By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - The University of South Florida’s soccer teams are in the national spotlight before their seasons officially kick off.
The USF men’s team earned the No. 24 spot in TopDrawerSoccer.com’s preseason Tournament 48 poll, while the USF women’s team is 29th nationally in the Tournament 64 rankings.
The USF men were recently picked to finish second in the Big East’s Red Division in the conference preseason poll. The Bulls made their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2010.
“We’re grateful to be considered, but more importantly the fact that so many other polls don’t even have us in it is really our motivation right now,” USF men’s head coach George Kiefer said.
The USF women were selected to finish fourth in the American Division in the Big East preseason poll. The Bulls earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the program’s history last season also made the Big East Tournament final.
The USF men play an exhibition against Tampa in the Bulls’ new on-campus stadium at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23 before heading to Winston, N.C., to face Wake Forest in their season opener on Saturday, Aug. 27. The team’s regular season home opener is Friday, Sept. 2 against Georgia State at 7 p.m.
The USF women start their regular season at Central Florida at 7 p.m. Friday and play their first game in the new stadium at home Friday, Aug. 26 against Indiana at 7:30 p.m.
Season tickets can be purchased online at GoUSFBulls.com.
For a complete look at the preseason soccer rankings, go online to topdrawersoccer.com. The site updates its rankings every Monday.