CBS Sports will be the home of a big soccer event. This week, ViacomCBS announced that CBS Sports will feature all 21 games of the NWSL Challenge Cup. Coverage of the event will be seen on CBS Television Network, CBS Sports Network, CBS Sports Digital and Paramount+, which can be subscribed to with a free trial here.
The 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup will begin on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network as the Houston Dash face the Chicago Red Stars, a rematch of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup final. The cup's final match will air on the CBS Television Network and stream on Paramount+ on Saturday, May 8 at 1 p.m. ET. Overall, four matches will air on CBS Sports Network, and every other match will stream exclusively on Paramount+.
This season, the NWSL added two new teams in Kansas City and Racing Louisville FC. Kansas City will play their inaugural match against Portland Thorns FC on Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET on Paramount+. Racing Louisville FC will make their league debut against the Orlando Pride on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET also on Paramount+. The entire schedule of the NWSL Challenge Cup can be found here.
This will be the second annual Challenge Cup with the first taking place last summer. Following this year's Challenge Cup, the teams will start a 24-match regular season on May 15 and conclude on Oct. 30. The playoffs will expand to six teams, with the top two seeds receiving a first-round bye. The playoffs will begin on Nov. 6 and will conclude on Nov. 20 with the NWSL Championship.
"We’re all just excited to have some normalcy," Jasmyne Spencer of the OL Reing said on the league's official website. "We understand the challenges that COVID brings, and how to best maneuver them to make sure we all stay safe. We’re excited at the opportunity to play for a full year. This club again, like – apart from year one where I was battling them at the bottom of the table, they have been exhibiting excellence. All of our roster moves are reassuring us and basically the rest of the league like, listen – we are or not messing around. We’re out here trying to win two championships this year – first the Challenge Cup, and then the regular season."