NWSL releases 2017 home openers schedule

The Equalizer Staff February 21, 2017 27
The Orlando Pride will look to beat the NWSL single-game attendance record, which it set with last season's home opener attendance of 23,403 fans on April 23rd at the Citrus Bowl.

The Orlando Pride will look to beat the NWSL single-game attendance record, which it set with last season’s home opener attendance of 23,403 fans on April 23rd at the Citrus Bowl.

While fans will have to wait a little while longer for the full 2017 schedule, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has released the schedule of 2017 season home openers. The list of home openers includes matches over the first three weeks as Sky Blue does not play at home until April 30. 

The 2017 season kicks off on Saturday, April 15 with four matches being played over the course of the day. One such match is the rematch of the 2016 NWSL Final, which will be played between the Washington Spirit and the North Carolina Courage (formerly the Western New York Flash) at Maryland Soccerplex. 

The Houston Dash, Portland Thorns and Seattle Reign will all open their 2017 seasons they same way they did the 2016 season: with home matches against the Chicago Red Stars, Orlando Pride and Sky Blue FC, respectively. Last season the Dash and Thorns won their first home matches, while the Reign suffered their first ever loss at Memorial Stadium.

FC Kansas City finish out week one with their home opener at Swope Soccer Village on Sunday,  April 16 when they take on the Boston Breakers.

The second week of play kicks off on Saturday, April 22 and features two big home openers. The first is the first home match for the the North Carolina Courage, newest team in the league, who will play host to the Thorns at WakeMed Soccer Park. The Orlando Pride will then look to top their record-setting 2016 season opener attendance of 23,403 fans when they open their 2017 home season at the newly-constructed Orlando City Stadium against the Washington Spirit on the 22nd.

The Chicago Red Stars will also host FCKC on April 22, while the Boston Breakers will close out week two with their home opener against Sky Blue on Sunday, April 23.

After being the opponent for two other teams’ home openers, Sky Blue FC will finally play its home opener, an April 30 contest against FC Kansas City.

All times below are Eastern time.

Full Schedule of Home Openers

WEEK ONE
Houston Dash vs. Chicago Red Stars (BBVA Compass Stadium): Saturday, April 15  at 8:30 p.m.
Portland Thorns FC vs. Orlando Pride (Providence Park): Saturday, April 15 at 4 p.m.
Seattle Reign FC vs. Sky Blue FC (Memorial Stadium): Saturday, April 15 at 11 p.m.
Washington Spirit vs. North Carolina Courage (Maryland Soccerplex): Saturday, April 15 at 3 p.m.
FC Kansas City vs. Boston Breakers (Swope Soccer Village): Sunday, April 16 at 6 p.m.

WEEK TWO
Chicago Red Stars vs. FC Kansas City (Toyota Park): Saturday, April 22 (TBD)
North Carolina Courage vs. Portland Thorns FC (WakeMed Soccer Park): Saturday, April 22 (TBD)
Orlando Pride vs. Washington Spirit (Orlando City Stadium): Saturday, April 22 at 4 p.m.
Boston Breakers vs. Sky Blue FC (Jordan Field): Sunday, April 23 at 6 p.m.

WEEK THREE
Sky Blue FC vs. FC Kansas City (Yurcak Field): Sunday, April 30 at 6 p.m. 

  • Som Termanni

    Interesting to see FCKC open at Swope. They opened at Children’s Mercy Park last season, and the attendance of that match was not only their season home best (8,022) but their second-best attendance of the season home or away, behind only their match at Portland. (Orlando drew only 7,454.)

    • Som Termanni

      And also… April 16 is Easter Sunday. That won’t help either.

      • Steglitz49

        They could always field an all muslim team?

      • guest

        my memory is that 2014 NWSL schedule also had some Easter Sunday/Easter weekend matches with somewhat poor attendance.

      • It won’t help, but at least it’s in the evening. Most Easter celebration stuff happens in the morning and afternoon.

  • Som Termanni
    • Som Termanni

      And Portland-Orlando will be on Lifetime. Already seeing references to “the Alex Morgan-less Pride” so I expect we’ll hear a lot more about her bailing on the league up to and during the broadcast.

      • SpiritFan80

        Ugh. I’m already sick of hearing about and the season hasn’t started yet.

    • Steglitz49

      Are double-headers an admission of defeat?

      • Som Termanni

        Hard to call either a double header. The Timbers game starts at least 5 hours after the Thorns game ends. The Dynamo game starts about 2 hours after the Dash game ends. It’s just weird scheduling.

        • tonysocref

          Best guess is that the Thorns and Timbers will not be a double header. Last report was that the Thorns already have over 10,000 Annual Memberships sold for the 2017 season and the Timbers have sold out every regular season match since joining the MLS. Thorns are showing 12:00 local and the Timbers are scheduled for 7:30.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Exactly. There are a huge number of season ticket “overlaps” (that is, different holders of the same seat for the Timbers and Thorns, respectively). I’ve always been curious who’s in my seat for Timbers matches. I’m on the Timbers waiting list…but I doubt I’ll come to the top in my lifetime.

          • Guest

            You never know they could end up deciding to build their own stadium and move if the waiting list just gets big enough to justify it.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            There’s always talk of a different stadium location for the Timbers, but Providence Park is located so beautifully right in the middle of the city that it’s hard for those ideas to get traction. A modest expansion is coming soon, and they’re working on plans for an even bigger expansion. There’s a good bit of unused space at the south end, but major political-ish issues with using it (the Multnomah Athletic Club basically IS the south wall of the stadium, enjoys its view access, and its membership is VERY wealthy and powerful).

          • I have a feeling there will be a lot of really drunk people once the Timbers match rolls around. I mean, how else are you gonna kill 5 hrs in the city waiting for the next match to start? 😀

      • Rdalford

        more an admission of scheduling overlap.

        Houston Dash and Houston Dynamo matches require separate tickets so not technically a doubleheader
        from Houston Dash announcement
        “Each game will be a separately ticketed event, and the stadium will be cleared between the games”

        Portland matches also appear to be separate tickets evens
        Thorns vs Orlando match is noon PST
        Timbers match is 7:30pm PST

  • TsovLoj

    Like, that’s cool and all, but the final, man, I need to know about the final

    • Steglitz49

      You can always go to the FA women’s Cup final in London on May 13th and then stay on for the ladies Champions League final in Cardiff on June 1st.

  • Som Termanni

    > All game times are to be determined and will be announced at a later time.

    Not true. Most teams have announced times, and some are already selling tickets.

    Houston-Chicago: 3 p.m. Eastern, April 15
    Portland-Orlando: 4 p.m. Eastern, April 15 (TV)
    Washington-NC: 7 p.m. Eastern, April 15
    Seattle-Sky Blue FC: 10 p.m. Eastern, April 15
    FCKC-Boston: 6 p.m. Eastern, April 16
    Chicago-FCKC: Time not announced, April 22
    Orlando-Washington: 4 p.m. Eastern, April 22 (unconfirmed TV)
    NC-Portland: Time not announced, April 22
    Boston-Sky Blue FC: 6 p.m. Eastern, April 23
    Sky Blue FC-FCKC: 6 p.m. Eastern, April 30

    • Steglitz49

      An argument could be made for always starting the new season with the winners of the Championship against the winners of the Shield. Should they be the same then they could take on the losing finalists.

    • Rdalford

      Portland announcement indicates noon (pacific time) start
      “PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC will play host to the Orlando Pride in their opening game of the 2017 NWSL season at Providence Park on Saturday, April 15, featuring in the first-ever Lifetime Game of the Week, it was announced today as the NWSL unveiled details for each club’s home-opening matches for its fifth season. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 noon (Pacific).”

      • Breakers fan

        Odd that for the first week they’d veer from what was said at the press conference announcing the Lifetime deal to be the weekly start time for the game of the week. I know you’re just reporting. Is there a reason they’d play at noon instead of 1pm (4 eastern)? Maybe due to Portland having a doubleheader that day? Not a big deal to me, I just thought that they’d stick to that 4pm eastern start time that they announced. Maybe the noon report you are sending along will eventually change to 1pm, or maybe it won’t.

        • mockmook

          Portland, Orlando, and NWSL websites all agree on 3PM ET

          Not sure where ST got his info

  • Paul Klee

    Just to note Dash will play Reign I would guess in Houston. Just ’cause of weather

    • mockmook

      Huh?

  • Tikitaka

    Does anyone know it Youtube will be streaming the games that aren’t broadcast on tv?

    • wosofan

      They will be streamed but Youtube has not been confirmed as the host.