Portland Thorns forward Alex Morgan, midfielder Tobin Heath, and defender Rachel Van Hollebeke have been named by United States head coach Jill Ellis in their last tournament appearance before the 2015 Women's World Cup.
The United States have been placed in Group B, where they will be joined by fellow World Cup participants Norway and Switzerland, as well as Iceland, who finished just outside of the playoffs for qualification from UEFA. They will play their first match on match on March 4 against Norway, then face Switzerland on March 6, and close out the group stage against Iceland on March 9, with final matches, based on group stage placement, on March 11.
Heath has remained a mainstay for the US in recent matches, helping lead them to the final of the International Tournament in Brazil in December and winning the CONCACAF Women's Championship in October. Additionally, she appeared against France on February 8 and was in the 18 against England, but did not appear.
Morgan appeared in the United States' recent European trip, player a full 90 against France and scoring her first goal of 2015 in England, her first two appearances for the national side since suffering an ankle injury a mid-October match against Guatemala.
Van Hollebeke finds herself on the fighting for a place as the United States gets closer to the World Cup. She was in the 18 for the matches against France and England, but did not appear.
Following the Algarve Cup, the United States will face New Zealand on April 4. The players will then return to the Thorns to start the season, before returning to US camp, with matches on May 10 (Ireland), May 17 (Mexico), and May 30 (South Korea). They will open World Cup play on June 8 against Australia.
Portland Thorns Press Release-
MORGAN, HEATH, VAN HOLLEBEKE NAMED TO U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER FOR ALGARVE CUPThorns FC trio to join United States for Algarve Cup in Portugal from March 4-11
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC forward Alex Morgan, midfielder Tobin Heath and defender Rachel Van Hollebeke were named to the U.S. Women’s National Team roster for the Algarve Cup from March 4 – 11 in Portugal, it was announced today.The United States will play four matches at the annual Algarve Cup, all of which will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1. The United States opens play in Group B of the tournament on Wednesday, March 4, against Norway, at 11 a.m. (Pacific) before facing Switzerland on Friday, March 6, at 9 a.m. (Pacific) and Iceland on Monday, March 9, at 10:30 a.m. (Pacific). The tournament concludes with placement matches on Wednesday, March 11.Morgan, 25, appeared in 14 matches (13 starts) for Thorns FC after missing the first half of the 2014 NWSL season while recovering from an ankle injury. The U.S. Women’s National Team forward finished the NWSL regular season with six goals and four assists. Morgan returned to the lineup with the United States for the first time since October, starting and playing all 90 minutes against France on Feb. 8. On Feb. 13, Morgan scored her 50th career international goal, the game-winning header, in a 1-0 win over England, becoming the third-fastest player to reach the 50-goal milestone for the U.S. Women’s National Team.Heath, 26, made five appearances (all starts) for Thorns FC during the 2014 regular season. At the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championships, Heath appeared in four matches (3 starts), recording two goals and two assists as the United States finished first and qualified for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. Heath most recently started for the United States in the team’s first match of 2015 against France on Feb. 8, logging 80 minutes.Van Hollebeke, 29, who spent the offseason playing with Iga FC in Japan, appeared in 12 matches (9 starts) during the 2014 regular season with Thorns FC. The U.S. Women’s National Team defender played in four matches in 2014 for the United States, earning three starts.