U.S. Soccer announced today that USWNT coach Tom Sermanni has named the 23-player roster he'll carry into Portugal for the 2013 Algarve Cup, and the Portland Thorns FC players you'd expect to be on it are all there: Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, and Rachel Buehler will be joining forces when the tournament is held March 6-13. Morgan and Buehler are due to arrive in Portland a few days after, when the Thorns will begin practice in advance of their inaugural season, which kicks off Saturday, April 13. Heath will return to France, where she will finish out her commitment to Paris Saint-Germain through May 23.
Buehler, incidentally, is on 99 caps and, assuming she plays in Portugal, will become the 29th player in U.S. history to earn 100 caps playing for the national team.
No surprises concerning any Thorns players, but the roster did have a few eyebrow-raisers. First: goalkeeper Hope Solo will not make the trip to Portugal, due to an injured wrist, which the Seattle Times is reporting might require surgery (the implications of that news in relation to the Thorns/Seattle Reign insta-rivalry are worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks). This means keeper Ashlyn Harris (uncapped) will be on board, along with FC Kansas City's Nicole Barnhart and Sky Blue's Jill Loyden.
Second: Defender Heather Mitts, also a member of the NWSL's Boston Breakers, also was left off the roster. At this point, there doesn't seem to be any official word as to why, but Mitts did send out a tweet that read "That's how the cookie crumbles. Can't compete when you aren't 100%. Will be cheering!" soon after the roster was released.
Notable additions include middie (and New York Times women's soccer blogger) Yael Averbuch, who earned her 17th cap against Scotland on February 9; 18-year-old Lindsey Horan, who lead the U-20 WNT in scoring last year; and young forward Christen Press, who scored three goals against Scotland earlier this month in her first two game as a member of the senior women's team.
The team leaves for Europe on February 25.
All four USWNT Algarve Cup games will be televised on Pay Per View. Go here for details.