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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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NWSL announces updated TV schedule for Games of the Week
Six NWSL Games of the Week moving to evenings on ESPNEWS
Portland Thorns FC and Seattle Reign FC will meet once again on national television. (Photo: Meg Linehan/NWSL Media)
Portland Thorns FC and Seattle Reign FC will meet once again on national television. (Photo: Meg Linehan/NWSL Media)

The National Women’s Soccer League announced on Wednesday that ESPN will broadcast six NWSL Games of the Week on ESPNEWS during the rest of the 2018 season. All six games, previously scheduled for broadcast on Lifetime at 3:30 p.m. ET, are now scheduled for evening kickoffs.

The new TV schedule will start on June 16, when the Chicago Red Stars will host Portland Thorns FC. The first broadcast on ESPNEWS will start at 8:00 p.m. ET, with kickoff scheduled for 8:08 p.m.

Lifetime will also broadcast one match on Friday night for the first time this season: the NWSL regular season TV broadcast schedule will conclude with Portland hosting Seattle Reign FC at Providence Park on Friday, Sept. 7 at 10 p.m. ET.

Before the six games aired on ESPNEWS, as well as Sept. 7’s game on Lifetime, the NWSL will shift its pregame coverage online. The NWSL will host a 20-minute pregame show with all the latest news and analysis, live on the league’s Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube pages.

Jenn Hildreth and Aly Wagner will still be in the booth for the NWSL Game of the Week, and sideline reporter Dalen Cuff will host the pregame show. While Aly Wagner makes some history calling Men’s World Cup games for Fox Sports, two former U.S. internationals will step in as color commentators.

Kate Markgraf, a member of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup winning team and two-time Olympic gold medalist, will fill in on four games on June 16, June 23, June 30 and July 14. Angela Hucles, another double winner of gold in 2004 and 2008, will be in the booth with Hildreth on July 7.

One match that’s sure to be a highlight of the remaining 10 games broadcast on national television: the first ever women’s professional soccer match at Audi Field between the Washington Spirit and Portland Thorns FC. The game is also the return of women’s soccer to downtown D.C, thanks to the location of D.C. United’s brand new state-of-the-art stadium in Buzzard Point.

With six games moving to ESPNEWS, Lifetime’s remaining four games will include the Friday night broadcast and three games unchanged from the standard Saturday time slot of 3:30 p.m. ET. And while all the ESPNEWS matches include a time change to the evening, three games are new to the national TV schedule, including the match at Audi Field and September’s Thorns-Reign face off. July 7’s match-up between the Orlando Pride and Washington Spirit is also a change made with the new broadcast partner, replacing Sky Blue FC vs. the Chicago Red Stars.

On Wednesday, Sky Blue FC announced that their match on July 7 was rescheduled to 7 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed digitally via go90 for U.S. viewers.

Fans can also stream the six matches aired by ESPN Networks using the ESPN app, with authentication required in the United States. The games will also be available to watch on ESPN.com for live streaming with authentication required.

The four matches broadcasted on Lifetime can still be watched online by fans in the U.S. Streams will be available on mylifetime.com and the Lifetime iOS and Android apps – you will need to sign in with your TV provider credentials.

International fans’ streaming options will not be affected by the changes in broadcaster – all games will still be available on the NWSL site and apps for worldwide viewing. Additionally for U.S. viewers, these schedule and broadcasting updates do not impact how to watch games on go90.

After the regular season concludes on Sept. 8, the NWSL Playoffs and Championship will air live on Lifetime. The top four teams will advance to the semifinals, scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 14–16. The NWSL Championship is set for Sept. 22 at 4:30 p.m. ET at Providence Park in Portland. Tickets go on sale to the public this week, on Thursday, June 7 at 1 p.m. ET, and are available by calling (888) 736-6849 or online at the official website of Thorns FC.

Updated 2018 NWSL Game of the Week Schedule

June 16  – Chicago Red Stars (H) vs. Portland Thorns FC (A)
ESPNEWS | Pregame 8 p.m. ET | Kickoff 8:08 p.m. ET
Jenn Hildreth (PBP) & Kate Markgraf (Color); Pregame show via NWSL Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube

June 23 – Washington Spirit (H) vs. Orlando Pride (A)
ESPNEWS | Pregame 7 p.m. ET | Kickoff 7:08 p.m. ET
Jenn Hildreth (PBP) & Kate Markgraf (Color); Pregame show via NWSL Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube

June 30 – Orlando Pride (H) vs. North Carolina Courage (A)
Lifetime | Pregame 3:30 p.m. ET | Kickoff 3:50 p.m. ET
Jenn Hildreth (PBP) & Kate Markgraf (Color)

July 7 – Orlando Pride (H) vs. Washington Spirit (A)
ESPNEWS | Pregame 7:30 p.m. ET | Kickoff 7:38 p.m. ET
Jenn Hildreth (PBP) & Angela Hucles (Color); Pregame show via NWSL Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube

July 14 – Utah Royals FC (H) vs. Orlando Pride (A)
ESPNEWS | Pregame 7 p.m. ET | Kickoff 7:08 p.m. ET
Jenn Hildreth (PBP) & Kate Markgraf (Color); Pregame show via NWSL Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube

July 21 – Orlando Pride (H) vs. Seattle Reign FC (A)
Lifetime | Pregame 3:30 p.m. ET | Kickoff 3:50 p.m. ET
Jenn Hildreth (PBP) & Aly Wagner (Color)

August 11 – Utah Royals FC (H) vs. Seattle Reign FC (A)
Lifetime | Pregame 3:30 p.m. ET | Kickoff 3:50 p.m. ET
Jenn Hildreth (PBP) & Aly Wagner (Color)

August 18 – Portland Thorns FC (H) vs. Chicago Red Stars (A)
ESPNEWS | Pregame 10:30 p.m. | Kickoff 10:38 p.m. ET
Jenn Hildreth (PBP) & Aly Wagner (Color); Pregame show via NWSL Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube

August 25 – Washington Spirit (H) vs. Portland Thorns FC (A) at Audi Field
ESPNEWS | Pregame 7:30 p.m. ET | Kickoff 7:38 p.m. ET
Jenn Hildreth (PBP) & Aly Wagner (Color); Pregame show via NWSL Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube

September 7 – Portland Thorns FC (H) vs. Seattle Reign FC (A)
Lifetime | Pregame 10 p.m. ET | Kickoff 10:04 p.m. ET
Jenn Hildreth (PBP) & Aly Wagner (Color); Pregame show via NWSL Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube

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