The complete NWSL schedule was released today, with the 2019 season kicking off on Saturday, April 13. The defending champion North Carolina Courage take on the Chicago Red Stars in the league opener. The Orlando Pride’s first game is against the Portland Thorns on Sunday, April 14 in Orlando City Stadium at 5 p.m.
This marks the third time in four seasons the Pride will open the season against the Thorns, but the first time they’ll do it at home. Orlando opened 2016 and 2017 at Providence Park. The Pride will start the season at home for the second consecutive year, after last year’s season-opening 1-1 draw against Utah Royals FC.
Each of the nine NWSL teams will play each other three times. Orlando will face Portland, Utah, Washington, and Chicago at home twice, while visiting Reign FC — now playing in Tacoma rather than Seattle — Houston, Sky Blue, and North Carolina twice each. Teams play 24 games total, with 12 games home and 12 away. The Pride’s season is split perfectly, as Orlando will play six home and six away matches in each half of the season.
The team will be on the road for back-to-back games three times: April 17 and 21 at North Carolina and Reign FC; June 15 and 22 at Houston and Sky Blue; and Aug. 21 and 24 at Chicago and Washington. The longest home stand is July 20 through Aug. 17 when the Pride host Sky Blue, Houston, and Utah, with a three-week post-World Cup break built in between the first two of those three games.
That the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is taking place in the middle of the season — June 7 to July 7 — is, of course, the biggest talking point of the schedule. Orlando plays four matches during that time, but there is a short international break at the start of the group stage — June 3-14. After the World Cup is over, Orlando has a three-week break between July 20 and Aug 10.
The Pride have a difficult task to start the season. Orlando hosts Portland, travels to North Carolina, and then travels to Washington to play Reign FC in a week’s span. That is three of the four 2018 playoffs teams in the first eight days of the season.
The final weekend of the regular season is Oct. 12-13. The playoffs start the next week — Oct. 19-20 — and the NWSL championship match will be played on Saturday, Oct. 26. The team with the better record has home field advantage throughout the postseason.
This season, all NWSL games will be live streamed on Yahoo!Sports. Games were on Lifetime for the past few years, but that deal was recently terminated. The NWSL is rumored to be closing in on a deal with NBC Sports, but for now, games will only be available via Yahoo and the NWSL website and on the NWSL app internationally.
2019 Orlando Pride Schedule
|Sunday||April 14||5 p.m.||vs. Portland Thorns FC|
|Wednesday||April 17||7 p.m.||at North Carolina Courage|
|Sunday||April 21||10 p.m.||at Reign FC|
|Saturday||April 27||7:30 p.m.||vs. Utah Royals FC|
|Sunday||May 5||6 p.m.||at Houston Dash|
|Saturday||May 11||7:30 p.m.||vs. Portland Thorns FC|
|Saturday||May 25||8 p.m.||at Utah Royals FC|
|Saturday||June 1||7:30 p.m.||vs. North Carolina Courage|
|Saturday||June 15||8:30 p.m.||at Houston Dash|
|Saturday||June 22||7 p.m.||at Sky Blue|
|Sunday||June 30||5 p.m.||vs. Chicago Red Stars|
|Saturday||July 6||7:30 p.m.||vs. Washington Spirit|
|Sunday||July 14||3 p.m.||at Portland Thorns FC|
|Saturday||July 20||7:30 p.m.||vs. Sky Blue FC|
|Saturday||Aug. 10||7:30 p.m.||vs. Houston Dash|
|Saturday||Aug. 17||7:30 p.m.||vs. Utah Royals FC|
|Wednesday||Aug. 21||7:30 p.m.||at Chicago Red Stars|
|Saturday||Aug. 24||7:30 p.m.||at Washington Spirit|
|Saturday||Aug. 31||7:30 p.m.||vs. Washington Spirit|
|Saturday||Sept. 7||10 p.m.||at Reign FC|
|Wednesday||Sept. 11||7:30 p.m.||vs. Chicago Red Stars|
|Saturday||Sept. 14||7 p.m.||at North Carolina Courage|
|Sunday||Sept. 29||1 p.m.||at Sky Blue|
|Saturday||Oct. 12||7:30 p.m.||vs. Reign FC|