Archive | Senior Nat’l Team

Rivalry with Sweden set for renewal in two-game set

Posted on 13 July 2010 by ASN Staff

The USA renews what has been an excellent rivalry with Sweden, the home nation of its coach Pia Sundhage, during two summer matches on July 13 in Omaha, Neb., at Creighton University’s Morrison Stadium, live on ESPN at 8 p.m. CT, and on July 17 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., live on Fox Soccer Channel at 7:30 p.m. ET.

With the USA ranked first in the current FIFA Women’s World Rankings and Sweden at fourth, U.S. fans will once again get to see two of the top women’s teams in the world square off on American soil. Sundhage has called up 24 players, she will name 18 to suit up for both contests with the Swedes and could juggle the game roster between matches.

Tickets for both matches start at $18 and are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the local areas. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.

U.S. WNT Roster by Position

GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Jill Loyden (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Atlanta Beat)
DEFENDERS (8): Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Kate Markgraf (Chicago Red Stars), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Shannon Boxx (FC Gold Pride), Sarah Huffman (Washington Freedom), Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Allie Long (Washington Freedom), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (5): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (California), Kelley O’Hara (FC Gold Pride), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

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U.S. dissemble Germany, 4-0

Posted on 23 May 2010 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Women’s National Team scored two goals in each half for a highly impressive 4-0 victory against Germany in front of more than 10,000 fans who came out to witness a clash between the world’s top two teams according to the latest FIFA rankings.

The USA started the match with a rough first 20 minutes that featured numerous giveaways in the midfield but then starting stringing passes together. The possession flipped the game on the Germans, who were definitely the aggressors early on as star forward Inka Grings was caught offside three times in the first quarter of an hour.

The U.S. pressure led to the first score when Abby Wambach collected a service in the penalty area with her back to the goal. As she turned, she banged bodies with German defender Saskia Bartusiak, who had an arm hooked around Wambach’s upper body. Wambach went down and referee Margaret Domka pointed to the penalty spot.

Wambach stepped up to take the kick herself and hit a low shot that skimmed the inside of the left post before going into the net. The 29th-minute goal was the 106th of Wambach’s career, moving her past the great Michelle Akers into sole possession of third place all the U.S. all-time scoring list, behind only Mia Hamm (158) and Kristine Lilly, who scored her 130th career goal later in the match.

First, though, the USA doubled its lead in the 35th minute off a corner kick from the left side that Lilly spun into the middle of the penalty area. Wambach rose to send a powerful header straight at the center of the goal. German ‘keeper Nadine Angerer batted the ball down with two hands, but it fell directly to Amy Rodriguez, who was framing the goal. The ball hit Rodriguez on the thigh and dropped to the ground, but she quickly touched the ball away from Angerer to her right and it rolled into the path of Heather O’Reilly, who blasted the ball into the open net from close range.

It was the first goal of 2010 for O’Reilly but the 26th of her international career. O’Reilly had been denied in the early part of the match when Angerer stuffed her one-one-one chance, one of several great saves from the German goalkeeper during the match.

Germany hit several shots early in the game, but they were easy saves for Solo. That changed in the 26th minute when Kerstin Garefrekes went on a nice dribbling run down the left side and fired at goal, forcing Solo to dive to her left and snag the shot.

One minute earlier, O’Reilly had gotten free in the right side of the penalty area, but her chip flew over the head of an open Wambach at the far post.

In the 27th minute, a great series of passes on the left wing got Lilly squared up with a defender right near the end line. She somehow cut past her in the tightest of spaces, but her short pass back to Wambach hit the U.S. forward on the heel and then bounced back to Lilly, who was in an offside position.

After the first U.S. goal, Angerer continued her fine work, diving spectacularly to her left to push away a blast from Shannon Boxx in the 32nd minute. On the ensuing corner kick, Wambach sent a header low to the right corner, but the German goalkeeper batted it away again.

In the 37th minute, Wambach was seemingly chopped down from behind as she sprinted into the middle of the penalty area to get on the end of an O’Reilly cross.

Sundhage sent on defender Ali Krieger at halftime and the FFC Frankfurt right back slid into the same position for the USA where she faced off against five of her club teammates. Krieger played very well in just her third career cap and first since January of 2008.

Germany made a push at the beginning of the second half to pull a goal back, but once again the USA answered and instead put the game away with two goals in two minutes.

The goal that made it 3-0 came in the 62nd minute as Wambach bullied her way through a tackle on the left sideline and then nutmegged a German defender who came out to challenge. Wambach then drove to the near post, drawing another defender before deftly cutting a pass back to Lilly. The 38-year-old midfielder, who is the world’s all-time caps leader, then became the oldest player in U.S. history to score a goal, cutting her left-footed shot off the right post and into the net.

For Lilly, who played in her 345th game for the USA, it was her first goal in a U.S. uniform since Oct. 17, 2007, against Mexico and the 130th of her historic career.

