Algarve Recap-Day One

It took all day for US Soccer to get a match report posted.  (Me, too – but I’ve been working at my day job – don’t know what their excuse is!)  Anyway – here’s the quote sheet from US Soccer, and here’s their game report.  Kudos to Carli Lloyd on being named player of the match!  (She had an amazing Algarve last year, too.  Hope she’s able to continue the roll through 2008!)  Gayle Bryan is in Portugal and here’s her first post to the Fair Game Blog. 

What is standing out for me is that the US women are playing better than they have in MANY years.  They’re possessing the ball and playing with creativity and passion (this is all based on what I’m reading, of course.  We’ve not actually laid eyes on ’em since Pia took the helm.)  She’s mixing in new players and old, and giving lots of newbies good stretches of playing time.  She’s being creative with who she plays, and where (like Heather O in the midfield) and universally, players are commenting that they are having FUN.  Imagine!

The Danes surprised the German nationals with a 1-0 defeat, while the hometown Team (that’s Portugal) had a nice win over Ireland.  The rest of the Algarve results from Day One are as follows:  [TABLE=8]

I see that Rachel Buehler and Nicole Barnhart join Julie Foudy as Stanford University reps on the USWNT.  And speaking of Jules .. looks like she’s New Jersey bound.  It’ll be nice to have her here on the East Coast (clearly, she hasn’t heard a whole lot about this winter’s weather, or I’m sure she’d be having some second thoughts).

Only Hope Solo, Cat Whitehill, and Leslie Osborne did not see action in this game.  I’m betitng we’ll see them in the next game, unless they’re injured.  Stay tuned for more action on Friday versus Italy!

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