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U.S. Women Set For Rematch in 2008 Algarve Cup Final

Tuesday, March 11, 2008
U.S. Women’s National Team
Notes from The Algarve, Portugal

IT’S DANE-JA VU IN THE ALGARVE CUP: The Algarve Cup Championship game will feature a re-match of last year’s final, won 2-0 by the USA. Like last year’s title game, this year’s final will be played at Municipal Stadium in Vila Real de San Antonio, a city right on the eastern border with Spain. The March 12 final also pits the two teams in the tournament who have yet to allow a goal. While Denmark has scored just three in three 1-0 wins, all have been impressive considering they defeated the world’s top ranked Germans, the third-ranked Swedes and the sixteenth-ranked Fins. The match kicks off on Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. local / 9:15 a.m. ET and fans can follow along as the action happens on’s MatchTracker. Log on to the Algarve Cup competitions page at for a complete schedule and standings, plus features and exclusive all_access video coverage of the WNT in Portugal. The USA will return home on Thursday, have a week off, and then reconvene on March 21 for a training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. to make final preparations before traveling to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, for CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying from April 2-12.

Road to the 2008 Algarve Cup Final

Result Venue U.S. Goalscorers
USA 4, China 0 Albufeira Tarpley, Heath, Wambach, Lloyd
USA 2, Italy 0 Alvor Tarpley, O'Reilly
USA 4, Norway 0 Alvor Kai, Wambach, O'Reilly, Rodriguez

Result Venue Denmark Goalscorers
Denmark 1, Germany 0 Faro Pedersen
Denmark 1, Sweden 0 Lagos Sorsensen
Denmark 1, Finland 0 Lagos Sorsensen

Date Matchup Venue Stadium Kickoff Time
March 12 USA vs. Denmark VR de DA Municipal Stadium 1:15 p.m. local / 9:15 a.m. ET

Current FIFA World Ranking:
2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Results: China, 2-3 L; New Zealand, 2-0 W; Brazil, 1-0 L
Overall Record vs. USA: 4-13-3
Denmark record vs. the USA at Algarve Cup: 1-6-1
Last Meeting vs. USA: March 14, 2007, in the 2007 Algarve Cup Championship (2-0 U.S. win)
Coach: Kenneth Heiner-Moller
Algarve Cup Finals: 4 (Second place in 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2007)
Key Players: Tine Cederkvist, Katrine Pederson, Cathrine Sorensen, Janne Madsen, Johanna Rasmussen, Maiken Pape, Merete Pedersen.

USA vs. Denmark Fast Facts: This will be the first meeting between the USA and Denmark since last year’s Algarve Cup Final, a match in which the USA got a 12th minute goal from Kristine Lilly and a 51st minute score from Carli Lloyd … The USA out-shot Denmark in last year’s final, 19-4 … Denmark has beaten the USA as recently as November of 2004, when they downed the U.S. 3-1 in Philadelphia in a match following the 2004 Olympics … That game was part of a two game series and the first match ended 1-1 as Mia Hamm scored the final goal of her legendary international career … The USA is 57-1-2 in games in which Abby Wambach scores … The loss to Denmark in 2004 was the only match the U.S. women have dropped in which Abby has found the net … The USA has scored 10 goals in its three games at the 2008 Algarve Cup, the most of any team (Iceland has 9 in Group C) … Denmark rested star forward Merete Pederson against Finland in the final group match … Heidi Johansen earned the victory in goal over Germany in the first match, but Tine Cederkvist has played the full 90 in the nets in the last two group games … Getting in the time machine, Denmark was the second-ever opponent for the U.S. Women’s National Team back in 1985 and that match featured the first-ever goals for the U.S. in a 2-2 draw (also the first-ever draw for the USA) with the first-ever goal being scored by the legendary Michelle Akers … Denmark had a decent run at the 2007 Women’s World Cup, even though they did not advance of of their group … They should have tied China 2-2, but gave up a late goal to lose … The Danes then beat New Zealand and with a berth in the quarterfinals on the line, lost just 1-0 to eventual finalist Brazil … Denmark features some extremely talented attacking players, including Pedersen, Johanna Rasmussen, Maiken Pape and Cathrine Sorsensen, who has scored two of the Danes three goals in the tournament (Pedersen has the other) … The USA’s 10 goals have been scored by seven different players … The most goals the USA has ever scored at an Algarve Cup has been 11, in both 2000 (which included a 7-0 win over Portugal) and 2004, when the USA defeated Norway 4-1 in the championship game … The 10 goals in group play ties the mark for the most-ever with the 2000 Algarve Cup team … Denmark, like the USA, has received just one yellow card during the tournament (Germany and Norway also have just one card each, but that’s likely to change as those two rivals meet in the third-place match) … Of the 15 players who played against Denmark in last year’s Algarve Cup Final, 12 are on the U.S. roster this year … Of the 14 players who played for Denmark against the USA last year, nine are on this year’s roster.