Just about a minute later, O’Reilly chipped a pass from midfield into Lori Lindsey, who in turn slipped a perfect ball in behind the defense to the sprinting Wambach. With a defender on her hip, Wambach slid to curl a 10-yard shot past the charging Angerer and into the net for her 107th career score.

As the USA was attacking with fervor, Solo was keeping things tight at the back. In the 58th minute, a pass was looped over the U.S. defense into the left side of the penalty area and Garefrekes got a good hit on it. Solo stepped out to close down the angle and made a fanatic save to push a shot away that was surely headed into the upper right corner of the net.

In the 68th minute, Solo saved the U.S. again after a bad giveaway near the top of the U.S. penalty area. German star Birgit Prinz blazed in to steal the ball and tried to shoot low into the right corner, but Solo dove to knock the ball away.

With just four minutes left, towering German substitute Alexandra Popp powered her way up the middle of the U.S. defense, but Solo made another great stop, leaping to push the ball over the goal with both hands.

Angerer also had her share of excellent stops in the second half, most notably in the 59th minute, when she made a brilliant point-blank save on Shannon Boxx after O’Reilly had run down a cross on the left side of the goal box and touched it back to the U.S. captain for a wide-open look.

For the most part, the USA did a good job of keeping Prinz and her 126 career goals and Grings, the leading scorer this past season in German Women’s Bundesliga, in front of them, as center-backs Rachel Buehler and Amy LePeilbet held down the middle while Stephanie Cox and Heather Mitts did some fine ball-winning on the flanks before giving way to Kate Markgraf and Krieger, respectively.

Grings did almost convert in the 60th minute when she raced into the left side of the U.S. penalty area, but her shot on the ground skipped just outside the right post.

Markgraf entered the game in the 63rd minute to earn her 199th career cap and her first since having twins in the middle of 2009. It was the first cap for the veteran U.S. defender, who started in the last six world championships for the USA, since December of 2008.

The USA could have easily increased its lead in the final 15 minutes, when O’Reilly misfired on a one-on-one chance in the 77th minute, followed by Angerer stuffing 20-year-old Alex Morgan’s mini-breakaway with a kick save a minute later. Morgan, one of the stars of the U.S. team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, earned just her second career cap. She did put the ball in the net in the dying minutes of the match, but she was ruled to be in an offside position after Wambach unselfishly played her a pass that she easily could have shot to earn a hat trick.

The victory made it three wins in a row for the USA against Germany, the first time the Americans have accomplished that feat in almost nine years. It was the largest margin of victory for the USA over Germany since a 6-0 win in 1996, and the teams have played 18 times since.

The U.S. players will now return to their WPS clubs for matches next weekend and won’t come together again until mid-July for two matches against Sweden, on July 13 in Omaha, Neb. and on July 17 in East Hartford, Conn.

Match Facts

U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Germany, May 22, 2010
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Cleveland Browns Stadium; Cleveland, Ohio
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Attendance: 10,321
Weather: Humid, sunny – 74 degrees

Scoring Summary:

USA – Abby Wambach (penalty kick) 29th minute
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Amy Rodriguez) 35
USA – Kristine Lilly (Abby Wambach) 62
USA – Abby Wambach (Lori Lindsey) 63

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts (16-Ali Krieger, 46), 26-Rachel Buehler, 6-Amy LePeilbet, 14-Stephanie Cox (15-Kate Markgraf, 63); 9-Heather O’Reilly, 7-Shannon Boxx (Capt.), 5-Lori Lindsey (12-Yael Averbuch, 79), 13-Kristine Lilly (11-Megan Rapinoe, 69); 8-Amy Rodriguez (21-Alex Morgan, 64), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 18-Nicole Barnhart, 22-Brittany Taylor
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

GER: 11-Nadine Angerer; 3-Saskia Bartusiak, 5-Annike Krahn (23-Navina Omilade), 10-Linda Bresonik, 15-Sonja Fuss, 17-Ariane Hingst (14-Kim Kulig, 60), 6-Simone Laudehr, 7-Melanie Behringer (13-Célia Okoyino da Mbabi, 60), 18-Kerstin Garefrekes, 9-Birgit Prinz (Capt.), (27-Alexandra Popp, 69), 8-Inka Grings
Subs not used: 12-Ursula Holl, 16-Martina Müller, 26-Bianca Rech
Head Coach: Silvia Neid

Statistical Summary:
USA / GER
Shots: 14 / 12
Shots on Goal: 12 / 6
Saves: 6 / 8
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 11 / 15
Offside: 5 / 6

Misconduct Summary:
GER – Birgit Prinz (caution) 42nd minute
USA – Abby Wambach (caution) 44
GER – Alexandra Popp (caution) 89

Officials:

Referee: Margaret Domka (USA)
Assistant Referee: Deborah Coleman (USA)
Assistant Referee: Marlene Duffy (USA)
Fourth Official: Michelle Cowman (USA)

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Boxx leads U.S. efforts over Mexico, 3-0

Posted on 28 March 2010 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Women’s National Team opened its 2010 domestic schedule with a convincing 3-0 win against Mexico at the University of San Diego’s Torero Stadium.

