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Tonight: The NWSL Challenge Cup kicks off

Bryan Byerly/ISI Photos

The 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup kicks off tonight with a rematch of last year’s title game between the Houston Dash and the Chicago Red Stars.

Tournament details:

  • Dates: April 9th — May 8th
  • Format: Round-robin group stage followed by a Championship game between each division’s top teams.
  • West division: Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, OL Reign, Portland.
  • East division: Gotham FC (formerly Sky Blue), North Carolina, Orlando, Louisville, Washington.

Teams we’ll have our eyes on: 

  • Portland: They’ll be without their USWNT stars for the opening weekend, but they enter the season as the prohibitive favorites.
  • North Carolina: For the first time in a while, they look beatable. And yet, any squad featuring Lynn Williams, Debinha and Jess McDonald can’t be counted out.
  • Louisville: The NWSL’s newest club could have a rocky first year on the field. Off the field, they’re already crushing the brand messaging. That’s half the battle at this stage!


  • Houston vs Chicago: 8:30pm ET on CBSSN
  • Portland vs Kansas City: 10:30pm ET on Paramount+


  • North Carolina vs Washington: 3:30pm ET on Paramount+
  • Louisville vs Orlando: 7:00pm ET on Paramount+

Note: all games stream internationally on Twitch.

Get prepped with our very own Haley Kopmeyer’s list of 12 players she’ll be watching for this season.