The NWSL announced Monday that the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup presented by Secret Deodorant will kick off on April 9. In the first game, the Chicago Red Stars will travel to Houston in a rematch of the 2020 Challenge Cup Final. The match will kick off at 5:30 p.m (PT) in BBVA Stadium.
The tournament will be played in group play. Each team will play four matches, and the winners of the East and West groups will meet in the final. The final is scheduled for May 8.
The East includes Racing Louisville FC, North Carolina Courage, Orlando Pride, Sky Blue FC, and the Washington Spirit. The West is made up of the Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash, Kansas City, OL Reign, and Portland Thorns FC.
The opener and three additional matches will be aired on CBS Sports Network. The final will be aired on CBS Television Network and streamed on Paramount+. Every other match will be available exclusively on Paramount+. All games will be available internationally on the league’s Twitch channel. The full 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup schedule and broadcast/streaming details will be announced Tuesday, March 9.
Secret Deodorant and the league are creating a NWSL Rookie Class program. It will provide sponsorship opportunities to NWSL rookies competing in the Challenge Cup.