 15 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla.


  • U.S. defender and team captain Christie Rampone moved past Mia Hamm for sole possession of second all-time in career caps when she played in her 276th match against China PR in the final game of 2012. Rampone is the most-capped player on the U.S. roster and also the most-capped active player in the world with 278. Kristine Lilly holds the record with 352 caps.
  • Alex Morgan, who finished third in the 2012 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year voting, recorded 21 assists last year to tie for the second-most assists in a calendar year with Carin Jennings (21 assists in 1991). Mia Hamm holds the assists record with 22 in 2004. Morgan got her first assist of 2013 on Abby Wambach’s goal against Iceland on March 6.
  • Sydney Leroux set a U.S. WNT record of 14 goals scored off the bench in a year, easily breaking the previous bench scoring record of nine goals originally set by Debbie Keller in 1998. She got another off the bench on Feb. 9, 2013, a game in which she played in the first half of a match for the very first time when she replaced the injured Morgan with five minutes left before halftime.
  • Leroux started her first U.S. match and played 90 minutes for the first time against Scotland on Feb. 13 in Nashville, Tenn.
  • With her 154th cap earned against Iceland on March 6, Carli Lloyd has passed Michelle Akers to move into 16th on the all-time U.S. caps list.
  • With her 201st cap earned against Iceland on March 6, Abby Wambach has tied Kate Markgraf for seventh on the all-time U.S. caps list.


  • 1: USA’s FIFA ranking
  • 3: Career games and career goals for U.S. forward Christen Press
  • 11: Games in 2012 in which Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach both scored at least one goal (11-0-0 record)
  • 26: USA’s current overall unbeaten streak dating back to last year (23-0-3)
  • 43: Carli Lloyd’s career goals, third all-time for a player who has exclusively played midfield
  • 87: Minutes on field per goal averaged by Alex Morgan in her career
  • 99: U.S. victories when Wambach scores a goal (99-2-7 overall)
  • 100: Minutes on field per goal averaged by Abby Wambach in her career
  • 130: Minutes on field per goal averaged by Mia Hamm in her career
  • 120: Goals scored by the U.S. WNT in 2012 (118 individual goals, 2 own goals)
  • 278: Christie Rampone’s caps, second all-time to Kristine Lilly


Last Time Out: WNT vs. Scotland – Feb. 13, 2013

Krieger Has the Spirit

Inside the Lines
8v8 in Albufeira

Studio 90:
GK Minutes Up for Grabs

100 Firsts: U.S. WNT Midfielder Carli Lloyd
Q & A: Anson Dorrance Discusses ’91 Women’s World Cup, Creation of WNT Dynasty
Where Are They Now: U.S. WNT Midfielder Tiffany Roberts

U.S. WNT Placed in Group B at 2013 Algarve Cup in Portugal

Feature Stories:
The O’Hara Experiment
Alex’s Favorite Goal

Tom Sermanni was named head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team on Oct. 30, 2012, becoming the seventh head coach in the team’s history. Sermanni comes to U.S. Soccer after eight years as the head coach of the Australia Women’s National Team, which he coached in both the 2007 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments and reached the quarterfinal stage in both events. Sermanni officially started the U.S. WNT position on Jan. 1, 2013, after interim head coach Jill Ellis managed seven games (5-0-2) in 2012. Sermanni takes over for Pia Sundhage, the 2012 World Coach of the Year for women’s soccer, who accepted the head coaching position for her native Sweden.

Below are some of Sermanni’s accomplishments:

  • Sermanni was the 2007 Asian Football Confederation Coach of the Year, leading Australia to a runner-up finish at the 2006 AFC Women’s Cup, where the team fell to China in penalty kicks, and to the championship of that tournament in 2010, when the youthful Matildas downed Korea DPR in penalties.
  • Sermanni coached all three seasons of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), serving as an assistant for the San Jose CyberRays during the inaugural season, in which he helped the club to the league championship. He was also an assistant for the CyberRays in 2002 before taking the head coaching job of the New York Power in 2003, where he coached U.S. Women’s National Team legends Christie Rampone, Shannon Boxx and Tiffeny Milbrett.
  • Sermanni’s coaching career in both men’s and women’s professional soccer has taken him all over the world, including stints in Japan, the USA and Malaysia. Sermanni began his coaching career in men’s soccer in the late 1980s, when he was transitioned from player-coach to head coach of the Canberra Croatia/Metros in the New South Wales State League from 1988-1991.
  • He coached the Australia Schoolboys side from 1989-1991 and coached the men’s program at the Australian Institute of Sport from 1991-1993.
  • He coached Sydney Olympic FC in the Australian top flight – the National Soccer League – in 1993-1994 before taking his first women’s job with the Australian National Team in 1994.
  • After stepping away from the Matildas in 1997, Sermanni transitioned back to men’s soccer, traveling to Japan to coach J-League side Sanfrecce Hiroshima from 1997-1999. He then had a stint with the Canberra Cosmos in the NSL from 1999-2001 before moving to the USA to coach in the WUSA.
  • Sermanni, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, had a long playing career as a midfielder from 1971 through 1989, when he retired after playing two years with Canberra Croatia and became a player-coach and then head coach. Prior to that, he played from 1984-1987 with Canberra City and in 1983 with Marconi. From 1971 through 1983, he played in England and Scotland, representing Dunfermline Athletic in 1983, Torquay United (England) from 1979-1982 and Blackpool (England) from 1978-1979. He turned professional in 1973 and played six seasons for Albion Rovers from 1973-1978 in Scotland after playing amateur soccer for Cumbernauld United from 1971-1973. Overall, Sermanni played more than 300 professional matches and scored more than 50 goals.

