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What's next for U.S. women
by Paul Kennedy, August 22nd, 2008 7AM

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With the end of the Olympic women's soccer competition, plans for the 2009 launch of Women's Professional Soccer begin in earnest. The seven teams expected to begin play in 2009 must submit their preferences for U.S. women's national team players on Sept. 2. A W-League combine will take place Sept. 4-7 in Tampa.

The U.S. women will reassemble Sept. 13-20 for three games against Ireland in WPS markets Philadelphia, New Jersey and Chicago, about the same time they are allocated to WPS teams.

According to Swedish newspaper Vasterbottens Folkblad, WPS official Lauren Gregg has been given permission by Swedish champion Umea to talk with Brazilian star Marta.

It is reported to have been denied permission to talk with Marta's teammate, Elaine, and Swiss teen sensation Ramona Bachmann, whose contracts extend through the 2009 season.

TIMETABLE
Sept. 2 -- Teams submit U.S. women's national team player preferences to WPS.
Sept. 15-19  -- U.S. women's national team player pool domestic allocation
Sept. 22-26  -- Draft of top international players (2 per WPS team)
Oct. 6 -- General draft of domestic and international players
Dec. 10-13 -- West Coast Combine (including players who have completed their NCAA eligibility)
Dec. 17-20 -- East Coast Combine (including players who have completed their NCAA eligibility)
Week of Jan. 14-18 -- WPS post-combine draft
February -- WPS tryouts in team's local market begin.
March 1  -- WPS preseason begins
April 4/5 -- WPS regular season begins



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