February 10, 2011
PICKED FOR PORTUGAL
Six from Breakers on Algarve roster
CHICAGO---The Boston Breakers’ Alyssa Naeher, Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, Amy LePeilbet, Kelley O'Hara and Lauren Cheney have been named to the 24-player U.S. Women’s National Team roster for the 2011 Algarve Cup in Portugal.
|Rachel Buehler is one of six Boston Breakers selected to the U.S. Women's National Team roster for the Algarve Cup.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
This year's tournament is being staged from March 2-9 and the U.S. team will depart for Europe on Feb. 18.
The U.S. team, which has been placed into Group A at the annual tournament, will open play on March 2 against first-time Algarve Cup participants Japan, will face Norway on March 4 and will finish the first round on March 7 against Finland. Group B features Sweden, China, Iceland and Denmark. Group C features host Portugal, another first-time Algarve Cup participant in Chile, Wales and Romania.
Since the expansion to 12 teams 10 years ago, the Algarve Cup format
U.S. coach Pia Sundhage will bring a slightly larger roster to the tournament as U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo (who is attending her ninth Algarve Cup) is not yet cleared for game competition, but will be with the team to train as she enters the final stages of her rehabilitation from major shoulder surgery. Sundhage will trim the roster to 20 players before the start of the tournament.
After missing January's Four Nations Tournament in China, Abby Wambach returns to the roster looking to build on her career total of 117 goals.
The U.S. roster is stocked with veteran players, led by U.S. captain Christie Rampone (who missed last year's tournament while preparing for the birth of her second daughter), Shanon Boxx (the 2004 and 2006 Algarve Cup MVP), Wambach (15 career goals at the Algarve, best of any U.S. player), and 100-plus capped midfielders Carli Lloyd, Lindsay Tarpley and Heather O'Reilly. Lloyd was the MVP of the 2007 Algarve Cup after scoring in all four games. O'Reilly will be playing in her team-leading ninth Algarve Cup.
Joining Wambach in a quartet of forwards is Amy Rodriguez, Lauren Cheney and Alex Morgan, the top pick in the 2011 WPS Draft by the Western New York Flash. Sundhage chose nine midfielders with Yael Averbuch, Tobin Heath, Megan Rapinoe, Lori Lindsey and O'Hara -- all of whom
contributed to the Four Nations title -- rounding out the group.
Seven defenders were chosen. Heather Mitts will not make the trip due to injury, but outside back Ali Krieger, currently playing her club soccer in Germany for FFC Frankfurt, will join the U.S. team in Portugal. Veterans Buehler, LePeilbet and Cox will be joined by Becky Sauerbrunn (five caps) and the uncapped Whitney Engen on the back line.
Nicole Barnhart, who has started the past 11 games in goal for the USA, is joined by uncapped Ashlyn Harris and Naeher as the USA will bring four 'keepers to Portugal. This is the eighth Algarve Cup appearance for Boxx and seventh for Wambach.
GOALKEEPERS (4): Nicole Barnhart (out of contract), Ashlyn Harris (Western New York Flash), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo
(out of contract)
DEFENDERS (7): Rachel Buehler (Boston Breakers), Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), Whitney Engen (Western New York Flash), Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Christie Rampone (Washington Freedom), Becky Sauerbrunn (Washington Freedom),
MIDFIELDERS (9): Yael Averbuch (Western New York Flash), Shannon Boxx (Washington Freedom), Tobin Heath (Sky Blue FC), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat), Kelley O'Hara (Boston Breakers), Heather O'Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Philadelphia Independence), Lindsay Tarpley (Washington Freedom)
FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)