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NWSL announces key dates for the 2021 season

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The NWSL announced on Wednesday dates for the start of the Challenge Cup, regular season, playoffs, and the Expansion Draft.

Portland Thorns FC v Utah Royals FC Photo by Rob Gray/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The NWSL announced on Wednesday that their medical task force has approved play in home markets, releasing updated medical protocols for the 2021 season and key dates along with it.

The NWSL Challenge Cup will begin on April 9, although the format and complete schedule will be released at a later date. The league’s 10 teams will face off in a 24-match regular season starting on May 15. The regular season will not have an Olympic break and will end on Oct. 30. The full regular season schedule will also be released at a later date.

As previously announced, the NWSL playoffs have been expanded from four teams to six . The playoffs are slated to begin Nov. 6, with the top two seeds receiving a first round bye. The championship will be held on Nov. 20.

The league will close out 2021 with the Expansion Draft on Dec. 16. Angel City FC and Sacramento will be the two teams entering the league in its 10th season.

You can read the press release from Portland Thorns FC here.