Five Thorns FC players called up for international duty
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC today announced that goalkeeper Nadine Angerer (Germany), defender Stephanie Catley (Australia), midfielder Tobin Heath (United States), forward Christine Sinclair (Canada) and defender Rachel Van Hollebeke (United States) were called up by their respective national teams for international matches from March 5-12.
Canada and Australia both head to Cyprus for the annual Cyprus Cup competition. Playing in Group A, Canada is scheduled to square off against Finland on March 5, in their first group-stage match of the tournament. Canada will play Italy on March 7 and England on March 10, to close out group play. Depending on the team’s results in the group stage, Canada will play a placement match on March 12.
Australia, which is placed in Group B, faces the Netherlands on March 5, then plays France on March 7 before finishing the group stages against Scotland on March 10. The winner of Group A will play the winner of Group B in the Cyprus Cup championship match on March 12.
The United States and Germany begin the Algarve Cup in Portugal on March 5. The United States, playing in Group B, kicks off with a group-stage match against 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions Japan. Head coach Tom Sermanni’s squad then faces Sweden on March 7 and concludes group play on March 10 against Denmark. The U.S. Women’s National Team will finish the tournament with a placement match on March 12. If the United States finishes in first place in Group B, it will compete for the championship against the Group A winner.
Group A features Germany, which begins the tournament on March 5 with a match against Iceland, then faces China PR on March 7 before concluding the group stage against Norway on March 10. If both Germany and the United States win their respective groups, they will meet in the championship game on March 12.
Angerer, 35, is the reigning FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year after helping lead Germany to the 2013 UEFA Women’s European Championship with a stellar performance during a 1-0 win against Norway in the final. Angerer joins the Germany Women’s National Team following the conclusion of the Australian W-League season in which she helped the Brisbane Roar reach the league final.
Catley, 20, joins the Australia Women’s National Team for the Cyprus Cup after winning the Australian W-League title on Sunday with the Melbourne Victory. Catley played 90 minutes as Melbourne earned a 2-0 win over the Brisbane Roar for the league’s championship. The defender has earned 15 caps at the senior level for the Matildas since her debut in 2012.
Heath, 25, returns to the U.S. roster after missing time due to a foot injury. The Thorns FC midfielder, who is currently playing in France with Paris Saint-Germain, last saw competitive action for the U.S. Women’s National Team on June 15, 2013, in a 4-1 win over Korea Republic at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Playing for Thorns FC, Heath earned NWSL Championship game MVP honors as her 40th-minute free kick opened the scoring for Portland in a 2-0 win over Western New York on Aug. 31, 2013.
Sinclair, 30, has made more than 200 international appearances for the Canada Women’s National Team since her debut as a 16-year-old in 2000. The Burnaby, British Columbia, native’s 147 career international goals ranks third all-time in women’s soccer, 11 shy of earning a tie with former U.S. Women’s National Team star Mia Hamm. Sinclair scored eight goals for Thorns FC during the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League season, helping guide the team to the inaugural NWSL Championship, while earning NWSL Best XI Second Team honors.
Van Hollebeke (formerly Buehler), 28, was part of the most recent stretch of international matches for the United States, making two appearances in wins against Russia on Feb. 8 and Feb. 12. The Thorns FC defender made 10 appearances for the United States during 2013, including five consecutive matches from Sept. 3-Nov. 20, 2013. She celebrated her 100th cap for the U.S. Women’s National Team at last year’s Algarve Cup, scoring in a 3-0 win against Iceland on March 6, 2013.
Thorns FC forward Alex Morgan was not called up to the U.S. Women’s National Team for the Algarve Cup, as she is in the final stages of her recovery from an ankle injury.