The National Women’s Soccer League unveiled its 2016 schedule on Thursday, and despite there being 10 teams in the league now, there will be imbalance in the schedule.
The regular season will be 20 games, beginning on April 16 and ending on Sept. 25. There will be a break for the entirety of the Olympics, with no games on dates between August 1 and August 25. Women’s soccer at the Olympics in Rio begins on August 3, with the gold-medal game on August 19. The U.S. women are three-time defending gold medalists.
Each NWSL team will play eight other teams twice — once home and once away — but play a ninth opponent four times in the regular season — twice home and twice away. The extra pair of games for each team will come against a regional rival, with sources telling The Equalizer that such a decision was made with travel costs in mind.
Thus, Portland and Seattle will play four times in the regular season. Chicago and Kansas City will play four times and so forth.
The complete 2016 NWSL schedule can be found here. There is no word yet on the start of the playoffs or the date or location of the NWSL Championship, which will be at a predetermined site. There are also no details on a TV deal.
More reaction to follow.