USA wins ninth Algarve Cup title

March 13, 2013

The United States won the prestigious Algarve Cup for the ninth time, beating Germany 2-0 in Wednesday's final at Faro, Portugal thanks to two goals from Alex Morgan.

Morgan scored both goals in the first half as the American women won their first significant tournament under new coach Tom Sermanni, who took over in late 2012.

Backup goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart protected the lead with some strong saves in the second half.

Morgan started the scoring in the 13th minute. Sydney Leroux sent a cross that Germany central defender Josephine Henning tried to head clear. But the ball fell to Morgan just inside the area and she scored with her left foot.

Morgan connected again 12 minutes later. A mix-up between goalkeeper Almuth Schult and her defense let Morgan steal the ball and she rolled a shot into the empty net from the edge of the box.

Forward Abby Wambach came off the bench for the first time since March 9, 2011, against Iceland at the Algarve Cup. She entered in the 75th minute for Christen Press, but did not score. She remained at 154 career goals, four shy of tying Mia Hamm's international record.

Midfielder Megan Rapinoe was a late scratch with an undisclosed injury, yet earned player of the tournament honors. Tobin Heath started in Rapinoe's place and assisted on the second U.S. goal.

NOTES: The United States has won Algarve Cups in 2000, '03, '04, '05, '07, '08, '10, '11 and '13. ... The Americans have not lost in 29 games, including victory at last year's London Olympics. Their last defeat was in this event a year ago to World Cup champion Japan.