[USA WOMEN]Five European-based players, plus three collegians, will join a core of NWSL players on the U.S. women's national team for the 2014 Algarve Cup in Portugal. Tom Sermanni has made five changes to the 24-player roster from the team that recently swept three games at home.
Recalled were European-based players Meghan Klingenberg (Tyreso), Tobin Heath (Paris St. Germain) and Sarah Hagen (Bayern Munich) and Boston Breakers goalie Alyssa Naeher along with Sarah Killion, the UCLA midfielder who was picked to the senior national team for the first time, joining Bruin teammate Sam Mewis and Virginia's Morgan Brianas the college reps on the team.
Veteran midfielder Lauren Holiday will not be with the team due to a family commitment. Defender Crystal Dunn is not ready for game action as she recovers from an ankle injury. Other players not called in were Nicole Barnhart and Erika Tymrak, both from FC Kansas City, and Julie Johnston, a rookie with the Chicago Red Stars. Alex Morgan, last year's Algarve Cup hero, is again not with the team as she is in the final stages of her return from an ankle injury.
"Again, we're going into a competition phase with a number of players unavailable and that's something that we've had to adjust to over this past year," said Sermanni. "But players have come in and performed extremely well and that's continued to increase the already intense competition in the squad."
USA heads to Europe on Tuesday for this year's Algarve Cup, which will run March 5-12 across the Algarve region on the southern coast of Portugal.
The USA will open against Japan March 5, two years to the day since its last defeat. The Americans are unbeaten in their last 42 games since a 1-0 loss to Japan on March 5, 2012. They will also face Sweden and Denmark in Group B at the Algarve Cup, which is in its 21st edition.
U.S. Women's Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3):Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9):Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Whitney Engen (Tyreso/SWE), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyreso/SWE), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Paris SG/FRA), Sarah Killion (UCLA), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O'Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5):Sarah Hagen (Bayern Munich), Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash).