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Lloyd, Wambach and Cheney Score As U.S. Women Win 2010 Algarve Cup With 3-2 Victory Against Germany

  • USA Scores Two Goals in First Half, One in Second in Muddy Conditions
  • Grings Tallies Both Goals for Germany
  • Next Up for WNT are Matches vs. Mexico on March 28 in San Diego and March 31 in Sandy, Utah

FARO, Portugal (March 3, 2010) – The U.S. Women’s National Team scored twice in the first half and once in the second to defeat Germany 3-2 in the championship game of the 2010 Algarve Cup.

Carli Lloyd’s goal in the 18th minute was followed by a powerful header from Abby Wambach four minutes later, staking the U.S. to a 2-0 lead. German forward Inka Grings pulled a goal back five minutes before halftime, but a goalkeeper mistake from Germany’s Nadine Angerer allowed Lauren Cheney to make it 3-1 in the 69th. Grings finished her brace with a goal in 74th minute to make the end of the game tension-filled, but some tremendous ball-winning in the back by central defenders Amy LePeilbet and Rachel Buehler helped the U.S. hold on to the victory.

The win marked the seventh time the USA has won this annual tournament in southern Portugal and the third time it has faced Germany in the final. The USA defeated Germany 1-0 in 2005 and lost the 2006 championship game to the Germans in penalty kicks. The match also marked USA’s eighth consecutive trip to Algarve Cup championship game.

In the clash between the world’s top two teams according to the most recent FIFA rankings, the Americans attacked remarkably well despite terrible field conditions and could have built a much bigger lead heading into the break.

The most recent meeting between these teams before today’s championship game took place in Augsburg, Germany, last Oct. 29. During that match, Germany clearly took the match to the Americans although the U.S. came out victorious 1-0. Still, the USA was out-shot by a large margin and the Germans put tremendous pressure on the U.S. goal for 90 minutes. Today, the Americans flipped the momentum and had far more of the dangerous attacking chances.

Early on, some quick U.S. passing put Cheney free inside the penalty box with only Angerer to beat, but she made a great save on the driven shot, pushing it away for a corner kick.

In the 10th minute, a great U.S. attack down the left wing produced a cross that skipped through the wet goal box to Cheney. Once again, it was just her and Angerer, but Cheney spun her shot just outside the left post from about 12 yards away.

The U.S. got the first goal when a cross was sent into the German penalty area in the 18th minute. It was cleared to the top of the box where Lloyd collected it well, slithered around a defender and hammered a 22-yard shot that deflected off another defender and skidded into the lower right corner past the diving Angerer.

The second U.S. goal came in the 22nd minute and originated off a quickly-taken free kick by Rachel Buehler who found Heather O’Reilly down the right wing. O’Reilly took a quick dribble and then spun a perfect cross to the far post where Wambach was crashing. The U.S. forward shed a defender and ran through the ball to send a powerful header on goal, stretching the right side of the net from seven yards out.

The USA could have put the game away at the end of the first half, producing three chances right in front of the goal that couldn’t be converted, partly due to the muddy conditions in the goal box.

The first came after a great series of quick touches put Lloyd in on net about eight yards from the goal, but she couldn’t dig the ball out of the mud and Angerer was able to recover to stuff her chance.

Moments later, a cross was sent skipping through the goal mouth from the left wing and the Germans failed to clear. Cheney stopped it at the far post, but couldn’t get her feet under her to take a swipe at the ball and once again Angerer pounced on it.

Germany had a several shots from good spots during the first half, including one from Fatmire Bajramaj in the ninth minute, but she spun it wide right, and one from Melanie Berhininger in the 24th minute shortly after the second U.S. goal, but she fired wide left from 14 yards. In the 36th minute a U.S. give-away in back led to dangerous-looking shot by Anja Mittag at top of box, but it was right at U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo.

When Grings scored her first goal in the 40th minute, the U.S. was surely ruing the missed chances just moments before, but it was a quality strike from the German forward who ended the tournament as the competition’s leading scorer with seven goals.

Birgit Prinz, who was playing in the center midfield due to some injuries on the German side, put Grings through in the right side of the penalty box. Grings faked Solo to the ground, took a touch deeper into the box to get a clear look at goal and then shot low from a sharp angle into the net from eight yards out.

Amazingly, on the stroke of halftime, the USA failed to convert on another point blank chance as Wambach and Shannon Boxx played a perfect give-and-go inside the German penalty area. Boxx had just Angerer to beat but once again the mud stopped the ball and she couldn’t get a shot off.

Coming out of halftime Germany pushed hard for the equalizer and launched several dangerous attacks after winning balls in the middle, but it soon became clear that the conditions in the center of the pitch would make it very difficult for the USA to play through the midfield. The Americans then started going a bit more direct and in the 64th minute Cheney had another great chance after she ran under a long ball over the top of the German defense. Staring only at Angerer again, she tried to lift the ball over the German ‘keeper, but sent it over the bar.

The USA made it 3-1 in the 69th minute on a uncharacteristic mistake from Angerer. Lori Lindsey had chipped a pass from the left wing into the penalty area, but it was clearly too far for Cheney and Angerer rushed out to grab it on the bounce. Still, Cheney continued her run at Angerer and somehow the German ‘keeper misjudged the skip and lost control of the ball. It hit the charging Cheney in the face and bounced behind Angerer. Cheney only had to tap it into the open net for her eighth career international goal and fourth of the tournament.

No one expected the Germans to roll over and they certainly didn’t, pulling a goal back through Grings in the 74th minute. This time a great dribble from Behringer into the left side of the U.S. penalty area beat several defenders and she crossed on the ground to the slashing Grings, who slotted her first-time shot under Solo from eight yards out.

The last 15 minutes were physical and tense with both teams counter-attacking on a wet field that made transition by defenders difficult. Germany had one last gasp as a long ball skidded off the head of LePeilbet and flew backwards towards the U.S. net. With a German attacker right in front of the goal, Solo was able to jump on the ball and end Germany’s last chance.

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage started Amy Rodriguez, usually a forward, at left midfield and she played a solid 59 minutes before giving way to Lindsey. Sundhage also started Meghan Schnur at left back and the 23-year-old did very well in just her third career cap.

The three goals given up by Germany were the first conceded in the tournament after demolishing Denmark 4-0, Finland 7-0 and China 5-0 during group play.

Wambach’s goal was not only her 104th career score, but it gave her 15 all-time in the Algarve Cup, tying her with Swedish legend Hanna Ljungberg as the top scorer in the 17-year history of the tournament.

Lloyd’s goal, her 20th international score, broke a long scoreless streak for the midfielder who had an excellent overall tournament and was crucial to the U.S. attack during the final. Lloyd’s ball-winning with the always rugged Boxx in the middle was also impressive. The goal was the first for Lloyd since the 2008 Olympic gold medal game when she scored the winner in overtime against Brazil.

The USA has made the championship game of the Algarve Cup every year since 2003, winning the tournament five times during that span and seven times overall, in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010.

In the other placement matches, Sweden defeated China, 2-0, for third place, Denmark downed Norway, 2-1 for fifth, Romania upset Iceland, 1-0 for seventh, Iceland hammered Portugal 3-0 for ninth and Austria ran rough-shod over the Faroe Islands, 6-0.

The U.S. players will now return home and report soon to their WPS clubs for pre-season training. The team will come together again at the end of March for two matches against Mexico, on March 28 at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego and on March 31 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, home of the reigning MLS champions Real Salt Lake. Tickets for both matches are available at ussoccer.com.

