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Jessica Berman: NWSL’s FIFA 23 debut represents ‘monumental milestone’

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(Graphic courtesy of NWSL)

The NWSL will debut in FIFA 23 starting on March 15, the league announced Monday.

All 12 NWSL teams will appear in the video game across all platforms as part of the league’s new partnership with EA Sports. Team kits, trophies and four NWSL stadiums also will be available.

The game also features several iconic goal celebrations, including Sophia Smith’s championship-worthy shrug for the Portland Thorns.

NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman called the integration into the blockbuster soccer video game “a monumental milestone” as the league continues to push boundaries for the women’s game. The NWSL’s 11th season is set to kick off on March 25.

“The athletes that call the NWSL home are some of the best in the world and we’re excited for the opportunity to further showcase their talent through this unique gaming experience,” Berman said in a news release. “We can’t wait for fans to begin playing and we look forward to continuing this celebration of the players and the league when we kick off our 11th season on March 25.”

EA already has added England’s Women’s Super League and France’s Division 1 Féminine to FIFA 23. Both leagues launched with the game in September. Now women’s soccer fans will have even more options.

In addition to the integration, EA Sports will work with the NWSL Players Association to help elevate players both on and off the pitch.

“Today is a historic day for both our players and fans,” NWSLPA executive director Meghann Burke said in a news release. “This is a thrilling time for women’s football, and we’re looking forward to collaborating with EA SPORTS to champion the sport and create new opportunities for fans around the world to engage with these incredibly talented players.”

A number of NWSL players featured in the FIFA 23 women’s player ratings ahead of the game’s launch, including Alex Morgan, who sat at No. 7. The San Diego Wave striker was the lone American in the top 25. OL Reign veteran Megan Rapinoe had fallen out of the top 25 despite finishing in the top 10 in both of the previous editions.