WILF THORNE/ISI PHOTOS

The National Women’s Soccer League is making plans to return to the field by mid-May, according to Steven Goff of the Washington Post.

While the specifics have yet to be determined, the league is projecting training camps to begin May 16 with the season starting without fans on June 27. As NWSL Players Association director Brooke Elby told Goff, “We have aspirations, but we won’t know until we get there. We can’t speculate because it could change in the next hour or the next day.”

With just nine teams, the NWSL may be poised to return earlier than other major sports leagues that have more players and coaches to account for.

One plan currently being considered by the NWSL is to keep all nine teams within the Washington D.C. area for the 2020 regular season – an idea that is exponentially more feasible with fewer moving parts.

The NWSL shares this advantage with the WNBA, a league with just 12 teams. The portability and cohesiveness of both leagues could help women’s sports return quicker than others – giving them unrestricted access to a sports-starved audience and, potentially, a larger fan base.

While no return plan has been finalized, the proactive nature of the NWSL is an encouraging sign for both women’s sports and sports fans everywhere.