Originally created 03/15/04

United States women trounce France at Algarve Cup



FERREIRAS, Portugal -- The U.S. women's soccer team beat France 5-1 Sunday on the first day of the Algarve Cup.

Abby Wambach scored the first goal for the United States on a free kick from Mia Hamm. Angela Hucles scored two goals, and Hamm added another to lift the Americans.

This is the United States' ninth appearance in the Algarve Cup, one of the world's most prestigious invitational tournaments. They won it in 2000 and 2003.

The 20-member U.S. roster includes 17 players who will compete in the Athens Olympics. Defender Joy Fawcett, midfielder Kristine Lilly and striker Heather O'Reilly are not at the Algarve Cup.

Defenders Brandi Chastain and Kylie Bivens, along with midfielder Lori Chalupny, have taken their places.

"This year, although players are match fit, they are also fatigued. Raising the level of the younger players is the main objective of this year's Algarve Cup," U.S. coach April Heinrichs said.

The United States is in Group A of the event, and has upcoming matches against Denmark and 2003 World Cup finalist Sweden. Norway, Finland, Italy and China make up Group B.

The winners of the two groups meet in the final March 20.