U.S. Women's National Team Match Report

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Germany
Date: March 3, 2010
Competition: 2010 Algarve Cup; Championship Game
Venue: Estadio Algarve; Faro, Portugal
Kickoff: 4 p.m. (11 a.m. ET)
Attendance: 1,200 
Weather: 63 degrees; cloudy, windy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                        2 1 3
GER                        1 1 2

USA – Carli Lloyd                                         18th minute
USA – Abby Wambach (Heather O’Reilly)        22
GER – Inka Grings (Brigit Prinz)                     40
USA – Lauren Cheney                                   69
GER – Inka Grings (Melanie Behringer)           74

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts, 26-Rachel Buehler, 6-Amy LePeilbet, 17-Meghan Schnur; 9-Heather O’Reilly, 7-Shannon Boxx (Capt.), 10-Carli Lloyd, 8-Amy Rodriguez (5-Lori Lindsey, 59); 11-Lauren Cheney (15-Casey Nogueira, 84), 20-Abby Wambach 
Subs not used: 4-Cat Whitehill, 12-Yael Averbuch, 13-Megan Rapinoe, 14-Stephanie Cox, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 24-Jill Loyden
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

GER: 1-Nadine Angerer; 4-Babett Peter, 15-Sonja Fuss, 22-Bianca Schmidt, 29-Lena Goebling (20-Jennifer Zietz, 29); 7-Melanie Behringer (16-Martina Müller, 87), 9-Birgit Prinz (Capt.), 11-Anja Mittag (27-Alexandra Popp, 70), 18-Kerstin Garefrekes, 19-Fatmire Bajramaj (13-Célia Okoyino da Mbabi, 46), 8-Inka Grings 
Subs not used: 12-Ursula Holl, 14-Kim Kulig, 28-Nadine Kessler 
Head Coach: Silvia Neid

Statistical Summary: USA / GER
Shots: 15 / 11 
Shots on Goal: 5 / 6 
Saves: 4 / 3  
Corner Kicks: 5 / 3 
Fouls: 13 / 7 
Offside: 2 / 2 

Misconduct Summary: 
USA – Heather Mitts (caution)   41st minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (caution)      46

Officials
Referee: Kirsi Heikkinen (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tonja Paavola (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Anu Jokela (FIN)
Fourth Official: Quetzalli Godinez (MEX)  

ussoccer.com Woman of the Match:
Carli Lloyd

WNT vs Germany Highlights March 3 2010

The U.S. Women's National Team captured their seventh Algarve Cup title with a 3-2 win over Germany at the Estadio Algarve in Faro, Portugal. Two first half goals from Carli Lloyd and Abby Wambach gave the U.S. the advantage before Lauren Cheney sealed the victory with her fourth goal of the tournament.

U.S. Women Ready to Face Germany in 2010 Algarve Cup Final

U.S. Women’s National Team
2010 Algarve Cup Notes
The Algarve, Portugal
Tuesday, March 2

USA AND GERMANY TO MEET IN 2010 ALGARVE CUP FINAL: The U.S. Women’s National Team is set for its unprecedented eighth consecutive Algarve Cup title game, where it will take on Germany on Wednesday, March 3 in Faro at the fabulous Estadio Algarve, built for the 2004 European Championships. The championship game is set for 4 p.m. local / 11 a.m. ET and fans can follow live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. No other country has made more than three consecutive finals as Norway played in the 1996, 1997 and 1998 title matches, but the USA has more than doubled that total. Still, in the championship game awaits a truly great German side that has demolished the competition so far during the Algarve Cup, scoring 16 goals, the most ever in group play during the tournament’s 17-year history. The USA has dealt with less than ideal field conditions due to the heavy rains that have hit the Algarve region, but the reward for making the championship is a large, flat and hopefully somewhat dry playing surface at Estadio Algarve. Germany will have the advantage of playing its final group match at Estadio Algarve, but the spectacular venue is a fitting place for the world’s top-two ranked teams to meet with a tournament championship on the line. For complete Algarve Cup results and standings, as well as links to other U.S. content, visit ussoccer.com’s Algarve Cup competition page.

Road to the 2010 Algarve Cup Final
USA – Group B
Result                     U.S. Goal Scorers         Venue
USA 2, Iceland 0      own Goal, Cheney        VR de SA
USA 2, Norway 1     Wambach (2)               Olhão
USA 2, Sweden 0     Cheney (2)                  Ferreiras

Germany – Group A
Result                             Germany Goal Scorers                       Venue
Germany 4, Denmark 0     Behringer, Prinz, Grings (2)                Parchal
Germany 7, Finland 0        Grings (3), Popp (2), Kessler, Müller   Parchal
Germany 5, China 0          Garefrekes, Mittag (2), Peter, Zeitz      Faro

Championship
Date         Matchup                 Kickoff Local / ET  Venue
March 3    USA vs. Germany    4 p.m. / 11 a.m.   Estadio Algarve, Faro

GROUP A RECAP: Germany once again had little trouble, as its final group match against China was seemingly over after 15 minutes. Germany scored in the second, 15th and 42nd minutes to make it 3-0 by halftime. Germany made three subs at halftime and three more in the 65th minute, but China rarely crossed midfield in the second half. In the other Group A finale, Denmark picked up its first win of the tournament, 2-1, against Finland on goals from Lise Munk and Nadia Nadim. Finland’s goal was scored by Sky Blue FC forward Laura Kalmari. The win wasn’t enough to move Denmark past China into second place in the group so the Danes will play for fifth place against Norway.

GROUP B RECAP: In the other Group B match, Norway edged Iceland 3-2 on two goals from FC Gold Pride midfielder Solveig Gulbrandsen and one from Lise Marie Woods. Norway also scored an own goal for Iceland in the 90th minute, making the final score a bit closer than play reflected.

GROUP C RECAP: In Group C, Portugal beat Austria 2-1 and Romania beat Faroe Islands 5-1 which amazingly tied Portugal and Romania atop the group on points, goal difference and goals scored. Seeing as Portugal and Romania also tied the match between them 0-0 the teams had to draw lots to see who finished first in the group. Portugal lost the draw and will play Iceland for ninth place. Romania will face Finland for seventh. The big news out of Group C is that Faroe Islands scored its first and only goal of the tournament, momentarily making Olga Hansen the biggest name in Faroe Islands women’s soccer.

Placement Matches
March 3
Match                     Teams                             Kickoff Local / ET        Venue
11th Place Match     Austria vs. Faroe Islands    11 a.m. / 6 a.m.         Silves
7th Place Match       Romania vs. Finland          11 a.m. / 6 a.m.         Ferreiras
5th Place Match       Denmark vs. Norway         11 a.m. / 6 a.m.         Parchal
3rd Place Match       China vs. Sweden             11 a.m. / 6 a.m.         Albufeira
9th Place Match       Portugal vs. Iceland           1 p.m. / 8 a.m.          Faro
Championship         USA vs. Germany             4 p.m. / 11 a.m.         Faro

OPPONENT CAPSULE: Germany
Current FIFA World Ranking: 2
All-Time Algarve Cup Record: 16-10-1
Overall record vs. USA: 4-15-4
Last Meeting vs. USA: Oct. 29, 2009 in Augsburg, Germany (a 1-0 U.S. victory)
Coach: Silvia Neid
Algarve Cup Finals: 3 (2005, 2006, 2010) Germany won the Algarve Cup in 2006
Key Players: G Nadine Angerer, D Babett Peter, D Annike Krahn D Sonja Fuss, M Melanie Behringer, M Birgit Prinz, M Anja Mittag, M Kim Kulig, M Kerstin Garefrekes, M Fatmire Bajramaj, F Inka Grings

USA vs. Germany Fast Facts: Germany’s roster for the Algarve Cup is almost the same one that faced the USA last October in Augsburg, with the notable addition of Bayern Munich midfielder Melanie Berhinger who was injured during the match last fall … Germany has averaged more than five goals a game this tournament … Germany’s roster is stocked with players who rolled to the 2008 UEFA Women’s Championship, defeating England 6-2 in the final … The USA’s 17-4-4 record against Germany includes two wins against the former West Germany, coming in 1988 and 1990 … Since 2000, the USA is 7-1-3 against Germany … The United States is the only country in the world with an all-time winning record against the Germans … Shannon Boxx is the only player on the U.S. roster who has experience playing in Germany, doing a stint with Saarbrucken in 1999-00 … Germany’s most recent victory against the USA that was not after penalty kicks came in the semifinal of the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 3-0 triumph in Portland, Ore. … Since then, the USA has won three games and the teams have tied two games, although Germany did triumph in the penalty kick shootout in the 2006 Algarve Cup final after the 0-0 draw through regulation … Germany’s Birgit Prinz is the third all-time scorer in women’s soccer history with 126 goals, just three short of Kristine Lilly … Prinz is also Germany’s all-time leading scorer at the Algarve Cup with eight goals … Euro 2009 star Inka Grings has scored 55 goals in her international career and she is Germany’s leading scorer at the 2010 Algarve Cup with five goals … Ten different German players have scored a goal at this tournament … Only two players have scored for the USA, Abby Wambach (two goals) and Lauren Cheney (three goals) … 15 of the 16 field players on the U.S. roster have seen time in the tournament, excluding Megan Rapinoe, who picked up a quad injury in the first couple days in Portugal and has not been able to play … Rachel Buehler and Abby Wambach are the only two players who have played all 270 minutes so far … Lori Linsdey has recorded an assist in each of the three games.

2010 U.S. Algarve Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), 24-Jill Loyden (Chicago Red Stars), 1-Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (6): 26-Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), 14-Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), 6-Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), 2-Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), 17-Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue FC), 4-Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 12-Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), 7-Shannon Boxx (St. Louis Athletica), 5-Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), 10-Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), 9-Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), 13-Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (4): 11-Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), 15-Casey Nogueira (Chicago Red Stars), 8-Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), 20-Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

2010 Germany Algarve Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Nadine Angerer (FFC Frankfurt), 12-Ursula Holl (FCR Duisburg);
DEFENDERS (6): 3-Saskia Bartusiak (FFC Frankfurt), 4-Babett Peter (FFC Turbine Potsdam), 5-Annike Krahn (FCR Duisburg), 15-Sonja Fuss (FC Köln), 22-Bianca Schmidt (FFC Turbine Potsdam), 29-Lena Goeßling (SC 07 Bad Neuenahr)
MIDFIELDERS (11): 7-Melanie Behringer (Bayern Munich), 9-Birgit Prinz (FFC Frankfurt), 11-Anja Mittag (FFC Turbine Potsdam), 13-Célia Okoyino da Mbabi (SC 07 Bad Neuenahr), 14-Kim Kulig (Hamburger SV), 16-Martina Müller (VfL Wolfsburg), 18-Kerstin Garefrekes (FFC Frankfurt), 19-Fatmire Bajramaj (FFC Turbine Potsdam), 20-Jennifer Zietz (FFC Turbine Potsdam), 27-Alexandra Popp (FCR Duisburg), 28-Nadine Kessler (FFC Turbine Potsdam)
FORWARDS (1): 8-Inka Grings (FCR Duisburg)

SUNDHAGE AND NEID MEET AGAIN: The international playing careers of U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage and Germany head coach Silvia Neid ran somewhat parallel courses with the Swedish international and German international crossing paths on more than several occasions. None was bigger than in first round play at the 2005 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sweden. In its first game of the tournament, Sweden had been upset, 1-0, by Brazil and was on the verge of elimination in its own country when it fell behind Germany 2-0 after 42 minutes. The Swedes mounted a furious comeback in the second half, scoring three times, including an 80th minute penalty from Sundhage that tied the score. Malin Andersson scored the dramatic winner in the 86th minute. Both Sundhage and Neid played the entire 90 minutes. Both teams would eventually advance out of the group, but Sweden fell in the quarterfinal to China in penalties and the Germans advanced to the championship with consecutive wins against England and China, only to fall to Norway 2-0 in the title game. Sundhage and Neid both played in the 2006 Olympics, which marked the final international matches for both players, who then launched what have become extremely successful coaching careers. Neid’s 48 goals are still fifth in Germany history while Sundhage’s 71 are second in Swedish history.

ALGARVE CUP TOP SCORERS:
Player (Country)         Goals
Inka Grings (GER)                 5
Laura Rus (ROU)                   4
Lauren Cheney (USA)            3
Edite Fernandes (POR)           3
Abby Wambach (USA)           2    
Alexandra Popp (GER)           2
Anja Mittag (GER)                  2
Lisa Dahlkvist (SWE)              2
Linnea Liljegard (SWE)           2
Xu Yuan (CHN)                     2
Solveig Gulbrandsen (NOR)    2
Sofia Viera (POR)                  2
Marion Gröbner (AUT)           2

VIDEO ALGARVE: Check out all_access video on ussoccer.com to see highlights of the USA’s three wins as well as a some unique videos that include a piece on the GPS trackers the U.S. players wear during training and games, a excellent one-on-one interview with Abby Wambach and a look inside the game day of Heather O’Reilly.

ALGARVE FINAL, 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 pre-season training camps for the second season of WPS. Last year, only six players on the USA’s Algarve Cup roster had played professional club soccer before. This year, 17 players participated in the first WPS season, while Lauren Cheney and Casey Nogueira will be entering their rookie campaigns. The USA’s Algarve Cup roster is spread out over seven of the eight WPS clubs. Most of the U.S. players will get a few days to rest as they will not have to report until next Sunday. The WPS season opens on the weekend of April 10 and 11 as the Washington Freedom host the Boston Breakers, Saint Louis Athletica host the revamped FC Gold Pride, the expansion Philadelphia Independence host the expansion Atlanta Beat and WPS champion Sky Blue FC hosts the Chicago Red Stars.

Stat of Note
The U.S. team has scored two goals in each of its three Algarve Cup games so far. In the six Algarve Cup titles that the USA has won, the team has averaged exactly two goals per game.

U.S. Women Face Sweden For Spot In Algarve Final

U.S. Women’s National Team
2010 Algarve Cup Notes
The Algarve, Portugal
Sunday, Feb. 28

U.S. WOMEN FACE SWEDEN FOR SPOT IN ALGARVE FINAL: Last year, the U.S. and Sweden met in the Algarve Cup championship game. This year, they will meet to see who gets there. The USA heads into the match against the Swedes on March 1 in Ferreiras (10 a.m. ET live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker) needing a tie or a win to make the title game which will be played on March 3 at Stadium Algarve. The USA has won both its games so far in the tournament and has six points while Sweden has four points from a win and a tie and has to defeat the USA to earn a ticket to the final. The USA has been training at the stadium in Ferreiras, so it knows the pitch quite well, but it also knows it’s a bit small and not in the best of condition due to the Algarve weather, which should make for a combative match. Both the USA and Sweden had big wins on the second match day of the tournament. The USA scored a 92nd minute game-winner to defeat Norway, 2-1, and Sweden rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit to score five goals in the second half in defeating Iceland, 5-1. In five of the last seven Algarve Cups, the USA has headed into the last group game needing a win or a tie to make the championship game. Those five games produced four wins and a tie. For complete Algarve Cup results and standings, as well as links to other U.S. content, click on the Algarve Cup competition page. (LINK)

U.S. WNT 2010 Algarve Cup Schedule

Date Opponent  Result/Time (ET)  Goalscorers  Venue 
Feb. 24 Iceland  2-0 W  Own goal, Cheney  VR de SA 
Feb. 26 Norway 2-1 W Wambach (2) Olhao
March 1 Sweden 10 a.m.   Ferreiras
March 3 Placement Match TBD   TBD

Group B
Team W  L  T GF GA  GD  Pts. 
USA  2  0  0  4  1  +3  6 
SWE 1 0 1 7 3 +4 4
NOR 0 1 1 3 4 -1 1
ISL 0 2 1 1 7 -6 0

Feb. 24
USA 2, Iceland 0
Sweden 2, Norway 2

Feb. 26
USA 2, Norway 1
Sweden 5, Iceland 1

March 1
USA vs. Sweden
Norway vs. Iceland

GROUP A RECAP: It looks like Germany is the best team in Group A. The Germans rolled against Finland with a 7-0 win, tying the USA and Sweden for the largest ever margin of victory in 17-year history of the Algarve Cup, and now need just a tie against China on March 1 to earn a place in their third Algarve Cup Final. China gave itself an outside shot of making the championship game by downing Denmark 2-0 on a brace from Xu Yuan, but asking for a victory against the Germans is a tall order. Germany got three goals from striker Inka Grings, giving her a tournament-leading five goals, and also got two scores from 18-year-old Alexandra Popp, who will play for Germany when they host this summer’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Nadine Kessler and Marina Muller added the other two goals.

