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Algarve Cup

Wednesday Roundup: Nine USWNT players named to Women’s World XI shortlist

Also in today’s roundup, Herdman announces Canada’s Algarve Cup squad, Portland re-signs Menges and Shim, the U.S. U-18 WNT continues to win in England and Cal alumna Emma Fletcher heads to Norway

Alex Morgan and Marta were two of 55 players named to FIFPro's Women's World XI shortlist. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Alex Morgan and Marta were two of 55 players named to FIFPro’s Women’s World XI shortlist. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

FIFPro, the world player union, released its shortlist for the 2016 Women’s World XI. The list consists of 55 players from 22 different countries that were voted on by more than three thousand female players from around the world.

The voters selected one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three “attackers,” or forwards. The players with the most votes were named to the shortlist from which the Women’s World XI will later be selected.

Nine players from the USWNT were named to the shortlist: goalkeeper Hope Solo; defenders Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Ali Krieger and Becky Sauerbrunn; midfielders Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe; and forward Alex Morgan. Canadian captain Christine Sinclair and defender Kadeisha Buchanan were also named to the list.

The United States boasts the most players on the list, while France follows with eight and Germany with six. All six of Germany’s included players were on the Olympic gold medal-winning squad last summer. The club with the most included players is Olympique Lyonnais, who has 11 players on the list.

This is the second year FIFPro has named a Women’s World XI. Nine of last year’s XI were once again named to the shortlist, with only Celia Sasic (retired) and Aya Miyama (injury) not making the cut.

FIFPRO WOMEN’S WORLD XI SHORTLIST BY POSITION

Goalkeepers: Katarzyna Kiedrzynek (Poland, Paris Saint-Germain), Hedvig Lindahl (Sweden, Chelsea), Andreea Paraluta (Romania, Atletico), Tinja-Riikka Korpela (Finland, FC Bayern Munich), Hope Solo (USA, Free agent)

Defenders: Lucy Bronze (England, Manchester City), Kadeisha Buchanan (Canada, Olympique Lyonnais), Stephanie Catley (Australia, Melbourne City), Nilla Fischer (Sweden, VfL Wolfsburg), Sara Gama (Italy, ACF Brescia), Laura Georges (France, Paris Saint-Germain), Stephanie Houghton (England, Manchester City), Julie Johnston (USA, Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (USA, Portland Thorns), Tabea Kemme (Germany, 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam), Ali Krieger (USA, Orlando Pride), Leonie Maier (Germany, FC Bayern Munich), Amel Majri (France, Olympique Lyonnais), Griedge M’Bock (France, Olympique Lyonnais), Wendie Renard (France, Olympique Lyonnais), Irene Paredes (Spain, Paris Saint-Germain), Ali Riley (New Zealand, FC Rosengard), Line Roddik Hansen (Denmark, FC Barcelona), Becky Sauerbrunn (USA, FC Kansas City), Marta Torrejon (Spain, FC Barcelona)

Midfielders: Camille Abily (France, Olympique Lyonnais), Melanie Behringer (Germany, FC Bayern Munich), Veronica Boquete (Spain, Paris Saint-Germain), Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir (Iceland, VfL Wolfsburg), Pernille Harder (Denmark, VfL Wolfsburg), Tobin Heath (USA, Portland Thorns), Jenni Hermoso (Spain, FC Barcelona), Amandine Henry (France, Paris Saint-Germain), Saki Kumagai (Japan, Olympique Lyonnais), Carli Lloyd (USA, Manchester City), Dzsenifer Marozsan (Germany, Olympique Lyonnais), Marta (Brazil, FC Rosengard), Claudia Neto (Portugal, Linköpings FC), Megan Rapinoe (USA, Seattle Reign), Caroline Seger (Sweden, Olympique Lyonnais)

Attackers: Andressa Alves (Brazil, FC Barcelona), Ramona Bachmann (Switzerland, Chelsea), Cristiane (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain), Shirley Cruz (Costa Rica, Paris Saint-Germain), Caroline Graham Hansen (Norway, VfL Wolfsburg), Ada Hegerberg (Norway, Olympique Lyonnais), Eugenie Le Sommer (France, Olympique Lyonnais), Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands, Bayern), Anja Mittag (Germany, VfL Wolfsburg), Alex Morgan (USA, Olympique Lyonnais), Louisa Necib (France, Retired), Alexandra Popp (Germany, VfL Wolfsburg), Alexia Putellas (Spain, FC Barcelona), Lotta Schelin (Sweden, FC Rosengard), Christine Sinclair (Canada, Portland Thorns)

Herdman names Canada’s Algarve Cup roster

John Herdman has named 22-player squad for next month's Algarve Cup. (Photo: Canada Soccer)

John Herdman has named 22-player squad for next month’s Algarve Cup. (Photo: Canada Soccer)

Canada women’s national team head coach John Herdman has named his 22-player Algarve Cup roster ahead of next month’s tournament. Canada is the defending champions of the tournament and, with Herdman’s squad, has a very good chance of repeating.

“This tournament will be our first opportunity to play consecutive competitive fixtures since the 2016 Rio Olympics and a chance to get our whole squad back together. The focus will be on winning the tournament, by firstly shaking off some rust and then pushing to recreate the tactical cohesion and off-field chemistry we saw in Rio,” said Herdman. “We have six new additions to our squad, players who showed well on our assessment camp and who will add depth to key positions and challenge the Olympic core players for places. This is a fast paced tournament where we will face one day turnarounds between games, so we will need to hit the ground running and maintain a high pace if we want to win back-to-back Algarve titles.”