Shannon Boxx ©AmericanSoccerNews.net

Forward Amy Rodriguez opened the scoring in the 12th minute with her first goal since scoring against New Zealand in the 2008 Olympics, while Shannon Boxx and Lauren Cheney added goals on either side of halftime. For Cheney, it was her team-leading fifth goal of 2010 and ninth of her international career.

Playing for the first time since a 3-2 victory against Germany in the championship game of the 2010 Algarve Cup on March 3, the U.S. team, led by ussoccer.com Woman of the Match Amy LePeilbet held Mexico to a single shot in each half. The U.S. outshot Mexico 21-2, including a 10-0 advantage in shots on goal as U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo did not need to make a save while recording her third shutout of the year.

“The game today showed that we need to change the point of attack more often and be more dangerous,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “I think we did a better job in the second half. We made a change in the second half and I thought when we had Lori Lindsey in the midfield and Cheney keeping the ball up top that gives us options. That’s good and fun to coach because I have different qualities on the bench that can bring out something different on the field.”

The U.S. concludes the two-game series against Mexico on Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The match kicks off at 7 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Tickets are available at ussoccer.com, by calling 888-477-5849 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              888-477-5849      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              888-477-5849      end_of_the_skype_highlighting and at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office.

The match marked the return of U.S. legend Kristine Lilly to the U.S. team. The most-capped player in soccer history extended her world record for international games played to 343 when she came on for Yael Averbuch in the 32nd minute and then did some nice work on the left flank. Lilly becomes the first player in U.S. history, and likely in world history, to play for her country in four different decades.

Lilly earned 15 caps in 1980s, 176 in the 1990s, 151 from 2000-2009 and now one in 2010. The former U.S. captain is the world’s second all-time leading scorer with 129 goals and has played in five FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments, the most of any female player.

Rodriguez’ goal, her seventh career international score, came on the USA’s first shot of the game. Flank midfielder Heather O’Reilly played a ball over the top into the left side of the penalty area and Rodriguez brought it down expertly. Mexican goalkeeper Pamela Tajonar came charging off her line, but Rodriguez eluded her and rolled the ball into the open net from about 15 yards away.

The game was also the first return for U.S. forward Abby Wambach to Torero Stadium since breaking her leg on July 17, 2008 against Brazil in the USA’s final match before the Olympics, keeping Wambach off the Olympic team. While she did not get a goal this afternoon, Wambach buzzed around the Mexico penalty area for 90 minutes and had a goal called back in the 14th minute for offside.

Rodriguez easily could have made it 2-0 in the 18th minute as a pass slipped past the Mexican backs to her inside the penalty area, but her toe-poke past Tajonar rolled just wide right.

The USA doubled its lead just before halftime as a long free-kick from right back Cat Whitehill soared into the penalty area. Tajonar came out to challenge in a busy pack of players but couldn’t hang onto the ball. It dropped to Boxx who swept it into the open net from about the penalty spot. It was the 21st international score for Boxx.

The USA peppered the Mexican net in the second half. In the 52nd minute a bullet header from Wambach that deflected off a Mexican defender before Tajonar grabbed the ball out of the air.

Lilly had a chance to get on the scoresheet in the 53rd minute after Wambach touched a pass back to her at the top of the penalty box, but she spun her left-footed shot wide left from 20 yards. She also had a header from a tough angle go wide right off a cross from Kelley O’Hara in 78th minute. O’Hara, the 2009 MAC Hermann Trophy winner from Stanford University and a long-time standout on the USA’s youth national teams, earned her first cap with senior side when she came on for O’Reilly in the 63rd minute. Her teammates found her wide into space a few times and she was able to create problems for Mexico’s defenders with her pace.

In the 64th minute Whitehill ripped a direct kick from 30 yards, but right into Tajonar’s midsection. One minute later, Cheney, who came on at halftime, powered around the left side of the Mexican defense and dribbled straight at the near post. Her shot was hard and Tajonar had to bat the ball away.

Lilly almost scored on a slick back-heel off a Boxx cross from the right, making a near post run and getting a flick on the ball, forcing Tajonar to pin it on the goal line with a save to her left.

In the 69th minute Cheney turned past the Mexican defense again, this time from the right, and touched a short pass to O’Hara inside the six yard box. Her shot was stuffed and Cheney got a swing at the rebound, but that too was blocked away.

As Mexico tired, the U.S. spent most of the last 20 minutes in the visitors’ half and a driven shot from Boxx from a steep angle near the right end line forced Tajonar to palm the ball over the goal.

The USA finally added another score in the 72nd minute after Boxx won a header from a clearance in the midfield. The ball bounced to Cheney, who expertly rolled off a defender and burst into the penalty box, striking her shot off the ‘keepers hands and into the net.

Four minutes later, Lilly raced into the left side of the penalty area and lifted a cross to the far post that barely missed the sliding Wambach.

In the waning minutes Wambach and Cheney exchanged excellent crosses directly into the goal mouth, Cheney’s service coming off an overhead kick, but both players put close-range headers over the crossbar.

