Metuchen, NJ -- United Women’s Soccer opens its 2022 season this weekend with eight intriguing contests across three conferences.
The slate is headlined by a handful of expansion clubs making their UWS debuts, as well as the opening match for last season’s national runner-up, CT Fusion.
Notably, the opening weekend features several clubs which are expertly trained by female coaches, making UWS an exceptional showcase for women’s soccer on the pitch and on the sideline.
Start Time: 7:00 EST
Venue: Wisner Stadium (Pontiac, Michigan)
Action in the Central Conference Great Lakes Division begins with a UWS debut for Michigan Jaguars. A club known for its youth development success, Michigan Jaguars’ inaugural UWS roster features USWNT u17 international Amalia Villarreal, who recently scored five goals in a single match to help the Americans capture the CONCACAF u17 title. Across the pitch will be Corktown Hawks, looking to take the next step after reaching the Conference semifinals last season.
Start Time: 7:30 EST
Venue: Clawson City Park Stadium (Clawson, Michigan)
Two more Central Conference newcomers take the pitch on Sunday as Nationals FC welcomes Cap City Athletic to Clawson City Park Stadium. Coached by former Japanese international Mami Yamaguchi, Nationals FC brings a strong tradition of player development to UWS, and will look to showcase that in their debut contest. Likewise, Cap City Athletic will hope to start a new tradition of UWS Soccer in Lansing, Michigan, with a victory after taking over the mantle from Lansing United.
Start Time: 3:00 CDT
Venue: Stryker Sports Complex (Wichita, Kansas)
The newly formed Heartland Division opens play on Saturday as Side FC 92 visits FC Wichita. Transitioning to the Central Conference, Side FC finds itself in search of a second consecutive playoff appearance. Key returning players include Hayley Leadford and Bree Doeble. FC Wichita, meanwhile, built a solid platform with four victories in eight games during its debut season in UWS. Under new head coach Ashley Burnett-Cordeiro, FC Wichita will strive to progress even further in 2022 with a strong backbone of local talent.
Start Time: 2:00 CDT
Venue: Avila University (Kansas City, Missouri)
Sporting Nebraska will make its UWS debut on Sunday, making the trip to Kansas City to take on KC Courage. Sporting Nebraska will be led by outstanding goalkeeper Keelan Terrell and forward Lindsey Prokop, a first-team all-conference selection last season with Gretna Elite. The 2021 Protagonist Soccer Club of the Year, KC Courage begins the season under the purview of head coach Candice Fabry, looking to follow up on a solid first season in UWS that saw the club produce a pair of NWSL talents in Courtney Claasen and Abigail Small -- both of whom will be back in 2022.
Start Time: 7:00 EST
Venue: Farmington Sports Arena (Farmington, Connecticut)
CT Fusion will get the ball rolling in the East Conference for 2022, fresh off a trip to the UWS National Title Game in 2021. Under the management of a pair of legends in JP Dellacamera and Shep Messing, CT Fusion is sure to be a threat in the New England Division. They’ll welcome Worcester Smiles, which will look for continued progress with new head coach Fiona Walsh, who boasts vast experience at the club level and in the college game.
Start Time: 7:00 EST
Venue: Lusitano Stadium (Ludlow, Massachusetts)
New England Mutiny begins another chapter in its storied history by hosting Scorpions SC in an all-Massachusetts clash. The Mutiny will be led by the returning standout trio of Meghan Cunningham, Cat Barry and Hope Santaniello. After a strong showing in 2021 that saw them place fourth in the East Conference, Scorpions SC can rely on its own star power in the form of returnees Holly Stam, Samantha Calarelli and Emma Tucker.
Start Time: 7:00 CDT
Venue: Lowery Stadium (Allen, Texas)
Luxoria FC makes its UWS debut at home on Saturday, taking on FC Austin Elite. The newcomers will be led by the highly experienced head coach Maurice Uyokpeyi in the first leg of their UWS journey. After qualifying for the playoffs last season, FC Austin has an exciting new head coach in Christiane Lessa, whose career has taken her to Brazil, Norway, China and the NWSL, among other stops.
Start Time: 6:00 CDT
Venue: Old Spanish Trails Park (San Antonio, Texas)
SA Runners will play at the UWS level for the first time on Sunday, hosting WilCo FC at Old Spanish Trails Park. WilCo comes into the new campaign having finished fourth in the highly competitive Southwest Conference a season ago.