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2009 Algarve Cup

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Sweden Edges U.S. Women on Penalties in Algarve Final

FARO, Portugal (March 11, 2009) – The U.S. Women’s National Team fell in a penalty kick shootout to Sweden in the championship game of the 2009 Algarve Cup after the match ended dramatically with a 1-1 score in regulation.

Shannon Boxx equalized in the 90th minute and the match went directly to penalty kicks, where the USA lost 4-3 after seven shooters.

Boxx’s goal came after an intense second half of searching for a tying goal to answer Lotta Schelin’s tally in the 18th minute. The Americans finally got it with seconds left in regulation time.

Carli Lloyd slipped past a player in midfield with a nice cut move and played a perfect ball into the left side of the penalty area to the streaking Natasha Kai. The Hawaiian ran the ball down at the end line, but was knocked down by a retreating Swedish defender. From a sitting position, Kai managed to knock the ball back to Megan Rapinoe in the left side of the penalty area. Rapinoe struck a hard cross on the ground through the goal mouth to Boxx at the far post where she slammed it first-time into the net from two yards away.

The dramatic goal, the USA’s second 90th-minute score of the tournament, led to an even more dramatic penalty kick shootout.

Sweden’s Louise Fors started her country out with a hard shot into the lower left corner. Boxx answered with a perfect blast into the upper right corner. Lisa Dahlkvist also found the lower left corner, setting the stage for Rapinoe, whose driven shot was almost directly at Swedish goalkeeper Kristin Hammarstrøm and she batted the ball away.

Linda Sembrandt hit her shot off the left post and in, followed by Lloyd tucking her chance away into the left corner as well to make it 3-2 Sweden after three shots each. The USA then got new life as Anna Paulson skied Sweden’s fourth shot over the bar. The Americans didn’t take advantage as Christie Rampone clanged her shot off the inside of the left post and behind the Swedish ‘keeper, but it didn’t cross the goal line.

Schelin then stepped to the spot on her team’s fifth kick with a chance to win the match, but Solo acrobatically pushed her shot away with a full-extension dive to left post. The miss meant that late substitute Tina DiMartino had to convert the USA’s fifth kick to send the shootout into sudden death. DiMartino’s shot was seemingly saved by Hammarstrøm with a dive to the left post, which would have ended the game, but somehow the ball squeezed through the goalkeeper’s hands and rolled across the goal line.

Emelie Ölander then blasted her shot over the goal and incredibly, Sweden had missed its fourth, fifth and sixth kicks, giving 88th minute sub Angie Woznuk a chance to win it for the USA. Unfortunately, Hammarstrøm guessed correctly and pushed Woznuk’s shot away with a dive to the left post.

Stine Segerstrom then finished smartly into the lower left corner on her team’s seventh penalty and Heather Mitts cracked her shot off the left post and out to give Sweden the victory.

Mitts earned her 100th cap for the USA in the match, becoming the 25th female player and eighth defender in U.S. history to reach that career milestone.

The Americans had gifted Sweden the lead off a give-away in USA’s defensive third by Boxx, who hit her back-pass too lightly to Rampone and created a 3-v-1 situation. Caroline Seger swooped in to control the ball, dribbled hard at Rampone and then played a pass to her left to the wide-open Schelin. The lanky Swedish striker had plenty of time to pick her corner and rolled her shot into the lower right corner past the charging Solo. It would be the last time Schelin would beat Solo, her former teammate on the Swedish club side Kopparbergs/Goteborg, although she had plenty of chances.

In the 24th minute, Sara Thunebro got around the left side of the U.S. defense and cut a cross back to Schelin who was making a hard run to the top of the six-yard box. She swiped at the ball from almost point blank range, but somehow Solo, who was moving across the goal, stuck her foot out and saved the shot. The rebound bounced off the fallen Schelin and over the end line.

In the 52nd minute, Schelin was back terrorizing the U.S. defense as she tussled with Boxx on a through ball. Boxx went down, giving Schelin another one-on-one with Solo, but the U.S. ‘keeper flung herself at the ball and gobbled it up as Schelin tried to dribble around her.

In the 67th minute, Schelin got behind the U.S. defense once again, but this time Solo held her ground and timed her challenge perfectly, stealing the ball right off her feet.

Sweden was certainly the better team in the first half, attacking with fervor and creating a few chances that were either saved by Solo or scrambled away by the defense, while exerting intense defensive pressure in the midfield that precluded the Americans from developing any sort of rhythm. Sweden forward Victoria Svensson did a great job of finding the space between the U.S. midfield and backline, then combining with her teammates, but the U.S. backs held strong after giving up that 18th minute goal.

Sweden’s goal marked the only one allowed by the USA in the tournament.

The Swedes may also have done enough to win the match in the second half, but the U.S. team never gave up its search for an equalizer while playing much better in the final 45 minutes.

Sundhage sent on forward Amy Rodriguez at halftime and moved Rapinoe to the left midfield slot where she created all kinds of danger. Boxx also moved into more of a midfield role.

The USA started to make a real push midway through the second half, and Rampone’s run from the back in the 63rd minute almost produced a goal, but her bending ball behind the defense from the left side of the penalty area was just a bit too far for Rodriguez.

Three minutes later, Rapinoe slipped a pass through the Sweden defense to the streaking Rodriguez, but she fired her breakaway chance at Hammarstrøm who pulled off the kick save.

Three minutes after that, the USA sent a looping ball into the penalty area that bounced hard over the onrushing Hammarstrøm and a defender had to clear it out of the six-yard box with an overhead kick.

In the 75th minute, Rapinoe was taken down above the left side of the penalty area, but Lloyd ripped her free kick right at the Swedish ‘keeper from 30 yards away. Lloyd had another chance two minutes later as she played a short corner to Rodriguez, got it back as she dribbled centrally and ripped a shot that a Swedish defender headed out of the hands of her own ‘keeper at the left post.

Solo had to come up big again with five minutes left as Sweden’s counterattack continued to threaten. The U.S. ‘keeper flew to her left to snag a shot from Madelaine Edlund that could have snuck inside the left post. Solo’s phenomenal performance in her three starts at the Algarve Cup earned her Best Player of the tournament honors. It was first time in 14 Algarve Cups that a goalkeeper has won the award.

The USA only had one or two good chances in a lackluster first half, but one came right after Sweden’s goal as Lloyd found a bit of space to win a long throw-in into Sweden’s penalty area. She got a good strike on the ball, but hammered her shot off the legs of Hammarstrøm from about 10 yards away.

The match marked the USA’s seventh straight Algarve Cup championship game. The USA won the tournament in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008, but fell in penalty kicks to the Germans in the 2006. The USA won the Algarve Cup for the first time in 2000.

The U.S. played without starting defender Lori Chalupny, who missed her second straight game due to illness, but Rachel Buehler filled in admirably at left back.

In the other Algarve Cup placement matches, Poland reversed a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Wales in the final match of Group C play to defeat the Welsh 2-1 and take eleventh place. Norway defeated Austria, 2-0, to take ninth. Finland and Portugal tied 1-1 after regulation before the hosts fell 4-2 in penalty kicks and China PR downed Iceland, 1-0, to take third. A 43rd minute goal from Julie Rydahl Bukh gave Denmark a 1-0 upset win against Germany in the third-place match.

The U.S. players now head back to United States to join their WPS clubs in final preparations for the inaugural season that opens March 29 as the Washington Freedom visit the Los Angeles Sol. The U.S. team will not come together again until this summer for matches that will be announced in the near future.

- U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT -

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Sweden
Date: March 11, 2009
Competition: 2009 Algarve Cup; Championship Game
Venue: Estadio Algarve; Faro, Portugal
Kickoff: 4 p.m. (Noon ET)
Attendance: 1,200
Weather: 72 degrees, sunny, breezy

Scoring Summary: 1    2    F    PKs
USA                            0    1    1    3
SWE                           1    0    1    4

SWE – Lotta Schelin (Caroline Seger) 18th minute
USA – Shannon Boxx (Megan Rapinoe) 90

Penalty Summary:
SWE: Fors (goal), Dahlkvist (goal), Sembrandt (goal), Paulson (miss – high), Schelin (saved), Ölander (miss – high), Segerström (goal)
USA: Boxx (goal), Rapinoe (saved), Lloyd (goal), Rampone (miss – left post), DiMartino (goal), Woznuk (saved), Mitts (miss – left post)

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts (capt.), 7-Shannon Boxx, 3-Christie Rampone, 4-Rachel Buehler; 9-Heather O’Reilly (12-Angie Woznuk, 88), 16-Angela Hucles (19-Tina DiMartino, 83), 10-Carli Lloyd, 5-Lindsay Tarpley (8-Amy Rodriguez, 46); 15-Megan Rapinoe, 6-Natasha Kai
Subs not used: 13-Kendall Fletcher, 17-Lori Chalupny, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 21-Kacey White
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