The USA moved to 5-0-0 in 2010 and extended its unbeaten streak in domestic matches to 42 games.

U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: March 28, 2010
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Torero Stadium; San Diego, Calif.
Kickoff: 2 p.m. PT
Attendance: 3,069
Weather: Sunny, light breeze – 79 degrees

Scoring Summary:
USA – Amy Rodriguez (Heather O’Reilly) 12th minute
USA – Shannon Boxx 43
USA – Lauren Cheney (Shannon Boxx) 72.

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 4-Cat Whitehill, 26-Rachel Buehler, 6-Amy LePeilbet, 17-Meghan Schnur (14-Stephanie Cox, 77); 9-Heather O’Reilly (19-Kelley O’Hara, 63), 7-Shannon Boxx (Capt.), 10-Carli Lloyd (5-Lori Lindsey, 46), 12-Yael Averbuch (13-Kristine Lilly, 32), 8-Amy Rodriguez (11-Lauren Cheney, 46); 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 18-Nicole Barnhart, 21-Alex Morgan.
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

MEX: 12-Pamela Tajonar; 2-Leticia Villalpando, 22-Alina Garciamendez, 4-Marylin Diaz, 15-Luz Saucedo (6-Monica Vergara, 78); 8-Lupita Worbis (Capt.) (18-Natalie Vinti, 84), 11-Nayeli Rangel (16-Renae Cuellar, 46), 20-Lili Godoy (9-Monica Ocampo, 38); 10-Maribel Dominguez (5-Maria Castillo, 58), 17-Veronica Perez, 19-Dinora Garza (21-Kaylie Garcia, 80).
Subs not used: 1-Erika Vanegas, 3-Rubi Sandoval, 7-Evelyn Lopez, 13-Lulu Gordillo,
Head Coach: Leo Cuellar

Statistical Summary:
USA / MEX
Shots: 21 / 2
Shots on Goal: 10 / 0
Saves: 0 / 6
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 7 / 8
Offside: 9 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Abby Wambach (caution) 71st minute

Officials

Referee: Kari Seitz (USA)
Asst. Referee: Marlene Duffy (USA)
Asst. Referee: Shelley Finger (USA)
Fourth Official: Felisha Mariscal (USA)

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U.S. to face Germany in second-ever Cleveland appearance

Posted on 17 March 2010 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Germany on May 22 at Cleveland Browns Stadium, as the world’s top two women’s soccer nations meet on American soil for the first time since the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The U.S. has played in Cleveland just once previously, on June 16, 2007, at the same ground. Abby Wambach scoring both goals in a 2-0 victory against China. Current U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage was on the Chinese bench during that match as an assistant coach.

Germany is returning the game the USA played Oct. 29, 2009, in Augsburg, Germany. In that match Abby Wambach’s goal gave the Americans a narrow 1-0 victory in front of an enthusiastic German crowd. The two teams also recently met in the championship game of the Algarve Cup in Portugal with the USA coming away with a 3-2 victory.

Germany and the USA have combined to win four of the five FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments contested so far. Germany will host the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup from June 26 through July 17 in nine German cities.

“It’s rare for the Women’s National Team to play in Ohio so it will be special to return to my home state,” said U.S. defender Heather Mitts. “It’s always fun when a player gets to represent the national team especially close to home and to do it against a great team like Germany is even better. We’ve played two amazing games against them over the past few months and we’re all looking forward to another one in May. I know a lot of people will come out to support us and they are going to see a very entertaining, attacking game.”

The match will mark the 27th meeting between the two countries (counting two games against the former West Germany) with the USA having won 18, lost four and tied four. The world’s two most successful women’s soccer nations have met in several epic matches in U.S. history, including a 5-2 U.S. win in the semifinal of the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 3-2 U.S. win in the quarterfinal of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup and a 3-0 Germany win in the semifinal of the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Germany boasts tremendous depth and some of the world’s top players, including team captain Birgit Prinz, who has scored 126 career international goals, and forward Inka Grings, who scored seven goals at the recently completed Algarve Cup. The USA is currently first in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings while Germany is second.

The match will be the first for the U.S. Women during the upcoming WPS season. The league will not play games on the weekend of May 22.

TV, ticket info

The match will kick off at 6 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Tickets starting at $18 go on sale to the public Friday, March 19, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Northern Ohio (including many Giant Eagle locations), as well as the Cleveland Browns Stadium ticket office (open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages which include a premium ticket, a custom made official U.S. national team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa® is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale starts Thursday, March 18, at 12 p.m. ET and runs until Friday, March 19, at 8 a.m. at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.

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Sundhage names Algarve Cup squad

Posted on 11 February 2010 by ASN Staff

Following a 20-day training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has named a 19-player roster for the 2010 Algarve Cup in Portugal.

This year’s tournament is being staged a week earlier than normal and will run from Feb. 24 through March 3. The U.S. team will depart for Europe on Feb. 18. The venues and kickoff times have yet to be confirmed.

