U.S. Soccer releases roster for 2013 Algarve Cup

Liviu Bird February 21, 2013 43
Hope Solo and Nicole Barnhart

Goalkeeper Hope Solo, left, is not on the 2013 Algarve Cup roster for the U.S. due to injury. Nicole Barnhart, right, is one of three goalkeepers who will vie for her starting spot in Portugal. (Photo Copyright: Patti Giobetti | http://www.printroom.com/pro/psgiobetti)

Tom Sermanni and U.S. Soccer announced the 23-woman roster for the 2013 Algarve Cup on Thursday. In Portugal, the United States will face Iceland, China and Sweden in Group B.

Of the 23 players, 17 are currently tied to NWSL clubs — including Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe, who are under contract in France until the season there is over. The most notable player missing from the roster is Hope Solo, who has a long-standing wrist injury that may require surgery.

Lindsey Horan is the only player on this roster that Sermanni did not call in for two recent friendlies against Scotland. Horan, 18, made waves earlier this season when she decided to bypass a college career in favor of signing with Paris Saint-Germain.

Here is the full roster:

U.S. Women’s National Team Training Camp Roster by Position –
Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Duisburg), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC)
DEFENDERS (7): Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina), Whitney Engen (Liverpool FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Yael Averbuch (Göteborg FC), Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Lauren Cheney (FC Kansas City), Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-Germain), Carli Lloyd (Western NY Flash), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Olympique Lyonnais)
FORWARDS (5): Lindsey Horan (Paris Saint-Germain), Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Tyresö FF), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)

  • Anton

    And the hits keep on coming for Seattle.

    • Steglitz49

      It is neither foggy nor rainy in the Algarve, usually, so I presume a different type of player is needed. Darwin has a lot to answer for.

    • They are saying 6-8 weeks now with surgery next week so only the first week or two of the season which is an away stretch anyway. Their home opener isn’t until May due to NSWL scheduling gremlins so that looks like a great date to anticipate.

  • vert2013

    Surprised by Horan since she wasn’t in camp but besides that and Hope’s injury it’s not too crazy a roster. Hoping Ash Harris can get a cap soon.

    • Steglitz49

      Ms Horan is having the time of her life at PSG. OK, she has been ably supported by Kosse Asllani and now she also has Tobin Heath to help her. To not include Lindsey Horan in a tournament being played in Europe would be strange.

      Let’s hope that Ms Harris team survives. It illustrates the precriousness of ladies soccer everywhere. Meanwhile, Ashley ought to get at least one game in Algarve and hopefully against Japan or Germany, as well as one of the host nations.

      • vert2013

        Oh yeah I know she’s been playing awesome at PSG, I thought it was kinda odd that she wasn’t called in to camp at the beginning of the month. Especially when Bywaters was called in to replace A-Rod.

        • Steglitz49

          There seems to be a fair amount of gentlemen’s give and take in ladies’ football. Teams cannot refuse to release players for FIFA officially acknowledged events, including friendlies, but at the same time NT managers do not always insist on their rights, in good Pauline tradition.

          The Algarve cup has a special status in ladies’ soccer, up there with the WC and Olympics, though I have not the foggiest what the “cup” that they play for looks like — or if it even exists. Maybe it is a cup of tea?

        • palifan

          She was called in to the U20 camp instead. She will likely make a a big impact on that team.

      • randomhookup

        It’s not like the US team has a shortage of attacking players…

        • Kernel Thai

          The other question is why not Sarah Hagen who doing really well at Bayern Munich and has paid her dues? She is a very similar player to Horan and also deserves a look from the new regime.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily. Sarah scored the first goal in Bayern’s defeat of Frankfurt in the German cup last year. Bayern this season could still pinch that second CL berth, though it is a long shot. When Amber Brooks starts playing for them, they will be even more awesome.