{RELATED: Canada to host Costa Rica in June | SheBelieves Cup rosters released}

Those six new players include seventeen-year-old Sarah Stratigakis, who received her first start in her first cap in the Bronze Medal Celebration match against Mexico, and Washington Spirit draft pick Lindsey Agnew. They are two of a number of players who have come to the team through Canada’s EXCEL program.

Noticeable roster absences are that of Diana Matheson and Josée Bélanger. Matheson was left off as she continues recovering from injuries that also kept her off of Canada’s Bronze Medal Celebration roster earlier this month. Bélanger, on the other hand, has only made sporadic appearances for Canada recently, so her absence is not a surprise. 

Canada kicks off Algarve Cup group play against Denmark on March 1. They then take on Russia on March 3 before closing out group play against host Portugal on March 6. The Algarve Cup final will be played on March 8. 

CANADA ROSTER BY POSITION

Goalkeepers (3): Sabrina D’Angelo (North Carolina Courage), Stephanie Labbé (Washington Spirit), Kailen Sheridan (Sky Blue FC)

Defenders (5): Kadeisha Buchanan (Olympique Lyonnais), Allysha Chapman (Boston Breakers), Rebecca Quinn (Duke), Hannah Taylor (Eastside FC), Shelina Zadorsky (Washington Spirit)

Midfielders (6): Jessie Fleming (UCLA), Ashley Lawrence (Paris Saint-Germain), Deanne Rose (Scarborough GS United), Sophie Schmidt (FFC Frankfurt), Desiree Scott (FC Kansas City), Sarah Stratigakis (Aurora United FC)

Forwards (8): Lindsay Agnew (Washington Spirit), Janine Beckie (Houston Dash), Gabrielle Carle (Dynamo Québec & Québec Soccer REX), Jordyn Huitema (Vancouver Whitecaps), Alex Lamontagne (Durham United FC), Marie Levasseur (University of Memphis), Nichelle Prince (Houston Dash), Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns FC)

Portland re-signs Menges and Shim

Portland Thorns re-signed Mana Shim (pictured) and Emily Menges for the 2017 season. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

Portland Thorns re-signed Mana Shim (pictured) and Emily Menges for the 2017 season. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

The Portland Thorns announced today that they have re-signed defender Emily Menges and midfielder Mana Shim.

Menges joined the Thorns in 2014 after being selected in the third round of the NWSL College Draft. She is now ranked third in club history in games started (59) and minutes played (5,301), while ranking fourth in games played (60). In 2016, she started played every minute of every match for the Thorns, helping them win the Shield and advance to the playoffs. For her exemplary performance, she was named to the 2016 NWSL Best XI and earned her first call-up to the USWNT in November.

“Emily was one of the key reasons we had such a great defensive record last season,” Mark Parsons, head coach of the Thorns, citing the Thorns’ defense that allowed the fewest goals (19) in the league during the regular season. “She made great progress throughout 2016, and I look forward to supporting her on making big strides again this season.”

{MORE: NWSL releases 2017 home openers schedule | USWNT looks to travel to Norway for friendly}

The Honolulu, Hawaii native has been with the Thorns since their inaugural season after coming to the team via open tryouts despite being drafted by the Houston Dash in the 2014 expansion draft (she was traded back just a week later during the NWSL College Draft). In her four years with the club, Shim has made 43 starts in 68 appearances, scoring 9 goals and recording 9 assists.  Last season Shim had nine starts and an assist over 14 games for the Thorns.

“Mana showed her ability to link and create while also developing her game on the defensive side in 2016,” Parsons said. “I look forward to seeing her continue this work and be ready to help the team any way she can.”

Portland begins its preseason camp on March 13 and opens at home against the Orlando Pride on Saturday, April 15.

U.S. U-18 WNT continues winning streak in England

(photo courtesy U.S. Soccer)

(photo courtesy U.S. Soccer)

On Tuesday, the United States U-18 women’s national team defeated Norway, 5-0, to embark upon a two-game winning streak in England. The team traveled overseas on February 11 for three matches, two against the host country  and one against Norway.

In the U.S. U-18’s most recent win, forward Sophia Smith scored a hat trick, and forward Summer Yates and midfielder Cori Dyke scored one goal apiece. Yates scored the game winner off a diving header in just the 12th minute of the contest, which was divided into two 40-minute halves. Smith and Dyke gave the team a 3-0 lead at the half, while Smith completed her hat trick in the second half, scoring in the 45th and 53rd minutes. 

Smith now has five goals for the trip, also scoring a brace in the U.S.’s 3-1 win over England on February 19. Yates also opened the scoring for the U.S. in that match.

The team will once again face England on Saturday, February 25 for the final match of the trip.  

Cal alum Emma Fletcher signs with Norwegian club

University of California midfielder Emma Fletcher announced Tuesday afternoon that she had signed with Arna-Bjørnar in the Toppserien, Norway’s top women’s league. Fletcher registered for the 2017 NWSL College Draft but went undrafted.

“I’m super excited,” she said. “My teammate Guro Bergsvand is from Norway. She’s told me lots of great things about the place, and it seems like a cool team.”

With the signing, Fletcher is now one of three other Golden Bears to play professionally. Teammates Ifeoma Onumonu and Arielle Ship were taken in the NWSL draft, landing with the Boston Breakers and Washington Spirit via trade, respectively.

Fletcher transferred to Cal after two years playing at LSU. At LSU she played in 38 games and scored two goals and tallied 14 assists. In her two years in California, she played in 42 games, scored 1 goal and recorded 7 assists. In her junior year she received an All-Pac Honorable Mention award.

The Victoria, British Columbia native also competed with the Canada U-20 team in the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, helping them to advance to the quarterfinals. She also played in the 2015 Pan Pacific Games, in which Canada was eliminated in the semifinal round.

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