SWE: 12-Kristin Hammarstrøm, 2-Charlotte Rohlin, 3-Stina Segerström, 4-Anna Paulson, 6-Sara Thunebro (7-Emelie Ölander, 46); 5-Caroline Seger (19-Linda Sembrandt, 78), 15-Therese Sjögran (16-Louise Fors, 63), 17-Kosovare Aslani (14-Madelaine Edlund, 53), 18-Nilla Fischer (20-Lisa Dahlkvist, 37); 11-Victoria Svensson (capt.) (10-Sara Lindén, 71), 8-Lotta Schelin
Subs not used: 1-Hedvid Lindahl, 9-Anna Lindblom, 13-Alexandra Niilsson
Head Coach: Thomas Dennerby

Statistical Summary: USA / SWE
Shots: 11 / 11
Shots on Goal: 8 / 6
Saves: 5 / 6
Corner Kicks: 5 / 6
Fouls: 12 / 11
Offside: 5 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER)
Assistant Referee: Marina Wozniak (GER)
Assistant Referee: Moiken Reichert (GER)
Fourth Official: Gyongyi Gaal (HUN)

ussoccer.com Woman of the Match:
Hope Solo

Algarve Cup Final Standings
1. Sweden
2. USA
3. Denmark
4. Germany
5. China
6. Iceland
7. Finland
8. Portugal
9. Norway
10. Austria
11. Poland
12. Wales

U.S. WNT Ready to Defend Algarve Cup Title Against Sweden

U.S. Women’s National Team
Faro, Portugal
Tuesday, March 10, 2009


USA AND SWEDEN MEET FOR ALGARVE CUP TITLE ON MARCH 11: The U.S. Women’s National Team is set for its seventh consecutive Algarve Cup title game, where it will take on Sweden on Wednesday, March 11, in Faro at the fabulous Estádio Algarve, built for the 2004 European Championships. No other country has made more than three consecutive finals since Norway played in the 1996, 1997 and 1998 title matches. The USA-Sweden game will mark the second time U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage has faced her country of birth, but first time in a tournament final. The USA played Sweden last July 5 in Skelleftea in northern Sweden, picking up a 1-0 victory. The championship game is set for 4 p.m. local / 12 p.m. ET and fans can follow live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The time of the final was moved later in the day from the originally announced kickoff time to accommodate German television, which will be showing the third place match between Germany and Denmark. For complete Algarve Cup results and standings, as well as links to other U.S. content, click on the Algarve Cup competition page.

Road to the 2009 Algarve Cup Final
USA – Group B
Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorer(s) Venue
Denmark 2-0 W Woznuk, DiMartino Estádio Municipal; Lagos
Iceland 1-0 W Kai Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras
Norway 1-0 W Rapinoe Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras

SWEDEN – Group A
Opponent Result Sweden Goal Scorer(s) Venue
China PR 0-0 T -- Estádio Municipal; Lagos
Finland 1-0 W Fischer Estádio Municipal; Albufeira
Germany 3-2 W Fischer, Schelin (2) Estádio Algarve; Faro

Championship
Date Match Time (Local / ET) Venue
March 11 USA vs. Sweden 4 p.m. / 12 p.m. Estádio Algarve; Faro

GROUP A RECAP: In a fantastic Group A finale, Sweden rolled to a 3-0 first half lead and then held on as Germany scored twice in the final 13 minutes for the final 3-2 score. The win sends the Swedes to the Algarve Cup Final for the first time since 2001, when they beat Denmark in the title match. China PR defeated Finland 1-0 on a 77th minute goal from captain Bi Yan to take third place in the group and earn a meeting with Iceland in the fifth place match.

GROUP C RECAP: Host Portugal is enjoying a fine tournament, winning its third straight match with a 1-0 victory over Austria on a goal from Sofia Vieira in the ninth minute. Portugal earned a meeting with 2009 UEFA Women’s Championship host Finland in the match for seventh place. Wales put the hurt on Poland as Jayne Ludlow, who plays for Arsenal Ladies in London, and Gwennanh Harris, each scored two goals in a 5-1 victory. The two teams will meet for 11th place with the Poles getting the chance to gain some redemption.

Placement Matches
March 11
Match Teams Time Venue
11th Place Match Wales vs. Poland 11:30 a.m. / 7:30 a.m. Estádio Municipal; Albufeira
9th Place Match Austria vs. Norway 11:30 a.m. / 7:30 a.m. Estádio Municipal; Loulé
7th Place Match Portugal vs. Finland 11:30 a.m. / 7:30 a.m. Estádio Municipal; Lagos
5th Place Match China vs. Iceland 11:30 a.m. / 7:30 a.m. Estádio Jose Arcano; Olhão
3rd Place Match Germany vs. Denmark 1:15 a.m. / 9:15 a.m. Estádio Algarve; Faro
Championship USA vs. Sweden 4 p.m. / 12 p.m. Estádio Algarve; Faro

OPPONENT CAPSULE: Sweden
Current FIFA World Ranking: 4
All-Time Algarve Cup Results: 33-15-14
Overall Record vs. USA: 3-16-5
Sweden record vs. the USA at Algarve Cup: 2-4-3
Last Meeting vs. USA: July 5, 2008 (a 1-0 U.S. win in Skelleftea, Sweden)
Head Coach: Thomas Dennerby
Algarve Cup Finals: 3 (1995, 1996, 2001) Sweden has won all three Algarve Cup Finals in which it has participated

U.S. vs. Sweden Fast Facts: Since the USA’s 2-0 victory over Sweden in group play at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China, the teams have played just once, that coming last July in northern Sweden, a 1-0 U.S. victory on a goal from Carli Lloyd … Beside Brazil, and maybe Japan, Sweden was the best team the USA played in 2008 … The USA has two players who have played club in Sweden: Hope Solo played for Kopparbergs/Goteborg and Kacey White played for Balinge IF and AIK in Stockholm … Both the USA and Sweden have struggled at times in this tournament – most notably Sweden’s 0-0 draw with China PR and the USA’s wind-blown 1-0 victory over Iceland – but both countries seem to be gearing up for what should be a sparkling final … Sweden features one of the world’s best wingers in Lotta Schelin, who plays her club ball in France with Olympique Lyonnais, the only player on Sweden’s roster who plays outside the country … Schelin is a 5-foot-10-inch glider who put on a show in her country’s first victory over Germany in about six years, creating one goal and scoring two of her own … Forward Nilla Fischer has scored Sweden’s other two goals in the tournament … The USA will get its second look on this trip at Sweden captain Victoria Svensson, who scored her club side’s only goal in the USA’s 5-1 scrimmage win over Djurgardens in a warm-up match before the tournament started … The last time Sweden beat the USA was a 3-1 triumph at the 2004 Algarve Cup … The reward for making the championship game is a match at the 30,000-seat Stadium Algarve, which features a perfectly manicured pitch, great width and length and a fully enclosed and roofed venue to keep out those famous Algarve winds … Sweden has never lost an Algarve Cup Final, winning all three in which it has participated, defeating Denmark in 1995 and 2001 and Norway in 1996 … The USA has won six out of nine finals it has participated in, defeating Norway twice, Denmark twice, China once and Germany once .. The USA fell to Germany on penalty kicks in 2006 final, to China in the 1999 final and to Norway in the team’s first trip to the Algarve in the 1994 final … Sweden is likely the group favorite in Group C during this fall’s European Women’s Championships, where they will face England, Russia and Italy.

2009 U.S. Algarve Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2):18-Nicole Barnhart, 1-Hope Solo
DEFENDERS (6): 7-Shannon Boxx, 4-Rachel Buehler, 17-Lori Chalupny, 13-Kendall Fletcher, 2-Heather Mitts, 3-Christie Rampone
MIDFIELDERS (6): 16-Angela Hucles, 11-Carli Lloyd, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 21-Kacey White, 12-Angie Woznuk
FORWARDS (4): 19-Tina DiMartino, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 6-Natasha Kai, 5-Lindsay Tarpley

2009 Sweden Algarve Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Hedvid Lindahl, 12-Kristin Hammarstrøm
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Charlotte Rohlin, 3-Stina Segerström, 4-Anna Paulson, 6-Sara Thunebro, 7-Emelie Ölander, 13-Alexandra Niilsson, 19-Linda Sembrandt
MIDFIELDERS (7): 5-Caroline Seger, 11-Victoria Svensson, 15-Therese Sjögran, 16-Louise Fors, 17-Kosovare Aslani, 18-Nilla Fischer, 20-Lisa Dahlkvist
FORWARDS (4): 8-Lotta Schelin, 9-Jessica Landström, 10-Sara Lindén, 14-Madelaine Edlund

U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage
On the championship game against Sweden:
“I expect a good game with great players on both sides. It may depend on who wins the midfield. Another thing, if Lotta Schelin is a playing, she is a very good player. If our back four can keep her away from the box, I think we will have a good game.”

