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WPS reveals 2011 preseason schedules

Women’s Professional Soccer revealed on Thursday the bulk of its 2011 preseason schedule for the league’s six teams.  Absent from the list of games was magicTalk SC/Washington Freedom, which is yet to make any formal team announcements.

The preseason schedule offers a variety of different match-ups, most of which feature a WPS team facing off with a Division I NCAA team.  Preseason matches begin on March 6 when the Atlanta Beat hosts the University of South Florida.  Those matches all lead up to the beginning of the WPS regular season, which kicks off on April 9 when Atlanta hosts the Boston Breakers at 7 p.m. at KSU Soccer Stadium.

The most lavish preseason trip will be Sky Blue FC’s venture to Turkey.  The rest of the teams will stay local for the most part, with Boston also taking the usual preseason trip to Florida.

Some of the best match-ups include the University of North Carolina’s trip to Kennesaw on Saturday, March 19 to take on the Beat, followed by UNC’s April 2 showdown with the Philadelphia Independence.  Virginia’s March 27 match with Sky Blue FC could prove exciting, while the March 25 match between Boston College and the Boston Breakers is the juiciest preseason derby (which is only a half appropriate term here, but it passes).

Preseason is not about results, but the most lopsided margin of victory could come on March 8, when the Western New York Flash, featuring a star-studded line-up headlined by five-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta, faces off with the University of Buffalo, a shockingly awful team in 2010 (to the tune of a 1-16-2 record).  That should be a nice way to ease into preseason.  A visit from 2010 College Cup participant Ohio State on March 27 should be a better test for the Flash.

2011 WPS Preseason Schedule
Sunday, March 6
Atlanta Beat vs. University of South Florida (KSU Soccer Stadium)            12:00PM

Tuesday, March 8
Western New York Flash vs. Univ. of Buffalo (Sahlen Sports Complex)       4:00PM

Wednesday, March 9
Atlanta Beat vs. Auburn University (Auburn University, Auburn, AL)            7:00PM

Saturday, March 12
Atlanta Beat vs. Clemson University (KSU Stadium, Kennesaw, GA)            1:00PM
Philadelphia Independence vs. Maryland (United Sports Training Center)    2:00PM
Western New York Flash vs. St. Bonaventure (Sahlen Sports Complex)       3:00PM

Tuesday, March 15
Boston Breakers vs. TBD (Florida)
Sky Blue FC vs. FK Energiya (Alanya Oba Stadium, Turkey)

Thursday, March 17
Sky Blue FC vs. Fortuna Hjorring (Antalya Stadium, Turkey)                       5:00PM

Saturday, March 19
Sky Blue FC vs. LdBFC Malmo (Antalya Stadium, Turkey)                            2:00PM
Atlanta Beat vs. UNC (KSU Stadium, Kennesaw, GA)                                 12:00PM
Philadelphia Independence vs. Duke (United Sports Training Center)          1:00PM
Philadelphia Independence vs. UConn (United Sports Training Center)        3:00PM

Sunday, March 20
Atlanta Beat vs. Florida State (Walden Soccer Complex, Columbus, GA)      4:00PM
Boston Breakers vs. Florida (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)                                           TBD

Wednesday, March 23
Philadelphia Independence vs. Penn State (United Sports Training Center)  7:00PM

Friday, March 25
Boston Breakers vs. Boston College (Boston, MA)                                         TBD
Philadelphia Independence vs. Rutgers (United Sports Training Center)       4:00PM

Sunday, March 27
Atlanta Beat vs. Florida (KSU Stadium, Kennesaw, GA)                               2:00PM
Sky Blue FC vs. Virginia (Asphalt Green Complex, New York City)               2:00PM
Western New York Flash vs. Ohio State (Sahlen Sports Complex)                TBD

Tuesday, March 29
Atlanta Beat vs. Georgia (Turner Soccer Complex, Athens, GA)                     7:00PM

Thursday, March 31
Sky Blue FC vs. Rutgers (Yurcak Field, Rutgers)                                           12:30PM

Saturday, April 2
Philadelphia Independence vs. UNC (United Sports Training Center)            2:00PM

Sunday, April 3
Sky Blue FC vs. Penn State  (Dideriksen Park, East Brunswick, NJ)     2:00PM
Atlanta Beat vs. Auburn University (Spain Park HS Stadium, Hoover, AL)      4:00PM

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