  • Steglitz49

    It is difficult to criticize this selection but to get the ball rolling I put in my two cents worth. I welcome the inclusion of Horan. It was inevitable given her impact in PSG. On the other hand, the selection of Rampone and Boxx seems a bit odd. I might even have left O’Reilly at home.

    On the other hand, I am pretty naff at this and Tom Sermanni is very good, so I have to bow to his wisdom. “You never win anything with kids”, and all that.

    • vert2013

      With a 23 player roster there weren’t going to be too many cuts. Rampone and Boxx are still 2 of the more consistent players on the team despite their age. They are slowing down a little bit, but there isn’t a logical replacement for them yet.

      • Steglitz49

        I am not persuaded. At the beginning of last year Sawa fell ill. Miyama took over the captaincy and kept it when Sawa came back. Neither Sawa nor Miyama are going to the Algarve, yet it is hard to conceive of Miyama not being selected for the Nadeshiko in 2015 unless she asks not be.

      • Kernel Thai

        I believe they only get to dress 21 at Algarve so two of those names will be alternates.

    • You probably know that I favor exploring options with younger players, but I think one of the very last things we need to be doing is fooling around without Rampone on a defensive line that is at times highly questionable.

      If you want to fool around with any of the other positions you have solid backups. Defense though? Not so much.

      • Steglitz49

        The ladies’ game is becoming faster as more young women around the world are paid decently to play full-time and a few handsomely. The USWNT was unusual in having played essentially as a club side going into the Olympics, while the other sides were the usual bunch of players released from their club teams to the NT.

        I expect that the pace of the game will be even faster in WC-15. The level of skill will also be higher. Though we tend to think of USA, Germany and Japan as the big three — though less than 2 years ago no-one would have included Japan — there are at least as many and maybe even 5 other teams who in 2015 can be expected to have a decent shot at reaching the final (the Nadeshikos of 2015 if you like).

  • Chuck Coan

    Why is Hope Solo on the “detailed” roster?

  • JanCun

    Appears very solid, I do wonder why Mitts continues to get called up with age and lack of starts. Additionally, no Lori Lindsey (sub at Olympics) and Keelin Winters — they are two of the allocated players for the US in the NWSL. Agree that they probably wouldn’t make this roster, but interesting that US Soccer is backing them in the league — how long will they back players that the head coach is bringing into competitive tournaments?
    And, I would have loved to see Julie Johnston get called up–more defenders should be called this year and next as the back line needs to grow, get stronger, and solidify (will Kelley O’Hara remain in that position with such stars like Dunn coming up?).

    • NYRick

      Kelley O’Hara is going to be a mainstay as a left back for the next two cycles. She’s a talented player who needs to be on the field and she’s only going to get better. Plus, playing ever minute of the Olympics has given her great confidence. You can see it already in her game this year. I think the US soccer federation intentionally sent her to Sky Blue to learn even more from Rampone. That’s a great and smart career move. KO is going to turn into the male version of Jordi Alba for this team.

      Plus, she has future captain written all over her. She’s not going anywhere off that back 4, especially with the ridiculous influx of talent at the forward position this team has. I do like Dunn and Johnstone and wish they get a good opportunity this year. Dunn is undoubtedly a future star.

      • Steglitz49

        Kelley O’Hara was one of the 4 young players that Pia brought into the NT (she tested a few more). Let’s hope that she remains injury free and continues to enjoy her soccer. On the other hand, with a world cup silver and an olympic gold behind her she might lose motivation. It has happened to other sports-persons but I expect that she would like to lift the trophy in Canada in 2 years time.

      • Kernel Thai

        The way Sky Blue looks, O’Hara may end up spending more time at wing than fullback to add to the attack. This is unfortunate because KAO is better served honing her skills at left back than in the midfield.

        • NYRick

          I hope Sky Blue keeps KO at leftback the whole season. It’s best for her development on the USWNT. I actually think Sky Blue is going to be one of the better teams in the new league. Strong defense with Rampone and KO, good keeper in Loyden and in midfield I like Sophie Schmidt, who is a real good player. Plus Bock in the midfield as well, with De Lanna (she’ll probably be the fastest girl in the league) adding pace and scoring ability as the striker. They are going to be pretty good. Looking forward to seeing them play.

