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The National Women's Soccer League unveiled its schedule for the upcoming 2021 regular season on Tuesday, with full broadcast details to be announced at a later time with matches airing on Paramount+CBS Sports Network, CBS and Twitch. 

Opening day is set for May 15, a week after the 2021 Challenge Cup final, with a tripleheader featuring newcomers Racing Louisville FC at home against Kansas City at Lynn Family Stadium. The 2020 Challenge Cup champions Houston Dash will open on the road at Red Bull Arena against the recently rebranded NY/NJ Gotham FC. OL Reign and North Carolina Courage close out the day at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington.  

Regular season format

The basics on how the ninth season in NWSL history will work? With the addition of Racing Louisville, we now have 10 teams and each will play a 24-game regular season -- 12 home and 12 away. Unlike the Challenge Cup, there won't be any divisions. Instead, we'll get all 10 teams in a single table.

No Olympic break

The 2020 regular season was not played due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and as a result of the Olympics in Tokyo being postponed until 2021, the NWSL regular season will not break for the Summer Games in Japan, which will last from July 21-Aug. 6. We're looking at 13 total NWSL games in that span, and that's without counting the pre- and post- breaks Olympic players will probably need for preparation and recovery.  

Regular season finale

The regular season comes to an end on Sunday, Oct. 31, Halloween, with two matches simultaneously played at 2 p.m. ET:

  • NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Racing Louisville FC (Red Bull Arena)
  • Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash (Audi Field)

Playoff format

A new playoff format will now have the top six teams at the end of the regular season advance to the expanded NWSL playoffs, with the top two seeds receiving a first-round bye. The league will close out the 2021 campaign with the 2021 NWSL championship game on Saturday, Nov. 20.  

Schedule by date

(All times U.S./Eastern)

Saturday, May 15

  • Racing Louisville FC vs. Kansas City, 5 p.m.
  • NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Houston Dash, 7 p.m.
  • OL Reign vs. NC Courage, 10 p.m.

Sunday, May 16

  • Orlando Pride vs. Washington Spirit, 6 p.m.
  • Portland Thorns FC vs. Chicago Red Stars, 7 p.m.

Friday, May 21

  • Racing Louisville FC vs. Washington Spirit, 7:30 p.m. 

Saturday, May 22

  • NC Courage vs. Orlando Pride, 7 p.m.
  • Chicago Red Stars vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 8 p.m.

Sunday, May 23

  • Houston Dash vs. Kansas City, 7 p.m.
  • Portland Thorns FC vs. OL Reign, 10 p.m.

Wednesday, May 26

  • Orlando Pride vs. Portland Thorns FC, 7 p.m.
  • Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash, 7:30 p.m.
  • Kansas City vs. Chicago Red Stars, 8 p.m. 

Friday, May 28

  • NC Courage vs. Racing Louisville FC, 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 29

  • Houston Dash vs. Chicago Red Stars, 8:30 p.m. 

Sunday, May 30

  • NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Portland Thorns FC, 3 p.m.
  • Orlando Pride vs. Kansas City, 6 p.m.
  • OL Reign vs. Washington Spirit, 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

  • Chicago Red Stars vs. NC Courage, 3 p.m.
  • NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. OL Reign, 7 p.m.
  • Portland Thorns FC vs. Racing Louisville FC, 10:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

  • Kansas City vs. Houston Dash, 2 p.m.
  • Washington Spirit vs. Orlando Pride, 2 p.m.

Saturday, June 19

  • NC Courage vs. OL Reign, 7 p.m.
  • Chicago Red Stars vs. Washington Spirit, 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 20

  • Portland Thorns FC vs. Kansas City, 3 p.m.
  • Racing Louisville FC vs. Houston Dash, 3 p.m.
  • Orlando Pride vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, June 22

  • OL Reign vs. Chicago Red Stars, 10 p.m.

Wednesday, June 23

  • Kansas City vs. Orlando Pride, 2 p.m.
  • Racing Louisville FC vs. NC Courage, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 26

  • Chicago Red Stars vs. Racing Louisville FC, 2 p.m.
  • OL Reign vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 4 p.m.
  • NC Courage vs. Portland Thorns FC, 7 p.m.
  • Houston Dash vs. Orlando Pride, 8:30 p.m.
  • Kansas City vs. Washington Spirit, 8:30 p.m.

Friday, July 2

  • NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Kansas City, 7 p.m.
  • Washington Spirit vs. Chicago Red Stars, 7 p.m.
  • Houston Dash vs. OL Reign, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 3

  • Racing Louisville FC vs. Portland Thorns FC, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 4

  • Orlando Pride vs. NC Courage, 6 p.m.

Friday, July 9

  • Orlando Pride vs. Racing Louisville FC, 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 10

  • Washington Spirit vs. NC Courage, 7 p.m.

