The UAB men's soccer team will host 11 regular-season games, the Conference USA tournament and will again serve as the host school for the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer College Cup during the 2012 season, according to the schedule which was released by head coach Mike Getman on Thursday.
It will mark the second consecutive year that the Blazers will serve as the host institution for the NCAA College Cup, which will be played at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. on Dec. 9-11. UAB will also be the site of the 2012 Conference USA Tournament, which will be held Nov. 7-11. It marks the first time the Blazers will host the league championship since 2007.
"This year's schedule is one of the most challenging we have ever had," Getman said. "Our players will be challenged to be their best every week. It will be difficult but it will prepare us well to make a run in the NCAA Tournament.
"Hosting the C-USA Tournament and the NCAA College Cup in the same year gives our team and our sport some amazing exposure," Getman continued. Our players are excited about competing for championships right here in Birmingham."
In all, the Blazers' schedule consists of seven NCAA tournament teams from a year ago, three of which were among the top 16 national seeds.
UAB, the defending C-USA regular season champions, will waste no time preparing for the regular season as it will host a pair of nationally-ranked opponents in preseason play. The Green & Gold will open the season with an exhibition game against the Louisville Cardinals on Sunday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. CT. The Blazers will then finish their preseason schedule when they welcome former UAB assistant coach Dave Giffard and his VCU Rams on Aug. 18 (7 p.m. CT).
The men's soccer team will begin the regular season with back-to-back home games against Mercer (7 p.m. CT) and Georgia Southern (7 p.m. CT) on Aug. 24 and 26, respectively.
Following that, the Blazers will face one of the toughest road trips in some time as they begin a four-game road swing, beginning with an Aug. 31 contest at 2011 NCAA Runner-Up Charlotte (6 p.m. CT). UAB will then play at East Tennessee State on Sept. 2 (Noon CT), before closing out the road trip at powerhouse schools New Mexico (Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. CT) and Clemson (Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. CT).
The team returns home for the first time in nearly a month when it hosts the 15th annual UAB "Soccer For A Cure" Classic, which will take place Sept. 14-16 at West Campus Field. This year's Classic should be another exciting one as the Blazers welcome Fairleigh Dickinson, Memphis and Washington. The Blazers will open tournament play against FDU on Friday at 7 p.m. CT. On Sunday, UAB will conclude the event with a 2 p.m. contest against Washington.
The Blazers will close out the non-conference portion of their schedule on Sept. 22, when they host Lipscomb.
The nine-team Conference USA, which had four NCAA Tournament representatives last season (UAB SMU, UCF and South Carolina), should be as competitive, if not better, in 2012.
The Blazers will play home league contests against SMU (Sept. 29), Kentucky (Oct. 13), Tulsa (Oct. 16) and Marshall (Oct. 20). UAB will have conference road games at FIU (Oct. 6), at South Carolina (Oct. 10), at UCF (Oct. 27) and at Memphis (Oct. 31).
Fans can view the complete schedule by clicking here: 2012 UAB Men's Soccer Schedule.