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Checking in on U.S. women’s team; left today for Portugal

Feb 25, 2013, 6:50 PM EST

Abby Wambach

So much focus is falling on Major League Soccer at the moment, and before you know it, the men’s national team will be back in sharp focus – with the sharpest of razors sure to be out if Jurgen Klinsmann and Co. come up short on March 22 against Costa Rica.

So let’s take a second to remember the country’s top women’s players.

The U.S. women’s national team left Monday for one of their most important events of 2013. In a non- Olympic, non-Women’s World Cup year, the 2013 Algarve Cup in Portugal qualifies as an important tournament.

It’s the first non-friendly test under new manager Tom Sermanni, who has two wins in two friendlies over Scotland (low hanging fruit for Olympic Gold Medal winners).

So now comes the annual 12-team tournament named for its placement in the Algarve region of Portugal. The United States has won seven of the last 10 tournaments.

Serrmanni brings a strong team, minus first-choice goalkeeper Hope Solo, who is out with a wrist injury.

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Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach and their pals begin March 6 against Iceland, then face tougher tests against China (March 8) and against Sweden (March 11). The U.S. schedule is here.

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