Sunday, July 11

  • Portland Thorns FC vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 3 p.m.
  • Chicago Red Stars vs. Houston Dash, 6 p.m.
  • OL Reign vs. Kansas City, 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 17

  • NC Courage vs. Houston Dash, 7 p.m.

Sunday, July 18

  • Washington Spirit vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 5 p.m.
  • Chicago Red Stars vs. OL Reign, 6 p.m.
  • Portland Thorns FC vs. Orlando Pride, 10:30 p.m.

Friday, July 23

  • Kansas City vs. NC Courage, 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 24

  • Orlando Pride vs. OL Reign, 7 p.m.
  • Houston Dash vs. Portland Thorns FC, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 25

  • Racing Louisville FC vs. Washington Spirit, 3 p.m.
  • NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Chicago Red Stars, 5 p.m.

Saturday, July 31

  • NC Courage vs. Orlando Pride, 7 p.m.
  • OL Reign vs. Racing Louisville FC, 10 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 1

  • Portland Thorns FC vs. Kansas City, 3 p.m.
  • Chicago Red Stars vs. Washington Spirit, 6 p.m.
  • Houston Dash vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 7

  • NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. NC Courage, 7 p.m.
  • Washington Spirit vs. Portland Thorns FC, 7 p.m.
  • OL Reign vs. Houston Dash, 10 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 8

  • Racing Louisville FC vs. Kansas City, 3 p.m.
  • Chicago Red Stars vs. Orlando Pride, 6 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 13

  • Houston Dash vs. Washington Spirit, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 14

  • Orlando Pride vs. Portland Thorns FC, 7 p.m.
  • Kansas City vs. OL Reign, 8 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 15

  • NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Racing Louisville FC, 5 p.m.
  • NC Courage vs. Chicago Red Stars, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 18

  • Racing Louisville FC vs. Chicago Red Stars, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 21

  • NC Courage vs. Kansas City, 7 p.m.
  • OL Reign vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 10 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 22

  • Washington Spirit vs. Orlando Pride, 5 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 25

  • Kansas City vs. Racing Louisville FC, 8 p.m.
  • Portland Thorns FC vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 28

  • Chicago Red Stars vs. Kansas City, 8 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 29

  • Washington Spirit vs. NC Courage, 5 p.m.
  • NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Orlando Pride, 5 p.m.
  • Houston Dash vs. Racing Louisville FC, 7 p.m.
  • OL Reign vs. Portland Thorns FC, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 1

  • Houston Dash vs. OL Reign, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 4

  • NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Chicago Red Stars, 7 p.m.
  • Racing Louisville FC vs. OL Reign, 7:30 p.m.
  • Portland Thorns FC vs. Washington Spirit, 10:30 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 5

  • Orlando Pride vs. Houston Dash, 6 p.m.
  • Kansas City vs. NC Courage, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 10

  • Kansas City vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 8 p.m.
  • Houston Dash vs. Chicago Red Stars, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 11

  • Orlando Pride vs. Racing Louisville FC, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 12

  • Washington Spirit vs. OL Reign, 5 p.m.
  • NC Courage vs. Portland Thorns FC, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 25

  • NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. NC Courage, 3 p.m.
  • Chicago Red Stars vs. Portland Thorns FC, 8 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 26

  • Racing Louisville vs. Houston Dash, 3 p.m.
  • Washington Spirit vs. Kansas City, 5 p.m.
  • OL Reign vs. Orlando Pride, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 1

  • NC Courage vs. Washington Spirit, 7 p.m.
  • Racing Louisville FC vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 2

  • Chicago Red Stars vs. Orlando Pride, 8 p.m.
  • Kansas City vs. Houston Dash, 8 p.m.
  • Portland Thorns FC vs. OL Reign, 10 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 6

  • NC Courage vs. Racing Louisville FC, 7 p.m.
  • NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Washington Spirit, 7 p.m.
  • Portland Thorns FC vs. Houston Dash, 10 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 9

  • Orlando Pride vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 7 p.m.
  • Washington Spirit vs. Racing Louisville FC, 7 p.m.
  • Houston Dash vs. NC Courage, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 10

  • Kansas City vs. Portland Thorns FC, 7 p.m.
  • OL Reign vs. Chicago Red Stars, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 16

  • Racing Louisville FC vs. Orlando Pride, 7:30 p.m.
  • Chicago Red Stars vs. Kansas City, 8 p.m.
  • OL Reign vs. Washington Spirit, 10 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 17

  • NC Courage vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 2 p.m.
  • Houston Dash vs. Portland Thorns FC, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 29

  • Orlando Pride vs. Chicago Red Stars, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 30

  • Kansas City vs. OL Reign, 8 p.m.
  • Portland Thorns vs. NC Courage, 10 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 31

  • NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Racing Louisville FC, 2 p.m.
  • Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash, 2 p.m.