          • Steglitz49

            I suspect that Nayeli Rangel may well turn out to be the key player for the Sky Blues in midfield. A good manager should be able to develop her enormously.

        • vert2013

          Yep, the sky blue coach said that he was thinking of using KO as “an attacking force” like she was in college. I hope for her sake that he doesn’t though. She’s a left back for the NT and that is priority. Having her have to switch focus during NWSL won’t help her at all. She’s only been back there a year and she’s already pretty solid and will only get better.

          • Steglitz49

            The Magic Dwarf is generally seen as much as an attacker as a defender. His defensive skill is enormous as he proved in Euro-12 when he repeatedly robbed Robben of the ball. He is an inspirational captain. The Lahm can play both sides but prefers the left in spite of being right footed though for a left back spends an awful lot of time simply roaming all over the field.

            The Japan left back for the last few years has been Sameshima (on the right they have Kinga) though I cannot see either as captains.

            That is a long-winded way of saying that using a left back as an attacking force is pretty standard these days.

      • Steglitz49

        If KO’H has future captain written all over her, should her model not be the Magic Dwarf rather, though at 5’5″ maybe she does not quite qualify.

      • Steglitz49

        If KO’H has future captain written all over her, should her model not be the Magic Dwarf rather, though at 5’5″ maybe she does not quite qualify.

  • NYRick

    Christen Press announced her arrival the first two matches this year. At Algarve, I think she will truly make her statement. This girl should never have been kept off the final Olympic roster last year. That was a travesty. She seems to be a nice, intelligent articulate girl who always says the right things. And in reality, that’s exactly what she should be doing at this time. But I kind of think she’s playing with a chip. She’s got something to prove.

    And prove it she will if Sermanni puts her on the field each game of this tournament for real minutes. She should start in a midfield position in every game to support Alex and Abby. If it gets down to playing Japan or Germany in the 4th game, she needs to play if the US seriously wants to win that Cup. And there really isn’t much else to play for for the USWNT this year. I hope Sermanni gets it. Her talent is very obvious. She is going to be a big star on this team going forward.

    • NYRick

      Actually in terms of Press starting, what I meant is a 3-3-4, with her, Alex and Abby up front. Not necessarily the midfield, but she’s quite capable from there as well if need be. The US team should be on the attack at all times. Their talent level is far superior to the competition (yes that includes Japan and Germany for our friend, Steglitz49 who will surely say otherwise).

      • vert2013

        I think you meant a 4-3-3, but that’s basically what they played with in JAX even though Press was technically listed as a midfielder making it a 4-4-2. She played midfield in title only. It actually worked pretty well, Sermanni had the outside backs basically playing holding mid, almost level with Boxx and Carli and Tobin were both kinda pushed towards the middle a bit. It was an odd formation but it worked.

        • NYRick

          Yep, sorry 4-3-3. Defenders listed first. I just want her on the field. It would be great for her to develop a chemistry with Alex this year especially. I think the two of them have great instinct and insight that can’t be taught. Pia mishandled Press for whatever reason (playing in Europe she apparently had conflicts with the US camps, but I don’t buy that). TS gets it. He’s not stupid.

          Personally, I’d love for Press, Alex and Syd to be the upfront 3, with Abby coming on for Syd in the 60th or 70th minute or so. Abby’s record is going to curtail much of that, but it’s foolish. This is the year to experiment. Press, Alex and Syd (and maybe even Horan are what’s important for WC15). Let them play the most minutes.

          • Steglitz49

            This and the next two Algarve cups are for experimenting for the USWNT as are the Cyprus cups for Canada. Therefore I put it to you that the manager should have prune more and opened up the bush so to speak.