U.S. Goalkeeper Hope Solo
On the championship game against Sweden:
“In the past, when Sweden has played with three up top, I think they’ve been very dangerous with their wingers who are both skillful and fast. I played in Sweden with Lotta Schelin and she’s only gotten better over the past few years. I know she’s scoring a lot of goals for Olympique Lyonnaise in France and I think our patience and one-v-one defending is going to be very important with their outside players. We also need to put quick pressure outside our box as they are really good at cracking shots from outside.”

U.S. Midfielder Kacey White
On the championship game against Sweden:
“One thing about Sweden is that defensively, they stay really organized. They all know the game and read the game very well so it makes it difficult to attack against them. Their soccer savvy is at a very high level, which means that tactically they can make adjustments during game situations depending on how the match is going. It should be a really fun final.”

VIDEO ALGARVE: Check out all_access video on ussoccer.com to see highlights of the USA’s three wins as well as a unique one-on-one with U.S. asstistant coach Hege Riise and a tour of Albufeira from the one-and-only Heather O’Reilly.

SWEDEN, THEN WPS TRAINING CAMPS: After the Algarve Cup Final, all the U.S. players will head back to the United States and almost immediately join their well-underway pre-season training camps for the inaugural WPS season. It will be a whole new world for the U.S. players as only six on the Algarve roster have played professional club soccer before. The 18-player U.S. roster will spread out among six WPS clubs with Abby Wambach’s Washington Freedom the only club not represented at the Algarve Cup. The season opens on March 29 as the Freedom head to Los Angeles to take on the Sol in the historic first-ever WPS match.

Stat of Note
In the six Algarve Cup finals the USA has won, the team has averaged exactly two goals per game.

Kai's 90th-Minute Winner Puts U.S. Into 2009 Algarve Cup Final

FERREIRAS, Portugal (March 6, 2009) – Forward Natasha Kai scored a spectacular goal in the last minute of regulation time to give the U.S. Women’s National Team a dramatic 1-0 victory over Iceland in the second group game for both teams at the 2009 Algarve Cup.

The U.S. victory, combined with Denmark’s 2-0 win against Norway, clinched Group B and a berth in the championship game on March 11 at Stadium Algarve in Faro against the winner of Group A. The U.S. will face Norway in its final group match on March 9 in Ferreiras (10 a.m. on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker), but that result will have no impact on the USA’s standing in the group.

The USA is currently first in Group B with six points, followed by Iceland and Denmark with three each. Norway has zero points after losing to both Iceland and Denmark. Even if the USA were to lose to Norway and either Iceland or Denmark picked up three points in its final match, both would still finish behind the USA on the first tiebreaker – the head-to-head result – as the USA has already defeated both the Danes and the Icelanders.

Germany has control of Group A after a dominating 3-0 victory against China PR today. The Germans need a win or a tie against Sweden on the final match day to take the group title and earn a match-up with the USA at the beautiful 30,000 seat Stadium Algarve, which was built for the 2004 European Championship. Sweden defeated Finland 1-0 today to keep its championship hopes alive, but it must defeat Germany to book its place in the final.

The USA advances to its unprecedented seventh straight Algarve Cup championship game, having won the tournament in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008. The USA fell in penalty kicks to Germany in the 2006 final. The USA won the Algarve Cup for the first time in 2000 and will be going for its sixth overall title. This is the first time in 14 Algarve Cup appearances that the USA has earned a berth to the championship match after two group games.

The wind played a major factor against Iceland with the USA attacking into the teeth of it during the first half. With the wind at its back in the second half, Kai’s goal came after an extended period of U.S. chances during the last 45 minutes.

Iceland was just hanging on at the end of the game, but surely its players were thinking that they had earned a point when a desperate clearance was settled by U.S. captain Christie Rampone on the left edge of the center circle in the USA’s attacking half. She spied Kai making a run into the penalty area and drove an inch-perfect pass over the top of the Iceland defense to the U.S. forward. Kai brought the ball down on her chest just a step inside the penalty area, let it bounce once and then lifted it over an onrushing Iceland defender. Kai then darted past the defender and ripped a left-footed half-volley into the right corner from 12 yards out. A frenzied U.S. celebration ensued.

The Americans struggled mightily in the first half as they tried to create an attacking rhythm, but a committed Iceland team in a compact 4-5-1 formation combined with the swirling winds forced numerous errant passes from the U.S. team.

Iceland took advantage of the wind to create some shots in the first half as both teams fired five with just one on goal, but once the second half started, it was pretty much one-way traffic for the USA.

At halftime, Sundhage sent on Heather O’Reilly at right midfield and Lindsay Tarpley on the left, moving Megan Rapinoe from the outside into the withdrawn forward slot, where she played well, and the Americans started to find the width and create more chances. The USA earned seven of its 10 corner kicks after the break as well sending numerous services into the penalty box after Iceland fouls on the wings.

The match was certainly physical, and at times a bit nasty, but full credit goes to Iceland for staying organized and blocking at least a dozen dangerous-looking U.S. shots and crosses.

Iceland was unwilling to come out of its defensive shell during the first 30 minutes of the second half as the USA pounded away unsuccessfully at their bunker, but then the Europeans put together a few counter attacks that almost won the game.

Iceland got its first chance of the second half in the 72nd minute after stripping the ball from the U.S. midfield, which led to a Dora Maria Larusdóttir hitting a blistering drive from the right side of the penalty area. U.S. goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart had to tip the ball over the crossbar, leading to the first of two consecutive Iceland corner kicks that were successfully defended by the USA.

Shannon Boxx and Heather Mitts both made timely tackles inside the U.S. penalty area in the last 15 minutes to defuse Iceland counter-attacks.

In the 87th minute, Barnhart came out to the top of the penalty area to challenge a bouncing ball and collided hard with Rakel Hönnudóttir, but while the Icelandic midfielder got a foot to the ball first, fortunately for the USA it bounced wide right of the goal.

Kai came into the match in the 68th minute and earned several corner kicks with rushes down the wings while almost scoring in the 87th minute after running onto a ball slipped into the right side of the penalty area by O’Reilly. Kai turned to smack her shot high to the near post, but Iceland goalkeeper Gudbjorg Gunnarsdottir pushed it over the crossbar.

With one minute left in regulation, substitute Rachel Buehler, who had come on just five minutes earlier, knifed through the penalty box to get her head on a Carli Lloyd free-kick from the ride side, but sent her chance skimming wide right.

One minute later, Gunnarsdóttir could do nothing with Kai’s world-class strike, her 24th international goal, and Boxx and Mitts then repelled two long Iceland services off free kicks during the three minutes of stoppage time to earn the victory.

The U.S. will now get two days of rest before facing Norway on Monday and then will begin preparing for either Germany or Sweden in the championship game which will be contested at 1:15 p.m. local / 9:15 a.m. ET. Fans will be able to follow the title match on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

- U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT  -

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Iceland
Date: March 6, 2009
Competition: 2009 Algarve Cup; Group B
Venue: Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras, Portugal
Kickoff: 3 p.m. (10 a.m. ET)
Attendance: 250
Weather: 66 degrees, partly cloudy, windy

Scoring Summary:    1    2    F
USA                               0    1    1
ISL                                 0    0    0

USA – Natasha Kai (Christie Rampone)       90th minute

Lineups:
USA: 18-Nicole Barnhart; 2-Heather Mitts, 3-Christie Rampone – Capt., 7-Shannon Boxx, 17-Lori Chalupny; 15-Megan Rapinoe, 16-Angela Hucles (4-Rachel Buehler, 84), 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Angie Woznuk (9-Heather O’Reilly, 46), 19-Tina DiMartino (5-Lindsay Tarpley, 46), 8-Amy Rodriguez (6-Natasha Kai, 68).
Subs not used: 1-Hope Solo, 13-Kendall Fletcher, 21-Kacey White.
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

ISL: 12-Gudbörg Gunnarsdóttir; 2-Gúdrun Gunnarsdóttir, 3-Ólina Gudbjörg Vidarsdóttir, 8-Katrin Jonsdóttir – Capt., 18-Sif Altadóttir (14-Erna Björk Sigurdardóttir, 36); 4-Edda Gardarsdóttir, 6- Hólmfridur Magnusdóttir (17-Rakel Hönnudóttir, 64), 7-Dóra Stefansdóttir, 10-Dóra Maria Larusdóttir (16-Erla Steina Arnardóttir, 91+), 11-Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir (20-Katrin Ómarsdóttir, 45); 9-Margrét Lára Vidarsdóttir.
Subs not used: 1-María Bjorg Águstsdóttir, 5-Ásta Árnadóttir, 13-Gudný Björk Odinsdóttir, 15-Hallbera Gudný Gisladóttir, 19-Harpa Thorsteinsdóttir
Head Coach: Sigurdur Ragnar Eyjolfsson

Statistical Summary: USA / ISL
Shots: 15 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 10 / 4
Fouls: 12 / 10
Offside: 2 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Shannon Boxx (caution)                    41st minute
ISL – Erna Björk Sigurdardóttir (caution)    71

Officials
Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER)
Assistant Referee: Moiken Reichert (GER)
Assistant Referee: Marina Wozniak (GER)
Fourth Official: Kirsi Savolainen (FIN)

ussoccer.com Woman of the Match:
Natasha Kai

2009 Algarve Cup Standings and Schedule

Rapinoe Goal Gives U.S. 1-0 Win Against Norway

FERREIRAS, Portugal (March 9, 2009) – Forward Megan Rapinoe scored in the 21st minute to give the U.S. Women’s National Team a 1-0 victory against Norway in the final group game for both teams at the 2009 Algarve Cup.

