[ALGARVE CUP] The USA has gone from having not lost in two years to losing two games in a row for the first time since 2001. After having its 43-game unbeaten streak snapped by Sweden on Friday, the USA suffered a historic defeat when it lost to Denmark, 5-3, in Albufeira, Portugal . Before Monday, it had never trailed 3-0 at the half and never given up five goals in a game in the 30-year history of the program.
The Americans came back from 3-0 and 4-1 down to trail 4-3 on goals by Christen Press,
Sydney Leroux and Megan Rapinoe and had plenty more chances, but they were undone by some bad defending. Two goals in
three minutes from Nadia Nadim -- the daughter of an Afghan National Army general executed by the Taliban in 2000 -- put the Danes ahead 3-0 after Katrine Veje had given them the lead. Johanna Rasmussen made it 4-1 after Press had scored the first U.S. goal, and Karoline Nielsen sealed the winning with the fifth goal in stoppage time.
The starting backline featured only one holdover from the 2012 Olympic
gold-medal team: captain Christie Rampone. But Meghan Klingenberg and Whitney
Engen have been playing in Europe for UEFA Women's UEFA Champions League quarterfinalists Tyreso -- Engen also played on English champion Liverpool last summer -- and Stephanie Cox had been recalled. In midfield, Coach Tom Sermanni gave starts to both Mewis sisters, Kristie and Sam, for the first time.
U.S. losing streaks:
THREE IN A ROW (2)
1991: Norway 1-0, Norway 2-1, China 2-1
1-0, Germany 1-0, Germany 2-1.
TWO IN A ROW (9)
1985: England 3-1, Denmark 1-0.
1987: Sweden 2-1, Norway 1-0.
1988: Italy 2-1, England 2-0.
1-0, China 2-1
1992: Norway 3-1, Norway 4-2.
2000: Norway 3-2,
2000: Norway 3-2, Canada 3-1.
2001: Italy 1-0, Canada 3-0.
2001: Sweden 2-0, Norway 4-3.
Denmark was coming off a semifinal appearance at Euro 2013 where it beat France in a shootout in the quarterfinals only to lose Norway by the
same fate in the semis.
The Danes have one of Europe's best young teams. They played eight players 22 years old or younger against the USA. The youngest were 19-year-old Julie Jensen, who started in midfield, 18-year-old Frederikke Thogersen, a late sub, and the 19-year-old Nielsen.
TRIVIA. In the three games, the USA outshot its opponents, 54-21.
March 10 in Albufeira
Denmark 5 USA 3. Goals: Veje 24, Nadim 35, 39, Rasmussen 62, K.Nielsen 90+3; Press 61, Leroux 63, Rapinoe 68.
Petersen (C.Sorensen, 46); T.Nielsen, Pedersen, Knudsen, Christiansen (K.Nielsen, 77), Jensen (Larsen, 46), S.Sorensen (Kristiansen, 69), Troelsgaard (Hagelskjaer, 46), Nadim, Veje, Rasmussen
USA -- Solo; Klingenberg (O’Hara, 60), Rampone, Engen, Cox (Wambach, 85); O’Reilly (Rapinoe, 54), S.Mewis (Sauerbrunn,
62), Lloyd, K.Mewis (Hagen, 82); Press, Leroux.