[U.S. WOMEN]One of the youngest U.S. women's national teams ever selected for the Algarve Cup will head to Portugal on Feb. 19. Following a 20-day training camp at the Home Depot Center, Coach Pia Sundhagenamed five players who have a combined five caps.
Sundhage named five players who have a combined five caps in Casey Nogueira (1), Lori Lindsey (1), Yael Averbuch (3), Meghan Schnur (0) and Jill Loyden (0). This will be the first Algarve Cup for all five.
Only eight players from last year’s 18-player roster made the squad this time around.
The USA, which has been placed into Group B, will open play on Feb. 24 against Iceland, face Norway on Feb. 26 and finish the first-round on March 1 against Sweden.
Last year, the USA made its seventh consecutive Algarve Cup final but after scoring a late goal in regulation to tie the match at 1-1, fell to Sweden in penalty kicks.
The Americans won the tournament three straight championships from 2003-05 and again in 2007 and 2008. They advanced to the championship game of the 2006 Algarve Cup but fell in penalty kicks to Germany.
The USA will be without several potential starters in Portugal. Christie Rampone’s pregnancy will keep the U.S. captain out until perhaps this summer, midfielder Megan Rapinoe is still recovering from an illness that kept her out of the January training camp and defender Lori Chalupny is taking some time off due to concussion-related issues.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Jill Loyden (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (6):Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue FC), Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (6):Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), Shannon Boxx (St. Louis Athletica), Tobin Heath (Atlanta Beat), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC)
FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Casey Nogueira (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)