Algarve Cup 2013: Breaking Down How USWNT's Biggest Competition Has Fared So Far

Tim KeeneyContributor IMarch 8, 2013

PARCHAL, PORTUGAL - MARCH 06:  Nahomi Kawasumi MF of Japan challenges Nora Holstad Berge DF of Norway during the Algarve Cup match between Japan and Norway at the Complexo Desportivo Belavista on March 6, 2013 in Parchal, Portugal.  (Photo by Melanie Map's/Getty Images)
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The only thing standing in between the United States women's national team and an Algarve Cup is the United States women. 

That's not to say that the U.S. ladies are mistake-prone or anything like that—they are simply the best team in the world, and when they are on top of their game, no one is going to beat them. 

Nevertheless, this is soccer. Crazy things can happen on any given night, and there are still several squads capable of giving the Americans trouble.

No, Iceland certainly isn't one of them

With one match in the books, let's take a look at how the Red, White and Blue's stiffest competition is faring. 



Germany, the second-ranked team in the world, has a ton of talent behind 20-year-old goal-scoring threat Dzsenifer Marozsan.

However, the Germans weren't able to showcase that ability to put the ball in the back of the net, with Denmark working them to a hard-fought 0-0 tie. 

Sitting on one point, Germany gets set to take on Japan on Friday. 

Speaking of Japan...



The Japanese are an incredibly dangerous foe. They came up just short against the Americans in the gold-medal match at the 2012 Olympics, but they did knock off the USA during last year's Algarve Cup and at the 2011 World Cup. 

The Americans were fortunate enough to see Japan put in the same group as Germany, meaning it would be hard for both to advance.

After Japan's 2-0 loss to Norway, it will now be even more shocking if both countries find a way out of the group. 



We'll know more on this front when Sweden takes on the United States on Monday in what will be the last match of group play, but the Americans are in good shape right now. 

As the Americans were grabbing three points and a commanding lead in Group B, Sweden was slipping into a draw with China. 

Should Sweden fail to get three points against Iceland, the Americans will likely have the group all locked up.