I’m at home packing my final bits before jumping on my flight to the NSCAA Algarve Cup Symposium but wanted to get this post in before I headed out. You can follow my travels – including photos, interviews, notes and reviews from the games and training sessions – at http://www.twitter.com/nscaawomen. I’m figuring you can also check out the #AlgarveCup hashtag on Twitter for results in real-time.
Today is the first round of the Algarve Cup! So here’s today’s match schedule, hopefully you’re up in time to catch some of the action. Also, if you have Twitter #hashtags for any of these matches, please drop them in the comments section below – that would be super helpful.
Finland vs. China PR, 3 p.m. / 10 a.m. @ Lagos
Germany vs. Denmark, 5 p.m. / 12 p.m. @ Parchal
United States vs. Iceland, 3 p.m. / 10 a.m. @ Vila Real de San Antonio – Preview | Twitter | Match Tracker – If you can find the link on U.S. Soccer, please leave it in the comments… maybe it’s too early here in San Francisco as I’m typing this but I can’t seem to sort it out 🙁
Sweden vs. Norway, 6 p.m. / 1 p.m. @ Vila Real de San Antonio
Portugal vs. Faroe Islands, 2 p.m. / 9 a.m. @ Parchal – WATCH LIVE!
Romania vs. Austria, 6 p.m. / 1 p.m. @ Lagos
ALGARVE CUP QUICK HITS – USA (ussoccer.com):
* Each team is allowed six substitutions per game, just like in an international friendly. With the USA having 16 field players on its roster, all of them could see action should Sundhage decide to use all her allowed subs.
* In the event that teams are tied at the end of group play, the first tiebreaker is the result of the matches between two teams (head-to-head), the second is goal difference and the third is goals scored.
* The 24 matches of this year’s Algarve Cup will be played in eight different venues ranging from tiny stadiums that seat several thousand to the state-of-the art 30,000-seat Stadium Algarve, which will host the championship game, as well as the Group A marquee match-up between Germany and China, one of Portugal’s group games and Portugal’s placement game.
* Of the three U.S. first-round opponents, Sweden and Norway have played in every Algarve Cup and Iceland will be playing its sixth tournament.
* With a goal or an assist, Abby Wambach will move past Michelle Akers into fourth place on the all-time U.S. points list (two points for a goal, one for an assist). Both have 246 points. Wambach has 101 goals and 44 assists. Akers had 105 goals and 36 assists.
* Cat Whitehill will be playing in her ninth Algarve Cup, the most of anyone on the U.S. team.
* The USA’s Algarve Cup rookies are Lori Lindsey, Yael Averbuch, Casey Nogueira, Megan Schnur and Jill Loyden
* Hard rains have pounded the Algarve almost every night, but the days have been mostly sunny. Still, the fields should be soft for the matches.
* Seven of the eight WPS teams are represented on the U.S. roster (excluding only the Atlanta Beat) with Sky Blue FC leading the way with four players. The Philadelphia Independence has three, as do the Boston Breakers and the Chicago Red Stars. The Washington Freedom, St. Louis Athletica and FC Gold Pride have two each.
* 30 different players have scored goals for the USA at the Algarve Cup.
* The USA is currently on an Algarve record streak of 21 consecutive matches without a defeat in regulation time (the USA has lost two penalty kick shootouts during that stretch).
* In fact, the USA is 0-3 in penalty shootouts in Algarve Cup history.
More to follow (including results) after I land in Newark.