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February 21, 2013
Solo (wrist injury) won't play for USA women in Algarve Cup

Hope Solo will miss the Algarve Cup due to a wrist injury
Hope Solo will miss the Algarve Cup due to a wrist injury
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The U.S. Women's National Team will get its first big test of the year in the Algarve Cup, and it won't be just from the opposition.

Hope Solo, regarded as the best women's goalkeeper in the world, will not participate in the annual tournament of the best soccer teams in the world. Solo has a long-standing wrist injury that has flared up recently, which may require surgery.

She has damage to ligaments in her right wrist. She has played with the injury. But with Women’s World Cup qualifying not until the end of 2014, the team medical staff advised that now would be the time to address the situation.

So, the USA will be tested with another keeper in the net. In Solo's stead, veteran Nicole Barnhart, Jill Loyden and the uncapped Ashlyn Harris will compete for the starting spot in coach Tom Sermanni's team.

U.S. Soccer announced the 23-player team for the tournament, which will be held across the Algarve region in Portugal, on Thursday afternoon.

The Americans, who have been placed into Group B, will open play on March 6 against Iceland (9 a.m. ET) in Albufeira. The USA will face China on March 8, again in Albufeira (9 a.m. ET), and will finish the first round on March 11 against Sweden in Lagos (10 a.m. ET) in what will be the first meeting between the teams since former U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage returned home to coach her native country.

Group A features Germany, Norway, Japan and Denmark. Group C features host Portugal, Hungary, Wales and Mexico.

The winners of Groups A and B will compete for the crown. The two second-place finishers in Groups A and B will play for third place while the third-place finishers in each group 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 year’s tournament is being staged a week later than in recent years, from March 6-13. The U.S. team will depart for Europe on Feb. 25. The majority of the games will be played at small venues across the Algarve region on the southern coast of the country, with several matches at the 30,000-seat Algarve Stadium. The placement matches will take place on March 13.

For the first time, fans in the United States will be able to watch the Algarve Cup matches live on television. All four U.S. matches of the Algarve Cup are being distributed in the USA by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing on cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, Avail-TVN, DIRECTV and DISH for a suggested retail price of $14.95 per match. Additional same day replays will be available. Check with your Pay-Per-View provider for replay times. Fans can visit for updates on the TV coverage.

The U.S. roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3):Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Duisburg), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC)

DEFENDERS (7): Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina), Whitney Engen (Liverpool FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Yael Averbuch (Göteborg FC), Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Lauren Cheney (FC Kansas City), Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-German), Carli Lloyd (Western NY Flash), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Olympique Lyonnais)

FORWARDS (5): Lindsey Horan (Paris Saint-German), Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Tyresö FF), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)
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