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Akers, Scurry missing from roster heading to Portugal for Algarve.

CHICAGO (Tuesday, March 7, 2000) -- Fourteen veterans of the United States’ Women’s World Cup championship team are among the 18 players coach April Heinrichs has selected to play in the Algarve Cup which starts Sunday in Portugal.

The team departed for Portugal today. Conspicuously absent from the roster are WWC "Most Valuable Player" Michelle Akers, a midfielder who had nasal surgery, and starting goalkeeper Briana Scurry who is recovering from a leg injury.

The U.S. has never won the Algarve Cup after five previous attempts. The Americans face Portugal Sunday in Silves at 9 a.m. (ET), Denmark Tuesday in Faro at 1:30 p.m. and Sweden Thursday in Lagos at 9 a.m.

Norway and China lead the other group of four. On Saturday, teams in the U.S. group will face the similarly-placed team from the other group. In other words, the U.S. must win its group to earn the right to play the first-place team from the other group to win the championship.

With Scurry sidelined, Heinrichs called in seven goalkeepers for the 29-player training camp, eventually selecting Siri Mullinix, who helped North Carolina win the 1998 NCAA women's title, and 19-year-old Jen Branam, coming off a strong freshman season where she was instrumental in UNC's 1999 national crown.

Defender Danielle Slaton, who plays collegiately at Santa Clara, is another 19-year-old the roster. In addition to the two keepers, eight defenders are listed among the 18 players, though several are versatile and can play other positions.

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Jen Branam (Placentia, Calif.).

Defenders: Brandi Chastain (San Jose, Calif.), Lorrie Fair (Los Altos, Calif.), Joy Fawcett (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Carla Overbeck (Chapel Hill, N.J.), Christie Pearce (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Danielle Slaton (San Jose, Calif.), Kate Sobrero (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Sara Whalen (Greenlawn, N.Y.).

Midfielders: Julie Foudy (Mission Viejo, Calif.), Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), Shannon MacMillan (Escondido, Calif.), Tisha Venturini (Modesto, Calif.).

Forwards: Mia Hamm (Chapel Hill, N.C.)., Tiffeny Milbrett (Portland, Ore.), Cindy Parlow (Memphis), Christie Welsh (Massapequa Park, N.Y.).

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