The USL W-League announced its 2011 divisional alignment and schedule on Wednesday. As reported, the W-League will operate with 27 teams in 2011, down from 29 teams last year.
The Eastern Conference will be split into a Northeast Division and an Atlantic Division, each with six teams. The Victoria Highlanders and LA Strikers have been added to the Western Conference, bringing the total number of conference teams up to eight. Meanwhile, the biggest changes come in the Central Conference. In 2010 that consisted of two divisions, but the contraction of several teams has left the conference with just seven teams.
Each Conference will feature a home-and-away schedule, making a 10 game regular season for Eastern Conference teams (playing only divisional teams), a 12 game regular season for Central Conference teams and a 14 game schedule for Western Conference teams.
The season kicks-off May 14. Curiously, the Victoria Highlanders play four games in the first seven days of the season. The final day of regular season play is July 17, the same day as the Women’s World Cup final. The playoff format is yet to be released, but expect it to follow a final four weekend format similar to the one used in 2010.
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