NWSL releases 2020 schedule, which begins with a rematch of 2019 championship

Chris Cwik
·2 min read
The North Carolina Courage celebrate with the championship trophy following their win over the Chicago Red Stars in an NWSL championship soccer game in Cary, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
The reigning-champion Courage will kick off their season against a familiar opponent. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

The Chicago Red Stars have waited months to get revenge on the North Carolina Courage. Thankfully, once the National Women’s Soccer League’s 2020 season starts, they won’t have to wait much longer.

The Red Stars and Courage will kick off the 2020 season on April 18 with a rematch of the 2019 championship. The Courage defeated the Red Stars 4-0 in that contest, giving the Courage their second straight NWSL championship. Chicago will look to soften those wounds with a win to start the 2020 season.

What does the rest of opening weekend in the NWSL look like?

Two other games will take place on April 18. The Washington Spirit will take on Reign FC, and the Portland Thorns FC will play the Utah Royals FC. The Orlando Pride and Sky Blue FC won’t begin their seasons until the following day, April 19. That will be the only game that day. The Houston Dash will begin their season the following week, where they’ll open against the Courage on April 25.

What other key games are on the schedule?

On top of the 2019 championship rematch on April 18, the Red Stars will be involved in another game soccer fans will want to see. The team will travel to Houston on July 10, marking the first time Kealia Ohai will face her former team following her offseason trade to Chicago. Ohai, who was drafted by the Dash in the first round of the 2014 draft, was traded to the Red Stars for a first-round pick in the offseason. She recently married Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.

On a similar note, Pride defender Emily Sonnett will return to Portland to face her former team on May 6. Sonnett was traded from the Thorns to the Pride in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NWSL draft. The Thorns selected Sophia Smith with the pick.

NWSL will take a break for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

In July, the league will take a week off for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Games will halt from July 20 through July 26. The NWSL will resume action Aug. 1. A number of players from the NWSL have already been selected for the 2020 Olympic qualifying tournament, including Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe.

When do the NWSL playoffs begin?

The final day of the regular season is Oct. 18, which means the playoffs will begin in early November. The semifinal matches will take place Nov. 8. The championship will occur Nov. 14.

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