February 24, 2014
Sermanni names roster to face Japan, Sweden and Denmark in Portugal
CHICAGO – US Women’s National Team coach Tom Sermanni has selected the 24-player roster for next month’s Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal.
|Boston Breakers defender Kristie Mewis was named to the US WNT roster for the Algarve Cup in Portugal.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The tournament runs from March 5-12, and the team departs for Europe on Tuesday, 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 (including the championship game) at the 30,000-seat Algarve Stadium. The placement matches will take place on March 12.
The US Women have won all three of the games they have played so far this year and are atop the FIFA world rankings heading into the tournament. They have been placed in Group B and will open play on March 5 against third-ranked Japan (7:45 a.m. ET) in Parchal. The USA will face sixth-ranked Sweden on March 7 in Albufeira (8:30 a.m. ET), and will finish group play on March 10 against 13th-ranked Denmark in Albufeira (10:40 a.m. ET). Before the competition starts, Sermanni will name 23 players to the tournament roster.
"The group we're in at the Algarve Cup will probably be the most significant test since I've come aboard and a different kind of challenge as we will be playing teams that have the belief and aim to come out to attack us and beat us," said Sermanni. "The dynamics of these games will be different than some of the more recent matches, and that's something that we want, that we need and that the players are looking forward to."
Group A features Germany, Norway, China PR and Iceland. Group C features host Portugal, Austria and first-time participants Russia and Korea DPR. The winners of Groups A and B will compete for the Algarve Cup championship on Wednesday, March 12. 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 compete for a chance to play for spots 7-12. 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 is the US team’s 19th trip to the Algarve Cup. They have won the tournament a record nine times, including an unprecedented three straight championships from 2003-05. Last year, the USA defeated Germany 2-0 in the championship game as forward Alex Morgan scored twice. She will miss this year’s tournament because of an ankle injury.
Fifteen players from last year's Algarve Cup roster return, including the core of the U.S. team. Several of the players, including Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-Germain), Sarah Hagen (Bayern Munich) and Christen Press, Whitney Engen and Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö) will join the team in Portugal directly from their European clubs.
Young additions to the squad include midfielder Morgan Brian, who turns 21 the day the USA arrives in Portugal. Samantha Mewis, younger sister of U.S. defender Kristie Mewis, gets another call-up, and her midfield partner at UCLA, Sarah Killion, was named to her first senior team roster.
U.S. Women's National Team Roster By Position:
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 (Tyresö), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö), 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 Saint-Germain), 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)