2022 NWSL schedule announced, regular season begins April 29

NWSL player Trinity Rodman of the Washington Spirit
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The wait is over. On Wednesday, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced the full schedule for the 2022 NWSL regular season.

When does the 2022 NWSL season start?

The NWSL’s 10th season begins with the third annual Challenge Cup, which serves as a preseason tournament. The Challenge Cup begins on Saturday, March 19 and will end on Saturday, May 7.

There will be some overlap between the Challenge Cup and the regular NWSL season, which begins on Friday, April 29. As it stands now, six NWSL teams are currently slated to play regular season games on May 7, the same day as the Challenge Cup Final. The NWSL did not immediately return a request for comment about a potential contingency/priority plan if any of those six teams (North Carolina, Portland, Chicago, Washington, San Diego, and NJ/NY) qualify for the Challenge Cup Final. A spokesperson for the San Diego Wave said the Challenge Cup Final would take priority and the regular season game would be rescheduled.

The 2022 NWSL season will feature a 22-game regular season, with each of the league’s 12 teams playing both a home and away game against every other club. The regular season will run until Sunday, October 2.

The top six teams will qualify for the NWSL Playoffs. The 2022 NWSL Championship Final is slated for the weekend of October 28, 2022.

2022 NWSL Schedule – All Regular Season Games

Date Home Team Away Team Stadium Time (ET)
Friday, April 29 Angel City FC North Carolina Courage Banc of California Stadium 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 30 Portland Thorns FC Kansas City Current Providence Park 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 30 Chicago Red Stars Racing Louisville FC SeatGeek Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 1 Washington Spirit OL Reign Audi Field 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 1 Houston Dash San Diego Wave FC PNC Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 1 Orlando Pride NJ/NY Gotham FC Exploria Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, May 4 Challenge Cup Semifinal #1 (Details TBD)
Wednesday, May 4 Challenge Cup Semifinal #2 (Details TBD)
Saturday, May 7 Challenge Cup Final (Details TBD)
Saturday, May 7 North Carolina Courage Portland Thorns FC Wakemed Soccer Park 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 7 Chicago Red Stars Washington Spirit SeatGeek Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 7 San Diego Wave FC NJ/NY Gotham FC Torero Stadium 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 8 Kansas City Current Houston Dash Children’s Mercy Park 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 8 OL Reign Racing Louisville FC Lumen Field 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 8 Angel City FC Orlando Pride Banc of California Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Friday, May 13 Portland Thorns FC OL Reign Providence Park 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 14 Orlando Pride Kansas City Current Exploria Stadium 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 14 NJ/NY Gotham FC North Carolina Courage Red Bull Arena 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 14 Racing Louisville FC Houston Dash Lynn Family Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 15 San Diego Wave FC Chicago Red Stars Torero Stadium 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 15 Washington Spirit Angel City FC Audi Field 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, May 18 North Carolina Courage Orlando Pride Wakemed Soccer Park 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, May 18 Racing Louisville FC San Diego Wave FC Lynn Family Stadium 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 18 Portland Thorns FC Washington Spirit Providence Park 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 21 Portland Thorns FC Houston Dash Providence Park 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 21 Angel City FC Kansas City Current Banc of California Stadium 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 22 North Carolina Courage San Diego Wave FC Wakemed Soccer Park 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 22 NJ/NY Gotham FC Racing Louisville FC Red Bull Arena 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 22 OL Reign Washington Spirit Lumen Field 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 22 Orlando Pride Chicago Red Stars Exploria Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, May 25 OL Reign Kansas City Current Lumen Field 10:00 p.m.
Friday, May 27 Orlando Pride Washington Spirit Exploria Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 28 Chicago Red Stars Portland Thorns FC SeatGeek Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 29 OL Reign San Diego Wave FC Lumen Field 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 29 Houston Dash North Carolina Courage PNC Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 29 Angel City FC NJ/NY Gotham FC Banc of California Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Monday, May 30 Kansas City Current Racing Louisville FC Children’s Mercy Park 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, June 1 Washington Spirit Chicago Red Stars Segra 7:30 p.m.
Friday, June 3 Houston Dash Orlando Pride PNC Stadium 8:30 p.m.
Friday, June 3 Portland Thorns FC Angel City FC Providence Park 10:30 p.m
Saturday, June 4 Chicago Red Stars OL Reign SeatGeek Stadium 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 4 NJ/NY Gotham FC Washington Spirit Red Bull Arena 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 4 Kansas City Current San Diego Wave FC Children’s Mercy Park 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 4 Racing Louisville FC North Carolina Courage Lynn Family Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, June 8 San Diego Wave FC Portland Thorns FC Torero Stadium 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 11 Washington Spirit North Carolina Courage Segra 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 11 Kansas City Current NJ/NY Gotham FC Children’s Mercy Park 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 11 Racing Louisville FC Angel City FC Lynn Family Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 12 Chicago Red Stars Orlando Pride SeatGeek Stadium 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 12 Houston Dash Portland Thorns FC PNC Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 12 San Diego Wave FC OL Reign Torero Stadium 10:00 p.m.
Wednesday, June 15 Angel City FC Houston Dash Banc of California Stadium 10:00 p.m.
Friday, June 17 Washington Spirit Racing Louisville FC Segra 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 18 Kansas City Current Chicago Red Stars Children’s Mercy Park 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 18 OL Reign Angel City FC Lumen Field 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 19 Portland Thorns FC Orlando Pride Providence Park 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 19 NJ/NY Gotham FC San Diego Wave FC Red Bull Arena 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 19 North Carolina Courage Houston Dash Wakemed Soccer Park 5:00 p.m.
Friday, July 1 OL Reign North Carolina Courage Lumen Field 10:00 p.m.
Friday, July 1 Angel City FC Portland Thorns FC Banc of California Stadium 10:30 p.m.