The U.S. will face Sweden in the Algarve Cup championship game on Wednesday, March 11, at the Stadium Algarve in Faro. Kickoff is at 4 p.m. local / 12 p.m. ET and fans can follow live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Sweden won Group A by defeating Germany 3-2 after going up 3-0 at halftime, in a game the Scandinavians had to win to make the title match. The championship game match-up pits U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage against her home country.

Coming into the Norway game, the USA had already qualified for the championship by virtue of earlier victories over Denmark and Iceland, but the U.S. put a positive capper on group play with its third straight shutout in a contest that at times turned into a track meet of counter attacks.

Norway fielded a squad with several young players and battled gamely for the entire match with the U.S. goal coming slightly against the run of play. It originated from the left wing as midfielder Kacey White took a hard dribble down the flank before playing a threaded pass to Amy Rodriguez at the top of the penalty area. With her back to the goal, Rodriguez spun a first-time pass to Rapinoe, who took a touch to the inside to beat a player, continued for a few more yards and then smashed her skimming shot across the face of the goal, off the left post and into the net. Norwegian goalkeeper Caroline Knutsen almost got a glove to the ball, but the pace of the shot was enough to beat her.

It was Rapinoe’s third international goal in just her second start after scoring twice off the bench against Chinese Taipei in 2006.

Goalkeeper Hope Solo came up big for USA once again, making an eye-popping save in the 18th minute off a shot from Kristine Lie. The Norwegian forward found space at the top of the U.S. penalty area on the left side and struck a spinning shot that was surely headed into the absolute upper right corner. Solo got a magnificent jump on the ball and executed a fully extended dive to tip the ball over the goal with her right hand. She then punched away the ensuing corner kick.

While the game was end-to-end, and the USA did outshoot Norway 12-9, both teams struggled to consistently test each other’s ‘keeper. Norway did have a golden chance in just the fourth minute as Ingvild Isaksen popped free in front of the goal, but shot wide right from 10 yards away.

The USA almost made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute as White lifted a looping pass over the Norway defensive line to Rodriguez, who powered through a defender to win the ball, but lifted her shot just wide right of the goal.

Lindsay Tarpley, who played in the center of the midfield for the full 90 minutes, had a semi-breakaway chance five minutes into the second half as she ran onto a ball that had been guided on by halftime sub Natasha Kai, but Knutsen got a piece her close range shot to push it wide left.

Norway put excellent defensive pressure on the U.S. backs and midfielders, making it very difficult for the Americans to find an attacking rhythm. The U.S. backs were stellar, matching Norway’s physical play for 90 minutes. On the back line, Sundhage gave a first cap to Kendall Fletcher, who also picked up her first yellow card, while Rachel Buehler, Heather Mitts and Christie Rampone ran down every counter attack and battled for every air ball. Shannon Boxx came into the game in the 62nd minute for Mitts as Fletcher moved to right back and helped keep the Norwegian attack at bay.

Solo pulled off another top class save in the 83rd minute when Norwegian captain Ingvild Stensland rocketed a shot that forced U.S. ‘keeper to spring straight up and tip it off the crossbar and over the goal.

The USA is the only country in the 12-team tournament that has yet to allow a goal.

The USA will be playing in its seventh straight Algarve Cup championship game, having won the tournament in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008. The USA fell in penalty kicks to Germany in the 2006 final. The USA won the Algarve Cup for the first time in 2000 and will be going for its sixth overall title.

- U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT -

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Norway
Date: March 9, 2009
Competition: 2009 Algarve Cup; Group B
Venue: Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras, Portugal
Kickoff: 3 p.m. (11 a.m. ET)
Attendance: 400
Weather: 66 degrees, sunny, breezy

Scoring Summary:    1    2    F
USA                               1    0    1
NOR                              0    0    0

USA – Megan Rapinoe (Amy Rodriguez)          21st minute

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts (7-Shannon Boxx, 62), 3-Christie Rampone – Capt., 13-Kendall Fletcher, 4-Rachel Buehler; 9-Heather O’Reilly (12-Angie Woznuk, 83), 16-Angela Hucles (10-Carli Lloyd, 46), 5-Lindsay Tarpley, 21-Kacey White, 15-Megan Rapinoe (19-Tina DiMartino, 70), 8-Amy Rodriguez (6-Natasha Kai, 46)
Subs not used: 17-Lori Chalupny, 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

NOR: 12-Caroline Knutsen; 6-Camilla Huse (10-Lindy Melissa Wiik, 60), 7-Trine Rønning, 15-Hedda Strand Gardsjord, 18-Toril Akerhaugen; 4-Ingvild Stensland, 5-Anneli Giske, 17-Maren Mjelde, 21-Lena Storløkken (13-Siri Nordeide Grønli, 80); 19-Ingvild Isaksen (11-Leni Larsen Kaurin, 60), 20-Kristin Lie
Subs not used: 1-Ingrid Hjelmseth, 2-Solfrid Andersen, 3-Marita Skammelsrud Lund, 8-Solveig Gulbrandsen, 14-Marthe Johansen, 16-Ingrid Schjelderup
Head Coach: Bjarne Berntsen

Statistical Summary: USA / NOR
Shots: 12 / 9
Shots on Goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 2 / 6
Fouls: 12 / 10
Offside: 5 / 7

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Kendall Fletcher (caution)       45th minute
NOR – Trine Ronning (caution)          75

Officials:
Referee: Gyongyi Gall (HUN)
Assistant: Referee: Yolanda Parga Rodriguez (ESP)
Assistant: Referee: Maria Luisa Villa Gutierres (ESP)
Fourth Official: Kirsi Savolainen (FIN)

ussoccer.com Woman of the Match:
Megan Rapinoe

U.S. WNT Face Iceland In Second 2009 Algarve Cup Match

U.S. Women’s National Team
The Algarve, Portugal
Thursday, March 5, 2009


U.S. WOMEN FACE ICELAND IN SECOND MATCH OF ALGARVE CUP: Coming off a solid 2-0 victory over Denmark in the opening match of the 2009 Algarve Cup, the USA will now face Iceland on Friday, March 6, in Ferreiras, a venue at which the USA has won its five previous matches. The weather in the Algarve has been unseasonably windy and chilly, but temperatures are forecast to warm up a bit for the USA-Iceland clash, which fans can follow on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker at 10 a.m. ET. The USA is in second place in the group (on goals scored) after Iceland’s huge 3-1 upset of Norway in its first game, and the victor in this next match will take a major step towards winning Group B and earning a spot in the championship game. In fact, a U.S. win over Iceland coupled with a Norway loss to Denmark would put the USA into the championship with one group game still left to play. For complete Algarve Cup results and standings, as well as links to other U.S. content, click on the Algarve Cup competition page.

U.S. WNT 2008 Algarve Cup Schedule
Date Opponent Time / Result U.S. Goal Scorer(s) Venue; City
March 4 Denmark 2-0 W Woznuk, DiMartino Estadio Municipal; Lagos
March 6 Iceland 3 p.m. / 10 a.m. ET   Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras
March 9 Norway 3 p.m. / 11 a.m. ET   Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras
March 11 Placement Match TBD   TBD

Group B
Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts.
ISL 1 1 0 0 3 1 +2 3
USA 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 3
NOR 1 0 1 0 1 3 -2 0
DEN 1 0 1 0 0 2 -2 0

GROUP A RECAP: The Germans, who have struggled at the Algarve Cup the past two years, finishing fourth in 2008 and eighth in 2007 after winning the tournament in 2006, opened this year’s tournament with a 2-0 victory over 2009 UEFA Women’s Championship host Finland as veterans Melanie Behringer and Kerstin Garefrekes scored. In the other Group A match, Sweden played a lackluster 0-0 draw with China PR. The Germans can take control of the group with a victory over China on the second match day while the Swedes will try to stay in contention for a berth in the title game with a victory over the Fins.

GROUP C RECAP: Both matches in Group C finished with 2-1 scores as host Portugal battled for a victory over Poland while Austria downed Wales. Portugal’s goals came from Ana Borges and Edite Fernandes.

