USWNT REWIND: 2024 NWSL Season Kicks Off

The National Women’s Soccer League returned to action in exciting fashion, kicking off its 12th season with an entertaining opening weekend of action.

Play kicked off on Friday night with the 2024 NWSL Challenge Cup. Under the new single-match format, the competition pitted NJ/NY Gotham FC – the 2024 NWSL Champions – against San Diego Wave FC – the 2024 NWSL Shield Winners. Alex Morgan lifted the visiting Wave to a 1-0 victory in front of a crowd of 14,241 at Red Bull Arena, heading in the game-winning goal off a corner kick in the 88th minute. The San Diego defense – headlined by Naomi Girma and Abby Dahlkemper – kept the clean sheet to secure the first trophy of the 2024 season for the Wave.


The first match of the regular season was an historic and goal-filled affair as the Kansas City Current topped Portland Thorns FC 5-4 on Saturday afternoon at newly-opened CPKC Stadium, the first bespoke professional women’s soccer stadium in the world. The hosts jumped out to a three-goal lead before 2023 NWSL Golden Boot winner Sophia Smith pulled one back for the visiting Thorns just before halftime with a right-footed blast from outside the box. Kansas City scored in the 64th and 68th minutes – the latter by U.S. Under-17 Women’s Youth National Team forward Alex Pfeiffer – to take a 5-1 lead, their largest of the afternoon. Portland responded with three unanswered goals, including Smith’s second of the day from a tight angle, but could not complete the comeback in the high-octane affair.


The offense was also on full display in North Carolina, where the Courage opened the season with a 5-1 victory over the Houston Dash. Casey Murphy made three saves for North Carolina in the victory while midfielder Ashley Sanchez made her Courage debut after being traded during the offseason.

Racing Louisville FC and the Orlando Pride combined for four goals in their Saturday afternoon showdown, with the sides playing to a 2-2 draw at Lynn Family Stadium in Louisville.

The Chicago Red Stars and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher recorded the first clean sheet of the 2024 NWSL Regular Season, blanking the Utah Royals 2-0 on the road. Chicago scored twice in the secondhalf and Naeher, fresh off winning the Golden Glove at the Concacaf W Gold Cup, produced several fantastic saves to spoil Utah’s return to the NWSL. Nearly a year after rupturing her patella tendon and missing the 2023 World Cup, Mallory Swanson saw her first game action for club or country, playing 80 minutes for the Red Stars in the victory.  


The Washington Spirit and rebranded Seattle Reign FC squared off on Sunday in Seattle, resulting in a 1-0 win for the hosts. The Reign scored the game’s only goal in the third minute from the penalty spot.

The final match of the opening weekend marked two firsts for Bay FC. Not only did the expansion club play its first NWSL match, it also recorded its first-ever victory, beating fellow California club Angel City FC 1-0 at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles. Nigerian international Asisat Oshoala penned her name in the history books, scoring Bay FC’s first ever goal in NWSL.

In England, Chelsea picked up three valuable points in its quest for a fifth consecutive FA Women’s Super League title, besting London rivals Arsenal 3-1 on Friday night at Stamford Bridge. Emily Fox came on as a halftime substitute for Arsenal while Catarina Macario subbed on late in the second half for Chelsea and incoming USWNT head coach Emma Hayes, as she continues to get valuable game minutes in her return from injury.

Hayes, Macario and Chelsea will be back in action on Tuesday, taking on Ajax as the quarterfinals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League kick off (1:45 p.m. ET on DAZN). Lindsey Horan and Olympique Lyon will face Benfica later that afternoon (4 p.m. ET on DAZN) while Korbin Albert and Paris Saint-Germain take on BK Hacken on Wednesday (1:45 p.m. ET on DAZN) in the first leg of the quarterfinal round.

Broadcast information on more upcoming matches featuring U.S. Women’s National Team players can be found below. All times listed are ET.

Tuesday, March 19
UWCL – Quarterfinals: Ajax vs. Chelsea FC 1:45 p.m. DAZN
UWCL – Quarterfinals: Benfica vs. Olympique Lyon 4:00 p.m. DAZN
Wednesday, March 20
UWCL – Quarterfinals: BK Hacken FF vs. Paris Saint-Germain 1:45 p.m. DAZN
Friday, March 22
NWSL: Orlando Pride vs. Angel City FC 8:00 p.m. Prime Video
NWSL: Utah Royals vs. North Carolina Courage 9:30 p.m. NWSL+
Saturday, March 23
D1 Féminine: LOSC Lille vs. Olympique Lyon 8:30 a.m.  
NWSL: Chicago Red Stars vs. Seattle Reign FC 4:00 p.m. NWSL+
NWSL: Washington Spirit vs. Bay FC 7:30 p.m. ION
NWSL: Houston Dash vs. Racing Louisville FC 8:30 p.m. NWSL+
NWSL: San Diego Wave FC vs. Kansas City Current 10:00 p.m. ION
Sunday, March 24
FA Women’s Super League: West Ham United FC vs. Chelsea FC 12:30 p.m. Paramount+
FA Women’s Super League: Aston Villa vs. Arsenal FC 2:45 p.m. Paramount+
D1 Féminine: Montpellier vs. Paris Saint-Germain 4:00 p.m. DAZN
NWSL: Portland Thorns FC vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC 7:00 p.m. ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes