Algarve Cup Preview: USA vs. Switzerland

Following a solid, if not overwhelming 2-1 victory over Norway, the US will face a rising Swiss side this morning. This summer will be the first World Cup for the Swiss, who benefitted from the expanded pool. Since they lack the history of a team like Norway, and have yet to show well in a major tournament, they’re not expected to pose a major challenge for the US. But, with the spotty play of the US and the capacity for surprise that this tournament seems geared for, who knows!

Players to watch

The Swiss star Lara Dickenmann is having a great tournament so far, with 2 second half goals in Switzerland’s first game against Iceland. Dickenmann has played professionally in the US during the first women’s league, and was even named the W-league’s most valuable player in 2007. Since then, she’s played for Lyon in France, sharing the pitch with US players like Megan Rapinoe. Look for her to make things happen in the counter and trouble the US defense.

Keep an eye out for Hope Solo’s second game back from her suspension to see whether the rust is being worn away. If anyone was unconvinced about the importance of goal-keeping, yesterday’s games should have put that to rest: Nadine Angerer’s miscue in the second half against Sweden sent Germany to an inexorable downward spiral, while Solo’s reaction save to stop Norway from going up by 2 ushered in the US’s comeback. Solo is still central to the US play, so having her in top form is a top priority. It will also be interesting to watch Morgan Brian’s continued development in the midfield.

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