NWSL Schedules Workarounds for International Competition Dates
14 Mar, 2016
According to an article in Soccer America Daily, the NWSL, with its heavy emphasis on American players, has constructed a schedule that allows teams to, as often as possible, avoid international conflicts. That means no games during the entire Rio Olympics and no games during FIFA dates.
NWSL: 2016 Schedule
The 2016 regular season kicks off on April 16 with the defending champion FC Kansas City hosting the Western New York Flash. The 10 clubs will play a total of 20 games during a 19-week span -- four games against a designated rival (two home, two away) and 16 against eight other teams (one home, one away).
The NWSL will take a 25-day break Aug. 1-25 during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil -- a break covering three weekends. In 2015, the NWSL took off only the second weekend of the Women's World Cup.
The break doesn't mean U.S. national team players will be available for all NWSL games, assuming they qualify for the Rio Olympics. They will have to be released for pre-tournament training -- FIFA requires players be released 14 days before the first game -- and their immediate returns after the Olympics are problematic. No. U.S. world champion played the first weekend after the USA won the Women's World Cup in Canada.
The NWSL is off June 3-4 and Sept. 17-18, respecting the FIFA calendar for national team matches. No dates for the playoffs were announced but they cannot go past Oct. 16 as a nine-day FIFA window begins the following day.
The NWSL playoffs will again feature the top four teams. The final will again be played at a predetermined site.
No television plans for 2016 have been announced.
Read the full article here.