GROUP C RECAP: Host Portugal tied Romania 0-0 and is now in danger of not winning the group. In its final Group C match, Romania will play the Faroe Islands, 5-0 losers to Portugal and 3-0 losers to Austria, while Portugal has to face the Austrians. Both Portugal and Romania have four points from a win and a tie, but the Portuguese do have a better goal difference. If both teams win, Romania would have to make up three goals on Portugal to win the group.

OPPONENT CAPSULE: Sweden
Current FIFA World Ranking: 4
All-Time Algarve Cup Results: 34-15-16
Overall Record vs. USA: 3-16-6
Sweden record vs. the USA at Algarve Cup: 2-4-4
Last Meeting vs. USA: March 11, 2009 (a 1-1 tie in regulation, won 4-3 on penalties by Sweden)
Coach: Thomas Dennerby
Algarve Cup Finals: 4 (1995, 1996, 2001, 2009) Sweden won the Algarve Cup in 1995, 2001 and 2009. Sweden has finished third five times.
Key Players: D Stina Segerström, M Caroline Seger, M Therese Sjögran, M Lisa Dahlkvist, M Nilla Fischer, F Lotta Schelin, F Jessica Landstrom, F Kosovare Asllani

USA vs. Sweden Fast Facts: These two teams met in the championship game of the 2009 Algarve Cup, a 1-1 tie that went directly to penalty kicks where the USA fell 4-3 … Sweden has many of the same players back from the Algarve Cup squad a year ago, while the USA has just eight of the 18 that were on the roster … Three of the last five meetings have been one-goal wins for the USA, plus the 2-0 victory in group play at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup … The other game was the 1-1 tie last year in the Algarve Cup Final … The meeting before that was Sweden’s 3-1 victory at the 2004 Algarve Cup … In fact, Sweden is the last team to beat the USA at the Algarve Cup … Since then, the USA has gone unbeaten in regulation time in 23 straight Algarve Cup matches (two them ended in penalty kick losses in the final) … The USA has one player who has played club soccer in Sweden in goalkeeper Hope Solo who for played for Kopparbergs/Göteborg … Sweden has three players who will play in the WPS next season: Jessica Landstrom for Sky Blue FC, Caroline Seger for the Philadelphia Independence and Kosovare Asllani for the Chicago Red Stars … All are talented attacking players … Five players have scored Sweden’s seven goals this tournament, two each from Lisa Dahlkvist and Linnea Liljegard and one each from Linda Sembrant, Landstrom and Asllani … Three players have scored the USA’s four goals, two for Abby Wambach, one for Lauren Cheney and one for an Iceland defender … Sweden features one of the world’s best wingers/forwards in Lotta Schelin, who plays her club ball in France with Olympique Lyonnais … Schelin is a 5-feet-10-inch glider who is remarkably dangerous running at defenses and, when paired with 5-feet-11-inch Landstrom, forms a devastating and very tall forward line … The reward for making the championship game is a match at the 30,000-seat Stadium Algarve, which features a perfectly manicured pitched, great width and length and a fully enclosed and roofed venue to keep out those famous Algarve winds … Sweden has won all three of its 2011 Women’s World Cup qualifiers so far, defeating Belgium 2-1, Azerbaijan 3-0 and Belgium again 4-1 … Landstrom has scored three goals during those qualifiers, Seger has four and Asllani has one, meaning eight of the nine goals in Sweden’s WWCQ campaign so far have been scored by players headed to WPS … Sweden should win the group handily, which also features Wales and Czech Republic, to earn a spot in the UEFA WWC qualifying playoffs.

2010 U.S. Algarve Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), 24-Jill Loyden (Chicago Red Stars), 1-Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (6): 26-Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), 14-Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), 6-Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), 2-Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), 17-Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue FC), 4-Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 12-Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), 7-Shannon Boxx (St. Louis Athletica), 5-Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), 10-Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), 9-Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), 13-Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (4): 11-Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), 15-Casey Nogueira (Chicago Red Stars), 8-Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), 20-Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

2010 Sweden Algarve Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Hedvid Lindahl (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC), 12-Kristin Hammarstrøm (Linköpings FC) DEFENDERS (7): 2-Charlotte Rohlin (Linköpings FC), 3-Stina Segerström (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC), 4-Anna Paulson (UmeÅ IK), 6-Sara Thunebro (FFA Frankfurt, GER), 7-Sara Larsson (Philadelphia Independence, USA), 13-Linda Sembrandt (AIK), 20-Lina Nilsson (LdB FC Malmo)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 5-Caroline Seger (Philadelphia Independence, USA), 14-Louise Fors (R.C.D. Espnayol, ESP), 15-Therese Sjögran (LdB FC Malmo), 16-Petra Larsson (Linköpings FC), 17-Lisa Dahlkvist (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC), 18-Nilla Fischer (LdB FC Malmo)
FORWARDS (5): 8-Lotta Schelin (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA), 9-Jessica Landstrom (Linköpings FC), 10-Kosovare Asllani (Chicago Red Stars, USA), 11-Linnea Liljegard (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC), 19-Sara Linden (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC).

FOE TO FRIEND: U.S. Women’s National Team assistant coach Hege Riise was one of the greatest players of her generation. A sublime passer and phenomenal goal scorer from the midfield, she gave the USA fits for many years, but now she is giving her knowledge and experience to the U.S. team.

SCHNUR CHECKS IN: Meghan Schnur checks in from the Algarve with an e-postcard. She talks about her first cap and why you want to room with Shannon Boxx when you’re on the road with the WNT.

BLOGARVE: If you haven’t been keeping up with the WNT Blog, with two days between Algarve Cup games, now is a good time to catch up. You can find out which Winter Olympic sport some of the WNT players would have liked to have done, why Lauren Cheney might get a red card from Lori Lindsey and see some good pictures from the past two matches.

Stat of Note
Two of the top scorers in Algarve Cup history are Swedish, but Hanna Ljungberg (15 goals) and Victoria Svensson (14) are retired from international play. Abby Wambach (14) needs one more goal to tie Ljungberg on the all-time Algarve Cup scorers list. In a testament to how long this tournament has been going on, nine of the top 14 scorers in this tournament all-time are retired.

Wambach Scores Twice as U.S. Women Defeats Norway 2-1 at Algarve Cup in Portugal

  • Wambach Increases International Goal Total to 103
  • Cheney and Lindsey Set Up Goals 
  • USA Finishes Group Play Against Sweden on March 1 in Ferreiras Live on MatchTracker at 10 a.m. ET

OLHÃO, Portugal (February 26, 2010) – Forward Abby Wambach scored two goals, including the game-winner in stoppage time of the second half, to lead the U.S. Women’s National Team to a dramatic 2-1 victory against Norway in the second match of Group B at the 2010 Algarve Cup.

The USA will now face Sweden on March 1 in Ferreiras (10 a.m. ET live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker) for a berth in the championship game. Sweden trounced Iceland 5-1 in the other Group B match today, scoring four goals in the second half, meaning the USA will need a tie or a win over the Swedes on Monday to make its eighth consecutive appearance in an Algarve Cup title game. The USA has six points from two wins and Sweden has four points from a tie and a win.

