10 NWSL Teams, 10 Home Openers

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.

The first Lifetime TV broadcast will feature these Thorns, hosting Orlando in Portland.

The first Lifetime TV broadcast will feature these Thorns, hosting Orlando in Portland.

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.


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.

Interesting Points

In the announcement of the Home Opener schedule, the league said the following: 

The NWSL will play a 24-game regular season schedule and compete in a single table, with the teams each playing 12 home and 12 away games.

Through the NWSL’s partnership with A+E Networks, Lifetime will broadcast an NWSL Game of the Week every Saturday to provide fans throughout the country the opportunity to watch some of the best players in the world. A 30-minute pregame show will kick off each weekly broadcast.

NWSL Media will oversee the live streaming of all matches and produce the games in high definition on a soon to be announced platform and will also launch a re-designed NWSLSoccer.com and a new NWSL app on iOS and Android.

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.