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This Week in Women’s Football April 8 2021

This Week in Women’s Football: Gotham FC, NWSL Challenge Cup, UEFA Women’s EURO playoffs, USWNT friendlies

April 8, 2021 By Juan Aguerrevere
The 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup and UEFA Women’s EURO playoffs will start on Friday while the U.S. women’s national team gears up to play against Sweden and France. Also, meet NWSL’s NJ/NY Gotham City, formerly known as Sky Blue FC.

NJ/NY Gotham FC

National Women’s Soccer League team formerly known as Sky Blue FC unveiled a complete brand transformation, including a name change to NJ/NY Gotham FC and a new crest depicting Lady Liberty’s crown.

The new name, crest and colors are meant to tie the team specifically to the New York metro area to boost the brand’s global reach. Team executives believe that a tie to the greater New York City area is needed to become more globally recognizable to prospective sponsors, fans and players.

At first sight, Gotham FC’s logo reads NY. But after taking a closer look, you can see the letter “N” and a hybrid “J/Y”, which acknowledges New Jersey as the club’s birthplace while embracing the club’s growing New York reach. Also, the introduction of Lady Liberty’s crown at the top of the crest is meant to signify Gotham FC’s ambitions to be an international club and provides a welcoming symbol for the team’s diverse fanbase.

Gotham FC will retain elements of last year’s updated color scheme as requested by fans and in honor of the club’s roots. The crest is composed of Sky Blue, Gotham Black and Cloud White. The colors are meant to represent the team’s history and prior identity, the club’s new identity and the longstanding foundation of the club’s supporters’ group, Cloud 9.

New York City native Matthew Wolff, whose family is from New Jersey, designed the club’s new visual identity.

NWSL Challenge Cup kickoff

CBS Sports Network will broadcast the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup opener between the Houston Dash and the Chicago Red Stars on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET. The game will be a replay of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup Final where the Dash lifted the trophy after a 2-0 win. Following the opener, Kansas City will make its NWSL debut against the Portland Thorns at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Unlike the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, the second edition of the tournament will be played in home markets. The ten teams are organized into two divisions, East and West. Each team will play four games in home markets, and the top team from each division will compete in the final scheduled for May 8, 2021.

Friday, April 9

  • Houston Dash vs. Chicago Red Stars at 8:30 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network/Twitch) 
  • Portland Thorns vs. Kansas City at 10:30 p.m. ET (Paramount+/Twitch)

Saturday, April 10 

  • North Carolina Courage vs. Washington Spirit at 3:30 p.m. ET (Paramount+/Twitch)
  • Racing Louisville FC vs. Orlando Pride at 7 p.m. ET (Paramount+/Twitch)

UEFA Women’s EURO playoffs

Thirteen teams have qualified to the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, leaving three vacated spots that need to be filled. Those spots will have owners by Tuesday, April 13, after the six nations that clinched a playoff spot in the qualifiers play home and away legs. 

Ukraine, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Russia, Czech Republic and Switzerland will be the six nations that will fight for the three remaining tickets to England 2022.

The Czech Republic vs. Switzerland

  • First leg: Friday, April 9, at 10 a.m. ET in Czech Republic (Letni Stadion Chomutov)
  • Second leg: Tuesday, April 13, at 2 p.m. ET in Switzerland (Stockhorn Arena)

Ukraine vs. Northern Ireland

  • First leg: Friday, April 9, at 12 noon ET in Ukraine (Stadion)
  • Second leg: Tuesday, April 13, at 2:45 p.m. ET in Northern Ireland (Seaview)

Russia vs. Portugal 

  • First leg: Friday, April 9, at 1:30 p.m. ET in Portugal (Estadio de Restelo)
  • Second leg: Tuesday, April 13, at 10 a.m. ET in Russia (Sapsan Arena)

The three playoff winners will join Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, holders the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden in the UEFA Women's EURO 2022 Finals in England.

USWNT friendlies vs. Sweden and France

The No. 1 U.S. women’s national team will face No. 5 Sweden in Stockholm on Saturday, April 10, and take on No. 3 France at Stade Oceane in Le Havre on Tuesday, April 13.

USWNT fans will be able to watch the game against Sweden on Saturday on FOX at 1 p.m. ET. On the other hand, the game against France will be broadcasted by ESPN 2 on Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET.

In the latest news, Washington Spirit’s Andi Sullivan replaced midfielder Catarina Macario after Lyon suffered a COVID-19 breakout. 


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