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NWSL 2020 schedule released, championship match moved to November

The championship match takes place Saturday, Nov. 14.

The North Carolina Courage celebrate with the trophy after defeating the Chicago Red Stars 4-0 to win the 2019 NWSL Championship at WakeMed Soccer Park on October 27, 2019 in Cary, North Carolina. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The National Women’s Soccer League has released its schedule for the 2020 season, with the championship match scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 14, the latest date the NWSL has ended its season.

As announced last week, the 2020 season — the eighth for the league — will open on Saturday, April 18 with the Washington Spirit hosting Reign FC at Audi Field. The regular season will end six months later with the reverse fixture, as the Reign host the Spirit on Sunday, Oct. 18 at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington.

The playoff semifinals will also take place on a later date than usual, on Sunday, Nov. 8, to accommodate a FIFA window that will likely see a number of playoff bound players playing for their national teams. As a result, the 2020 semifinalists will have to wait three weeks after the end of the season to start the postseason. The turnaround between the semifinal and the final will be a quick one, though, with the final taking place just six days later.

Additionally, the NWSL will take 12 days off during the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, where a large number of the league’s players are expected to compete. The break begins after the Houston Dash host the Reign on Sunday, July 18, and play resumes on Saturday, Aug. 1, when the North Carolina Courage host the Portland Thorns.

Notable matches on the schedule include an opening weekend rematch of the 2019 NWSL championship that saw the Courage beat the Chicago Red Stars, and the first meeting between the Reign and the Thorns on Saturday, May 16 in Portland, Oregon.

The 2020 season will also be the first that Sky Blue FC plays its full slate of games at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Sky Blue and the Red Bulls of Major League Soccer don’t have any home match dates that overlap on the calendar.

The full NWSL schedule can be found here.

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