The NWSL announced the schedule for the first two weeks (plus one game of Week Three) of the NWSL this morning; hopefully the full schedule will follow later this week. Right now, all we know is that Thorns will be facing the Orlando Pride in their home opener on April 15th. The 2016 home opener was also against Orlando, and the Thorns won, starting their season on amazing high. In the second week, the Thorns will face the newly rebranded North Carolina Courage in WakeMed Soccer Park in North Carolina. Although under a new name now, this will likely be an exciting rematch of the NWSL championship quarter final.
Better than just a home-opener, the game against Orlando will also be the first game aired on Lifetime, which will provide a high quality stream for fans all over the country as part of the A+E Networks new partnership announced earlier this month.
The Thorns Press Release with more details below:
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC will play host to the Orlando Pride in their opening game of the 2017 NWSL season at Providence Park on Saturday, April 15, featuring in the first-ever Lifetime Game of the Week, it was announced today as the NWSL unveiled details for each club’s home-opening matches for its fifth season. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 noon (Pacific).
The NWSL announced a three-year partnership with A+E Networks on Feb. 2, 2017, with Lifetime as an official sponsor and broadcast partner. For the first time in NWSL history, a league game will be broadcast on television every weekend of the season. The NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime will provide fans throughout the country with a live viewing platform every Saturday.
The match against Orlando marks the third time Portland has opened at home in five seasons in NWSL, with Thorns FC previously playing host to the Boston Breakers (2015) and Orlando Pride (2016), marking the club’s third consecutive season opening the campaign at Providence Park. Since 2013, Portland is 4-0-0 in home openers, registering a 2-1 win against the Pride on April 17, 2016, and is unbeaten in season-opening matches (3-0-1).