            The European teams at the Algarve will be preparing themselves for Euro-13, which is soon followed by qualifiers for WC-15. They are not likely to experiment too much. Japan can afford to — and are. Their oldest player is 25 (unless someone has been added that I missed).

        • Steglitz49

          With the USA’s strength in all positions they should be able to play Total Football. On the other hand, you could argue that with so many alternates for each position, the USA could play with specialists in all positions. In short, you can have any formation you like as long as you win.

  • Heremerawr

    Am I alone in wishing JJ had gotten the call up instead of Lindsey Horan? I mean, I get Horan is supposed to be good, but we’re so deep in forwards at the moment. I can’t help but feel like we need more of a focus on our defense. By the way, has anyone seen Horan play? I’ve only seen pictures, but I’m wondering if she could be the next Wambach. She seems more like the bigger, physical type. But I can’t be sure because I haven’t seen her play aside from a brief, really terrible highlight reel of one PSG game.

    • Kernel Thai

      It’s a numbers game at defender and Johnston has time on her side. She’ll likely start for the U23 in Spain as opposed to being an alternate for the big team. Hopefully she a regular in WNT camp and then it’s just up to her to win a spot.

    • The Abby connection has been suggested for a while. Horan is still super young and needing to grow into being a complete athlete. Fitness has been used as a criticism so IMO it is great to get her in with the NT early so she gets her eyes open to that next level in a way that nothing but being thrown in can teach. They might be wanting to get her comfortably capped for the future too. Or Tom wants to try out all of the tools in his tool box. I couldn’t blame him there either. It must be like Christmas.

      This is a nice video of her and PSG. http://youtu.be/D3ilYGNZ3A0

    • I had the opportuniy to see her plays many times, I can tell you that if she is a Wambach-type of player, She is actually a “Wambach 3.0”. Potentially she will be a far way better version of Wambach.

      In order to be physical in her game, she has a very godd technique. She is able to keep the ball and/or dribble 1 or 2 defenders by herself.

      When it comes to defend it is unbelievable to see how she manages to be everywhere on the field for all the game long on top of that.

      Sure She is young and has a lot of rooms for improvement; for instance she has still to work her timing on headers, her left foot and make better decision. But she fits right in the Totall Footbal Sermanni wants to set.

      Horan’s hat-trick

      • Steglitz49

        Agreed, Commander. Verily. Provided Ms Horan remains free of injury, she will change the ladies’ game forever. I remeber watching Abby Wambach in 2003 and saying: “Vow!” Lindsey is a revelation in the same class.

  • StarCityFan

    Changes from last year’s Algarve Cup roster:

    GK: Solo out, Loyden in.

    DF: Cox, Klingenberg, LePeilbet, Mitts out; Dunn, Krieger in.

    MF: Lindsey, Rodriguez out; Averbuch, Mewis in.

    FW: Horan, Press in. [Cheney moved from FW to MF.]

  • Pingback: Equalizer Soccer – Adversity piling up for Reign FC with Hope Solo injury()

  • Steglitz49

    There is a fascinatingly perceptive analysis of the Algarve cup on the WSU site by a Ken Suzuki, who has drilled deep into the core of the 3 teams top in the FIFA rankings (USA, Ger and Jap). It is well worth a read.

    The writer’s main point seems to be that the USWNT is prepared to sacrifice a lot to win the Algarve cup and is treating the Algarve cup as an extension of the Fans Celebration Tour. Flattering for an event that started out as a set of friendlies between the Nordic countries having winter-training in Portugal!

    The author notes that the mean ages are 27.4, 24.7 and 24.0 years for USA, Ger and Jap, respectively, and that the mean number of full caps are 68, 35 and 20, but his most interesting observation is that the average height of the Japanese players selected is 5 cm (2 inches) more than in London (168 vs 163 cm). The immediate connection is to Barcelona which have no tall players in their attack and who play a style of game similar to the Nadeshiko (though that could be art imitating reality).