For First Time, All of USA’s Algarve Cup Matches Will Be Available to Watch on Delayed Video Web Stream
CHICAGO (Jan. 17, 2013) – The U.S. Women’s National Team has been placed in Group B at the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal, where it will face Iceland, China and Sweden during the tournament that will run from March 6-13.
The USA will open its competition on March 6 against Iceland, then face China on March 8 and Sweden on March 11 to finish group play with the first meeting between the teams since former U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage assumed the head coaching duties for her home country. Group A will feature Germany, Denmark, Japan and Norway. The three nations that will join host Portugal in Group C are Hungary, Wales and Mexico
The 2013 Algarve Cup will be the 20th edition of the tournament that has grown into one of the world’s top competitions for women’s national teams. The tournament features the top three teams in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings in the USA, Germany and Japan, respectively, as well as Sweden (No. 6), Norway (12), Denmark (13), Iceland (15) and China (17).
The match venues and kickoff times have yet to be confirmed, but all the games will be played at small venues across the Algarve region on the southern coast of the country. Placement matches will take place on March 13.
For the first time ever, fans back home will be able to watch the USA’s Algarve Cup matches via the Internet, albeit on a tape-delayed basis.
Al Bann Media will exclusively show the U.S. WNT matches against Iceland, China and Sweden, as well as the USA’s placement match on March 13. Al Bann Media will be utilizing a system that is open to view anywhere in the world and broadcast in high definition. Match commentary and analysis will be provided by Sarah Walsh, the retired captain of the Australian Women’s National Team, and Alicia Ferguson, also a former Australian National Team player. Brief pre-game and post-game shows are planned for each of the matches.
There will be a small fee for the broadcasts, which will be streamed on Al Bann’s dedicated website. The viewing packages will be available on a per-game basis or as a complete tournament package. The entire tournament package includes all three group matches, as well as the placement game. The prices for the packages are $9.99 for the whole tournament (all four games) and $3.49 for individual games. Active U.S. Military will be entitled to a price reduction. Each package will have a number of “credits” for video extras and interviews that will be released as the tournament progresses. Fans will be able to begin purchasing the games starting March 1.
Follow Al Bann over Twitter @albannmedia and Facebook (facebook.com/albannmedia) to get the most up-to-date announcements as the Algarve Cup approaches. For more information, fans can visit www.albannmedia.com.
Fans will also be able to follow the USA’s intense schedule of four games in eight days online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker or on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and can watch highlights on ussoccer.com.
Since the expansion to 12 teams 12 years ago, the Algarve Cup format has been as follows: The winners of Groups A and B will compete for the Algarve Cup championship on Wednesday, March 13. The two second-place finishers in Groups A and B will play for third place while the third-place finishers in each group will play for fifth. The Group C teams will compete for a chance to play for spots 7-12 as the winner of Group C will play the best fourth place team from Groups A or B for seventh place. The second-place team in Group C will play the worst fourth-place team from Groups A or B for ninth place, and the third- and fourth-place finishers in Group C will play each other for 11th place.
This year will mark the 18th trip to the Algarve Cup for the U.S. Women, who have won the tournament a record eight times, including an unprecedented three straight championships from 2003-05. Last year, the USA lost to Japan 1-0 in group play (which turned out to be the team’s only loss of the year) and missed the championship game for the first time in 10 years but rebounded to defeat Sweden 4-0 in the third-place match behind Alex Morgan’s first career hat trick and a goal from Abby Wambach, her team-leading 18th all-time in Algarve Cup play.
The USA has a 49-10-8 record all-time at the Algarve Cup and has scored 147 goals while allowing 53.