Friday, July 1 Houston Dash Kansas City Current PNC Stadium 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 2 Orlando Pride Racing Louisville FC Exploria Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 2 NJ/NY Gotham FC Chicago Red Stars Red Bull Arena 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 3 San Diego Wave FC Washington Spirit Torero Stadium 5:00 p.m.
Friday, July 8 Orlando Pride Houston Dash Exploria Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Friday, July 8 Racing Louisville FC NJ/NY Gotham FC Lynn Family Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 9 Angel City FC San Diego Wave FC Banc of California Stadium 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 10 Washington Spirit Kansas City Current Segra 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 10 Chicago Red Stars North Carolina Courage SeatGeek Stadium 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 10 OL Reign Portland Thorns FC Lumen Field 6:00 p.m.
Friday, July 15 North Carolina Courage Angel City FC Wakemed Soccer Park 7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 15 San Diego Wave FC Racing Louisville FC Torero Stadium 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 16 Houston Dash Chicago Red Stars PNC Stadium 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 16 Portland Thorns FC NJ/NY Gotham FC Providence Park 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 17 Washington Spirit Orlando Pride Audi Field 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 17 Kansas City Current OL Reign Children’s Mercy Park 7:00 p.m.
Friday, July 29 North Carolina Courage Washington Spirit Wakemed Soccer Park 7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 29 Racing Louisville FC Portland Thorns FC Lynn Family Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 30 Chicago Red Stars San Diego Wave FC Soldier Field 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 30 Angel City FC OL Reign Banc of California Stadium 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 31 NJ/NY Gotham FC Houston Dash Red Bull Arena 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 31 Kansas City Current Orlando Pride Children’s Mercy Park 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 2 Racing Louisville FC OL Reign Lynn Family Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Friday, August 5 Racing Louisville FC Washington Spirit Lynn Family Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Friday, August 5 Portland Thorns FC North Carolina Courage Providence Park 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 7 San Diego Wave FC Kansas City Current Torero Stadium 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 7 Chicago Red Stars NJ/NY Gotham FC SeatGeek Stadium 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 7 OL Reign Houston Dash Lumen Field 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 7 Orlando Pride Angel City FC Exploria Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, August 10 Washington Spirit Portland Thorns FC Segra 7:30 p.m.
Friday, August 12 Houston Dash Racing Louisville FC PNC Stadium 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 13 San Diego Wave FC Orlando Pride Torero Stadium 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 13 North Carolina Courage Kansas City Current Wakemed Soccer Park 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 14 OL Reign NJ/NY Gotham FC Lumen Field 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 14 Angel City FC Chicago Red Stars Banc of California Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, August 17 Houston Dash NJ/NY Gotham FC PNC Stadium 8:30 p.m.
Friday, August 19 Kansas City Current Angel City FC Children’s Mercy Park 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 20 NJ/NY Gotham FC Orlando Pride TBA 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 20 North Carolina Courage Chicago Red Stars Wakemed Soccer Park 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 20 San Diego Wave FC Houston Dash Torero Stadium 10:00 p.m.
Friday, August 26 Orlando Pride OL Reign Exploria Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 27 Racing Louisville FC Chicago Red Stars Lynn Family Stadium 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 27 Houston Dash Washington Spirit PNC Stadium 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 27 Portland Thorns FC San Diego Wave FC Providence Park 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 28 NJ/NY Gotham FC Angel City FC Red Bull Arena 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 28 Kansas City Current North Carolina Courage Children’s Mercy Park 7:00 p.m.
Friday, September 9 OL Reign Chicago Red Stars Lumen Field 10:00 p.m.
Friday, September 9 Orlando Pride Portland Thorns FC Exploria Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 10 Washington Spirit San Diego Wave FC Audi Field 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 10 North Carolina Courage Racing Louisville FC Wakemed Soccer Park 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 11 NJ/NY Gotham FC Kansas City Current Red Bull Arena 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 11 Houston Dash Angel City FC PNC Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, September 14 Chicago Red Stars Kansas City Current SeatGeek Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Friday, September 16 Racing Louisville FC Orlando Pride Lynn Family Stadium 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 17 Washington Spirit NJ/NY Gotham FC Audi Field 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 17 North Carolina Courage OL Reign Wakemed Soccer Park 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 17 Chicago Red Stars Houston Dash SeatGeek Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 17 San Diego Wave FC Angel City FC SnapDragon Stadium 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 18 Kansas City Current Portland Thorns FC Children’s Mercy Park 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, September 21 Portland Thorns FC Racing Louisville FC Providence Park 10:00 p.m.
Wednesday, September 21 Angel City FC Washington Spirit Banc of California Stadium 10:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 21 NJ/NY Gotham FC OL Reign Red Bull Arena 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, September 21 Orlando Pride North Carolina Courage Exploria Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 24 North Carolina Courage NJ/NY Gotham FC Wakemed Soccer Park 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 24 Houston Dash OL Reign PNC Stadium 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 25 Kansas City Current Washington Spirit Children’s Mercy Park 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 25 Portland Thorns FC Chicago Red Stars Providence Park 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 25 Orlando Pride San Diego Wave FC Exploria Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 25 Angel City FC Racing Louisville FC Banc of California Stadium 8:00 p.m.
Friday, September 30 San Diego Wave FC North Carolina Courage SnapDragon Stadium 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 1 NJ/NY Gotham FC Portland Thorns FC Red Bull Arena 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 1 Washington Spirit Houston Dash Audi Field 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 1 Racing Louisville FC Kansas City Current Lynn Family Stadium 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 1 OL Reign Orlando Pride Lumen Field 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 2 Chicago Red Stars Angel City FC SeatGeek Stadium 6:00 p.m.

