Women's Professional Soccer 2010 Preseason Kicks Off with Many Changes

What's News Correspondent IMarch 8, 2010

ZURICH - SWITZERLAND Ð DECEMBER 21:  Brazil's Cristiane (L), England's Kelly Smith (C) and Brazil's Marta (R) during a Press Conference for the FIFA 2009 Women's Player of the Year at the Kongresshaus on December 21, 2009 in Zurich, Switzerland.  (Photo by Pascal Muller/Getty Images)
Pascal Muller/Getty Images

U.S. National Team players and top internationals reported to camp this past weekend as the 2010 WPS Preseason got underway. Preseason will run March 7-April 10, when the league kicks off with a full slate of four games during WPS Kick-Off Week—the first time ever that four WPS games will be played over one weekend.

The 2010 WPS Season will feature several fan enhancements including a longer regular season schedule, a mid-season WPS All-Star Game presented by the U.S. Coast Guard, three new stadiums (Atlanta, Bay Area, and Philadelphia), and many stadium upgrades to improve the fan experience.

In addition, the 2010 WPS Playoffs will stretch into September, allowing for increased visibility for the league among youth clubs and school teams that return from summer break in late August and early September.

“We’re excited about all the changes we have put in place for this season,” said WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci. “In 2010, it’s about growing our league and building on the foundation that we laid down this past year."

"That includes all the fan enhancements and stadium changes, as well as an increasing number of local and national partnerships which are helping us build momentum going into our second year.”

Ticket sales are up with five of the six teams returning from the 2009 season tracking above where they were at the same time last year in season-ticket sales. The league has already seen an increase in overall sponsorships from last year, and is projecting that four of eight teams will feature a jersey partnership this season with logos on the front of their uniforms—a two-fold increase on last year.

The 2010 WPS Preseason includes several compelling exhibition games among WPS teams. The roster cut-downs for each of the teams will be announced on March 16 (24 players) and the final team rosters will be announced April 1 (18 players plus four optional developmental players).

See the 2010 Preseason Rosters by clicking on links below:

2010 WPS Preseason Schedule

Tuesday, March 9
Washington Freedom vs. U-23 US Women’s National Team (Vero Beach, FL) Closed Scrimmage

Wednesday, March 10
Atlanta Beat vs. Auburn University (Auburn, AL)                                               Scrimmage
Boston Breakers vs. Boston College (Newton, Mass.)                                         Scrimmage

Friday, March 12
Chicago Red Stars vs. Washington Freedom (Vero Beach, FL) Exhibition

Saturday, March 13
FC Gold Pride vs. TEPCO Mareeze (Danville, CA) Exhibition
Saint Louis Athletica vs. Illinois (Fenton, MO) Closed Scrimmage

Wednesday, March 17
Boston Breakers vs. U-20 Women’s National Team (Gainesville, FL) Exhibition
Chicago Red Stars vs. South Florida (Tampa, FL) Exhibition
Sky Blue FC vs. Florida State (Tallahassee, FL) Scrimmage

Friday, March 19
Atlanta Beat vs. U-20 US Women’s National Team (St. Augustine, FL) Scrimmage

Saturday, March 20
Boston Breakers vs. Sky Blue FC (Gainesville, FL) Exhibition
Philadelphia Independence vs. North Carolina (Downingtown, PA) Exhibition
Washington Freedom vs. University of Virginia (Richmond, VA) Scrimmage
Saint Louis Athletica vs. University of Missouri (Columbia, MO)

Sunday, March 21
Atlanta Beat vs. University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) Scrimmage

Tuesday, March 23
Atlanta Beat vs. Boston Breakers (St. Augustine, FL) Exhibition
Sky Blue FC vs. University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.) Scrimmage

Wednesday, March 24
Boston Breakers vs. University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.) Scrimmage    

Thursday, March 25
Atlanta Beat vs. Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL) Scrimmage
FC Gold Pride vs. Univ. of San Francisco (San Francisco, CA) Exhibition

Saturday, March 27
Philadelphia Independence vs. Washington Freedom (Boyds, MD) Exhibition
Sky Blue FC vs. Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ) Scrimmage

Sunday, March 28
Atlanta Beat vs. North Carolina (Kennesaw, GA) Exhibition

Thursday, April 1
FC Gold Pride vs. Santa Clara Broncos (Santa Clara, CA) Exhibition
Philadelphia Independence vs. Penn State (Downingtown, PA) Exhibition

Saturday, April 3
Atlanta Beat vs. Saint Louis Athletica (Tulsa, OK) Exhibition
Washington Freedom vs. North Carolina (Boyds, MD) Exhibition

About Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS)
Headquartered in San Francisco, Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) is the world’s premier soccer league for women with eight teams across the United States featuring the best players from around the world. WPS completed its inaugural season in August 2009 as Sky Blue FC of New Jersey became the first-ever WPS Champions.

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In 2010, eight teams will each play 24-game schedules from April 10-September 12 including six original WPS teams—Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Gold Pride (Bay Area), Saint Louis Athletica, Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY), and Washington Freedom—and two expansion teams—Atlanta Beat and Philadelphia Independence. The top four finishers in the regular season will qualify for the 2010 WPS Playoffs scheduled for September 19-26. For more information, visit the WPS official website at www.womensprosoccer.com or follow all the news at www.twitter.com/womensprosoccer .

The previous story is printed from a press release as part of an agreement with Bleacher Report and the WPS to help promote the league. What's News is the alternate profile of writer, Todd Civin, and is used for press releases only for the WPS, The Can-Am Baseball and the AHL.

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