The roster chosen by Sundhage features one of the biggest turnovers from the previous year’s Algarve Cup roster since the USA started attending the tournament in 1994. Only eight players from last year’s 18-player roster made the squad this time around, meaning there will be some new faces at the tournament. Sundhage will bring an extra goalkeeper for training purposes as the Chicago Red Stars’ Jill Loyden makes her first national team roster, where she will team with U.S. starter Hope Solo and Nicole Barnhart.

With Christie Rampone still sidelined while preparing for the birth of her second child, the USA’s center-back tandem of Amy LePeilbet and Rachel Buehler, who did well in last October’s 1-0 victory against Germany, should get the chance to step up again. They will be joined by 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2008 Olympic veteran defender Stephanie Cox, who makes her return to the U.S. roster after playing in just one match last year. She has 55 career caps.

The USA will be looking for goal production from Carli Lloyd, who was the MVP of the 2007 Algarve Cup after scoring in all four games, as well as from young forwards Amy Rodriguez, Lauren Cheney and Casey Nogueira, all of whom may see time next to Wambach on the USA’s front line. Flank midfielder Tobin Heath, the top pick in the 2010 WPS Draft by the Atlanta Beat, may get the opportunity to break into the first 11 after starting in just six of her 19 career caps so far.

Wambach missed the Algarve Cup last year while recovering from a broken leg but scored three times at the 2008 tournament and has 12 goals all-time during the competition, one short of Lilly’s team-record 13.

Along with the veterans, Sundhage named five players who have a combined five caps in Nogueira (1), Lori Lindsey (1), Yael Averbuch (3), Meghan Schnur (0) and Loyden (0). This will be the first Algarve Cup for all five.

O’Reilly and Solo lead the way in Algarve Cup experience as both will be playing in their eighth tournaments. This will be the seventh Algarve Cup for Boxx and the sixth for Mitts and Wambach.

The USA will be without several potential starters in Portugal. Rampone’s pregnancy will keep the U.S. captain out until perhaps this summer, midfielder Megan Rapinoe is still recovering from an illness that kept her out of the January training camp and defender Lori Chalupny is taking some time off due to concussion-related issues.

All the games will be played at small venues spread across the Algarve region on the southern coast of the country, and the placement matches will take place on March 3.

The U.S. team, which has been placed into Group B at the annual tournament, will open play on Feb. 24 against Iceland, face Norway on Feb. 26 and finish the first-round on March 1 against Sweden, home country of U.S. head coach Sundhage. Group A features Germany, China, Finland and Denmark. The eight teams in Groups A and B are the same as in last year’s tournament with the groupings also virtually the same, the only difference being that Denmark and Sweden have swapped groups. Group C features host Portugal, Austria and first-time Algarve Cup participants Romania and the Faroe Islands.

Since the expansion from eight to 12 teams nine years ago, the Algarve Cup format has been as follows: The teams in Group A and B will compete for the title as the group winners will play in the championship game on Wednesday, March 3. The two second-place finishers in Groups A and B will play for third place while the third-place finishers 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 will be the 15th trip to the Algarve Cup for the U.S. Women, who have won the tournament six times, including an unprecedented three straight championships from 2003-05 at what has become one of the world’s most competitive international women’s events. Last year, the USA made its seventh consecutive Algarve Cup final but after scoring a late goal in regulation to tie the match at 1-1, fell to Sweden in penalty kicks. In the two previous tournaments, the USA defeated Denmark for the title, winning 2-0 in 2007 on goals from Kristine Lilly and Carli Lloyd and 2-1 in 2008 on goals from Natasha Kai and Abby Wambach. The USA advanced to the championship game of the 2006 Algarve Cup but fell in penalty kicks to Germany.

The USA scored just five goals at the Algarve Cup last year, its lowest total at the tournament in seven years, and just one of the players, Shannon Boxx, who scored in 2009 is on this year’s roster. Still, the U.S. team is stocked with veteran talent, led by Boxx (the 2004 and 2006 Algarve Cup MVP), Wambach (the USA’s leading scorer with 101 goals), and 100-plus capped defenders Cat Whitehill and Heather Mitts, as well as flank midfielder Heather O’Reilly (116 caps, 25 goals).

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position

GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Jill Loyden (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue FC), Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), Shannon Boxx (St. Louis Athletica), Tobin Heath (Atlanta Beat), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC)
FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Casey Nogueira (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

17th Annual Algarve Cup

The Algarve, Portugal

Group A: Germany, China, Finland, Denmark

Group B: USA, Norway, Iceland, Sweden,

Group C: Portugal, Austria, Romania, Faroe Islands

Feb. 24
Group Teams
A Germany vs. Denmark
A Finland vs. China
B USA vs. Iceland
B Sweden vs. Norway
C Portugal vs. Faroe Islands
C Romania vs. Austria

Feb. 26
Group Teams
A Denmark vs. China
A Germany vs. Finland
B Norway vs. USA
B Iceland vs. Sweden
C Portugal vs. Romania
C Faroe Islands vs. Austria

