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NWSL Challenge Cup

NWSL Challenge Cup

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Channels licensed to broadcast NWSL Challenge Cup in United States

CBS Sports
CBS Sports » Season 2020
CBS will air the NWSL Challenge Cup opening match live on television, as well as the Championship game. The remaining games will be rebroadcast by CBS Sports Network. Streaming platform CBS All Access will however stream all 25 matches of the tournament live online and on its apps for viewers in USA and Canada.
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About NWSL Challenge Cup

The 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup becomes the first US team sport tournament to take place after Covid-19 halted sports in America. The one-off tournament was designed to be hosted in the Salt Lake City area of Utah. The hosts of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup are technically Utah Royals FC. Played behind closed doors for safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic, the 1-month long tourney involves all nine National Women’s Soccer League teams. Organizers came up with a plan to settle players, coaches, and staff in an “NWSL village” in Utah; the state was chosen thanks to its facilities and ability to deal with Covid-19, NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird explained.

Streaming the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup is made globally accessible via online platform Twitch. In the USA and Canada, CBS (NWSL Challenge Cup opener and championship), CBS All Access (every single NWSL Challenge Cup fixture) and CBS Sports Network (NWSL Challenge Cup repeat broadcasts) got viewers covered.

The seeding draft took place on June 1 on CBS Sports HQ and was computer-generated. Its purpose was to determine the participating teams’ schedule; no advantage factor was given. The draw pairings came out as follows:

Day 1: 1st vs 9th, 5th vs 7th (June 27)
Day 2: 2nd vs 4th, 6th vs 8th (June 30)
Day 3: 3rd vs 5th, 7th vs 9th (July 1)

Marta and Alex Morgan’s Orlando Pride, who endured their worst run in the 2019 NWSL season by losing as many as 16 games and winning just four in 24 matches, was the first side revealed; meaning that they were tasked to feature on the opening day of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup on June 27 against the last team drawn, Chicago Red Stars.

The initial 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup’s format went as follows:

There were supposed to be 25 games with each of the nine clubs playing four preliminary games and the top 8 teams advancing to the quarter-finals. However, the withdrawal of Orlando Pride one week to kick-off due to positive coronavirus cases recorded among their club's players and staff altered the NWSL Challenge Cup's set-up and fixtures.

Chicago Red Stars were tasked to play Washington Spirit in their opener, instead of the Pride whilst home team Utah Royals got paired against Houston Dash instead of Washington Spirit.

No changes were made regarding the knock-out stages: The semis and final take place at one same venue (Rio Tinto stadium). June 27 is the date for the opening match of the competition whilst the NWSL Challenge Cup final (Championship match) takes place on July 26.

The tournament’s most notable absentee would be 2019 Women’s Ballon d’Or, IFFHS World's Best Woman Playmaker award and The Best winner, Megan Rapinoe. The USWNT superstar chose to sit out OL Reign’s NWSL Challenge Cup campaign, citing fears over the transmission of Covid-19 and the competition’s compact schedule. Utah Royals FC forward Christen Press and Portland Thorns' Tobin Heath also opted not to take part. USWNT captain Carli Lloyd pulled out as well due to "a minor knee injury".

All NWSL Challenge Cup matches will be streamed live on Twitch outside of the US and Canada.
All games will be re-played on the CBS Sports Network in the US and Canada.

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