Chinese Football Association
Founded: 1924 (Joined FIFA in 1931)
Head Coach: Hao Wei
FIFA World Ranking: 17
Best Algarve Cup Finish: Champions (1999, 2001); Runners-up (1997, 2003)

GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Zhang Yue (Beijing), 12-Wang Fei (Dalian)
DEFENDERS (4): 3-Qin Qingfei (Beijing), 4-Li Jiayue (Shanghai), 5-Wu Haiyan (Zhejiang), 6-Zeng Ying (Jiangsu)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 11-Pu Wei (Shanghai), 14-Lu Yueyun (Wuhan), 15-Lei Jiahui (Henan), 16-Wang Chen (Beijing), 18-Hang Peng (Tianjin), 19-Zhou Feifei (Jiangsu), 21-Wang Lisi (Jiangsu), 23-Ren Guixin (Changchun)
FORWARDS (5): 10-Ma Xiaoxu (Dalian), 13-Wang Shanshan (Tianjin), 20-Wang Shuang (Wuhan), 25-Zhang Rui (Army), 27-Li Ying (Zhejiang)


  • China has brought a very young team to the Algarve Cup with 13 players aged 23 or younger. China has two players born in 1995 and five players born AFTER China hosted the first FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991.
  • Pu Wei, the team captain, played on China’s 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup team that fell to the USA in penalty kicks in the title match. She would later sign with the WUSA’s Washington Freedom.
  • China participated in the 12-team 2012 Algarve Cup in Portugal and wound up with a ninth-place finish, defeating host Portugal 1-0 for its lone victory on March 7. The USA settled for third place in the event with a 4-0 win against Sweden in the third-place match on March 7.
  • China did not qualify for the 2012 London Olympics – the first time the team has failed to do so. China’s best Olympics finish was in the inaugural 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, where the team took the silver medal against the gold medal-winning USA.

On the field for the USA:
March 6, 2013 – Municipal Stadium; Albufeira, Portugal – 2013 Algarve Cup

USA  3   Rachel Buehler 48; Shannon Boxx 62; Abby Wambach 74
ISL   0

USA: 21-Jill Loyden; 6-Crystal Dunn, 19-Rachel Buehler (capt.), 3-Christie Rampone, 5-Kelley O’Hara; 9-Heather O’Reilly, 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd (23-Christen Press, 64), 12-Lauren Cheney; 13-Alex Morgan, 20-Abby Wambach
Subs Not Used: 2-Sydney Leroux, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 8-Kristie Mewis, 11-Ali Krieger, 14-Whitney Engen, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 16-Yael Averbuch, 17-Tobin Heath, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 22-Lindsey Horan, 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Tom Sermanni

ISL: 1-Thóra Helgadóttir; 2-Sif Atladóttir, 5-Hallbera Gudný Gísladóttir, 13-Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir, 10-Dóra María Lárusdóttir, 6-Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir (22-Sandra María Jessen, 64), 7-Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir (capt.) (20-Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir, 83), 11-Katrín Ómarsdóttir (4-Edda Gardarsdóttir, 73), 14-Dagný Brynjarsdóttir (15-Gudný Ódinsdóttir, 79), 9-Fanndís Fridriksdóttir (3-Rakel Hönnudóttir, 46), 18-Harpa Thorsteinsdóttir (23-Elín Metta Jensen, 73)
Subs Not Used: 8-Katrín Jónsdóttir, 12-Gudbjörg Gunnarsdóttir, 16-Birna Kristjánsdóttir, 17-Ólína Gudbjörg Vidarsdóttir, 19-Mist Edvardsdóttir, 21-Elísa Vidarsdóttir
Head coach: Sigurdur Eyjolfsson

On the field vs. China:
Dec. 15, 2011 – FAU Stadium; Boca Raton, Fla. – International Friendly

USA   4   Abby Wambach 18, 64; Megan Rapinoe 36; Sydney Leroux 87
CHN   1   Han Peng 45

USA: 1-Hope Solo; 6-Amy LePeilbet (4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 46), 3-Christie Rampone (capt.) (2-Heather Mitts, 75), 16-Rachel Buehler, 5-Kelley O’Hara; 9-Heather O’Reilly (17-Tobin Heath, 46), 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (11-Sydney Leroux, 65); 13-Alex Morgan (12-Lauren Cheney, 46), 14-Abby Wambach (8-Amy Rodriguez, 75)
Subs Not Used: 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head coach: Jill Ellis

CHN: 12-Wang Fei; 4-Li Jiayue, 14-Wang Dongni, 20-Huang Yini, 26-Wu Haiyan, 16-Wang Chen, 18-Han Peng, 11-Pu Wei (capt.), 23-Ren Guixin (13-Wang Shanshan, 55), 25-Zhang Rui, 27-Li Ying (21-Wang Lisi, 67; 7-Bi Yan, 86)
Subs Not Used: 1-Zhang Yue, 2-Wang Lingling, 6-Lin Yuping, 10-Ma Xiaoxu, 19-Liu Shanshan, 33-Zhang Xin
Head coach: Hao Wei