OPPONENT CAPSULE: Iceland
Current FIFA World Ranking: 19
All-Time Algarve Cup Results: 7-6-3
Overall Record vs. USA: 0-8-2
Iceland Record vs. the USA at Algarve Cup: First meeting
Last Meeting vs. USA: October 8, 2006, in Richmond, Va. (2-1 W)
Head Coach: Sigurdur Ragnar Eyjolfsson
Algarve Cup Finals: None
Key Players: GK María Bjorg Águstsdóttir, D Gúdrun Gunnarsdóttir, D Ólina Gudbjörg Vidarsdóttir, D Katrin Jónsdóttir, M Edda Gardarsdóttir, M Hólmfridur Magnusdóttir, M Dóra Stefansdóttir, M Dóra Maria Larusdóttir, M Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, M Erla Steina Arnardóttir, F Margrét Lára Vidarsdóttir

USA vs. Iceland Fast Facts: Iceland is coming off one of its biggest ever wins, a 3-1 stunner over Norway in the Algarve Cup opener for both teams. The team will no doubt be sky high with energy for the meeting with the USA as a berth in the championship game – which would be a first for Iceland in its fifth Algarve Cup – is on the line … Iceland has never finished higher than sixth at the Algarve Cup … Two of Iceland’s three goals against Norway came off crosses, one off a set play … Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir scored two of Iceland’s goals against Norway and is currently the leading scorer in the tournament as no other player tallied more than once on the first match day … Iceland is also preparing for its first-ever appearance at the UEFA Women’s Championship, finishing second behind France in Group 3 of qualifying and then defeating Ireland on a 4-1 aggregate score in a two-leg playoff series as Dóra María Lárusdóttir scored twice in the historic 3-0 second leg win in Reykjavik … Iceland is in a group with Germany, Norway and France, so the going will be tough, but the Algarve Cup win against Norway surely has bolstered their spirits … Iceland’s domestic league doesn’t start until May, but several players compete for clubs in Sweden, including two for KIF Orebro, where U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage used to coach … Iceland has several veteran leaders, including defender and team captain Katrin Jonsdottir and midfielders Edda Gardarsdottir and Erla Arnardottir, the latter two of which scored against the USA in 2004 in the infamous 4-3 U.S. victory (see below) … The USA may owe Iceland a trip to Reykjavik as the pervious nine games between the teams were all played in the United States.

2009 U.S. Algarve Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 18-Nicole Barnhart, 1-Hope Solo
DEFENDERS (6): 7-Shannon Boxx, 4-Rachel Buehler, 17-Lori Chalupny, 13-Kendall Fletcher, 2-Heather Mitts, 3-Christie Rampone
MIDFIELDERS (6): 16-Angela Hucles, 11-Carli Lloyd, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 21-Kacey White, 12-Angie Woznuk
FORWARDS (4): 19-Tina DiMartino, 6-Natasha Kai, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 5-Lindsay Tarpley

2009 Iceland Algarve Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1- María Bjorg Águstsdóttir, 12-Gudbörg Gunnarsdóttir
DEFENDERS (5): 2- Gúdrun Gunnarsdóttir, 3- Ólina Gudbjörg Vidarsdóttir, 5-Ásta Árnadóttir, 8-Katrin Jonsdóttir, 18-Sif Altadóttir
MIDFIELDERS (11): 4-Edda Gardarsdóttir, 6- Hólmfridur Magnusdóttir, 7-Dóra Stefansdóttir, 10-Dóra Maria Larusdóttir, 11- Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, 13-Gudný Björk Odinsdóttir, 14-Erna Björk Sigurdardóttir, 15-Hallbera Gudný Gisladóttir, 16-Erla Steina Arnardóttir, 17-Rakel Hönnudóttir, 20-Katrin Ómarsdóttir
FORWARDS (2): 9- Margrét Lára Vidarsdóttir, 19-Harpa Thorsteinsdóttir

U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage

On Iceland:
“I think Iceland is a team with a big heart. Some of the players play in the Swedish league and they are pretty skillful. They might play a 4-5-1 and have a player up top who is pretty tricky. They work really hard and they know they have a chance to get a point and maybe win the game so that kind of underdog feeling is significant for the match.”

On Iceland coming off a big victory over Norway:
“They will be ready to go. They are playing in the European championships in August and they are coming into this game with great confidence after getting a big win over a great team like Norway.”

On what she is focusing on for the match:
“We are looking at the midfield. We are taking a lot of risks in the attack and of course that means sometimes you get a counter-attack. I think that was one of the reason’s Denmark got a couple of chances against us. But on the other hand, we do have a great goalkeeper and a great back line, whoever is playing back there. I think it’s worthwhile to take the risk because if you want to improve certain things, you really need to exaggerate that and that’s exactly what we are doing right now. We are more thinking about going into the attacking third than playing careful and safe, but we still want to win the game of course.”

WHAT’S IN AN ICELANDIC NAME?: Whenever the U.S. Women play Iceland, which has happened only nine times in WNT history, we like to bring out the following explanation (that we found on the Internet) of the seemingly strange Icelandic names. Contrary to most other places in the world, little ol' Iceland is not very fond of "surnames" and EVERYBODY is on a first name basis. (Yes, even with the president!) This is because there are hardly any "family names" in Iceland. No family names? How do you recognize each other and who belongs to whom? Well, it's simple really. The Icelandic people are descendants from Vikings and they kept track of people by recognizing who was their father, as in "Helgi son of Ólafur the Brave, son of Leifur the Large" (not an actual example). Thus was born the tradition of naming children after their father's first name. So the way it works in Iceland is that boys are given first names and then their father's first name + "son" as a "surname". Girls on the other hand are given first names and then their father's first name + "dóttir" (as in "daughter") as a "surname".

A hypothetical example:
Father = Ragnar Helgason
Mother = Inga Bjarnadóttir
Their son = Leifur Ragnarsson
Their daughter = Anna Ragnarsdóttir

Or, if Heather Mitts, whose dad’s name is Donald, was Icelandic, her name would be Heather Donaldsdottir and her brother Brian would be Brian Donaldsson.

Referring to the family by their "surnames" is therefore pointless and everyone goes by their first names. Women also don't take their husband's surname when they get married as it would mess everything up. It's also worth mentioning that most Icelanders can trace back their family-line to the 13th century or so (Iceland was first settled in the ninth century), so this system appears to be working.

USA vs. ICELAND HISTORY: The USA and Iceland have met nine times in their history, with the USA holding a 8-0-1 advantage in the series, but the meeting on Sept. 25, 2004, in Rochester, N.Y., produced some shocking results, as Iceland scored its first-ever goals on the USA, all in a six-minute span. The USA has allowed three or more goals in a game just 16 times over the last 25 years and 434 games, but never has the USA allowed three goals in such a short span. But the Iceland-USA series is no stranger to strangeness. The two teams played one of the most unusual two-game series in U.S. history in April of 2000 as the USA downed Iceland, 8-0, on April 5 using a team of mostly young players, then tied 0-0 three days later with a team of mostly veteran players as Iceland goalkeeper Thora Helgadottir, a Duke graduate, played a brilliant match. The first six matches between the teams were either blowouts (6-0 and 8-0) or close games (two 1-0 wins, 0-0 tie and a 4-3 win), but the last three meetings have featured two 3-0 U.S. victories and the most recent, a 2-1 U.S. victory in Richmond, Va., where Abby Wambach scored the game-winner in the waning moments of the match. Those results have been positive for such a small soccer country, which features about 300,000 people and a very small number of registered female players, as well as a national stadium in the capital of Reykjavík that seats just 14,000.

THERE’S ONLY ONE RACHEL BUEHLER: The origins of Rachel Buehler’s thundering tackles began long ago in the backyards of Del Mar, Calif. To read about why the U.S. defender’s propensity to knock opponent’s around is only part of her personality, click on this special feature in ussoccer.com Center Circle.

POP CULTURE WITH HOPE SOLO: The U.S. goalkeeper answers some nagging questions, including what video games she prefers, which piercing is her favorite and why polar bears are scary, as she chats with ussoccer.com’s Center Circle.

TARP’s TRAINING TIPS: Training on your own can be tedious, but U.S. forward Lindsay Tarpley shares some tips about how she makes her training interesting and productive.

YOUNG AMERICANS: U.S. defender’s Rachel Buehler and Kendall Fletcher have a lot in common. Find out what they share in this ussoccer.com podcast.

Stat of Note
The win over Denmark in the USA’s first match of the year marked the 19th time the USA has won its first game of a calendar year. The USA has tied three year-opening matches and lost three.

Woznuk and DiMartino Score as U.S. Women Defeat Denmark 2-0 to Open 2009 Algarve Cup

LAGOS, Portugal (March 4, 2009) – The U.S. Women’s National Team got its 2009 Algarve Cup campaign off to a rousing start, defeating Denmark 2-0 in nasty weather conditions as midfielders Angie Wonzuk and Tina DiMartino tallied in the first half.

