2020 NWSL Challenge Cup presented by P&G and Secret – Matchday 1
Washington Spirit vs Chicago Red Stars
Zions Bank Stadium. Herriman, UT
June 27 at 9:00 PM CT
CHICAGO — The Chicago Red Stars will kick off sports in North America when they face the Washington Spirit in the second game of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup presented by P&G and Secret on the tournament’s opening day, Saturday, June 27. Kickoff from Zions Bank Stadium is scheduled for 9 pm C.T.
The Washington Spirit look to start off their Challenge Cup campaign strong, having finished the 2019 NWSL season just outside of a playoff spot at 5th. The Spirit will enter this year with a roster sporting the likes of the reigning 2019 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year Aubrey Bledsoe, 2019 FIFA Women’s Ballon d’Or nominee and Women’s World Cup Bronze Ball winner Rose Lavelle, and second-year defender Samantha Staab.
Let’s Kickoff: The National Women’s Soccer League will be the first major sports league in the United States to open up play this year with the start of the 2020 Challenge Cup on Saturday. The Red Stars will be the first team out of all major sports teams in Chicago to begin play in 2020 when they take on the Washington Spirit at 9PM CDT. Fans in the U.S. can watch all 23 games of the tournament on CBS and CBS All-Access, with all games being re-aired on CBS Sports Network. Fans in Canada and internationally can stream the entire tournament for free on the NWSL’s Twitch channel.
Battle of the Best: Saturday night’s contest will feature four players from the 2019 NWSL Best XI and two from the Second XI. Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe and midfielder Rose Lavelle represent the Spirit in the Best XI, with defender Casey Short and midfielder Julie Ertz representing the Red Stars. The Red Stars also have two representatives of the 2019 Second XI: goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and midfielder Yuki Nagasato.
Trading Places: Saturday night will see the return of renowned Red Stars like Yuki Nagasato, Julie Ertz, and so on. The night also holds the potential to see new faces on the team sheet such as offseason trade acquisitions, the 2020 rookie class, and more such as Kealia Ohai Watt and Rachel Hill. Watt, a forward who formerly played for the Houston Dash, was acquired via trade in exchange for the No. 18 pick in the 2020 NWSL Draft and defender Katie Naughton. Hill, also a forward, along with allocation money and a package of 2021 draft picks was acquired from the Orlando Pride in exchange for the Red Stars’ No. 3 and 26 picks in 2020.