TAMPA, Fla. – United Soccer Leagues released the divisional alignment and schedule for the W-League today, with the action slated to kick off for the 158-game regular season on Saturday, May 14. A trio of new W-League teams for 2011 will make their debut on the 14th, with the Dayton Dutch Lions, LA Strikers and Victoria Highlanders kicking off their inaugural seasons.
Also new to the W-League in 2011 are the Fredericksburg Impact and Washington FC, while the Hampton Roads Piranhas have become the Virginia Beach Piranhas.
The W-League will feature 27 teams in three geographic conferences – Eastern Conference, Central Conference and Western Conference. The Eastern Conference features two six-team divisions – Atlantic and Northeast – while the Central Conference is composed of seven teams and the Western Conference features eight teams. W-League clubs will play 10- to 14-game schedules in 2011, with each team facing each opponent in its division or conference home and away.
The final weekend of the regular season is set for July 15-17, with 22 of the 27 teams in action as the race for postseason spots winds down. The full 2011 W-League postseason format will be announced at a later date.
The first and longest-standing women’s league in North America, the W-League is USL’s highest level of women’s soccer in the United States and Canada. In addition to featuring international and professional stars, elite amateur players have the opportunity to compete on amateur teams in the league while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. The league is recognized throughout the world for providing superior competition for female players, while offering affordable family entertainment for fans across North America.