20210308 nwsl challenge cup announcement rotator

Thorns FC begin play in 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup on April 9 at Providence Park against KC NWSL

Portland plays host to Cascadia rival OL Reign on April 21; travels for road matches against Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash

PORTLAND, Ore. – The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) today announced the schedule and broadcast details for all 21 matches as part of the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup presented by Secret Deodorant. Portland Thorns FC will open play against KC NWSL on Friday, April 9, at Providence Park. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific), the match will be broadcast on Paramount+, the newly launched premium streaming service from ViacomCBS.

Following their opening match, Thorns FC will travel for a road match against the Chicago Red Stars on April 15; kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. (Pacific) on Paramount+. Portland returns to Providence Park for its second home game of the Challenge Cup, squaring off against Cascadia rival OL Reign on April 21 at 7 p.m. (Pacific) with a national broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Thorns FC conclude division play on the road against the Houston Dash on May 2; kickoff is slated for 4:30 p.m. (Pacific) on Paramount+. All games will be available internationally on Twitch, including in Canada for all games that are not on CBS Sports Network.

This year’s tournament will see the league’s 10 teams organized into two divisions, East and West. The East is comprised of Racing Louisville FC, North Carolina Courage, Orlando Pride, Sky Blue FC and the Washington Spirit. The West includes Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, OL Reign and Portland. Each team will play four matches in home markets, as approved by the NWSL’s Medical Task Force, followed by the top team from each division competing in the final slated for May 8. The championship site will be determined by the league at a later date. For a list of the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup rules and regulations that differ from NWSL’s regular season policies and procedures, click here.

Following the Challenge Cup, the NWSL’s 10 teams will face off in a 24-game regular season beginning May 15. The league will not break for the 2021 Olympic Games and the regular season will conclude on Oct. 30. Six teams will qualify for an expanded NWSL playoffs set to begin on Nov. 6, with the top two seeds receiving a first-round bye. The league’s ninth season will conclude with the NWSL Championship on Nov. 20.

Portland Thorns FC 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup Schedule

Date Opponent Kickoff (Pacific) Broadcast
Fri., April 9 KC NWSL 7:30 p.m. Paramount+
Thurs., April 15 @Chicago Red Stars 4:30 p.m. Paramount+
Wed. April 21 OL REIGN 7 p.m. CBS Sports Network
Sun. May 2 @Houston Dash 4:30 p.m. Paramount+

Click here for the complete 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup presented by Secret Deodorant schedule.

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