Aug. 23, 2012
IRVING, Texas - The 18th season of Conference USA men's soccer kicks off Friday, Aug. 24, with seven of nine league teams taking the pitch. All four C-USA entrants into the 2011 NCAA Tournament will be in action opening night, including preseason league favorite South Carolina, No. 16 SMU, No. 21 UAB and UCF, who along with South Carolina, received votes in the preseason national polls.
Complete C-USA Men's Soccer Notebook
Four games with 6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET start times open the 2012 campaign. Marshall, with a league-high three preseason all-conference players, will host Wright State in Huntington, W.Va., while FIU welcomes Bryant to Miami for its season opener. South Carolina, the 2011 co-regular season champions of C-USA, face off against the College of Charleston to open its home slate and UCF travels to intrastate for Florida Atlantic for its 2012 lid-lifter.
UAB, also co-regular season C-USA champions a year ago, open the season at home against Mercer at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET. Also slated for a 7 p.m. CT kickoff is the home opener for Memphis against Wisconsin, while SMU will play Campbell to open its home season at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Tulsa welcomes UMKC to Hurricane Stadium Saturday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m. CT to get the ball rolling for 2012 and Kentucky will open at Dayton, Sunday, Aug. 26, at 4 p.m. CT.
2012 Composite Schedule
Preseason All-Conference Team/Poll
Conference USA teams return 34 all-conference players, including six first team selections, eight second and third team choices and all 13 members of the all-freshman team to a league that earned four bids to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.
The talent pool of returning players will play a combined 28 non-conference matches against 17 different teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2011. Notably, the league will face three of the four College Cup participants, and five of last season's final eight, including four matches against national runner-up Charlotte.
Of the 17 NCAA Tournament qualifiers on C-USA non-conference schedules, nine won at least one match during last year's tournament and five won at least two matches.
UAB will host the top six finishers in the regular season standings for 2012 C-USA Championship, Nov. 7-11 at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. The same venue will host the 2012 NCAA College Cup Dec. 7 and 9. UAB will co-host the College Cup with the Alabama Sports Foundation, marking the second consecutive year that UAB will serve as the host institution for college soccer's national championship.
Fans can follow C-USA online on Twitter (@ConferenceUSA1) with the hashtag #CUSAMSOC and on Facebook (facebook.com/ConferenceUSA).
More information about your favorite team can be found on the school websites:
FIU | Kentucky | Marshall | Memphis | SMU | South Carolina | Tulsa | UAB | UCF
Opening Weekend Schedule (all times Central)
Friday, August 24
Wright State at Marshall 6 p.m.
Bryant University at FIU 6 p.m.
UCF at Florida Atlantic 6 p.m.
Co. of Charleston at South Carolina 6 p.m.
Mercer at UAB 7 p.m.
Wisconsin at Memphis 7 p.m.
Campbell at SMU 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 25
UMKC at Tulsa 7 p.m.
Sunday, August 26
Georgia Southern at UAB 3 p.m.
Kentucky at Dayton 4 p.m.