Stanford grads Christen Press and Kelley O'Hara will join with 22 other players on the U.S. National Team that will travel to the 2014 Algarve Cup in Portugal.
This year's tournament will run from March 5-12, and the U.S. team will depart for Europe on Tuesday. The majority of the games will be played at small venues across the Algarve region on the southern coast of the country, with several matches (including the championship game) at the 30,000-seat Algarve Stadium. The placement matches will take place on March 12.
Stanford graduate Christen Press is the leading scorer on the U.S. National Team this women's soccer season.
"The group we're in at the Algarve Cup will probably be the most significant test since I've come aboard and a different kind of challenge as we will be playing teams that have the belief and aim to come out to attack us and beat us," said USA coach Tom Sermanni. "The dynamics of these games will be different than some of the more recent matches, and that's something that we want, that we need and that the players are looking forward to."
This year will mark the 19th trip to the Algarve Cup for the U.S. Women, who have won the tournament a record nine times, including an unprecedented three straight championships from 2003-05. Last year, the USA defeated Germany, 2-0, in the championship game as forward Alex Morgan scored twice. The USA's most recent loss took place at the Algarve Cup in 2012, a 1-0 setback to Japan in group play (which turned out to be the team's only loss of the year) and the U.S. missed the championship game for the first time in 10 years.
Fifteen players from last year's Algarve Cup roster return, including the core of the U.S. team, many of whom have played in numerous Algarve Cup tournaments.
Press will enjoy the trip south from chilly Sweden where she is playing with Tyresö for the remainder of its UEFA Women's Champions League campaign.
Press is the USA's leading scorer this year with three goals and has scored 11 times in her first 14 games for the National Team.
The USA has a 52-10-9 record all-time at the Algarve Cup and has scored 158 goals while allowing 54.