The National Women's Soccer League and Fox Soorts announced a limited broadcast deal Thursday.
Nationally broadcast matches will begin on September 7, when Chicago takes on FC Kansas City, followed by the Thorns against former head coach Paul Riley and Western New York on September 11, while Houston versus Seattle will close out the regular season broadcasts on September 25, as well as the Semifinals and Final.
The matches will be broadcast on Fox Sports' streaming platforms, but the league's release did not state whether matches will be televised on FOX, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, or any of their regional sports networks.
NWSL Press Release-
NWSL AND FOX SPORTS ANNOUNCE NATIONAL BROADCAST DEAL
CHICAGO (Apr. 14, 2016) - The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and FOX Sports announced today a one-year agreement to telecast six NWSL games for the second consecutive season in 2016. FS1 will air three regular-season matches and all three games of the NWSL Playoffs, which includes the semifinals and final, as part of the agreement. All six games stream live on FOX Soccer 2Go, FOX Sports GO and FOXSportsGO.com.
"We are very pleased to once again partner with FOX Sports, who continue to demonstrate their outstanding support of our league and women's soccer," NWSL Commissioner Jeff Plush said. "It is extremely important for the development of the league for our fans to have access to games on national television, especially our playoffs and championship match."
The broadcast schedule will kick off on the heels of the 2016 Rio Olympics, as the league begins its push toward the playoffs.
"We are thrilled to embark on our second year of NWSL coverage, following an incredible FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015," said David Nathanson, FOX Sports' Head of Business Operations. "This partnership showcases our continuing support of women's soccer and the sport's top players."
The Chicago Red Stars will host FC Kansas City in the first televised match-up on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. in a rematch of an NWSL semifinal last year that saw the Blues eliminate the Red Stars from the postseason on their way to becoming the first repeat champions in league history.
Chicago made the NWSL Playoffs for the first time last season behind the efforts of U.S. internationals Christen Press and Julie Johnston as well as 2015 NWSL Rookie of the Year Danielle Colaprico. The Red Stars are the only team in the league with a winning record all-time (4-3-2) against FC Kansas City, which brought back Canadian international midfielder Desiree Scott joining their contingent of U.S. internationals midfielder Heather O'Reilly and defender Becky Sauerbrunn.
Four days later, Samantha Mewis leads the youthful Western New York Flash on the road against a revamped Portland Thorns FC on Sunday, Sept. 11 at Providence Park in Portland, Ore.
Offseason acquisitions Lindsey Horan, Meghan Klingenberg, Nadia Nadim as well as defender Emily Sonnett - the No. 1 overall selection in the 2016 NWSL College Draft - have been added to an already strong core of Christine Sinclair, Tobin Heath and Allie Long for the Thorns, who will be looking to get back into the playoffs after missing out on the postseason in 2015.
The regular season broadcast schedule will wrap up Sunday, Sept. 25 with a showdown between the Houston Dash and Seattle Reign FC at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
Reign goalkeeper Hope Solo and the two-time defending NWSL Shield winners will square off against fellow U.S. internationals Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian as Seattle will look to maintain their perfect record against Houston. The Reign have never dropped points against the Dash - posting a 5-0-0 record all-time against the 2014 expansion club as midfielders Kim Little and Jess Fishlock helped Seattle to outscore Houston 15-3 in those matches.
Chicago Red Stars
FC Kansas City
Portland Thorns FC
Western New York Flash
Seattle Reign FC
The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) is a 10-team Division-I women's professional soccer league featuring national team players from around the world. The ten clubs are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash, FC Kansas City, Orlando Pride, Portland Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC, Washington Spirit and Western New York Flash.
Based in Chicago, the NWSL is supported by the Canadian Soccer Association, Federation of Mexican Football and the United States Soccer Federation. For more information about the NWSL, log on to the league's official website at NWSLsoccer.com.