2008 U.S. Algarve Cup Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 24-Nicole Barnhart, 18-Hope Solo;
DEFENDERS (7): 26-Rachel Buehler, 17-Lori Chalupny, 14-Stephanie Cox, 13-Tobin Heath, 15-Kate Markgraf, 3-Christie Rampone, 4-Cat Whitehill;
MIDFIELDERS (6): 7-Shannon Boxx, 16-Angela Hucles, 11-Carli Lloyd, 12-Leslie Osborne, 5-Lindsay Tarpley, 10-Angie Woznuk;
FORWARDS (5): 8-Lauren Cheney, 6-Natasha Kai, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 19-Amy Rodriguez, 20-Abby Wambach.

2008 Denmark Algarve Cup Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1- Heidi Johansen, 16-Tine Cederkvist;
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Mia Olsen, 3-Katrine Pederson, 4-Christina Ørntoft, 5-Bettina Hansen, 15-Marie Bjerg, 17-Mette Jensen, 20-Sanne Troelsgaard;
MIDFIELDERS (7): 6-Mariann Knudsen, 7-Cathrine Sorensen, 8-Janne Madsen, 10-Camilla Sand, 12-Line Hansen, 13-Johanna Rasmussen, 18-Theresa Nielsen;
FORWARDS (4): 9-Maiken Pape, 11-Merete Pedersen, 14-Marie Herpig, 19-Sine Hovesen.

GROUP A SUMMARY: After falling to Denmark, 1-0, in its first game, the Germans had little trouble against Finland (3-0) and Sweden (2-0), but that loss knocked them to the third-place match where they will play Norway in what surely will be an excellent contest for the bronze. The Swedes had the opposite tournament from the Germans, winning its first match against Finland (3-1) before falling to Denmark and Germany without scoring a goal. The Finns, who have played in the tournament every year, brought up the rear in Group A, but finished with a better goal difference than China and will play Iceland for seventh place. Finland has never finished higher than fifth place at the Algarve Cup.

GROUP B SUMMARY: While the USA was the class of the group, it was a pretty good first round for Norway and Italy as well. The Norwegians handily won their other two games while the Italians managed to score twice on Norway, play the USA tough and take down China to earn third in the group and a match with Sweden for fifth place. For China, three convincing losses in group play will not help the cause of embattled head coach Elisabeth Loisel, and you would think nothing less than a win over Portugal in the match for 9th place would be acceptable.

GROUP C UPDATE: The Iceland team has never heard of Cinderella, taking down Portugal by a 3-0 score in a game that would have made three consecutive wins for the hosts. Still, with two wins in the group, the Portuguese earn a rare match against China and a China to end the tournament on a high note. Iceland was clearly the class of the group with forward Margaret Vidarsdottir leading the tournament in scoring with five goals, and they will get a chance to clash with Finland. Ireland managed its only group win over Algarve first-timers Poland, and the Irish will try to sweep the Poles as the two teams meet again in the match for eleventh place.

VIDEO ALGARVE: Check out all_access video on to see highlights of the USA’s win over Norway and the wild second half, as well as a unique One-on-One with U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. For some very short, yet amusing videos, you can check out the WNT Blog, which has gone multi-media.

ALGARVE AWARDS: Along with the tournament championship trophy, four other awards will be given out after the final: Best Player, Top Scorer, Best Goalkeeper and the Fair Play Award. Last year, the USA’s Carli Lloyd won top scorer with four goals and took the MVP.

CAN’T COOL OFF ICELAND’S VIDARSDOTTIR: Iceland’s Marget Vidarsdottir is the leading scorer in the 2008 Algarve Cup with five goals from three matches and will be going for more in the 7th place match against Finland. Germany’s Birgit Prinz is second with three goals and nine other players have bagged a brace, including the USA’s Heather O’Reilly, Lindsay Tarpley and Abby Wambach. Twenty-four other players have one goal.

2008 Algarve Cup Leading Scorers:
Margret Vidarsdottir (ISL) - 5
Birgit Prinz (GER) - 3
Edite Fernandes (POR) - 2
Ciara Grant (IRE) - 2
Heather O’Reilly (USA) - 2
Patrizia Panico (ITA) - 2
Cathrine Sørensen (DEN) - 2
Lene Storløkken (NOR) - 2
Lindsay Tarpley (USA) - 2
Sofia Viera (POR) - 2
Abby Wambach (USA) - 2

Stat of Note
The USA’s win over Norway in the final group match was the ninth consecutive win over their old rivals, more than doubling Norway’s longest winning streak against the USA, which is four games and has been achieved twice. One of those streaks came right before the USA started its current run of nine wins. Amazingly, before this streak, the USA had never beaten Norway more than twice in a row.