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OL Reign 2021 Challenge Cup schedule announced

A home opener against the 2020 Cup winners, and a Cascadia clash on national TV.

2020 NWSL Challenge Cup - Championship Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The dates for the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup are set. As previously reported, OL Reign will be in a group with the four other “western” teams – Chicago, Kansas City, Houston, and Portland. Unlike last year’s tournament, this year’s will be played at the respective home stadiums instead of a centralized location. It was not immediately clear if fans would be allowed to be in attendance.

The Reign will open by hosting 2020 Challenge Cup winners Houston Dash at Cheney Stadium on Friday, April 16, with kickoff at 7 PM PT. The following week they travel to Portland for a game on Wednesday, April 21 at 7 PM against the Thorns. Their second home game will be against the Chicago Red Stars on Tuesday, April 27 at 7 PM. The group stage concludes with a trip to the Field of Legends to play Kansas City on Sunday, May 2 at 1:30 PM (update: the game is now scheduled for Monday, May 3 at 5 PM PT). The game against Portland will air on CBS Sports Network, while the other three matches will stream on Paramount+ domestically. All games will stream internationally on Twitch.

The winner of the West division will face the winner of the East division in the Challenge Cup final on Saturday, May 9 at 10 AM PT on CBS. The venue for the final will be announced at a later date.

“We are very excited to return to the pitch and are ready for this challenge,” said OL Reign head coach Farid Benstiti in a team release. “It will be a very difficult tournament, as our division has some incredible teams. I know the history of our games with Portland which are always special, and we have great respect for our other opponents in the division—especially the champions and finalist from last year’s Challenge Cup. It will be a good test for our squad and we will continue working hard to be at our best for the tournament.”

The Reign also quietly announced two preseason dates. They will face Gonzaga University at 2 PM PT today at Cheney Stadium, and will host Seattle Pacific University at Cheney Stadium on the morning of Saturday, March 13. No fans will be permitted at either preseason game.

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