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NWSL kicks off this weekend with Challenge Cup

The National Women’s Soccer League will ease into the 2021 campaign with the Challenge Cup, a month-long tournament starting Friday. Each of the 10 teams will play four division matches (two home, two away).

Last year, as the coronavirus pandemic intensified, the Challenge Cup was the league’s primary competition, taking place entirely in the greater Salt Lake City area without fans. (The Houston Dash triumphed.) The NWSL also conducted a small-scale fall series in home markets without spectators.

After playing last fall at Segra Field, the Washington Spirit was planning to return to Leesburg this spring for Challenge Cup games in front of about 1,000 fans.