CHICAGO (Feb. 24, 2014) - Following three victories in the team's first three matches of the year, U.S. Women's National Team head coach Tom Sermanni has named a 24-player roster that will travel to the 2014 Algarve Cup in Portugal.
Former Tar Heels who will compete for the U.S. National Team in the tournament are Whitney Engen, Meghan Klingenberg, Heather O'Reilly and Tobin Heath. Crystal Dunn will be unable to compete in Portugal because of an ankle injury.
This year's tournament will run from March 5-12, and the U.S. team will depart 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.
Fans will be able to follow the U.S. matches on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and highlights will be available on ussoccer.com. For the entire tournament schedule, please go to the Algarve Cup tournament page on ussoccer.com.
The world's top-ranked U.S. team, which has been placed in Group B for the annual tournament, 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
Midfielder Tobin Heath does return to the U.S. roster and could see action in a U.S. jersey for the first time in almost eight months. Heath, who is currently playing in France with Paris Saint-Germain, is one of five players who will have shorter trips to the tournament.
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)
The USA has a 52-10-9 record all-time at the Algarve Cup and has scored 158 goals while allowing 54.
U.S. midfielder Heather O'Reilly heads into the tournament with 196 career caps and could earn her historic 200th in the USA's placement match if she features in all three group games. O'Reilly will be playing in her 12th Algarve Cup and made her U.S. debut at the Algarve Cup in 2002 at the age of 17.
Defender Whitney Engen made her U.S. debut at the 2012 Algarve Cup. Van Hollebeke made her debut at the 2008 Algarve Cup. Amy Rodriguez made her U.S. debut at the 2005 Algarve Cup.
Sarah Killion, Samantha Mewis, Sarah Hagen and Naeher are all looking for their first cap at the senior level.
Defender Crystal Dunn is not ready for game action as she recovers from an ankle injury.