How to Watch NWSL Games

CBS has U.S. broadcast rights of NWSL games. The 2022 NWSL season will air across CBS, CBS Sports Network, and Paramount+ – with the exact TV/platform schedule set to be announced in the coming weeks. Twitch, which provides streaming for fans outside of the United States, will also “stream select games in the United States,” according to an NWSL press release.

Crystal Dunn returns to USWNT roster five months after giving birth

Nigeria v USWNT
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Crystal Dunn was named to the USWNT roster for two upcoming friendlies against England and Spain, marking her first official selection since giving birth to son Marcel in May.

Dunn made her NWSL return with the Portland Thorns earlier this month and also trained with the U.S. team as a non-rostered player ahead of friendlies vs. Nigeria.

In addition to Dunn, the 24-player roster features a veteran core of Alyssa Naeher, Becky Sauerbrunn, Rose Lavelle, Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh, and Megan Rapinoe.

Alex Morgan was not named to the USWNT roster due to a knee injury. While U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski did not provide details of the injury, he noted that “if this was a World Cup final, Alex was going to be on this trip and was going to play, no question.”

Other roster highlights include 17-year-old Alyssa Thompson, who becomes the first player born in 2004 to receive a USWNT call-up. Thomas, a high senior, plays club soccer for the U-17 Total Futbol Academy boys’ team.

“We are very excited for her, very excited about her potential and qualities and looking forward to seeing how she will turn out in our environment,” Andonovski said of Thompson. “This camp is not make it or break it. It’s a first experience for her, it’s just something that she shouldn’t even worry about.”

The USWNT also includes a handful of players who have made their USWNT breakthrough this season — thanks in part to both strong NWSL play and injuries to more veteran players. That list includes the likes of Naomi Girma (7 caps), Taylor Kornieck (5 caps), Hailie Mace (5 caps), Sam Coffey (1 cap), and Savannah DeMelo (0 caps).

Andonovski on Thursday called Coffey, a midfielder for the Portland Thorns, a candidate for NWSL MVP.


