Orlando Pride among teams that will compete in Challenge Cup
By Official Florida FC
On May 27, the NWSL announced it will hold a month-long Challenge Cup in Utah in lieu of the 2020 season.
The COVID-19 pandemic meant the NWSL season never kicked off. Teams were under training moratoriums for nearly two months as the coronavirus spread throughout the United States.
Those restrictions were lifted in early May. The NWSL allowed small groups to hold training sessions on Memorial Day (May 25) in the run up to Wednesday’s announcement.
“As our country begins to safely reopen and adjust to our collective new reality, and with the enthusiastic support of our players, owners, as well as our new and current commercial partners, the NWSL is thrilled to bring professional soccer back to the United States,” said NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird in a statement. “This exciting month-long tournament will showcase our league’s talented players and provide our fans the type of world-class entertainment they’ve come to expect from the NWSL.”
The Challenge Cup will kick off June 27. It will be a 25-game tournament where all matches will be played behind closed doors, but televised to fans on the CBS family of networks.
Each of the league’s nine teams will play four preliminary rounds. The top eight teams will advance to the quarterfinals.
The Orlando Pride, the NWSL’s only Florida-based club, has missed the postseason in three of its previous four seasons. The Pride finished last with 16 points (4-16-4) from 24 matches in 2019.