March 1
Group Teams
A Denmark vs. Finland
A China vs. Germany
B USA vs. Sweden
B Iceland vs. Norway
C Portugal vs. Austria
C Romania vs. Faroe Islands

March 3
Placement Matches
11th-Place Match
9th-Place Match
7th-Place Match
5th-Place Match
3rd-Place Match
Championship

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Algarve Cup title defense kicks off

Posted on 20 January 2010 by ASN Staff

No sooner has the Women’s Professional Soccer draft been completed that the U.S. Women’s National Team has convened at The Home Depot Center for an extended 20-day training camp ahead of next month’s Algarve Cup. The camp, in Carson, Calif., runs through Feb. 4 and will feature two scrimmages against the Korea Republic Women’s National Team: this Thursday at 5 p.m. and on Sunday at 3 p.m.

In addition, the camp will give USWNT head coach Pia Sundhage a final look at the core of her current player pool before selecting an 18-player roster for the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal. The USA has been grouped this year with Iceland, Norway and Sweden in the tournament that will run from Feb. 24 through March 3, a week earlier than it is traditionally staged. Germany, Finland, China and Denmark will also be participating. The matches in Portugal will be the first international games of the year for the U.S. women, who went 7-0-1 in 2009 and currently sit atop the FIFA Women’s World Rankings.

U.S. Roster By Position

GOALKEEPERS (4): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Jillian Loyden (Chicago Red Stars), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (9): Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Stephanie Cox (Los Angeles Sol), Nikki Krzysik (Philadelphia Independence), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue FC), Brittany Taylor (UConn), Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Tobin Heath (Atlanta Beat), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (7): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Ella Masar (Chicago Red Stars), Alex Morgan (California), Casey Nogueira (Los Angeles Sol), Kelley O’Hara (FC Gold Pride), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

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Sundhage calls 18 to camp for Germany friendly

Posted on 06 October 2009 by ASN Staff

USWNT head coach Pia Sundhage

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has named an 18-player roster for the USA’s match against Germany on Oct. 29 at the newly constructed Impuls Arena in Augsburg, Germany. It will be the first meeting since January of 2007 between the world’s top two women’s powers and the first time the USA has played in Germany since the summer of 2000.

This match will mark the 25th meeting between the two countries (counting two matches against the former West Germany) with the USA having won 16 games, lost four and tied four. The two most successful women’s soccer nations have met in several of the most epic matches in U.S. history, including a 5-2 U.S. win in the semifinal of the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 3-2 U.S. win the quarterfinal of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 3-0 U.S. loss in the semifinal of the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup and a 2-1 win in the semifinal of the 2004 Olympics.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position

GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)

DEFENDERS (6): Brittany Bock (Los Angeles Sol), Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Out of contract), Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Tobin Heath (UNC), Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Out of contract), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)

FORWARDS (2): Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

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Sundhage calls 26 to camp

Posted on 26 August 2009 by ASN Staff

USWNT head coach Pia Sundhage

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has called in 26 players for a 12-day training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., running from Sept. 21-Oct. 2. This will be the first U.S. Women’s National Team event since the end of the inaugural Women’s Professional Soccer season.

Twenty-three of the players on the roster come from WPS clubs while three are currently seniors for their college teams in UCLA forward Lauren Cheney and a pair of North Carolina Tar Heels in midfielder Tobin Heath and goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris.

Sundhage named 18 players from the roster that defeated Canada twice in mid-July, but is also giving looks to several players who put in some quality work during the WPS season.

Sundhage will use this camp to select a roster for the USA’s trip to Germany in October when the Americans will face the reigning Women’s World Cup champions on Oct. 29 at Impuls Arena in Augsburg, one of the nine venues that will host matches at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

UNITED STATES WOMEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM Training Camp Roster

Sept. 21-Oct. 2, The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Ashlyn Harris (North Carolina), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica);
DEFENDERS (8): Brittany Bock (Los Angeles Sol), Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Stephanie Cox (Los Angeles Sol), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Boston Breakers), Megan Schnur (Sky Blue FC), Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (12): Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Tina DiMartino (FC Gold Pride), Tobin Heath (UNC), Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers), Brittany Klein (Chicago Red Stars), Lori Lindsey (Washington Freedom), Carli Lloyd (Chicago Red Stars), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Leslie Osborne (FC Gold Pride), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars), Kacey White (Sky Blue FC)
FORWARDS (3): Lauren Cheney (UCLA), Amy Rodriguez (Boston Breakers), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

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Sundhage calls 21 names for Canada friendlies

Posted on 06 July 2009 by ASN Staff

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has named 21 players for the two friendly matches against Canada this month. The first takes place Sunday, July 19, at Marina Auto Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., with the second going down three days later on Wednesday, July 22, at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C.

The roster features 18 players from Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) clubs and three collegiate players.