With the wind whipping through the small stadium and a drizzling rain falling almost the entire match, the U.S. played the first 20 minutes on shaky legs before warming up to the task.

The first U.S. score came in the 22nd minute on the USA’s first shot on goal as Woznuk scored her second career goal in just her seventh career cap and second start. The scoring sequence started with an attack down the left flank as midfielder Angela Hucles rolled a pass to Woznuk on the wing and she hit a looping cross. The ball was punched to the other side of the penalty area by Denmark goalkeeper Heidi Johansen but Heather O’Reilly ran it down. O’Reilly’s cross was also punched by Johansen, and this time the ball fell to Woznuk near the left post. She settled the ball quickly and while standing just a few paces from the end line, blasted a sizzling half-volley into the roof of the net over the Danish goalkeeper.

The goal energized the U.S. team, which started connecting passes and getting numbers into the attack. Thirteen minutes after the first score, the Americans got another.

This one came off a corner kick from the left side as Christie Rampone looped her cross to the far post. U.S. forward Natasha Kai jumped high to win the ball, heading it hard off the arm of a Danish defender who was protecting the left post. The ball spun out front of the goal and DiMartino, the smallest player on the field at 5 feet 2 inches, found space to slide and smash a left-footed shot through that same defender’s legs and into the net from just a few yards out.

The goal was DiMartino’s first for the full U.S. National Team, and it came in just her second cap and first start.

“It’s a special feeling to score a goal and, for Woznuk and DiMartino, who are fairly new to the team, it shows that on this team anyone can score,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “Everyone is happy when anyone scores a goal, but especially the new players.”

Lindsay Tarpley replaced DiMartino at halftime and immediately added a spark to the U.S. attack, which was also bolstered later in the match by the fresh legs of Megan Rapinoe and Amy Rodriguez. But as it turned out, the U.S. got all the goals it would need before the break.

That was partly due to the excellent match played by U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, who saved two breakaways in the first half from Danish winger Johanna Rasmussen, pushing the first away with a dive to her right in the 26th minute before securing the second with a dive to her left about 10 minutes later.

Solo made her biggest save just a minute before halftime when Rasmussen’s cross from the left wing was allowed to fall in a dangerous area inside the U.S. penalty box. Danish forward Merete Pedersen got a great strike on the ball from just six yards away, but Solo stuck out her right arm to make a great reaction save and then pounced on the ball before it could spin over the goal line.

Rasmussen created danger down the flanks the entire match and almost pulled a goal back in the 61st minute after Rampone was stripped at midfield, leading to a Denmark counter attack. With the recovering Rampone on her hip, Rasmussen slapped her shot wide right of the goal from the left side of the penalty area.

The match marked the debut of Shannon Boxx in the center of the U.S. defense, where the USA’s usual defensive midfielder performed extremely well next to Rampone. The U.S. team received three uncharacteristic yellow cards in the match. The first was to Woznuk for a cleats-up tackle, the second to Buehler for a powerful slide that was just a second too late and the final caution went to Rapinoe for kicking the ball away after a foul late in the game. The cautions were just a side note however as accumulated yellow cards do not lead to suspension in the Algarve Cup.

Solo made several secure catches in the rainy conditions, but her best play on a cross may have been a punch with about eight minutes left that keep a wicked service from Rasmussen moving across the goal and away from danger.

The victory marked the sixth straight Algarve Cup where the USA has started off with a win. The American women are looking for their third straight Algarve Cup title after defeating Denmark in the championship game the past two years. The win also reversed a strange trend for U.S. matches in Lagos, Portugal, where the U.S. Women won for just the second time in its history after coming into the match with a 1-5-0 record at the venue.

“Even though it was raining the field was pretty good,” said Sundhage. “So we tried to play through the midfield and at times we managed to do that, especially after the first 20-25 minutes. Then every single player in the midfield got involved in every attack and I was very pleased with that.”

The U.S. will have one rest day before its next game, taking on Iceland on March 6 in Ferreiras, with a kickoff at 3 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET. Fans can follow the action on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

- U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT -

Match: United States Women's National Team vs. Denmark
Date: March 4, 2009
Competition: 2009 Algarve Cup; Group B 
Venue: Municipal Stadium; Lagos, Portugal
Kickoff: 12 p.m. (7 a.m. ET)
Attendance: 200
Weather: 55 degrees, Cold, windy, rain

Scoring Summary:  1     2     F
USA                            2     0     2
DEN                           0     0      0

USA – Angie Woznuk (Heather O’Reilly)      22nd minute
USA – Tina DiMartino                                       35

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts (4-Rachel Buehler, 46), 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 7-Shannon Boxx, 17-Lori Chalupny; 9-Heather O’Reilly (21-Kacey White, 78), 10-Carli Lloyd, 16-Angela Hucles, 12-Angie Woznuk (15-Megan Rapinoe, 62), 19-Tina DiMartino (5-Lindsay Tarpley, 46), 6-Natasha Kai (8-Amy Rodriguez, 62)
Subs not used: 13-Kendall Fletcher, 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

DEN: 1-Heidi Johansen; 2-Mia Olsen, 3-Katrine Pedersen (capt.) (19-Marianne Pedersen, 67), 4-Christina Ømtoft, 5-Line Hansen, 6-Marianne Knudsen, 7-Cathrine Sørensen (18-Nanna Christiansen, 72), 10-Camilla Sand, 13-Johanna Rasmussen, 9-Maiken Pape (17-Nadia Nadim, 21), 11-Merete Pedersen (8-Julie Rydahl-Bukh, 67)
Subs not used: 12-Janne Madsen, 14-Marie Bjerg, 15-Sanne Troelsgaard, 16-Tine Cederkvist Vsikær, 20-Tina Rasmussen
Head Coach: Kenneth Heiner-Møller

Stats Summary: USA / DEN
Shots: 14 / 8
Shots on Goal: 9 / 4
Saves: 4 / 6
Corner Kicks: 8 / 3
Fouls: 6 / 3
Offside: 0 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Angie Woznuk (caution)        32rd minute
USA – Rachel Buehler (caution)      80
USA – Megan Rapinoe (caution)     85

Officials
Referee: Jenny Palmqvist (SWE)
Asst. Referee: Helen Caro (SWE)
Asst. Referee: Anna Nystrom (SWE)
4th Official: Efthalia Mitsi (GRE)

ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Hope Solo

2009 Algarve Cup Standings
Group A

Team W L T GF GA GD Pts.
GER 1 0 0 2 0 +2 3
SWE 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
CHN 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
FIN 0 1 0 0 2 -2 0

March 4
Germany 2, Finland 0
China 0, Sweden 0

March 6
Sweden vs. Finland
Germany vs. China

March 9
Finland vs. China
Sweden vs. Germany

Group B
Team W L T GF GA GD Pts.
ISL 1 0 0 3 1 +2 3
USA 1 0 0 2 0 +2 3
NOR 0 1 0 1 3 -2 0
DEN 0 1 0 0 2 -2 0

March 4
USA 2, Denmark 0
Norway 1, Iceland 3

March 6
USA vs. Iceland
Denmark vs. Norway

March 9
USA vs. Norway
Iceland vs. Denmark

Group C
Team W L T GF GA GD Pts.
AUT 1 0 0 2 1 +1 3
POR 1 0 0 2 1 +1 0
POL 0 1 0 1 2 -1 0
WAL 0 1 0 1 2 -1 0

March 4
Austria 2, Wales 1
Poland 1, Portugal 2

March 6
Austria vs. Poland
Portugal vs. Wales

March 9
Portugal vs. Austria
Poland vs. Wales

Sundhage Names 18-Player Roster For 2009 Algarve Cup; U.S. Women Will Face Denmark, Iceland and Norway

CHICAGO (Feb. 5, 2009) – Following a 17-day training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has named an 18-player roster for the 2009 Algarve Cup, from March 4-11 in southern Portugal.

The U.S. team, which has been placed into Group B at the annual tournament, will open play on March 4 against Denmark, face Iceland on March 6 and finish the first-round against Norway on March 9. Group A features Germany, Sweden, China and Finland. Group C consists of Portugal, Poland, Wales and first-time participant Austria. The venues and kickoff times for all the matches will be confirmed shortly.

The USA will travel to Portugal to face teams gearing up for the 2009 UEFA Women’s Championships in Finland next summer. All six European teams in Groups A and B will be competing in Finland as the quadrennial European Women’s Championships will be contested by 12 teams for the first time, up from eight countries in the past.

“The Algarve Cup is always an important tournament and is especially good for the U.S. as we get to play the top European countries,” said Sundhage. “We will not play as many matches this year as we did in 2008, so these games are important to keep the team evolving, in defending but especially in the attack. These games will test our ability to play our style while developing a rhythm that helps make our attack unpredictable and involves a lot of different players and positions. Of course, we are bringing some young players to the tournament this year and it will be great to get them some experience in these kinds of games.”