This classic USA-Norway match was played in wet, sloppy conditions which made playing passes through the midfield dicey at best. With several sections of the field covered in more water, mud and sand than grass, the U.S. women still managed to put together an excellent attacking performance. As the game wore on, the field conditions deteriorated and the U.S. legs tired in the final 20 minutes, forcing the Americans to attack with more direct balls. That tactic led to the winning goal.

The goal came when defender Cat Whitehill, who came on for the second half and slotted into the center back position, moving Stephanie Cox to left back, smashed a perfect long ball over the defense to the streaking Lauren Cheney. With almost two of the three allotted minutes of stoppage time off the clock, Cheney raced in on a breakaway, but her first shot was well-saved by 6-foot-2 Norwegian goalkeeper Christine Nilsen. Cheney got a crack at the rebound, but it was blocked over the right sideline by a scrambling defender.

Heather O’Reilly took the throw-in quickly, as the seconds were counting down, and as Cheney received the ball, she backed her defender deep into the penalty area. Cheney turned toward the end line, then cut the ball back away from the goal and lofted a short cross to Wambach at the far post. The 5-foot-11 Wambach lunged between two defenders and caught the ball with the toes of her left foot, knocking it into the left side of the net for the victory.

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage made four changes to her starting lineup from the team that defeated Iceland 2-0 two days ago, giving Nicole Barnhart the start in goal for her 21st cap.

Heather Mitts, who did not see action against Iceland, went the distance at right back while Lori Lindsey, who played well off the bench two days ago, started at left midfield. Stephanie Cox, who was slated to start at left back, instead started in the middle of the defense after Sundhage was forced to make a change to her starters during the warm-ups. Amy LePeilbet, who was supposed to start in the middle next to Rachel Buehler, took ill and could not go. Meghan Schnur was put into the lineup at left back, but left the game at halftime for Whitehill, who played a great second half with Buehler.

Norway on the other hand, made six changes to its lineup from its 2-2 tie with Sweden two days ago, leaving several of its top players on the bench.

The USA was surely the better side for the first 25 minutes and got the first goal 13 minutes into the game on Wambach’s 13th all-time goal at the Algarve Cup.

Lindsey, who set up Cheney’s goal against Iceland two days ago, hit a very similar through ball to Wambach. The U.S. forward went shoulder-to-shoulder as she bullied her way past a Norwegian defender, who went to the ground, giving Wambach a one-on-one chance. She coolly bent the ball into the lower right corner from just inside the penalty area.

Norway immediately answered, forcing Barnhart to leap backwards and push away a shot from Guro Knutsen Mienna. Barnhart, who played a very solid match despite the muck-filled goal areas, then went high to grab the ensuing corner kick.

Norway almost scored a few minutes later as future Washington Freedom striker Lene Mykjaland knocked down a corner kick at the far post. Lise Klaveness had a look at it, but Barnhart fell on the ball before she could get a kick at it.

The puddles also created a few scary moments for both teams when the ball stopped dead in dangerous areas, but each time players managed to scramble away the ball.

Norway picked up the attack in the final 20 minutes of the half, and earned six corner kicks before the break, but couldn’t find a way through the tough U.S. back line.

Cheney, who caused problems for Norway all game long both back-to-goal and running at the net, almost made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute, but her blast from the right side of the penalty area clanged off the right post and bounced outside the penalty area.

Wambach’s two goals increased her international total to 103 and gave her 14 in the Algarve Cup, moving her past Kristine Lilly as the top U.S. scorer in the history of this tournament. Wambach has now scored four goals since returning from the broken leg that knocked her out of the 2008 Olympics.

In the 61st minute, new Norwegian head coach Eli Landsem went to her big guns, bringing on Solveig Gulbrandsen, Leni Larsen Kaurin, Ingvild Stensland and Isabel Herlovsen and the tactic immediately produced a goal.

Just two minutes later, Kaurin burst down the right wing to the end line and served a perfect cross inside the six-yard box. Herlovsen came knifing through to flick a header past Barnhart and into the net. It was just the second goal ever given up by Barnhart in a U.S. uniform.

Just a few minutes later, the U.S. had a goal called back after Carli Lloyd pounded a 20-yard shot off the chest of Nilsen and Wambach roofed the rebound from close range, but the assistant referee had her flag up for offside.

After the Norway goal, it was the United States that admirably took the initiative and the last 10 minutes featured a frenzied series of American attacks that gave a hint to the stoppage time game-winner.

In the 85th minute, Lloyd made a great dribbling run down the left wing, beat a player into the penalty area and crossed to Wambach at the far post. Her header was looping into the left corner when Nilsen reached back to push it away for a corner kick.

Next up was substitute Yael Averbuch, who hit a searing shot from 25 yards right at Nilsen, but it gave the big ‘keeper trouble on the wet grass and she had to knock it down before grasping it.

Lloyd, who played a hard-fought match with Shannon Boxx in the sandbox that was the center midfield, almost scored herself when she worked free with a nifty dribble into the left side of the box, but her left-footed shot skipped wide right from 15 yards away.

The Americans continued to push and Nilsen had to tip an O’Reilly cross over the goal for a corner kick. The corner was cleared away, but that set the stage for Whitehill’s long pass to Cheney that led to the winning goal.

In Group A, China defeated Denmark 2-0 while Germany handily defeated Finland 7-0. China would have to defeat Germany in the final Group A match to earn a place in the championship game. The Germans just need a tie to advance to the March 3 final at Stadium Algarve.

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Norway
Date: Feb. 26, 2010
Competition: 2010 Algarve Cup; Group B
Venue: Estadio Jose Arcanjo; Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal
Kickoff: 3 p.m. (10 a.m. ET)
Attendance: 300
Weather: 63 degrees, Mostly cloudy

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

USA – Abby Wambach (Lori Lindsey)               13th minute
NOR – Isabel Herlovsen (Leni Larsen Kaurin)     63
USA – Abby Wambach (Lauren Cheney)            92+

Lineups:
USA: 18-Nicole Barnhart; 2-Heather Mitts, 26-Rachel Buehler, 14-Stephanie Cox, 17-Meghan Schnur (4-Cat Whitehill, 46); 9-Heather O’Reilly, 7-Shannon Boxx – Capt. (12-Yael Averbuch, 64), 10-Carli Lloyd, 5-Lori Lindsey (8-Amy Rodriguez, 77); 11-Lauren Cheney, 20-Abby Wambach 
Subs not used: 1-Hope Solo, 6-Amy LePeilbet, 13-Megan Rapinoe, 15-Casey Nogueira, 24-Jill Loyden.
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

NOR: 12-Christine Nilsen; 2-Toril Akerhaugen, 3-Marit Christensen, 6-Lise Marie Woods (8-Solveig Gulbrandsen, 61), 15-Hedda Gardsjord, 17-Maren Mjelde, 14-Lise Klaveness, 18-Guro Knutsen Mienna (11-Leni Larsen Kaurin, 61), 20-Lena Storløkken – Capt. (4-Ingvild Stensland, 61); 16-Elisa Thorsnes (9-Isabel Herlovsen, 61), 19-Lene Mykjaland (10-Lindy Melissa Wiik, 75).
Subs not used: 1-Ingrid Hjelmseth, 5-Gry Tofte Ims, 7-Trine Rønning, 13-Cecilie Pedersen
Head Coach: Eli Landsem

Statistical Summary: USA / NOR
Shots: 14 / 7 
Shots on Goal: 9 / 2 
Saves: 1 / 7  
Corner Kicks: 10 / 8 
Fouls: 9 / 9 
Offside: 4 / 4 

Misconduct Summary: 
NOR – Marit Christensen (caution)      11th minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (caution)                76

Officials
Referee: (Korea Republic) 
Asst. Referee: Suel Gi Lee (Korea Republic)
Asst. Referee: Saori Takahashi (Japan)
Fourth Official: Jia Wang (China) 

ussoccer.com Woman of the Match:
Abby Wambach

 

Hope Solo Saves Two Penalties as the USA Defeats Iceland 2-0 to Open 2010 Algarve Cup

Lauren Cheney and an Own Goal Provide U.S. Goals
Meghan Schnur Earns First Cap and Sets Up Goal
USA Continues Group Play Against Norway on Feb. 26 in Olhão Live on MatchTracker at 10 a.m. ET

VILA REAL de SAN ANTONIO, Portugal (Feb. 24, 2010) – The U.S. Women’s National Team scored two goals in two minutes during the second half and U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo saved a penalty kick in both halves during a 2-0 victory against Iceland in its opening match of the 2010 Algarve Cup.

