The National Women's Soccer League is returning in June with a new competition that was officially announced on Wednesday. The 2020 Challenge Cup will see all nine teams return to play in a 25-game tournament in Utah starting on June 27 at Zions Bank Stadium. All matches will take place without fans in attendance.
Every match will air on CBS All Access while the opener and final on July 26 will air on CBS. The 2020 regular season was set to begin in April but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. As it stands, the NWSL will be the first North American professional soccer league to return to action.
"As our country begins to safely reopen and adjust to our collective new reality, and with the enthusiastic support of our players, owners, as well as our new and current commercial partners, the NWSL is thrilled to bring professional soccer back to the United States," NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird said in a release. "This exciting month-long tournament will showcase our league's talented players and provide our fans the type of world-class entertainment they've come to expect from the NWSL."
The format of the competition will see each team play four games in a preliminary round to determine seeding, and from there the top eight advance to the quarterfinal round. The semifinals and finals will take place at Rio Tinto Stadium. All matches outside of the final and opener will air on CBS All Access in the United States and Canada, with games re-airing on CBS Sports Network. Specific matchdays, start times and more will be announced in the coming days.