The National Women’s Soccer League is coming back. After weeks of speculation, the NWSL announced plans on Tuesday to resume competition starting Sept. 5. Named the “Fall Series,” the NWSL will have teams compete in three-team pods, for a total of 18 matches.
The competition will last for about seven weeks, running from Sept. 5 until Oct. 17.
The team pods include the follow.
- Pod 1 (West): OL Reign, Portland Thorns FC and Utah Royals FC.
- Pod 2 (Northeast): Chicago Red Stars, Sky Blue FC and Washington Spirit.
- Pod 3 (South): North Carolina Courage, Orlando Pride and Houston Dash.
According to the NWSL, CBS is airing matches. There will be an NWSL Game of the Week NWSL on CBS every Saturday in September. Meanwhile, CBS Sports Network will air the Game of the Week for three October matches on Saturday. CBS All-Access is also set to stream matches.
“The 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup on CBS All Access and CBS was very successful this summer, driving record numbers for the League across all platforms. We are thrilled to be able to build on that momentum with the return of the NWSL in September,” Dan Weinberg, EVP, Programming, CBS Sports, said. “We will once again capitalize on CBS’ multi-platform assets for this outstanding property with games on CBS Sports Network and CBS All Access, as well as four Saturday afternoon games on CBS, creating even more exposure for the League.
“Together, with our great partners at the NWSL, we look forward to another memorable run of women’s soccer this fall.”
NWSL clubs will be traveling to clubs in their determined pod. Rosters, the schedule and competition rules will be announced in the coming week, according to the league.
Lisa Baird, NWSL commissioner, said that the women of the NWSL “want to compete.”
“… We’ve certainly heard from our fans all over the world looking for more action this year,” Baird said. “I’d like to thank the NWSL Player’s Association for their constant collaboration, as well as CBS for continuing to invest in our league’s growth and this unprecedented opportunity to showcase the NWSL to a world-wide audience, week-in, week-out.”
The NWSL will still follow the medical protocols set in place for the NWSL Challenge Cup. According to the league, the protocols have been updated to include precautions for regional travel.