All the games will be played at small venues spread out over the Algarve region on the southern coast of the country with the placement matches taking place on March 11. Fans can follow the USA’s intense schedule of four games in eight days online via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and watch highlights on ussoccer.com’s all_access video.

Since the expansion from eight to 12 teams eight years ago, the Algarve Cup format has been as follows: The teams in Group A and B will compete for the title as the group winners will play in the championship game on Wednesday, March 11. 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 7-12 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.

This will be the 14th trip to the Algarve Cup for the U.S. women who have won the tournament six times, including an unprecedented three straight championships from 2003-05 at what has become the world’s most competitive women’s international event outside of the Women's World Cup, the Olympics and the European Championship. The USA defeated Denmark in the last two Algarve Cup Finals, winning 2-0 in 2007 on goals from Kristine Lilly and Carli Lloyd and 2-1 in 2008 on goals from Natasha Kai and Abby Wambach. The USA advanced to the championship game of the 2006 Algarve Cup but fell in penalty kicks to Germany. The USA has played in six consecutive Algarve Cup championship games.

The U.S. roster features 13 players from the 2008 Olympic gold medal champions, including three-fourths of the starting back line in captain Christie Rampone and flank defenders Heather Mitts and Lori Chalupny. With Kate Markgraf pregnant, Olympian Rachel Buehler and uncapped Kendall Fletcher will compete for playing time, although Shannon Boxx also trained at center back during the recently completed camp. Boxx has twice been named the MVP of the Algarve Cup (2004 and 2006). Buehler made her international debut last year at the Algarve Cup.

Sundhage named three relatively inexperienced midfielders to go along with Olympians Boxx, Lindsay Tarpley, Heather O’Reilly and Lloyd. Among midfielders Angie Woznuk (6 caps, 1 goal), Tina DiMartino (1/0) and Kacey White (15/0), only Woznuk has attended the Algarve Cup before, playing in two matches last year.

With forward Wambach not quite game-ready as she nears the end of her comeback from a broken leg, the striking responsibilities will fall to Kai, the USA’s leading scorer last year with 15 goals, young forwards Amy Rodriguez and Megan Rapinoe, and Olympic hero Angela Hucles, who can of course also play in the midfield. 2008 Olympics goalkeepers Hope Solo and Nicole Barnhart make up the remainder of the roster.

Rampone leads the way in Algarve Cup experience as she will be playing in her ninth tournament. This will be the seventh Algarve Cup for Tarpley and O’Reilly and the sixth for Boxx. Lloyd and Tarpley are the top Algarve Cup scorers on the roster with each having found the net five times in the tournament. In 2007, Lloyd scored in each of the four Algarve Cup matches to earn MVP and top scorer honors. If Mitts plays in all four matches during the tournament, she will hit 100 caps in the USA’s last game. She would become the USA’s 25th female player to reach the century mark.

United States Women's National Team 2009 Algarve Cup Roster
The Algarve, Portugal
March 4-11, 2009

No. Players Pos. Ht. DOB Hometown Club Caps/Goals
1 Solo, Hope GK 5' 9" 07/30/81 Richland, Wash. St. Louis Athletica 79/0
2 Mitts, Heather D 5' 5" 06/09/78 Cincinnati, Ohio Boston Breakers 96/2
3 Rampone, Christie D 5' 6" 06/24/75 Manasquan, N.J. Sky Blue FC 211/4
4 Buehler, Rachel D 5' 5" 08/26/85 Del Mar, Calif. FC Gold Pride 23/0
5 Tarpley, Lindsay M 5' 6" 09/22/83 Kalamazoo, Mich. Chicago Red Stars 113/29
6 Kai, Natasha F 5' 8" 05/22/83 Kahuku, Hawaii Sky Blue FC 63/23
7 Boxx, Shannon M 5' 8" 06/29/77 Redondo Beach, Calif. Los Angeles Sol 110/18
8 Rodriguez, Amy F 5' 4" 02/17/87 Lake Forest, Calif. Boston Breakers 31/6
9 O’Reilly, Heather M 5' 5" 01/02/85 East Brunswick, N.J. Sky Blue FC 108/25
10 Lloyd, Carli M 5' 8" 07/16/82 Delran, N.J. Chicago Red Stars 79/19
12 Woznuk, Angie M 5' 5" 03/29/85 El Cajon, Calif. St. Louis Athletica 6/1
13 Fletcher, Kendall D 5' 6" 11/11/84 Cary, N.C. Los Angeles Sol 0/0
15 Rapinoe, Megan F 5' 7" 07/05/85 Redding, Calif. Chicago Red Stars 4/2
16 Hucles, Angela F 5' 7" 07/05/78 Virginia Beach, Va. Boston Breakers 102/13
17 Chalupny, Lori D 5' 4" 01/29/84 St. Louis, Mo. St. Louis Athletica 87/8
18 Barnhart, Nicole GK 5' 10" 10/10/81 Gilbertsville, Pa. FC Gold Pride 17/0
19 DiMartino, Tina M 5' 2" 11/06/86 Massapequa Park, N.Y. FC Gold Pride 1/1
21 White, Kacey M 5' 4" 04/27/84 Arlington, Texas Sky Blue FC 15/0

United States Women's National Team 2009 Algarve Cup Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (3) (FC Gold Pride), Hope Solo (6) (St. Louis Athletica);
DEFENDERS (5): Rachel Buehler (2) (FC Gold Pride), Lori Chalupny (6) (St. Louis Athletica), Kendall Fletcher (1) (Los Angeles Sol), Heather Mitts (5) (Boston Breakers), Christie Rampone (9) (Sky Blue FC);
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (6) (Los Angeles Sol), Tina DiMartino (1) (FC Gold Pride), Carli Lloyd (4) (Chicago Red Stars), Heather O’Reilly (7) (Sky Blue FC), Lindsay Tarpley (7) (Chicago Red Stars), Kacey White (1) (Sky Blue FC), Angie Woznuk (2) (St. Louis Athletica);
FORWARDS (4): Angela Hucles (5) (Boston Breakers), Natasha Kai (4) (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (1) (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (4) (Boston Breakers).

Number of Algarve Cups attended, including 2009, in parenthesis.

Team Staff:
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage Redondo Beach, Calif.
Asst. Coach: Erica Walsh State College, Pa.
Asst. Coach: Hege Riise Oslo, Norway
Goalkeeper Coach: Phil Wheddon Syracuse, N.Y.
General Manager: Cheryl Bailey Redondo Beach, Calif.
Team Doctor: Dr. Scott Powell Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Team Doctor: Dr. Stephen Lucey Greensboro, N.C.
Athletic Trainer: Greg Banks Charleston, S.C.
Massage Therapist: Pam Durant Charleston, S.C.
Massage Therapist: Allison Griffith Charleston, S.C.
Equipment Manager: Andrew Dessert Kansas City, Mo.
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz Cypress, Calif.
Videographer: Vanessa Smith Palos Verdes, Calif.
Security: Mark Pharris Atlanta, Ga.
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz Cypress, Calif.

16th Annual Algarve Cup
The Algarve, Portugal

Group A
Germany, Sweden, China, Finland

Group B
USA, Norway, Iceland, Denmark

Group C
Portugal, Poland, Austria, Wales 

March 4 
Group Teams
A Germany vs. Finland
A China vs. Sweden
B USA vs. Denmark
B Norway vs. Iceland
C Portugal vs. Poland
C Wales vs. Austria

March 6
Group Teams
A Sweden vs. Finland
A Germany vs. China
B USA vs. Iceland
B Denmark vs. Norway
C Portugal vs. Wales
C Austria vs. Poland

March 9
Group Teams
A Finland vs. China
A Germany vs. Sweden
B USA vs. Norway
B Iceland vs. Denmark
C Portugal vs. Austria
C Poland vs. Wales

March 11 – Placement Matches
Match-Ups
11th Place Match
9th Place Match
7th Place Match
5th Place Match
3rd Place Match
Championship

U.S. Women's National Team Arrives in Portugal Ahead of Algarve Cup

U.S. Women’s National Team
The Algarve, Portugal
Feb. 27, 2009

U.S. TEAM ARRIVES IN PORTUGAL TO PREPARE FOR ALGARVE CUP: The U.S. Women’s National Team arrived on the beautiful southern coast of Portugal on the afternoon of Feb. 26 to prepare for its first international matches of 2009, which will come at the always competitive Algarve Cup. The reigning Olympic champions kickoff the 2009 schedule on March 4 against Denmark in what could be the USA’s most difficult Algarve Cup opening match in years. During the last three tournaments the USA has opened against China, a team that has struggled in recent years. In the two years before that, the USA opened against France, which is certainly a strong side but not among the current European elite. This time the opening match of Group B will pit the countries who have met in the last two Algarve Cup Finals, both won by the USA (2-0 in 2007 and 2-1 in 2008). The Danes were certainly not favored to win their group the last two years over Germany and Sweden, but did so both times to earn a place in the championship game. Denmark will likely have to slay the U.S. team this time to keep their title hopes alive, and vice-versa. The USA-Denmark clash kicks off at Noon local time (7 a.m. ET) in Lagos, a venue that has not been kind to the USA. You will be able to read more about the Curse of Lagos in the pre-game notes before the match. Fans can follow USA-Denmark and all the U.S. games at the Algarve Cup on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

KICKOFF TIME: The U.S. Women will play their first match of the year at the Algarve Cup for only the second time in history. In the past few years, the team has traveled to China in January in preparation for World Cups and Olympics Games, but with those tournaments now left to the history books, the Americans will focus more on matches in Europe, the continent that will host the next Women’s World Cup in Germany in 2011 and Olympics in England in 2012. The last time the USA kicked off its schedule in Portugal was in 2005, when the team won all four matches at the tournament for the first time and earned shutouts in all four matches, also a first for the Algarve Cup. With the start of the new WPS, the U.S. team will only play about a dozen full international matches this year with the Algarve Cup set as the only major tournament competition in 2009.

