Sundhage names U.S. women's roster for Algarve Cup
CHICAGO -- Goalkeeper Hope Solo and midfielders Heather O'Reilly and Shannon Boxx were among 18 players chosen for the U.S. squad that will compete in the Algarve Cup next month.
U.S. women's team coach Pia Sundhage selected 13 players from the team that won the Beijing Olympics last summer. The Algarve Cup will be held March 4-11 in southern Portugal. The Americans have won it six times.
Solo backstopped the United States to an overtime win against Brazil for the Olympic title. She will be joined in Portugal by her backup in Beijing, Nicole Barnhart.
Defenders Christie Rampone, Heather Mitts, Rachel Buehler and Lori Chalupny also played in Beijing. So did Boxx, twice the MVP of the Algarve Cup (2004 and 2006), O'Reilly, Lindsay Tarpley and Carli Lloyd in midfield, and forwards Natasha Kai, Amy Rodriguez and Angela Hucles.
Star forward Abby Wambach is not ready to play as she nears the end of her comeback from a broken leg sustained before the Olympics.
"The Algarve Cup is always an important tournament and is especially good for the U.S. as we get to play the top European countries," Sundhage said. "We will not play as many matches this year as we did in 2008, so these games are important to keep the team evolving ..."
The U.S. team will open play on March 4 against Denmark, face Iceland on March 6 and finish the first-round against Norway on March 9.
Also in the tournament are two-time World Cup champion Germany, Sweden, China, Finland, Portugal, Poland, Wales and Austria.
Goalkeepers: Nicole Barnhart, Hope Solo.
Defenders: Rachel Buehler, Lori Chalupny, Kendall Fletcher, Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone.
Midfielders: Shannon Boxx, Tina DiMartino, Carli Lloyd, Heather O?Reilly, Lindsay Tarpley, Kacey White, Angie Woznuk.
Forwards: Angela Hucles, Natasha Kai, Megan Rapinoe, Amy Rodriguez.