February 12, 2011

Sundhage Names 24 to Algarve Roster

USWNT coach Pia Sundhage has named 24 players to make the trip to Portugal for the 2011 Algarve Cup. While there will be friendlies played between Algarve and the World Cup, this will probably be the last major competition before the team heads to Germany in June.

There are not many surprises on the roster. Of the 24 players that have played at least 100 minutes for the team dating back to last May, 21 of those players will be making this trip. Kristine Lilly and Kate Markgraf have recently announced their retirement, leaving Heather Mitts as the only omission from that group players that is still active. Mitts is nursing an injury.

Of the three players making the trip that have logged less than 100 minutes over the past year, two are backup keepers, Ashlyn Harris and Alyssa Naeher. The only non-keeper in that group is former North Carolina star Whitney Engen who was signed this off-season by Western New York after a fine rookie season with the Chicago Red Stars in 2010. Engen is looking for her first USWNT cap.

Hope Solo will be making the trip, but for training purposes only. She has not yet been cleared for game competition following her shoulder surgery last fall. Abby Wambach will be with the team after missing the Four Nations Tournament due to injury.

The US will face two other World Cup-bound teams, Japan and Norway, before finishing the group stage of the competition against Finland. Group B includes World Cup qualifier Sweden, plus Iceland, China, and Denmark. Group C is comprised of Chile, Wales, Romania, and the host country, Portugal. The competition is played on March 2nd, 4th, and 7th, with the final playoff stage being played on March 9th.

USWNT Roster

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)