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Where EAST meets the Northwest

BACK ON THE PITCH. The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) was the first American professional sports league to return to action on June 27, 2020. The opening match of the league’s Challenge Cup featured the North Carolina Courage and the Portland Thorns and drew a reported 572,000 viewers on CBS. Pictured is Courage fullback Abby Erceg heading the ball during the opening match against the Thorns in Utah. (Photo/ISI Photos, courtesy of the North Carolina Courage)

From The Asian Reporter, V30, #08 (July 6, 2020), page 10.

NWSL Challenge Cup kicks off in Utah without fans

‘The National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) 2020 Challenge Cup kicked off June 27 at Zions Bank Stadium in Utah. The match was televised live on CBS to a reported audience of 572,000. The first three matches of the tournament also featured 12 goals scored by 11 different players.

The 25-game competition highlights eight clubs each playing four games to determine seeding. The teams then advance to the quarterfinals, when the tournament moves to a knockout phase. The semifinals are scheduled for 9:30am and 7:00pm on Wednesday, July 22, and final is Sunday, July 26 at 9:30am.

To ensure the safest possible environment for players, coaches, officials, and essential staff involved in the Challenge Cup, everyone is subject to consistent testing, temperature readings, and symptom review throughout their stay in Utah. An "NWSL Village" has been created to try to control as much of the surroundings as possible. Spectators are not allowed to attend any games because of the protocols.

Fans in the U.S. and Canada are able to watch all of the games live via the CBS All Access subscription service. Time-delayed re-airings of the games are broadcast on CBS Sports Network. The championship match is carried live on CBS. Fans outside the U.S. and Canada can stream the full tournament on Twitch. To learn more about the tournament, visit <>.

Editor’s note: In U.S. men’s pro soccer, Major League Soccer (MLS) is scheduled to begin its abbreviated season on July 8 with the 54-game MLS is Back Tournament, in which all clubs stay and play in Florida. The Portland Timbers play their first match on Monday, July 13 at 7:30pm.

2020 NWSL Challenge Cup

Schedule & results (as of July 5)

June 27

NC Courage 2, Portland Thorns 1

Chicago Red Stars 1, Washington Spirit 2

June 30 & July 1

Houston Dash 3, Utah Royals 3

OL Reign 0, Sky Blue FC 0

Portland Thorns 0, Chicago Red Stars 0

Washington Spirit 0, NC Courage 2

July 4 & 5

Utah Royals 1, Sky Blue FC 0

Houston Dash 2, OL Reign 0

NC Courage 1, Chicago Red Stars 0

Portland Thorns 1, Washington Spirit 1

Wednesday, July 8

9:30am: Utah Royals vs. OL Reign

7:00pm: Sky Blue FC vs. Houston Dash

Sunday, July 12

9:30am: Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash

7:00pm: Chicago Red Stars vs. Utah Royals

Monday, July 13

9:30am: OL Reign vs. Portland Thorns

7:00pm: Sky Blue FC vs. NC Courage

Friday, July 17

9:30am: Quarterfinal 1

7:00pm: Quarterfinal 2

Saturday, July 18

9:30am: Quarterfinal 3

7:00pm: Quarterfinal 4

Wednesday, July 22

9:30am: Semifinal 1

7:00pm: Semifinal 2

Sunday, July 26

9:30am: Championship


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