The National Women’s Soccer League announced on Wednesday that the 2021 season will begin on April 9 with the NWSL Challenge Cup that will feature clubs hosting opponents for in-market matches.
Following the Challenge Cup, all 10 NWSL teams will compete in a 24-game regular season scheduled to start on May 15. The campaign ends on Oct. 30, with the six-team playoffs set to kick off on Nov. 6. The NWSL Championship will be held on Nov. 20.
Details on the upcoming Challenge Cup and also the full regular-season schedule will be released by the league at a later time. There will be no break for the Summer Olympics that were postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The NWSL’s Medical Task Force has worked tirelessly in coordination with public health officials to update the league’s medical and testing protocols to ensure the safest environment for our players, teams and staff to return to competition," the league said in its prepared statement.
According to ESPN, United States Women's National Team stars Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and Carli Lloyd are expected to play in the 2021 NWSL season after not participating in the 2020 campaign.