NWSL expanding regular season, playoffs in 2024

Published on: 07 December 2023

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The National Women's Soccer League announced the framework for its 190-game 2024 schedule on Thursday, which includes an expanded 8-team playoff competing for the NWSL title.

Each of the 14 clubs will play balanced 26-match slates in the regular season, with 13 home and 13 road games.

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Action starts March 15 with defending NWSL champion NJ/NY Gotham FC, which beat OL Reign in this year's final, facing 2023 NWSL Shield winners San Diego Wave FC in the 2024 NWSL Challenge Cup.

The regular season begins March 16 and includes a midseason break from July 8-14 plus a break for the 2024 Paris Olympics from July 15-Aug. 18. The league plans to hold a tournament during the Olympic break, starting on the weekend of July 19-21.

The expanded playoff format will see eight clubs qualify. The postseason will begin with four quarterfinal matches from Nov. 9-10, followed by the Nov. 16-17 semifinals and the Nov. 23 NWSL Championship.

Last season only six teams qualified for the postseason.

"The 2024 season marks the start of an exciting new chapter for the NWSL and one that will set the tone for the future of our sport in the U.S. and globally," said NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman. "Women's soccer shined on an international stage in 2023 and as attendance, viewership and investment figures continue to explode, our league has never been better positioned to capitalize on the momentum the game is experiencing.

"Underscored by the addition of our 13th and 14th franchises, an enhanced match calendar and, critically, groundbreaking media rights agreements that will ensure our games are readily accessible to more fans than ever before, the 2024 campaign represents a new era for the NWSL as we continue our efforts to deliver the best product in professional soccer."

Two new clubs will debut in 2024 with Bay FC and Utah Royals FC.

Information from Field Level Media was used in this report.

Source: espn.co.uk