The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced the opening match of 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup, presented by Secret Deodorant, with the Chicago Red Stars facing the Houston Dash at Houston's BBVA Stadium on Friday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. CT on CBS Sports Network.
This event is a rematch of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup Championship.
The 21-game tournament will be played in group play, with each team playing four matches followed by the final. The opener and three additional games will air on CBS Sports Network; the final will air on the CBS Television Network and stream on Paramount+, the newly launched premium streaming service from ViacomCBS; and every other game will stream exclusively on Paramount+, in the United States.
This year's tournament will have the league's 10 teams organized into two divisions: East and West. The West includes the Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash, Kansas City, OL Reign and Portland Thorns FC; the East is composed of Racing Louisville FC, North Carolina Courage, Orlando Pride, Sky Blue FC and the Washington Spirit.
Following the Challenge Cup, the NWSL's 10 teams will face off in a 24-game regular season beginning Saturday, May 15. The league will not break for the 2021 Olympic Games and the regular season will conclude Saturday, Oct. 30. The league's ninth season will conclude with the NWSL Championship on Saturday, Nov. 20.