With the start of the 2020 NWSL season right around the corner, all nine clubs began their preparations with their first day of preseason on Monday. Prior to the season’s kick off on April 18, each club will play a slew of friendlies to get ready for the upcoming campaign. Here’s a run down of how each club will spend preseason:
Head coach Rory Dames has called in 40 players to his camp ahead of the Red Stars’ first preseason match this Sunday against DePaul University. From their match against DePaul, the Red Stars then head to Breese Stevens Field in Madison, Wis., to face the University of Wisconsin on March 25. The Red Stars later head out west to participate in the Thorns Spring Invitational before ending their preseason with a friendly against Indiana University on April 11.
The Dash play a pair of matches against the Dynamo Academy on March 18 and 25 and also host Texas University on March 29. The preseason ends for the club on April 4 with a match against local academy powerhouse Challenge Soccer Club.
The back-to-back league champions will be playing six preseason matches as they tune up to try for a three-peat in 2020. The Courage preseason kicks off on March 21 against UNC, followed by a weekend of back-to-back games against West Virginia and University of South Carolina on March 28 and 29. Following their April 2 showdown against Duke, the Courage host league rivals Sky Blue FC on April 5 at WakeMed Soccer Park. The Courage close out their preseason on April 10 against East Carolina University.
A reinvigorated Orlando Pride begin their preseason round. of games away at Florida State University on March 24. The Pride then head to UCF for their second preseason match on April 4, before closing out their preseason on April 11 with a closed-door friendly against the University of South Florida.
Under a new badge and the guidance of new head coach Farid Benstiti, OL Reign’s preseason match schedule will all be played at the Thorns Spring Invitational. OL Reign will face the U.S. U-23 women’s national team on March 29 and face league rival Chicago Red Stars on April 1 and host Portland Thorns FC on April 4.
Thorns FC have made more than a few changes this offseason and they prepare for the season by hosting teams for the Thorns Spring Invitational. Thorns FC face off against the Red Stars in a repeat of last years semifinal on March 29, and then go on to face the U.S. U-23s on April 1 before closing their tournament on April 4t with a date with the recently rebranded OL Reign.
Freya Coombe and a new look Sky Blue FC begin their march into their first season at Red Bull Arena with three matches in North Carolina. Sky Blue face UNC on April and closes their preseason plans with a weekend doubleheader, facing Virginia on April 4 before playing the defending league champion North Carolina Courage on April 5.
Craig Harrington brings Utah into a new era as the club begins preseason slate on March 29 with a visit to the University of Southern California. Harrington’s team will then pay host to the University of Utah on April 4 at America First Field, which serves as the club’s training facility.
The Washington Spirit are breaking new ground this offseason by traveling to Port St. Lucie, Fla., for a two-week preseason camp that opens on March 12. The Spirit will then travel home for their first of three friendly matches at Maryland SoccerPlex, hosting Virginia on March 28, UNC on April 4, and Penn State on April 11.