The U.S. women will face Norway in their second Group B contest on Feb. 26 in Olhão (10 a.m. ET on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker) as the USA tries to take another step toward a berth in the Algarve Cup championship game.

Playing in its first international match since the Oct. 29 victory against Germany, the U.S. put together some beautiful attacking sequences, but also looked a bit rusty at times. Before scoring twice, the Americans had certainly been the aggressor through the first two-thirds of the game but were having troubling turning some good rhythm into quality shots. In the first half, the USA took nine shots, including the first shot of the game from Lauren Cheney that clipped the outside of the right post in the fourth minute.

The USA started the second half on a roll, drawing three quick fouls from Iceland and producing two excellent chances early on. In the 48th minute, Cheney got behind the Iceland defense after a poor clearance was nodded on by Abby Wambach. Cheney raced in on goalkeeper Gudbjörg Gunnarsdóttir and rounded her to the left, but in doing so cut off her shooting angle. She still managed a shot from close to the end line but it clanged off the left post.

In the 53rd minute, Cheney burst into the penalty area on the left side and spun a hard cross to Wambach who beat the ‘keeper to the ball but somehow sent it over the net from close range.

When the U.S. women met Iceland last year at the Algarve Cup, they had to wait until the 90th minute for a goal by Natasha Kai in a 1-0 victory, but this year the first score came in the 60th.

When the USA finally broke through it came on, of all things, an own goal. But credit goes to left back Meghan Schnur for setting it up. Playing in her first ever full international match for the USA, Schnur created the goal on one of her only runs into the attacking third on the day, but it was a spectacular play. She took on an Iceland defender in the left side of the penalty area, touched it around her to the inside, ran around her to the outside and as the ball was about the roll over the end line, whipped a hard left-footed cross into the goal mouth.

Iceland defender Sif Atladóttir came charging back to her net and tried to clear, but instead got a head on the ball and knocked it just inside her own goalkeeper at the near post and into the net.

After four excellent scoring chances during the match, Cheney finally bagged her goal one minute after Atladóttir’s mistake. Cheney had misfired on two prime chances inside the first five minutes of the game. The first came in the second minute as Wambach slid to slip a pass behind the Iceland defense, but with the ‘keeper charging, Cheney hit her 12-yard shot off the outside of the right post. In the fourth minute, Cat Whitehill hit a long pass on the ground that skipped perfectly to Cheney as she rolled off her defender into the penalty area, but with just the ‘keeper to beat from 10 yards out, she hit her shot from a sharp angle just outside the left post.

Cheney had yet another good chance in the 33rd minute as a bending cross from Wambach on the right wing found her wide-open at the far post, but the young forward couldn’t turn her header on goal. She then hit the post just minutes into the second half.

On her goal, though, she showed some sophisticated finishing technique after substitute Lori Lindsey, who was playing in just her second game for the USA, slipped a pass behind the Iceland defense. Cheney roared toward goal on a breakaway and spun her shot into the right corner of the net from 14 yards out.

At that time, the USA’s two-goal lead with less than 30 minutes left looked secure, but the match had almost taken a turn for the worst in the 12th minute when Whitehill swept the feet of Iceland’s star striker Margret Vidarsdóttir, who had her back to the field near the end line in the right side of the penalty area. German referee Christine Beck did not hesitate in pointing the penalty spot and Vidarsdóttir, Iceland’s top scorer in the Algarve Cup with 10 goals, stepped up to take the kick herself.

She hit it hard, but not that accurately, and Solo dove to her right, stabbing her right hand down to turn the ball away. Amazingly, Solo would have to save another penalty kick before the day was over.

Aside from the penalty, Iceland’s only other dangerous chance of the first half came in the 33rd minute when future Philadelphia Independence midfielder Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir got behind the U.S. defense on an bang-bang counter-attack. With Rachel Buehler almost there to block the shot and Solo in good position, she fired high from 14 yards out.

Vidarsdóttir and Magnúsdóttir were Iceland’s danger women in what was a rough and tumble match that left players from both teams crumpled on the ground on several occasions. Vidarsdóttir left the match in the 63rd minute, but Magnusdottir continued to cause trouble for the USA. She had two shots late in the game that looked dangerous for a moment, but one was easily handled by Solo and the other she cut wide of the goal.

The referee added three minutes of extra time to the end of the second half but the match didn’t end until the 96th minute due to some wild action in the 93rd. Buehler hit a short back pass to Solo that was a bit high and hard and the U.S. ‘keeper, who was positioned near top of the box, collected the ball with a sprinting Iceland forward coming at her. All three players got into a scrum for the ball in the top of the penalty box with players falling over each other. Before it was over, Solo had her right arm stomped on, Buehler was called for tugging the Iceland attacker’s jersey (and shown a yellow card) and Beck called a penalty kick.

It took Solo a few minutes to shake off the effects of the stomping, but after a warning from Beck to get on her line, she took her position and stared down 63rd minute substitute Berglind Björg Thorvaldsdóttir. As the kick was taken, Solo took a step to her right and flew to the post to spectacularly knock the ball down. It looked for a moment like Thorvaldsdóttir would be first to the rebound, but the U.S. defenders converged to clear the ball away.

Solo’s two saves marked the first time in U.S. history that a goalkeeper has saved two penalty kicks in one match.

After one more collision in the penalty area between Wambach and the Iceland ‘keeper, both chasing a long free-kick from Whitehill, the match was whistled over.

The USA centerback pairing of LePeilbet and Buehler once again proved stalwart as the American team defense earned its 16th clean sheet in the last 18 matches.

Both teams stood for a minute of silence before the match to honor the victims of the massive floods on the Portuguese island of Madeira, which is about 1,000 kilometers southwest of the Algarve region.


- U.S. Soccer Match Report -

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Iceland
Date: Feb. 24, 2010
Competition: 2010 Algarve Cup; Group B
Venue: Municipal Stadium; Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal
Kickoff: 3 p.m. (10 a.m. ET)
Attendance: 250
Weather: Partly cloudy, breezy – 66 degrees

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

USA – Own Goal (Sif Atladóttir)           60th minute 
USA – Lauren Cheney (Lori Lindsey)     61

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 4-Cat Whitehill, 26-Rachel Buehler, 6-Amy LePeilbet, 17-Meghan Schnur (14-Stephanie Cox, 75); 9-Heather O’Reilly, 7-Shannon Boxx – Capt. (15-Casey Nogueira, 75), 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Yael Averbuch (5-Lori Lindsey, 58); 11-Lauren Cheney (8-Amy Rodriguez, 66), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 2-Heather Mitts, 13-Megan Rapinoe, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 24-Jill Loyden.
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage


