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Report: NWSL will abandon Challenge Cup tournament in 2024

The North Carolina Courage is looking to repeat as NWSL Challenge Cup champion. (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

The 2023 NWSL Challenge Cup will conclude with the championship match Sept. 9. It might be the tournament’s final bow.

The NWSL plans to abandon the Challenge Cup as a tournament in 2024, according to a report in The Equalizer. The league instead will stage a showcase between the winners of this year’s NWSL Shield and NWSL Championship, per the report.

The tournament, which is played alongside the NWSL regular season, was started in 2020 after the pandemic wiped out the regular season before it even began. Now it might be on its way out.

The OL Reign will play Racing Louisville FC in one semifinal match, with the Kansas City Current against the North Carolina Courage in the other. Both games will be held on Sept. 6 on the CBS Sports Network. The winners of the tournament will claim $1 million in prize money to be split among the players.

The reported new one-off version of the Challenge Cup will mirror the format in other countries, where the previous season’s domestic cup winner plays the league champion.

The Houston Dash won the inaugural Challenge Cup, with the Portland Thorns winning in 2021 and the North Carolina Courage last year.