UPDATED to reflect NWSL’s correct schedule re: FIFA dates.
NWSL has finally released its full schedule, weeks after its usual schedule release date, which in past seasons has been in early-to-mid February.
Please play this while you peruse the schedule and figure out if your team is going to have a hell season or not:
You can see the league is definitely breaking for two FIFA windows From June 5 - 13 and September 11 - 19, but not for the full July 16 - August 6 Euro window. Per NWSL’s press release, the will break for the weekend of July 29-30. The Euros affect a handful of NWSL players, but no one team should feel the brunt too badly.
It also looks as though NWSL has given up on the “regional rivals” concept, in which teams play someone that is theoretically their “rival” four times and every other team twice. Boston won’t be playing any team more than three times, and won’t have another horrendous stretch of away games that pull the team away from their home field for over a month. The worst is a stretch of three away games from May 27 - June 17, which includes the league break for the FIFA window.
There is a bad stretch for Boston in June and August, when they have midweek games (both against Houston), meaning sets of three games in seven or eight days. The June one is worse, going home - away - home, while at least the August one is away - home - home.
The regular season does run a little bit later through September 30, now that it’s a 24-game schedule, which should make for early-to-mid October playoffs.
Part of the holdup with the schedule seems to have been all the offseason shuffling, with a new TV deal that requires at least two league games every Saturday at 4 PM ET (and presumably in stadiums that look okay on TV) and a new stadium in the mix as the North Carolina Courage acquired the Western New York Flash.
The NWSL season begins Saturday, April 15. The Breakers will play their first game on Sunday, April 16 away at FC Kansas City, followed by their home opener on Sunday, April 23 against Sky Blue FC.