The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced a new competition framework to debut in 2021 that aims to expand opportunities for the athletes of the league to showcase the NWSL.
Players will report to camp Feb. 1, 2021, with the first competition coming in mid-April, when the NWSL Challenge Cup returns after the historic inaugural edition in 2020. Based on guidance from the NWSL Medical Taskforce and public health authorities, the 2021 Challenge Cup will take place in multiple bubble environments, team markets or some combination of the two.
Following the 2021 Challenge Cup, the NWSL's 2021 regular season will kick off in mid-May, with each team scheduled to play 24 matches. The full league schedule will be released at a later date. Six teams will qualify for an expanded NWSL playoff set to take place beginning in November 2021, with the top two seeds receiving a first-round bye.