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New season begins on May 8
January 30th, 2009 7AM
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[W-LEAGUE] The W-League will open its 15th season on May 8 when the Hampton Roads Piranhas, one of the league's original teams from 1995, visit the Charlotte Lady Eagles.

(Click here for the complete schedule.)

The defending champion Pali Blues host the Los Angeles Legends the following night in one of four games.

The Great Lakes and Northeast divisions will play 14-game schedules, while the other divisions all play a 12-match campaign.

The regular season concludes July 19. The regular-season champion (based on point percentage) will have a bye into the semifinals. Teams will compete in three conference tournaments July 24-26 to determine the other three league semifinalists for the semifinal weekend of July 31-Aug. 1 at two locations. The championship game will be played the weekend of Aug. 7-8 and will air on Fox Soccer Channel.

The W-League will consist of 37 teams in 2009, playing in five divisions that comprise the three conferences. The Northern Division is now the Great Lakes Division.

There are two expansion teams -- Buffalo and Quebec City -- and six teams are not returning -- Bradenton, Carolina, Fredericksburg, Michigan, Vermont, West Virginia. (Fredericksburg and West Virginia won one game between them in 2008.)

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division: Atlanta Silverbacks, Cary Lady Clarets (formerly Carolina RailHawks), Charlotte Lady Eagles, Hampton Roads Piranhas, Northern Virginia Majestics, Richmond Kickers Destiny, Tampa Bay Hellenic.
Northeast Division: Boston Renegades, Connecticut Passion, Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues (formerly Jersey Sky Blue), Long Island Rough Riders, New Jersey Wildcats, New York Magic, Washington Freedom, Western Mass Lady Pioneers.

Central Conference
Midwest Division: Chicago Red Eleven (formerly Chicago Gaels), Cleveland Internationals, Fort Wayne Fever, FC Indiana Lionesses, Kalamazoo Outrage, Minnesota Lightning, West Michigan Firewomen.
Great Lakes Division: Buffalo Flash (expansion team), Hamilton Avalanche, Laval Comets, London Gryphons, Ottawa Fury, Quebec City Arsenal (expansion team), Toronto Lady Lynx, Western New York Pride (formerly Rochester Rhinos).

Western Conference
Colorado Force (formerly Fort Collins Force), Los Angeles Legends, Pali Blues, Real Colorado Cougars, Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps, Ventura County Fusion.

Not returning:
Carolina Dynamo
Bradenton Athletics
Fredericksburg Lady Gunners
Michigan Hawks
Vermont Lady Voltage
West Virginia Illusion


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