Sundhage also named veteran defender Cat Whitehill and midfielder Leslie Osborne, both members of the USA’s 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team, who get their first call-ups since major knee injuries knocked them out of the running for a spot on the 2008 Olympic Team. Neither has played for the USA in more than a year. Whitehill has not played for the USA since May 3, 2008, in a 5-4 win against Australia in her hometown of Birmingham, Ala. while Osborne’s last cap was May 10, 2008 in a 6-0 win against Canada in Washington, D.C., a match in which she scored. Both have recovered fully from their ACL surgeries and have been regular starters for their WPS clubs.

In addition, defender Stephanie Cox gets her first call-up since January of this year. Cox, who has 54 caps and played all but 45 minutes of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, is a part of the Los Angeles Sol defense which has allowed just five goals this season.

The roster, which features 16 members of the USA’s 2008 Olympic gold medal team, is stocked with regulars, including team captain Christie Rampone, goalkeepers Hope Solo and Nicole Barnhart, defenders Lori Chalupny, Heather Mitts and Rachel Buehler and midfielders Shannon Boxx, Carli Lloyd, Heather O’Reilly, Lindsay Tarpley and Angela Hucles. Sundhage called up at least two players from all seven WPS clubs, including four from the Boston Breakers and three each from the Chicago Red Stars and FC Gold Pride. Eight players named to the roster have more than 100 career caps.

Breakers defender Amy LePeilbet gets her second call-up this year after performing very well in a starting assignment against Canada in May. Red Stars midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who has just nine caps but scored a wonderful goal in the win against Canada, also got the nod, as did young forward Amy Rodriguez.

Sundhage named three college players to the roster in 2008 Olympic gold medalists Tobin Heath and Lauren Cheney, who scored the fourth goal in the USA’s last match in Toronto, and midfielder Christine Nairn, a key member of the U.S. team which won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile. Nairn earned her first senior team cap in the USA’s last match, becoming the first member of that world championship team to debut for the full team.

These matches, the 46th and 47th all-time between the two countries, will complete the three-game summer series with Canada and give Sundhage more information in evaluating the player pool as she continues to mold a team for qualifying for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany.

The matches will be the last domestic games for the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2009, but the USA is scheduled to gather for training camps and a European tour following the completion of the inaugural WPS campaign.

UNITED STATES WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER

Canada friendlies, July 16 and July 22
Rochester, N.Y., and Charleston, S.C., respectively
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (7): Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Stephanie Cox (Los Angeles Sol), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Boston Breakers), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Tobin Heath (North Carolina), Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers), Carli Lloyd (Chicago Red Stars), Christine Nairn (Penn State), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Leslie Osborne (FC Gold Pride), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsay Tarpley (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (3): Lauren Cheney (UCLA), Amy Rodriguez (Boston Breakers), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

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Boxx leads senior Yanks past Canada, 4-0

Posted on 26 May 2009 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Women’s National Team scored twice in each half, getting goals from four different players to defeat Canada 4-0 in front of 10,255 fans at BMO Field. It was the USA’s first match in Canada since 2001.

Midfielder Shannon Boxx opened the scoring just 93 seconds into the match and midfielder Megan Rapinoe added a second just before the halftime. The USA put two more in the net during a four-minute span late in the game. Both second-half goals came from substitutes, as Lindsay Tarpley scored her 30th career goal in the 77th minute and 21-year-old Lauren Cheney knocked in a fantastic header in the 80th minute.

The USA dominated possession in a match played on the artificial surface at BMO Field and put together some excellent attacking soccer while out-shooting its northern neighbor by a 19-6 margin.

“I am happy about the performance and I am happy that we scored a goal on a corner kick,” said U.S. WNT head coach Pia Sundhage. “That’s something we are starting to work on and I believe that come 2011, when the games are so tight, that set plays will be very, very important. So, four nice goals and a pretty good game on turf.”

Boxx’s strike, which was the USA’s first shot of the game, was her second goal of the year after scoring just once in 2008 and it came against her club teammate on the Los Angeles Sol in Canadian goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc. It was also Boxx’s 20th international goal as she became the 16th female player in U.S. history to score 20 or more goals in her career.

The goal was created on the USA’s first piece of possession as right back Heather Mitts played a penetrating pass forward to Boxx from the right side of the field. Boxx dribbled hard toward the edge of the penalty area, and when no Canadian defender stepped up to challenge, unleashed a 20-yard shot from 10 yards right of the penalty arc that skidded into the lower left side netting.

Canada’s only good chance of the first half came in the 43rd minute on a long free kick from Kara Lang, but the shot flew wide right of Hope Solo’s goal.

The USA got a huge score just seconds before the halftime whistle after Heather O’Reilly fed Rapinoe above the penalty area on the left side. Rapinoe collected and dribbled toward her defender before cutting hard inside, losing Canadian back Brittany Timko. The nifty dribble created a sliver of space for her bending 16-yard shot that actually curved around Abby Wambach and her defender, who were screening LeBlanc, and then spun perfectly into the lower right corner. It was Rapinoe’s fourth international goal in just nine career caps.

