02 June 2020

NWSL Challenge Cup group fixtures released: your guide to who's playing who and when

The National Women's Soccer League has released its preliminary stage schedule for its one-month season.

Commissioner Lisa Baird announced last week the league will stage 25 games over 30 days in Utah starting on June 27.

The event, dubbed the NWSL Challenge Cup, will see group stages followed by knockout rounds and a final.

One of the opening matches of the tournament will be between defending league champions North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns.

The two sides have a fierce rivalry. Portland beat North Carolina in the 2017 Championship final and North Carolina enacted their revenge a season later when they defeated Portland in the 2018 final.

And Portland may be without one of their star draft picks, Sophia Smith, as she is currently not training after taking a ’knock’, according to coach Mark Parsons.

The preliminary group stage fixtures have been unveiled but the knockout rounds will be revealed at a later date, though it is known the final will be held on July 26.

Full schedule list:

Saturday, June 27: Chicago Red Stars v Orlando Pride, North Carolina Courage v Portland Thorns

Tuesday, June 30:  Washington Spirit v Utah Royals, OL Reign v Sky Blue 

Wednesday, July 1: Portland Thorns v Orlando Pride, North Carolina Courage v Houston Dash 

Saturday, July 4: Chicago Red Stars vs Utah Royals, Washington Spirit v OL Reign  

Sunday, July 5: North Carolina Courage v Orlando Pride, Houston Dash v Sky Blue

Wednesday, July 8: Washington Spirit v Portland Thorns, Utah Royals FC v OL Reign

Thursday, July 9: Orlando Pride v Sky Blue,  Chicago Red Stars v Houston Dash

Sunday, July 12: Utah Royals v North Carolina Courage, Portland Thorns v OL Reign

Monday, July 13: Chicago Red Stars v Sky Blue, Washington Spirit v Houston Dash

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