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2020 NWSL Challenge Cup

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Template:Infobox football tournament season The 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup is a one-off tournament during the 2020 National Women's Soccer League season to mark the league's return to action from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Format[edit source | edit]

For further information, see 2020 NWSL season#Challenge Cup

The Challenge Cup was originally planned as a 25-game tournament featuring all nine NWSL clubs each playing four games in a preliminary round. The top eight teams would advance to a knockout bracket.[1] However, on June 22 it was announced that Orlando Pride would be withdrawing following six positive COVID-19 tests among players and a further four among non-playing staff.[2] On June 23, the NWSL released the revised schedule of a 23-game, eight-team tournament.[3]

On June 22, the NWSL announced the full rules and regulations for the tournament.[4] There will be no added extra time; any tied games after regulation in the knockout round will go straight to a penalty shoot-out.

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic[edit source | edit]

To lessen the impact of fixture congestion caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, NWSL clubs will be permitted to roster up to 28 players each for the Challenge Cup (a temporary increase by two) and to make up to five substitutions in accordance with temporary rules and regulations from the International Football Association Board. Final tournament rosters must be submitted by June 21.[5] In order to hold the event as safely as possible, all teams will be quarantined during the entirety of the tournament in a so-called "NWSL village" with all housing provided by Dell Loy Hansen, owner of Utah Royals FC. Every player, official, and essential staff member will be tested for the coronavirus 48 hours prior to departure for Utah and will be subject to consistent testing, temperature readings, and symptom review throughout. The entire tournament will be held behind closed doors.[1][6]

Squads[edit source | edit]

NWSL teams were required to submit finalized rosters to participate in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup on June 21. Roster sizes were required to be a minimum of 22 players and maximum of 28 players (24 senior players + 4 supplemental players) and contain at least three goalkeepers. Only players listed on that final roster will be permitted to participate in the tournament. International players already under contract by NWSL teams but not participating in the tournament do not count towards the roster limit. Due to the extraordinary circumstances, player availability was affected by factors including failure to attain visas due to embassy closures, inability to report because of COVID-19 related travel restrictions and personal unwillingness to participate. Furthermore, teams could sign a maximum of 4 players they had the rights to but were not yet under contract to short-term contracts lasting the duration of the tournament. Short-term loans from teams outside the NWSL were also permissible.[7]

Squads were announced on June 23.[3]

Preliminary round[edit source | edit]

Draw[edit source | edit]

The draw for the preliminary round was held on June 1, 2020, 12:00 ET, and streamed live on CBS Sports HQ.[8] The nine NWSL teams were drawn randomly into nine slots, which would determine each team's four-game schedule for the preliminary round.[9] After the draw concluded, the NWSL released the full schedule of the preliminary round to be played at Zions Bank Stadium.[10]

Slot Team
1 Chicago Red Stars
2 Washington Spirit
3 Houston Dash
4 Utah Royals FC (H)
5 North Carolina Courage
6 Sky Blue FC
7 Portland Thorns FC
8 OL Reign
9 Orlando Pride (W)

The Orlando Pride withdrew from the tournament on June 22, 2020.[2] One day later, the NWSL released a revised tournament schedule accordingly.[3]

Standings[edit source | edit]

Template:2020 NWSL Challenge Cup preliminary round

Tiebreakers[edit source | edit]

The initial determining factor for a team's position in the standings is most points earned, with three points earned for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss. If two or more teams are equal on points after completion of the preliminary round, the following criteria shall be applied to determine team rankings:[4]

  1. Head-to-Head (only if two teams are tied and they’ve played each other).
  2. Superior goal difference in all preliminary matches.
  3. Greatest number of goals scored in all preliminary matches.
  4. Lowest team conduct score relating to the number of yellow and red cards obtained, where only one of the below point totals shall be applied to a player in a single match:
    1. yellow card: 1 point;
    2. indirect red card (as a result of two yellow cards): 3 points;
    3. direct red card: 4 points;
    4. yellow card and direct red card: 5 points.
  5. Drawing of lots by the NWSL.

Schedule[edit source | edit]

All game times are listed in MDT.

Matchday 1[edit source | edit]

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Matchday 2[edit source | edit]

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Matchday 3[edit source | edit]

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Matchday 4[edit source | edit]

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Matchday 5[edit source | edit]

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Matchday 6[edit source | edit]

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Matchday 7[edit source | edit]

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Matchday 8[edit source | edit]

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Knockout round[edit source | edit]

In the knockout round, if a game is level at the end of 90 minutes of normal playing time, there will be no extra time and the winners will be determined by a penalty shoot-out.[4]

Bracket[edit source | edit]

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All game times are listed in MDT.

Quarter-finals[edit source | edit]

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Semi-finals[edit source | edit]

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Final[edit source | edit]

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Statistics[edit source | edit]

Goalscorers[edit source | edit]

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Assists[edit source | edit]

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Discipline[edit source | edit]

A player will be automatically suspended for the next match for the following offences:[11]

  • Receiving a red card (red card suspensions may be extended for serious offences);
  • Receiving two yellow cards in two matches; yellow cards expire after the completion of the quarter-finals;
  • Direct red card suspensions are carried forward to future NWSL regular season matches, but indirect red card suspensions will not be carried forward to any future matches.

The following suspensions were served during the tournament:

Player Offence(s) Suspension

Awards[edit source | edit]

The following awards will be given at the conclusion of the tournament:[4] The MVP (most outstanding player as voted by the media and sponsored by Budweiser), Golden Boot (top scorer), Golden Glove (best goalkeeper as voted by the media and sponsored by Verizon), NWSL Future Legend (the top-performing player in their first season with the NWSL), and Best XI (the best 11-players as voted by the players, media, fans, and GMs/coaches, and presented by Google[12]).

MVP Golden Boot Golden Glove Future Legend

Best XI[edit source | edit]

Goalkeeper Defenders Midfielders Forwards

Broadcasting[edit source | edit]

In accordance with the broadcast deals signed by the NWSL at the start of the 2020 season,[13] both the tournament opener and final will air on CBS. All other games will be live on CBS All Access subscription service in the U.S. and Canada and will re-air on CBS Sports Network. International fans will be able to stream the full tournament on Twitch.[1]

References[edit source | edit]

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  9. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  10. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  11. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  12. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  13. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).

External links[edit source | edit]

Template:2020 NWSL season by team Template:2020 in American soccer Template:National Women's Soccer League