Soccer

At Last, the NWSL 2022 Regular Season Schedule Is Here

The Challenge Cup begins March 18, and the Portland Thorns open the regular season at Providence Park on April 30.

By Margaret Seiler March 16, 2022

Former Canada national team player Rhian Wilkinson begins her first year as head coach for the Portland Thorns, after six-year manager Mark Parsons left to coach the Netherlands national team. 

The National Women’s Soccer League released the schedule March 16 for its 2022 season, letting players, staff, media, and fans finally flip their internal soundtrack from Tom Petty’s “The Waiting” and the Rolling Stones’ “I Am Waiting” to the celebratory relief of Etta James’s “At Last” and CeCe Peniston’s “Finally.” The league had previously released the schedule for its third Challenge Cup, which starts this Friday (and which the Thorns won in 2021), in February. The regular NWSL season begins April 29 when expansion team Angel City FC hosts the North Carolina Courage in Los Angeles.

The Portland Thorns, one of the league's founding teams, will kick off their 10th season on April 30, welcoming the Kansas City Current to Providence Park. At the moment, US National Team stars Crystal Dunn and Becky Sauerbrunn are unavailable, due to pregnancy and recovery from a knee injury, respectively. During the offseason, 2021 MVP candidate Angela Salem announced her retirement, and Thorns forwards Simone Charley and Tyler Lussi joined Angel City FC. Defender Christen Westphal headed to the other new expansion team, San Diego Wave FC. The Thorns are also without Lindsey Horan, on loan to French side Olympique Lyonnais. The 2022 season will the be the team's first under new coach Rhian Wilkinson.

Portland Thorns 2022 Schedule

Home games in bold; Pacific time zone; subject to change

Challenge Cup

7 p.m. Friday, March 18, at OL Reign
7 p.m. Saturday, March 26, at San Diego Wave FC
7 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, Angel City FC, Providence Park
7 p.m. Saturday, April 2 , OL Reign (Seattle), Providence Park
4 p.m. Sunday, April 17, San Diego Wave FC, Providence Park 
6 p.m. Sunday, April 24, at Angel City FC

Regular Season

3 p.m. Saturday, April 30, KC Current, Providence Park 
7 p.m. Friday, May 13 , OL Reign, Providence Park
7 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, Washington (DC) Spirit, Providence Park
3 p.m. Saturday, May 21, Houston Dash, Providence Park
5 p.m Saturday, May 28, at Chicago Red Stars 
7:30 p.m. Friday, June 3, Angel City FC, Providence Park
7 p.m. Wednesday, June 8, at San Diego Wave FC
4 p.m. Sunday, June 12, at Houston Dash 4 p.m.
Noon Sunday, June 19, Orlando Pride, Providence Park
7:30 p.m. Friday, July 1, at Angel City FC
3 p.m. Sunday, July 10, at OL Reign
7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 16, NJ/NY Gotham FC, Providence Park
5 p.m. Friday, July 29, at Racing Louisville FC 
7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, North Carolina Courage, Providence Park 
4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, at Washington Spirit 
4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at North Carolina Courage (rescheduled from May 7)

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, San Diego Wave FC, Providence Park 
4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at Orlando Pride 
2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, at KC Current 
7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, Racing Louisville FC, Providence Park 
3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, Chicago Red Stars, Providence Park 
3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at NJ/NY Gotham FC

The 2022 NWSL Championship Game, traditionally held at a predetermined site, is scheduled for October 29. The Thorns are among six teams with a game scheduled on May 7, which is also the date of the Challenge Cup final, so it's possible some regular-season games will be rescheduled. In 2020 a Thorns game was rescheduled due to air quality during the September 2020 wildfires, and in 2021 a whole weekend of NWSL games was rescheduled in the aftermath of revelations of former players' allegations of sexual coercion by a past Thorns coach.

The schedule arrives 44 days before the start of the 2022 regular season. In the first five years of its decade-long existence, the NWSL announced its schedule an average of 58 days in advance. In the past five years, the average has been 39 days. For men's Major League Soccer, over the past five years the average has been 56 days. 

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