Commentary

Algarve Cup available for first time on (PPV) television

By Paul Kennedy

For the first time, U.S. women's soccer fans will be able to watch the Algarve Cup live from Portugal on television.

All four U.S. matches of the Algarve Cup -- the most important women's invitational tournament in the world now in its 18th year -- are being distributed in the USA by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, Avail-TVN, DIRECTV and DISH for a suggested retail price of $14.95 per match. Additional same-day replays will be available.

Check Integratedsportsnet.com for updates on the TV coverage.

Here are the three group matches:

-- March 6: Iceland (9 a.m. ET) in Albufeira
-- March 8: China (9 a.m. ET) in Albufeira
-- March 11: Sweden (10 a.m. ET) in Lagos

SOUNDERS EXPAND MATCHPASS. MLS's Seattle Sounders have expanded the MatchPass program for season-ticket holders.

It stores all 17 regular-season match tickets and features food and beverage discounts on match day from the time gates open until 30 minutes before first kick in partnership with the new concessionaire, Delaware North Sportservice. Those discounts will include a pre-match meal for $10, domestic beers for $5 and craft pints for $6.
 
Last season, Sounders FC season ticket members were given the preference of how they received their season tickets - either by MatchPass or paper tickets. More than 11,500 season ticket members opted for the card. This year, more than 25,000 season ticket members selected MatchPass.Starting in 2014, all season ticket members will receive MatchPass.
 
"MatchPass offers convenience, flexibility and rewards," said Sounders FC owner Joe Roth in a statement. "The MatchPass program also helps us identify behavior and tendencies in order to better customize promotions and experiences for our fans."

HOUSTON PLANS KICKOFF. Each year, MLS club expand their pre-season promotions, becoming more visible in their communities and inviting fans to take part in kickoff celebrations. For its second year at BBVA Compass Stadium

March to Soccer Kickoff Week begins on Monday with the unveiling of the 2013 Dynamo uniforms at a public event at House of Blues.

Wednesday is highlighted by the first Soccer Night Out of 2013 Wednesday at Houston Amateur Sports Park. The event, presented by Statoil, is a free community soccer festival focused on Houston’s suburban communities.

To conclude Kickoff Week, on Friday the Dynamo will hold “Wear your Orange Friday,” encouraging fans all over Houston to show off their orange pride the day before the team’s 2013 home and season opener.
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