16th Annual Algarve Cup
Group A
Germany, Sweden, China, Finland
Group B
USA, Norway, Demark, Iceland
Group C
Portugal, Poland, Wales, Austria

U.S. WNT 2008 Algarve Cup Schedule

Date Opponent Venue Time (Local / ET)
March 4 Denmark Municipal Stadium; Lagos 12 p.m. / 7 a.m.
March 6 Iceland Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras 3 p.m. / 10 a.m.
March 9 Norway Municipal Stadium; Albufeira 3 p.m. / 11 a.m.
March 11 Placement Match TBD; TBD TBD

14 YEARS IN PORTUGAL: This will be the 14th Algarve Cup for the U.S. women, who have gone 8-1-4 in openers of this annual March tournament. The only opening game loss came in 2001 when the USA brought a very young team to the Algarve during WUSA pre-season camps. In 2007, the USA won all four games of the tournament for only the third time in 12 previous appearances, a testament to the difficulty of this competition. The USA then came back in 2008 and won all four games again, giving the Americans an eight-game Algarve Cup winning streak, matched only by China over 1998, 1999 (when China beat the USA in the final) and 2000 tournaments, and Norway over the 1996 and 1997 tournaments, which just happened to be the only two Algarve Cups in which the USA did not participate. 

RIISE ADDED TO U.S. COACHING STAFF: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has added former Norwegian star Hege Riise to her coaching staff. The central midfielder was considered one of the best in the world at her position during her 14 years playing for her country. Riise joins a coaching staff that also includes UCLA head coach Jillian Ellis, Penn State head coach Erica Walsh and Syracuse head coach Phil Wheddon, who trains the USA’s goalkeepers. All three coaches were on Sundhage’s staff for the 2008 Olympics. The long-time captain for Norway, Riise made her international debut in 1990 and played in four Women’s World Cup tournaments (1991, 1995, 1999 and 2003), helping Norway to the title in 1995 as well as an Olympic gold medal in 2000. She also played in the 1996 Olympic Games.

YOUNG AMERICANS: The USA comes to the 2009 Algarve Cup with an 18-player roster, but with only four players aged 30 or above. The oldest is U.S. captain Christie Rampone (33 years old), followed by Shannon Boxx (31) and Heather Mitts and Angela Hucles (both 30). The U.S. will definitely be looking to the youngsters for goals as Lindsay Tarpley (25) is the top scorer on this roster with 29 all-time international goals. Heather O’Reilly (24) has 25 goals while Natasha Kai (25) has 23 goals. Of course, Boxx with 18 career goals and Carli Lloyd with 19 have shown they can provide goals from the midfield, but two of the USA’s most dynamic young attacking talents are 23-year-old Megan Rapinoe (4 caps / 2 goals) and 22-year-old Amy Rodriguez (31 caps / 6 goals). Both will be asked to step up in the absence of Abby Wambach, who is in the final stages of recovery from her broken leg. Sundhage also named uncapped defender Kendall Fletcher, midfielder Tina DiMartino (1 cap / 0 goals), midfielder Angie Woznuk (6 caps / 1 goal) and midfielder Kacey White (17 caps / 0 goals), meaning some young players may have to step up and contribute if the USA is to find its accustomed success at the Algarve Cup.

ALGARVE CUP QUICK HITS:

  • The USA is 35-9-7 all-time in the Algarve Cup.
  • The USA has scored 110 goals while allowing 44 at the Algarve Cup.
  • Norway has scored the most goals in Algarve Cup history (121), but has also allowed 56.
  • Finland has allowed the most goals, letting in 136 over the 15 years.
  • The most goals the USA has ever scored in an Algarve Cup game is seven, achieved against Portugal in 2000.
  • The most goals the USA has ever scored in an Algarve Cup game not against Portugal is five, scored against France in a 5-1 win in 2004 and against Denmark in a 5-0 win in 2006.
  • The USA had been shutout in just four of its 51 all-time Algarve Cup games (with two coming in 2001 when the USA brought a young team during the start-up of the WUSA), but were shutout 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.
  • Fives teams have played in all 15 Algarve Cups so far: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and host Portugal.
  • Twenty-three countries have participated in the Algarve Cup over the years. Debutante Austria will make it 24 this year.
  • Swedish legend Hanna Ljungberg has scored the most career goals at the Algarve Cup (14), but Kristine Lilly is right behind her with 13. Four players, including Abby Wambach, have 12 career Algarve Cup goals. Carli Lloyd and Lindsay Tarpley have the most career Algarve Cup goals of anyone on the 2009 U.S. roster with five a piece.

ALL-TIME U.S. FINISHES AT THE ALGARVE CUP: Despite the recent success for the USA at the Algarve Cup (six straight appearances in the championship game and five titles), the tournament was a bugaboo for U.S. Women when they first started participating. In fact, the USA didn’t win the tournament until its sixth try, that coming in 2000 when a Brandi Chastain penalty kick defeated Norway in the title game, 1-0, and then didn’t win again until three years later. Amazingly, Denmark has been in five championship games and lost them all.

Algarve Cup Evolution

Year No. of Teams Champion Runner-Up U.S. Finish
1994 6 Norway USA Second
1995

8

Sweden Denmark Fourth
1996

8

Sweden Norway Did not participate
1997

8

Norway China Did not participate
1998

8

Norway Denmark Third
1999

8

China USA Second
2000

8

USA Norway First
2001

8

Sweden Denmark Sixth
2002

12

China Norway Fifth
2003

12

USA China First
2004

12

USA Norway First
2005

12

USA Germany First
2006

12

Germany USA Second
2007

12

USA Denmark First
2008

12

USA Denmark First

TAKING HOME HARDWARE: With the success of the U.S. team in this tournament, the Americans have taken home several individual awards over the years, including four MVPs and five top scorer awards. In 1999, Tiffeny Milbrett was the best player and the top scorer with four goals. In 2002, Shannon MacMillan was the Top Scorer with seven goals (the most ever in one Algarve Cup tournament by a U.S. player). In 2004, Abby Wambach was the Top Scorer with five goals and Shannon Boxx was voted Best Player. In 2005, Christie Welsh was Top Scorer with five goals. In 2006, Hope Solo was voted Best Goalkeeper and Boxx took home her second Algarve Cup MVP award. In 2007, Carli Lloyd did the double, taking the Top Scorer (four goals) and Best Player Awards.

TOURNAMENT FORMAT: Since the expansion from eight to 12 teams seven years ago, the Algarve Cup format has been as follows. The teams in Group A and B will compete for the title as the group winners will play in the championship game on Wednesday, March 12. 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 7-11 as the winner of Group C will play the best fourth place team from Groups A or B, the second place team in Group C will play the worst fourth place team from Groups A or B. The teams that finish third and four in Group C will play each other for 11th place.

She Said It
U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage, on the importance and challenge of the 2009 Algarve Cup:

“First of all, we don’t have that many games this year. But also, the European championships are in August and September, so I know all the teams that are coming here will be prepared and ready to go, which will make for some great games.”

Stat of Note
The USA has averaged the most points per game of any team in Algarve history (2.20) over its 51 matches.

Photo Gallery: U-18 WNT NTC Training Camp - Oct. 20, 2014

Photos from the Under-18 Women's National Team's October training camp at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center in Carson, Calif. 

Results

Date Matchup Result Venue Attendance Goal Scorers
March 4, 2009 WNT vs Denmark Women 2-0 W Estadio Municipal; Lagos, Portugal 200 Woznuk, DiMartino
March 6, 2009 WNT vs Iceland Women 1-0 W Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras, Portugal 250 Kai
March 9, 2009 WNT vs Norway Women 1-0 W Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras, Portugal 400 Rapinoe
March 11, 2009 WNT vs Sweden Women 1-1 D Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras, Portugal 1,200 Boxx
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