A Women's Professional Soccer release from Charlie Corr of the Chicago Red Stars
Women's Professional Soccer announced the calendar for its 2011 WPS Season, the league's third year of play featuring the top players from around the world. In 2010, over 20 countries were represented in WPS.
Next season, WPS teams will play an 18-game schedule, comprised of nine home games and nine away matches from April through August. The league's Board of Governors also voted to retain the existing playoff format used during the first two seasons.
Opening weekend has been set for April 9-10, with the 2011 WPS Championship presented by Citi scheduled for the weekend of August 27-28. Similar to the past two years, preseason will begin no earlier than March 1; retaining the playoff format will continue to see four teams qualify for the postseason. The last two regular seasons have seen exciting down-to-the-wire finishes with teams securing their playoff berths on the final weekend of the regular season.
The winner of the regular season earns an automatic berth into the WPS Championship presented by Citi and the regular-season runner-up will host the WPS Super Semifinal against the winner of the No. 3 vs. No. 4 in the WPS First Round.
With the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup™ scheduled for June 26-July 17, WPS will take the first two weeks of the tournament off from league play and thus will not schedule a 2011 WPS All-Star Game.
"Going into year three, we are refining and adjusting our schedule to put in place what works best for our teams, fans and national television," WPS CEO Anne-Marie Eileraas said in the release. "We are returning to our timeline from the inaugural season, which will accommodate the World Cup and hopefully boost average team attendance."
The 2011 regular-season schedule and national television schedule for "WPS Sunday on FSC" will be announced in February. Kick-off times for the WPS Playoffs will also be announced together with the league's national television partner, Fox Soccer Channel, next year.