The USA struggled to find its rhythm early in the second half as Canada picked up the pressure, but settled down and regained control before putting the match away in the 77th minute after Wambach earned a corner kick on the right side. It was Wambach who jumped over two defenders to get a head on the ball, sending it powerfully toward goal. The ball hit Canadian captain Christine Sinclair near the goal line, but Tarpley pounced on the loose ball to force it over the line and into the open net.

Wambach, who came into the match with 99 goals, will now have the chance to bag her historic 100th goal in her hometown of Rochester, N.Y., where the USA will play Canada in its next match on July 19. Canadian forward Christine Sinclair, who also came into the game with 99 goals, failed to hit the century mark as the U.S. defense did a fine job of keeping the star striker out of dangerous positions.

The final goal came after O’Reilly ran down a long pass on the right flank and struck a hard cross from the wing that deflected off a Canadian defender’s foot, but it had enough steam on it to sail towards the near post. Cheney was making a hard near post run and deftly re-directed the ball with a superbly angled header into the upper right corner from about five yards outside the post. It was Cheney’s fourth international goal in 17 career caps.

Amy LePeilbet got the start in the center defense with team captain Christie Rampone and played an excellent first half in her first cap since Sept. 13, 2006. She was replaced at halftime by Rachel Buehler, who also played an extremely solid 45 minutes, highlighted by a thunderous tackle on Canadian Melissa Tancredi in the waning minutes.

Canada’s best chance of the second half came in the 54th minute as the USA lost a ball in the back, but the Maple Leafs couldn’t capitalize as Jodi-Ann Robinson launched her shot over the goal from 25 yards out.

Besides the header off the corner kick that led to Tarpley’s goal, Wambach didn’t get too many clear chances for her 100th goal, but she did take a good swipe at a loose ball in the 62nd minute that fell close to her after a long free kick.

The USA hit a flurry of shots in the second half, highlighted by an O’Reilly blast from the top of the penalty area on the right side, but couldn’t bust through until Tarpley’s 77th minute score effectively put the game away.

U.S. goalkeepers Solo and Nicole Barnhart split the match, with Solo hitting some booming punts in the first half that caused some danger for the Canadian backline. Barnhart had a bit more to do in the second half in tidying up her penalty area, but was not forced to make a save.

Eighteen-year-old midfielder Christine Nairn became the first member of the USA’s 2008 U-20 Women’s World Cup championship team to earn a senior team cap, coming on for Angela Hucles in the 83rd minute. Nairn was the eighth player to be given her first cap by U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage.

The U.S. players now head back to join their WPS clubs and will not coming together against until mid-July for two more matches against Canada, on Sunday, July 19, at Rochester Rhinos Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., and then again three days later on Wednesday, July 22, at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C. These will be the USA’s first domestic matches of the year after playing the first five on the road and compiling a record of 4-0-1.

The game in Rochester kicks off at 3 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN. The match in Charleston kicks off at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español.

Match Facts

U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Canada friendly, May 25, 2009
Venue: BMO Field; Toronto, Canada
Attendance: 10,255
Weather: 61 degrees, breezy, party cloudy

Scoring Summary:
USA – Shannon Boxx (Heather Mitts) 2nd minute
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Heather O’Reilly) 46
USA – Lindsay Tarpley 77
USA – Lauren Cheney (Heather O’Reilly) 80

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo (18-Nicole Barnhart, 46); 2-Heather Mitts (19-Marian Dalmy, 61), 3-Christie Rampone – Capt., 6-Amy LePeilbet (4-Rachel Buehler, 46), 17-Lori Chalupny, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 16-Angela Hucles (13-Christine Nairn, 83), 7-Shannon Boxx, 15-Megan Rapinoe (5-Lindsay Tarpley, 61), 8-Amy Rodriguez (12-Lauren Cheney, 77), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 11-Casey Nogueira, 14-Brittany Bock, 24-Kelsey Davis
Injured: 10-Carli Lloyd
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

CAN: 1-Karina LeBlanc; 3-Melanie Booth (14-Melissa Tancredi, 46), 9-Candace Chapman (23-Carmelina Moscato 84), 10-Martina Franko, 17-Brittany Timko (20-Marie-Eve Nault, 64); 15-Kara Lang, 19-Kelly Parker, 8-Diana Matheson, 7-Rhian Wilkinson, 21-Jodi-Ann Robinson (4-Alyssa Lagonia, 83), 12-Christine Sinclair – Capt.
Subs not used: 2-Emily Zurrer, 5-Chelsea Stewart, 6-Kaylyn Kyle, 11-Christina Julien, 16-Jonelle Filigno, 22-Stephanie Labbé
Head Coach: Carolina Morace

Statistical Summary:
USA / CAN
Shots: 19 / 6
Shots on Goal: 7 / 1
Saves: 1 / 3
Corner Kicks: 8 / 3
Fouls: 6 / 10
Offside: 1 / 5

Misconduct Summary:
CAN – Candace Chapman (caution) 57th minute

Officials:
Referee: Darci Kruse (CAN)
Asst. Referee: Suzanne Morisset (CAN)
Asst. Referee: Shauna Poirer (CAN)
Fourth Official: Carol Anne Chenard (CAN)

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