NWSL works around international dates, mostly

With its heavy emphasis on its U.S. women's national team stars, the NWSL has constructed a schedule that allows teams to, as often as possible, avoid international conflicts. That means no games during the entire Rio Olympics and no games during FIFA dates.

NWSL: 2016 Schedule

The 2016 regular season kicks off on April 16 with the defending champion FC Kansas City hosting the Western New York Flash. The 10 clubs will play a total of 20 games during a 19-week span -- four games against a designated rival (two home, two away) and 16 against eight other teams (one home, one away).

The NWSL will take a 25-day break Aug. 1-25 during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil -- a break covering three weekends. In 2015, the NWSL took off only the second weekend of the Women's World Cup.

The break doesn't mean U.S. national team players will be available for all NWSL games, assuming they qualify for the Rio Olympics. They will have to be released for pre-tournament training -- FIFA requires players be released 14 days before the first game -- and their immediate returns after the Olympics are problematic. No. U.S. world champion played the first weekend after the USA won the Women's World Cup in Canada.

The NWSL is off June 3-4 and Sept. 17-18, respecting the FIFA calendar for national team matches. No dates for the playoffs were announced but they cannot go past Oct. 16 as a nine-day FIFA window begins the following day.

The NWSL playoffs will again feature the top four teams. The final will again be played at a predetermined site.

No television plans for 2016 have yet to be announced.
1 comment about "NWSL works around international dates, mostly".
  1. aaron dutch, February 21, 2016 at 11:58 a.m.

    I really wish USSF/MLS took the leadership to bring NWSL into the system under the MLS banner. At this point NASL would be the best option to do that as they could share the infrastructure, development, mgmt, marketing, rights, etc.. If you look at the English FA and what they are doing for womens football its incredible. There is BBC live coverage of matches, real investment, integration etc.. Our women/girls game is 100x bigger then the UK but they will get 10x more out of it. Its absurd.

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