all scores

NWSL schedule: What we know about regular season, Challenge Cup

Crystal Dunn and the Portland Thorns won the NWSL title in 2022. (Craig Mitchelldyer/USA TODAY Sports)

The 2023 NWSL season is just two months away.

While the league has not yet released the full schedule, it has provided key dates and information on the upcoming season. And while the full schedule for the 2022 season did not arrive until March 16 of last year, NWSL commissioner Berman has promised an earlier schedule drop this time around.

Just Women’s Sports breaks down what we know so far about the 2023 season.

When will the 2023 season begin?

The NWSL’s 11th season will kick off on Saturday, March 25, nearly a month earlier than the 2022 start date of April 29.

Preseason training kicked off this week, with teams bringing in players and hitting the practice fields.

How long is the 2023 season?

Each of the league’s 12 teams will play a 22-game schedule, the same number as in 2022. This year, however, the season will start earlier and will run deeper into the year, ending with the championship match on Saturday, Nov. 11, two weeks later than in 2022.

The postseason will start with the quarterfinal round on Oct. 22, followed by the semifinal round on Nov. 4 and the championship on Nov. 11.

How will the World Cup affect the schedule?

With the 2023 World Cup scheduled to run from July 20 through Aug. 20 in Australia and New Zealand, the NWSL is planning to limit the number of regular season games during that month “to ensure the league’s top players are able to compete for both club and country with minimal conflicts,” per a November news release.

When will the Challenge Cup take place?

The NWSL will host the Challenge Cup for the fourth consecutive year. But for the first time, the tournament will run during the regular season.

The tournament began in 2020 as a replacement for the regular season, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021 and 2022, it took place in the preseason.

But in 2023, the Challenge Cup will take place across six weeks scattered throughout the regular season from April to September, culminating in the semifinals on Wednesday, Sept. 6, and the final on Saturday, Sept. 9.