The NWSL Challenge Cup is here, with teams set to compete for a record prize pool of $1 million.
Beginning on April 19, three groups of four teams each will compete in the group stage, which will conclude on Aug. 6. All three division winners will advance to the semifinals, as well as the runner-up with the most points across all the divisions.
For a more in-depth look at players and teams to watch during the Challenge Cup, see staff writer Claire Watkins’ predictions for the revamped 2023 edition.
If teams end up tied in points after the divisional round, the first tiebreak is goal differential, followed by goals scored. After that, the tiebreak moves to head-to-head results between the teams that are tied, followed by goal differential in those games. From there, it goes to head-to-head goals scored in games between the teams that are tied.
At the end of all of that, if teams are still tied, the tiebreak will rely on the number of yellow and red cards received by each team, and then to a draw.
The tournament is being held concurrently with the regular season for the first time. The inaugural 2020 edition replaced that year’s pandemic-canceled season, and the 2021 and 2022 editions were played during the preseason.
Challenge Cup games mostly will be played on Wednesdays, although during the World Cup break games also will take place on Friday and Saturday nights.
The two semifinal matches will take place on Sept. 6, followed by the championship match on Sept. 9.
Note: All kickoff times are listed in Eastern Time. All matches are available on Paramount+ unless otherwise noted.