ISL: 12-Gudbjörg Gunnarsdóttir; 2-Sif Atladóttir, 3-Ólína Gudbjörg Vidarsdóttir, 8-Katrín Jónsdóttir – Capt., 4-Rakel Hönnudóttir, 6-Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir (15-Fanndís Fridriksdóttir, 89), 7-Katrín Ómarsdóttir (18-Elínborg Ingvarsdóttir, 85), 10-Dóra María Lárusdóttir (14-Rakel Logadóttir, 64), 11-Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir (5-Erna Björk Sigurdardóttir, 81), 17-Dagný Brynjarsdóttir (13-Gudný Björk Ódinsdóttir, 73), 9-Margrét Lára Vidarsdóttir (16-Berglind Björg Thorvaldsdóttir, 63).
Subs not used: 1-Thóra Helgadóttir, 19-Mist Edvardsdóttir, 20-Thelma Björk Einarsdóttir.
Head Coach: Siggi Eyolfsson

Statistical Summary: USA / ISL
Shots: 17 / 7
Shots on Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 5
Fouls: 9 / 13
Offside: 4 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Cat Whitehill (caution)     29th minute.
USA – Rachel Buehler (caution)  90+3

Officials
Referee: Christine Beck (Germany)
Asst. Referee: Marina Wozniak (Germany)
Asst. Referee: Inka Mueller (Germany)
Fourth Official: Fadouma Dia (Senegal)

ussoccer.com Woman of the Match:
Hope Solo

Feb 24 2010 WNT 2 Iceland 0 Highlights

The U.S. Women's National Team opened their 2010 Algarve Cup Group B schedule with a 2-0 victory against Iceland behind two penalties saves by goalkeeper Hope Solo and a goal by Lauren Cheneyl.

Iceland Up First as U.S. Women Open Algarve Cup

ICELAND UP FIRST AS U.S. WOMEN OPEN ALGARVE CUP: The U.S. Women’s National Team opens play at its 15th Algarve Cup on Wed., Feb. 24 against Iceland in a match that will kick off at 3 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET. Fans can follow the action on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. This will be the first international game of the year for the USA, which has opened its schedule at the Algarve Cup three times before, including last year when the U.S. defeated Denmark, 2-0. The USA is a six-time champion of this tournament, having raised the trophy in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008, but did not win last year, falling in penalty kicks to Sweden in the championship game. The USA has made seven consecutive Algarve Cup finals, a tremendous accomplishment considering teams have to win the group to qualify for the title game and one draw or a subpar goal difference can often relegate a team to the third or fifth place matches. The USA compiled an overall record of 7-0-1 in 2009, with the penalty kick shootout in the Algarve Cup Final counting as the lone tie. Fans can follow all the Algarve Cup matches on MatchTracker, and keep up with standings and other U.S. content, by clicking on the Algarve Cup link on ussoccer.com.

ROAD TRIP: At this tournament, the USA always sets up base camp pretty much in the center of the Algarve region, thus making its first match in Vila Real de San Antonio the most distant of the venues. It will take about an hour to get to VR de SA, which sits right on the Spanish border and so close to the ocean that a lighthouse is visible from the stadium. The drive has not seemed to negatively impact the U.S. team, which is 5-0-1 in VR de SA during its Algarve Cup history. In addition to the USA-Iceland game, there are some other enticing opening matches as long-time rivals Sweden and Norway square off after the U.S. match and Germany takes on Denmark in Group A.

17th Annual Algarve Cup
The Algarve, Portugal

Group A
Germany, Demark, China, Finland
Group B
USA, Norway, Sweden, Iceland
Group C
Portugal, Austria, Romania, Faroe Islands

U.S. WNT 2010 Algarve Cup Schedule

 Date   Opponent  Venue   Stadium   Kickoff (Local/ET) 
 Feb. 24  Iceland  VR de SA  Estadio Municipal  3 p.m. / 10 a.m.
 Feb. 26  Norway  Olhao  Estadio Jose Arcanjo  3 p.m. / 10 a.m.
 March 1  Sweden  Ferreiras  Parque Desportiva da Nora  3 p.m. / 10 a.m.
 March 4   Placement Match   TBD  TBD  TBD

LAST YEAR AT THE ALGARVE: The USA swept its group matches at the 2009 Algarve Cup, defeating Denmark by a 2-0 score, and downing Iceland and Norway by 1-0 margins. The USA was outplayed in the Algarve Cup Final against Sweden, but managed to tie the game at 1-1 in the 90th minute, sending it directly to penalty kicks. Sweden won the tournament in an exciting seven-round shootout.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: In the absence of Christie Rampone (who is due to have her second child very soon) and Lori Chalupny, Shannon Boxx will captain the USA against Iceland. It will be the third time that Boxx has worn the armband to start a match, including the game when she was honored for earning her 100th cap. It is traditional in the U.S. WNT program for the 100-capper to captain the team.

ALGARVE DEBUTS: The Algarve Cup has proven to be a fine starting point for a U.S. WNT career as several players debuted here in Portugal. In 2005, Stephanie Cox came off the bench against Denmark for her first cap in what was her only match of the year. She now has 55 caps. Amy Rodriguez also made her WNT debut at the 2005 Algarve Cup, playing in two matches off the bench, which were her only two caps of the year. Natasha Kai made her WNT debut at the Algarve Cup in 2006, scoring in her first two matches, against Denmark and France. Lori Chalupny didn’t make her debut at the Algarve Cup, but she did get her second, third and fourth caps at this tournament in 2001. Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart got her first cap in goal at the Algarve Cup in 2005. She famously earned her first cap as a field player in 2004 when she had to play forward after the U.S. ran out of subs during a Fan Celebration Tour match following the 2004 Olympics. There are two uncapped players on the roster in goalkeeper Jill Loyden and defender Megan Schnur. Loyden, who was brought along for training purposes, is not likely to get a match, but the Algarve very well could mark the debut for Schnur, who played in one match for the USA at the 2004 Under-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand. Schnur finished her Under-23 WNT career with seven international appearances.

ROOKIES: While there are just two uncapped players on the U.S. roster, several more are “cap-poor” and looking to get a chance to impress U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. Midfielders Lori Lindsey and Casey Nogueira have just one appearance each at the senior team level, earned in 2005 and 2007, respectively. Lindsey’s first cap actually came against Iceland. Midfielder Yael Averbuch has just three caps, but played a big role in the USA’s 1-0 victory over Germany last October when she was pressed into duty on the flank in place of Tobin Heath who had taken ill the day before the game. Even though it seems like Megan Rapinoe has been around for years, she has just 11 caps. She scored a big goal for the USA at least year’s Algarve Cup in a 1-0 win over Norway.

BEST OF THE BEST COME TO PORTUGAL: The Algarve Cup has long staked a claim as the world’s top women’s international tournament outside of the Women’s World Cup, the Olympics and the European Championships, and that is backed up by the participation of five of the top-10 teams in the world according to the most recent FIFA Women’s World Rankings. Group A features No. 2 Germany, No. 10 Denmark and No. 13 China as well as No. 16 Finland. Group A features the top-ranked United States, No. 4 Sweden, No. 7 Norway, No. 10 Denmark and No. 18 Iceland. In Group C, host Portugal is No. 41 while Austria is No. 39 and Algarve debutantes Romania and Faroe Islands check in at Nos. 36 and 61, respectively. The Faroe Islands are the lowest ranked team ever to participate in the tournament.