USWNT Roster for October 2022 Friendlies vs. England and Spain

Goalkeepers (3):

  • Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit)
  • Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage)
  • Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

Defenders(7):

  • Alana Cook (OL Reign)
  • Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC)
  • Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC)
  • Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC)
  • Sofia Huerta (OL Reign)
  • Hailie Mace (Kansas City Current)
  • Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC)

Midfielders (8):

  • Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC)
  • Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC)
  • Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA)
  • Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC)
  • Rose Lavelle (OL Reign)
  • Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC)
  • Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit)
  • Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)

Forwards (6):

  • Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit)
  • Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars)
  • Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign)
  • Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit)
  • Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC)
  • Alyssa Thompson (Total Futbol Academy)

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC

Justine Wong-Orantes’ atypical path to becoming one of the best liberos in the world

Justine Wong-Orantes hits the ball in the women's semi-final volleyball match between USA and Serbia during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
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It’s been 20 years since the same nation held both the Olympic and world volleyball titles at the same time, but libero Justine Wong-Orantes is looking to help lead Team USA accomplish that very feat at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championships in the Netherlands and Poland. Competition began on Friday and the U.S. is currently 2-0 after group play wins against Kazakhstan and Canada.

“We’re trying to win, for sure,” Wong-Orantes told On Her Turf. “I think, especially with the new turn of the program and the new year of the quad, we just have a really nice blend of veterans and also newcomers on the team.”

The 14-woman roster for Team USA, which is ranked No. 1 in the world and won its first Olympic title last summer, features six players from that gold-medal-winning team. And while Wong-Orantes is among the 2021 U.S. Olympic team veterans, she’s still a relative newcomer to international play.

The Southern California native enjoyed a notable junior career – she was 12 when she became the youngest female to ever earn an AAA rating in beach volleyball – and was a standout collegian at Nebraska, where she was a member of the 2015 NCAA championship team. But Wong-Orantes followed a different path upon graduation, initially choosing not to go overseas to play professionally.

While she was first selected for the U.S. national team in 2016 and played a handful of international tournaments in the following years, it wasn’t until she started playing professionally in Germany in 2019 that she saw the potential to elevate her position on the roster. In particular, the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics gave her an additional year of overseas experience, which she calls “a blessing in disguise.”

“I just felt like I was still in that developmental stage,” she said. “And a whole year postponement allowed me to go overseas and really get all the touches, all the repetitions, and just kind of expose myself to international volleyball another year. So I was, in hindsight, pretty thankful for that COVID season because I got an extra year under my belt, and I think that just gave me a ton of confidence.”

Ahead of the Olympics, Wong-Orantes earned “best libero” honors at the 2021 FIVB Volleyball National League in Rimini, Italy, which helped secure her spot on the Olympic roster. In Tokyo, she followed up with another standout performance and was named best libero of the Olympic tournament.

As to how the Wong-Orantes transformed into one of the world’s top liberos, she points to her background as a beach volleyball player. She began competing at age 8, and her first partner was Sara Hughes, a star on the AVP Pro Tour who also won two NCAA titles with USC.

“I think having that background and just the court awareness that beach volleyball forces you to have allowed me to really have a good read on the game,” said Wong-Orantes. “I think that’s what makes a great libero is just reading and always being reactive towards the ball.”

Wong-Orantes also credits the assistance of mental coach Sue Enquist, a former UCLA softball coach and U.S. national team coach, who now helps teams work on their culture and relationships. Enquist began working with the U.S. volleyball team during the pandemic and has continued in her role ever since.

“We just worked on a lot of stuff within ourselves, within our program, how to communicate with each other off the court, and I think that honestly propelled us into such a high, high level with how we worked with each other, and then that transferred onto the court,” explained Wong-Orantes, who noted the team has Enquist on speed dial while at the World Championship. “I really commend Sue. I just really give a lot of praise to her because I think our culture was never bad, but I think [she] just transformed into a different level.”

2022-09-26 - FIVB Volleyball Womens World Championship 2022 - Day 4
ARNHEM, NETHERLANDS – Justine Wong-Orantes (far right) poses for a photo with her U.S. teammates after defeating Canada at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship on September 26, 2022. (Photo by Rene Nijhuis/Orange Pictures/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Wong-Orantes said she and her U.S. teammates are on their toes for the world championships, which features twice as many teams (24) as the Olympics and a “more grueling” format.

“It’s going to be a long tournament, and I think we’re really going to need all 14 of us that are here. I’m pretty certain that, at any given moment, someone’s going to be called on and someone’s going to need to step up in big moments.”