The Seattle Reign roster isn't just looking impressive to NWSL fans. It's also apparently pretty tantalizing for national team coaches, as about three quarters of the starting roster is being called up for national duty for the March invitational tournament season.
First there's the Algarve Cup in Portugal, which — despite being little more than a series of friendlies by FIFA standards — is the most prestigious tournament on the international women's football calendar outside of the World Cup and the Olympics. It routinely hosts the top teams in the world, and this year that includes the top 3 teams in the FIFA rankings and 6 of the top 10. And it's something of a home field for the US national team, which has won 8 of the last 11 years. For this edition, US head coach Tom Sermanni has called up a slightly eclectic team, with four players getting set to get their first cap. But it's business as usual for the Reign's Hope Solo, Stephanie Cox, Megan Rapinoe, and Sydney Leroux, who will all be representing the US again. Joining them in Portugal — and facing the US in their first group match — will be the Reign's newly signed midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi, a regular on the 3rd ranked Japanese national team. The tournament runs from March 5th to the 12th and will be broadcast on. . uh. . Twitter? No live video expected, but there will be video highlights.
Competing with the Algarve Cup is the Cypress Cup, which will draw most of the other top national teams in the world. That includes Canada, which has called up Reign defender Carmelina Moscato. And it includes Scotland, featuring new Reign midfielder Kim Little. That tournament runs from the 3rd to the 12th and will probably only have Twitter-only coverage as well.
And last but not least, Jess Fishlock has predictably been called up to the Welsh national team, which she captains. After participating in the Algarve Cup for the last three years, Wales isn't involved with one of the March tournaments. Instead they'll be playing two home friendlies against Romania. The lighter workload will probably be a welcome break for Fishlock, who just won the W-League title with the Melbourne Victory.