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U.S. callup for Algarve Cup includes two Blues

Sermanni only called up two FC Kansas City players this time but with good reasons

Becky Sauerbrunn has become a fixture in central defense for the U.S.
Becky Sauerbrunn has become a fixture in central defense for the U.S.
Thad Bell

U.S. Women's National Team head coach Tom Sermanni named his 24-player roster for the 2014 Algarve Cup in Portugal yesterday, including two from FC Kansas City.

The U.S. is in Group B for the annual tournament and will open play on March 5 against third-ranked Japan (7:45 a.m. ET) in Parchal. The USA will face sixth-ranked Sweden on March 7 in Albufeira (8:30 a.m. ET), and will finish group play on March 10 against 13th-ranked Denmark in Albufeira (10:40 a.m. ET).

U.S. Women's National Team Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)

DEFENDERS (9): Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-Germain), Sarah Killion (UCLA), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O'Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)

FORWARDS (5): Sarah Hagen (Bayern Munich), Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)

FC Kansas City has been sending four to six players to the national team at each camp since the team was founded last year so it is a little unusual that only Becky Sauerbrunn and Amy Rodriguez represent the Blues for this go around but there are good reasons.

Blues midfielder and U.S. regular Lauren Holiday will not be with the U.S. team for this tournament due to family commitments.

Nicole Barnhart the normal second keeper for the U.S. is battling a cold and several small injuries. Between Sermanni not needing to see Barnhart to know what she can do at this point and the desire to let her get healthy, she was left off the roster this time.  Barnhart is a warrior and would not have rested if she was in camp. Several times last year it looked she would not be able to play on game day but once the game started you could not tell there was ever anything wrong.

NWSL Rookie of the year Erika Tymrak was not called up because she is with the U-23 Women's National team for a tournament in Spain right now. Tymrak is joined by FC Kansas City's 2014 draft picks Kassey Kallman, Jenna Richmond and Frances Silva.