After 147 days the National Women's Soccer League returns to action on Saturday. All 12 clubs are scheduled to kick off the regular sesaon during opening weekend. North Carolina Courage will host last season's finals losing Kansas City Current, and San Diego Wave FC will face Chicago Red Stars in a 2022 quarterfinals rematch. Sunday features a quadruple header with four games. Fans can watch the NWSL regular season across CBS Sports platforms and Paramount+.
Take a look at the upcoming slate of games:
NWSL Opening Weekend
All times Eastern
Saturday, March 25
- North Carolina Courage vs. Kansas City Current, 2 p.m. on Paramount+
- San Diego Wave vs. Chicago Red Stars, 11 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
Sunday, March 26
- Washington Spirit vs. OL Reign, 5 p.m. on Paramount+
- Portland Thorns vs. Orlando Pride, 6 p.m. on Paramount+
- Houston Dash vs. Racing Louisville, 7 p.m. on Paramount+
- Angel City vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 9 p.m. on Paramount+
Biggest matchups to keep an eye on
San Diego Wave FC vs. Chicago Red Stars: San Diego turned the tide against the expansion team curse last year when they broke through into the postseason during their inaugural season. It's a quarterfinal rematch between the two teams, and Snapdragon Stadium has over 23,500 tickets sold for the home opener. There are also former Red Stars players on the Wave going up against Chicago with free-agent signings Rachel Hill and Danielle Colaprico.
"The emotions are definitely there," Colaprico told CBS Sports ahead of the game. "I feel like when I first saw the schedule come out I was like 'wow, this is kinda crazy! Let's just rip the bandaid off.' But one thing I'll say is that coming to San Diego, I have felt so welcomed here and I do love the training environment. I love my new team and I feel like it just makes it that much easier to focus on the Wave itself, and not so much on who the opponent is in the first game.
I'm sure that when I step on the field and I'm on the opposite side of things, it'll be a little weird, but at the end of the day, I'm so excited to fight with this group and chase championships with this Wave team."
Angel City FC vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC: It's West Coast against the East Coast during opening weekend. Gotham FC head to Los Angeles after an offseason revamp that includes a roster loaded with veterans. Angel City is no stranger to experienced players, but some key players are out with extended injuries to start the season. Look for Angel City's No.1 draft pick Alyssa Thompson in the spotlight if the 18-year-old features during the match.
"I imagined it to be kind of chaotic, but super exciting," Thompson said of the upcoming match. "I've never played in a stadium like that. I know it's gonna be big and everyone has been hyping it up, so I'm really excited."
A game that might break out the goals
Houston Dash vs. Racing Louisville: The pace of the game may lie right within the two club names here. The Dash added another attacking piece with Diana Ordonez and fans will get their first look at how she lines up with fellow Mexico national teammate Maria Sanchez and English international Ebony Salmon. Louisville has several international offensive pieces of their own, including Nigerian attacker Uchenna Kanu. Kanu recently spent time in Liga MX Femenil where she scored 20 goals in 30 appearances for Tigres Femenil.
Portland begin their title defense
Portland Thorns vs. Orlando Pride: The Thorns have a ton of their 2022 NWSL Championship roster back intact to make another run in 2023. Orlando Pride will begin its season on the road against the reigning champions. Portland will look to 2022 NWSL MVP Sophia Smith to build off her stellar 2022 season against an Orlando side that is still trying to cement that first brick of a rebuild.