Were one to glance at the NWSL fan banter on Twitter over the past few weeks, one might find a fair amount of fan frustration regarding the 2017 league schedule. Among the complaints included the need for certain professions to request time off with 60 days notice. That window came and went, and though the full schedule has been promised "soon," we learned this afternoon of the schedule for Home Openers for each team.
Game times and Lifetime TV Broadcast Schedule remain a slight mystery, although a few nuggets have been reported. Once the full schedule is released, the TV and streaming games will be identified and we'll let you know how to watch. In the meantime, here's what we do know.
NWSL Week 1
Saturday, April 15th
ON LIFETIME: It sounds as if the first Lifetime TV broadcast will take place at 3PM Eastern at Providence Park, where the Portland Thorns will host the Orlando Pride. It's a good choice for the league to start here, as the fanbase in Portland has yet to be matched for size and enthusiasm. The league will have a pregame show in advance of the match, which will feature many of the more famous USWNT players (although Orlando's Alex Morgan will be in France). This is an ideal way to introduce the league to Lifetime's audience who might be looking for something besides sports on Lifetime on a Saturday afternoon.
The first Lifetime TV game for NWSL will be Orlando at Portland on April 15 at 3 ET. Providence Park will surely be up for the occasion.— Jeff Kassouf (@JeffKassouf) February 21, 2017
STREAMING (SOMEHOW, SOMEWHERE):
Chicago Red Stars at Houston Dash
SkyBlue FC at Seattle Reign
North Carolina Courage at Washington Spirit
This match is a replay of the 2016 NWSL Final, although few Spirit players remain on the team from that roster, and the Courage were the WNY Flash way back then. Remember?
Sunday, April 16th
Boston Breakers at FC Kansas City
Boston swept their home and away matches vs. FCKC last season, but both teams will look very different on the field in 2017.
NWSL Week 2
Saturday, April 22nd
FC Kansas City at Chicago Red Stars
Portland Thorns at North Carolina Courage
Washington Spirit at Orlando Pride
Plus, we can guess that the two remaining teams will play a match that is not their home opener on Saturday, meaning:
Seattle Reign and Houston Dash will meet, somewhere. Both hosted a home opener during week 1.
Sunday, April 23rd
Sky Blue FC at Boston Breakers
NWSL Week 3
Sunday, April 30th
FC Kansas City at Sky Blue FC. The early season road warriors, after having visited Seattle and Boston for their first two matches, finally get to host a match as April draws to a close.
In the announcement of the Home Opener schedule, the league said the following:
Watch for more once the full schedule is released, including whose voices you'll be hearing on league broadcasts this season, when to expect that FURT-worthy new app and which matches will be easy to find on Lifetime Network.
In the meantime, do you know anyone who should try out for the NWSL? Open Tryouts are upon us.