This blog is and has always been unabashedly pro-soccer. We love the game, we have our favorite teams, and some of us (read: me) tweet about it way too much. Just like Collin has an irrational love of USF volleyball, mine is USF men's and women's soccer. Now that that's out of the way, on with the post.
Fixture lists for the 2016 USF men's and women's soccer seasons were recently released. Let's run down the highlights for each team as they each look to build off last year's NCAA Tournament appearances.
The non-conference schedule is headlined by a home game against Clemson, last year's College Cup runners-up, on September 27, and a visit to Maryland, coming off an Elite Eight appearance, on September 5. The season begins with an exhibition against FIU* on August 15, followed by the Rowdies Cup match against Tampa on August 20. Michigan is the first regular-season opponent on Friday, August 26. And personally, I'm looking forward to the match against San Francisco on September 10. Finally, USF vs. USF!
The American conference schedule deals the Bulls a pretty tough hand in their matchups with the other NCAA Tournament participants from last year. USF hosts Tulsa on a short week, and has to travel to UConn and SMU. While you're at the USF-FSU football game on September 24, the soccer team will be starting conference play at C.Florida. The regular season concludes Saturday, November 5, against Temple.
Only four teams will make the American men's soccer tournament this year. The top overall seed will host semifinals on Friday, November 11 and the championship on Sunday, November 13.
CLICK HERE for the entire 2016 men's soccer schedule.
* - I guess we're scheduling them in stuff again, even if this game doesn't actually count? I wanted that ban to last forever, or at least until Pete Garcia finally gets run out of town.
The women's non-conference schedule is a bit easier, as they look to rack up as many wins as possible and overcome their weak conference. The biggest non-conference game is actually an exhibition against Florida on Saturday, August 13. (This is the first home athletic event of 2016-17 for USF, so set your watches now -- only 39 days to go.) Other non-conference opponents include home games against UMass and Alabama, and trips to Kentucky and Old Dominion.
Conference play begins Thursday, September 29 against SMU, the first of three straight home matches. They visit Connecticut on Sunday, October 16, and a week later host Cincinnati, who beat them out of the American conference title last season on penalties. The last game of the regular season is Sunday, October 30, at Memphis.
Eight teams will make the American women's soccer tournament. Quarterfinal play begins Wednesday, November 2, at the home of the top overall seed.