17th Annual Algarve Cup Participants
FIFA Women’s World Rankings  
World Rank   Country
1         USA
2         Germany
4         Sweden
7         Norway
10        Denmark
13        China
16        Finland
18        Iceland
36        Romania
39        Austria
41        Portugal
61        Faroe Islands


OPPONENT CAPSULE: Iceland
Current FIFA World Ranking: 18
All-Time Algarve Cup Results: 8-9-3
Overall Record vs. USA: 0-9-1
Iceland record vs. the USA at Algarve Cup: 0-0-1 (March 6, 2009, a 1-0 U.S. win)
Last Meeting vs. USA: Oct. 8, 2006, in Richmond, Va. (2-1 U.S. win)
Coach: Siggi Eyjolfsson
Algarve Cup Finals: None
Key Players: G Thóra Helgadóttir, D Ólina Gudbjörg Vidarsdóttir, D Katrin Jónsdóttir, M Hólmfridur Magnusdóttir, M Dóra Maria Larusdóttir,  M Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, F Margrét Lára Vidarsdóttir

USA vs. Iceland Fast Facts: Iceland started off with a bang at last year’s Algarve Cup with a 3-1 victory over Norway, but then fell to the USA 1-0 and to Denmark 2-0 … Iceland lost to China 1-0 in the match for fifth place, tying its best-ever finish (sixth) at the Algarve Cup … Iceland started its World Cup qualifying campaign last August with a 5-0 win over Serbia and a 12-0 victory over Estonia … In October, Iceland lost 2-0 in France in a huge match and then got a 1-0 win over Northern Ireland … Iceland has important Women’s World Cup qualifiers coming up in late March against Serbia and Croatia, which are must wins if they want to keep pace with the French, who they will host next August … Iceland participated in its first-ever UEFA Women’s Championships last year in Finland, but finished last in a very difficult group, losing 3-1 to France and 1-0 to Norway and Germany, showing they are far from pushovers … Iceland forward Margret Lara Vidarsdottir is her country’s all-time leading scorer at the Algarve Cup with 10 goals … No one else has more than three … Vidarsdottir also scored her country’s lone goal in the USA’s 2-1 win in Richmond, Va., in 2006, the last meeting between these two teams in the USA … Iceland has an excellent goalkeeper in Thora Helgadottir, a Duke graduate who played her college soccer for the Blue Devils and who has had several world class matches against the USA in the past … Both of Iceland’s goalkeepers play their club ball in Sweden along with two field players … Defender Sif Atladottir plays in Germany with Saarbrucken, the one-time and brief club of U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx … Iceland also features a future WPS player in new Philadelphia Independence signing Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir, who will no doubt be traveling to the USA soon after the Algarve Cup … Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir, who scored two of Iceland’s goals against Norway last year, is also on the roster … The previous eight of the 10 games between the teams were played in the United States with the two others in Portugal.


2010 U.S. Algarve Cup Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), 24-Jill Loyden (Chicago Red Stars), 1-Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (6): 26-Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), 14-Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), 6-Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), 2-Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), 17-Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue FC), 4-Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 12-Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), 7-Shannon Boxx (St. Louis Athletica), 5-Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), 10-Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), 9-Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), 13-Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (4): 11-Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), 15-Casey Nogueira (Chicago Red Stars), 8-Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), 20-Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)


2010 Iceland Algarve Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Thóra Helgadóttir (Malmö, SWE), 12-Gudbjörg Gunnarsdóttir (Djurgården, SWE)           
DEFENDERS (5): 2-Sif Atladóttir (FC Saarbrücken, GER), 3-Ólína Gudbjörg Vidarsdóttir (KIF Örebro, SWE), 8-Katrín Jónsdóttir (Valur), 19-Mist Edvardsdóttir (KR), 29-Thelma Björk Einarsdóttir (Valur)                                 
MIDFIELDERS (10): 4-Rakel Hönnudóttir (Thór), 5-Erna Björk Sigurdardóttir (Breidablik), 6-Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir (Philadelphia Independence, USA), 7-Katrín Ómarsdóttir (KR), 10-Dóra María Lárusdóttir (Valur), 11-Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir (Breidablik), 13-Gudný Björk Ódinsdóttir (Kristianstads, SWE), 14-Rakel Logadóttir (Valur), 18-Elínborg Ingvarsdóttir (Grindavík), 17-Dagný Brynjarsdóttir (Valur)                             
FORWARDS (3): 9-Margrét Lára Vidarsdóttir (Kristianstads, SWE), 15-Fanndís Fridriksdóttir (Breidablik), 16-Berglind Björg Thorvaldsdóttir (Breidablik)    

WHAT’S IN AN ICELANDIC NAME?: Whenever the U.S. Women play Iceland (which is not that often, only 10 times in history in fact), we like to bring out the following explanation of the seemingly strange Icelandic names. Apologies if you’ve read this before. Contrary to most other places in the world, 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 Abby Wambach, whose dad’s name is Peter, was Icelandic, her name would be Abby Petersdottir.

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 9th century), so this system appears to be working.

ALGARVE CUP QUICK HITS:

  • Each team is allowed six substitutions per game, just like in an international friendly. With the USA having 16 field players on its roster, all of them could see action should Sundhage decide to use all her allowed subs.
  • In the event that teams are tied at the end of group play, the first tiebreaker is the result of the matches between two teams (head-to-head), the second is goal difference and the third is goals scored.
  • The 24 matches of this year’s Algarve Cup will be played in eight different venues ranging from tiny stadiums that seat several thousand to the state-of-the art 30,000-seat Stadium Algarve, which will host the championship game, as well as the Group A marquee match-up between Germany and China, one of Portugal’s group games and Portugal’s placement game.
  • Of the three U.S. first-round opponents, Sweden and Norway have played in every Algarve Cup and Iceland will be playing its sixth tournament.
  • With a goal or an assist, Abby Wambach will move past Michelle Akers into fourth place on the all-time U.S. points list (two points for a goal, one for an assist). Both have 246 points. Wambach has 101 goals and 44 assists. Akers had 105 goals and 36 assists.
  • Cat Whitehill will be playing in her ninth Algarve Cup, the most of anyone on the U.S. team.
  • The USA’s Algarve Cup rookies are Lori Lindsey, Yael Averbuch, Casey Nogueira, Megan Schnur and Jill Loyden
  • Hard rains have pounded the Algarve almost every night, but the days have been mostly sunny. Still, the fields should be soft for the matches.
  • Seven of the eight WPS teams are represented on the U.S. roster (excluding only the Atlanta Beat) with Sky Blue FC leading the way with four players. The Philadelphia Independence has three, as do the Boston Breakers and the Chicago Red Stars. The Washington Freedom, St. Louis Athletica and FC Gold Pride have two each.
  • 30 different players have scored goals for the USA at the Algarve Cup.
  • The USA is currently on an Algarve record streak of 21 consecutive matches without a defeat in regulation time (the USA has lost two penalty kick shootouts during that stretch).
  • In fact, the USA is 0-3 in penalty shootouts in Algarve Cup history.


Stat of Note
Of the USA’s 55 matches all-time at the Algarve Cup, 29 have been shutouts. Over the past 20 Algarve Cup matches, the USA has allowed just six goals, three of those to Sweden. The USA has been shut out just six times in the Algarve Cup.

Of the USA’s 55 matches all-time at the Algarve Cup, 29 have been shutouts. Over the past 20 Algarve Cup matches, the USA has allowed just six goals, three of those to Sweden. The USA has been shut out just six times in the Algarve Cup.

Megan Rapinoe Replaces Tobin Heath on U.S. Roster for 2010 Algarve Cup in Portugal

CHICAGO (Feb. 16, 2010) – U.S. National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has added flank midfielder Megan Rapinoe to the roster for the 2010 Algarve Cup, replacing Tobin Heath, who is suffering from an illness. Rapinoe, who missed the USA’s entire 20-day training camp in California in January due to sickness, has recovered sufficiently to travel to Portugal with the U.S. team, which departs on Thursday for Europe.

The 24-year-old Rapinoe has 11 career caps for the USA and four goals. Last year at the Algarve Cup, she scored the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Norway that put the USA into the championship game.

Results

Date Matchup Result Venue Attendance Goal Scorers
February 24, 2010 WNT vs Iceland Women 2-0 W Estadio Municipal; Vila Real de San Antonio 250 Own Goal, Cheney
February 26, 2010 WNT vs Norway Women 2-1 W Estadio Jose Arcanjo; Olhao, Portugal 300 Wambach (2)
March 1, 2010 WNT vs Sweden Women 2-0 W Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras, Portugal 500 Cheney (2)
March 3, 2010 WNT vs Germany Women 3-2 W Estadio Algarve; Faro, Portugal 1,200 Lloyd, Wambach, Cheney
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