Head coach Tom Sermanni has named a 24-player roster for the 2014 Algarve Cup when the U.S. WNT will travel to Portugal March 5-12.
The U.S. will enter the tournament undefeated so far this year, opening against Japan March 5 for Group B. They will take on Sweden next on March 7 and close out group play against Denmark on March 10. The Americans are the reigning Algarve Cup champs, with nine total titles under their belt.
This time around, 15 of last years tournament players adorn the roster, including many of the usual suspects. Forward Alex Morgan, who scored a brace in the 2013 Algarve Cup final to defeat Germany, will not play however, due to an ankle injury. Defender Crystal Dunn also will not make an appearance as she recovers from as ankle injury as well.
Some players will join the team later than usual due to international duty. This includes midfielder Tobin Heath, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain, Sarah Hagen from Bayern Munich and Christen Press, Whitney Engen and Meghan Klingenberg- all coming from Sweden.
Three rookies have been called up as well to try and make their mark with the U.S. national team oversees. Midfielder Morgan Brian has been blazing a path to the top and has earned a spot on the roster following her second career goal against Russia Feb. 13. UCLA standouts Samantha Mewis and Sarah Killion are two fresh faces that will make the trip as well.
“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.”
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)