The 2012 W-League season kicks off this weekend with all eyes on the top women’s league in North America. A blend of traditional powerhouses, new teams, and world-class player signings has the season earmarked as the most anticipated
W-League season to date.
This weekend, nine clubs begin play across the continent. New club VSI Tampa hits the road to officially get the W-League season underway for their first game in franchise history by visiting the always-dangerous Charlotte Lady Eagles at 5:30 p.m. ET on Friday. VSI Tampa returns home for another Southeast Division clash hosting fellow W-League newcomers Central SC Cobras on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET
In Saturday’s only action the Northeast Division gets started as the New Jersey Rangers host the Long Island Rough Riders at 3:00 p.m. ET. After losing in the conference semifinals last year the Long Island Rough Riders are gunning for a championship in ’12 while the Rangers look to turn fortunes around from 2011.
Out west, two second-year clubs, Victoria Highlanders FC and the LA Strikers, do battle against two of the W-League’s elite on Sunday. The Vancouver Whitecaps hop the Georgia Strait visiting the Victoria Highlanders for British Columbia bragging rights. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. PT at Royal Athletic Park. In another rivalry game, the LA Strikers host two-time champion Pali Blues to cap the weekend action.
The 2012 W-League season will see players representing national teams from around the globe, with U.S. stars such as Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, Stephanie Cox and Sydney Leroux set to compete. Canada, England, Brazil, Denmark, Mexico, Portugal, Australia, South Africa, Italy and Panama will also be represented on the field in 2012.
5:30 p.m. ET VSI Tampa Flames at Charlotte Lady Eagles
Friday, May 11
Saturday, May 12
3 p.m. ET Long Island Rough Riders at New Jersey Rangers FC
Sunday, May 13
2 p.m. PT Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Victoria Highlanders FC
6:30 p.m. ET Central SC Cobras at VSI Tampa Flames
6 p.m. PT Pali Blues at LA Strikers
The W-League is the first and longest-standing women’s soccer league in North America, featuring the highest level of women’s soccer in the United States and Canada. With emphasis on quality ownership, retention, league standards and player development, the W-League is the strongest, most sophisticated and best organized women’s league on and off the field. The 2012 W-League campaign features 30 teams in three regional conferences playing 12-14 regular season matches. In addition to the league’s international and professional stars, elite amateur players have the opportunity to compete in the W-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 throughout North America.
Courtesy of the USL