10 fast facts for Algarve Cup
On Wednesday, the top-ranked U.S. women's soccer team opens play at the 2014 Algarve Cup in Portugal against familiar foe Japan (7:45 a.m. ET). The rivals famously met in the gold-medal game at the 2012 Olympics and the final of the 2011 Women's World Cup. The U.S. also will face Sweden and Denmark in group play. The winner of their group, Group B, will face the winner of Group A (Germany, Norway, China PR and Iceland) on March 12. Here are 10 key facts and figures about the tournament.
1. Team USA plays Japan on March 5, the two-year anniversary of its last loss, a 1-0 setback to Japan at the 2012 Algarve Cup.
2. This will mark the United States' 19th trip to the Algarve Cup. The Americans have won the tournament a record nine times, including three straight from 2003-05.
3. The U.S. is the reigning champion, and defeated Germany 2-0 in the 2013 final. Alex Morgan scored twice in the win. She will miss this year's tournament due to an ankle injury, but 15 players from the reigning champion squad will return.
4. The United States outscored opponents 11-1 at last year's Algarve Cup, including a 1-1 tie with Sweden in group play.
5. The U.S. has a 52-10-9 all-time record at the Algarve Cup and has scored 158 goals while allowing 54.
6. Forward Abby Wambach has scored 19 of her 165 career goals at the Algarve Cup. She is the top U.S. scorer in history of the tournament, with six more goals than second-best Kristine Lilly.
7. Hope Solo, one of three goalies on the U.S. roster, needs two shutouts to tie Briana Scurry for the most in U.S. history with 71.
8. Midfielder Heather O’Reilly could earn her historic 200th cap if she plays in all three group games and the team's final game. This will mark her 12th Algarve Cup appearance.
9. Forward Christen Press is the team's leading scorer in 2014 with three goals. She has scored 11 times in her first 14 games as a member of the national team.
10. Midfielders Sarah Killion and Samantha Mewis, forward Sarah Hagen and goalie Alyssa Naeher are looking for their first caps.