WSL news: The 2020-21 Women’s Super League is set to kick off this weekend, with at least 12 matches broadcast on NBCSN and 50 games throughout the WSL season be shown across NBC Sports platforms.
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WSL action will make its TV debut in the USA this Sunday as Manchester United v. Chelsea will be shown on NBCSN as part of a season-long partnership with Atalanta Media.
Through the partnership, NBC Sports will present WSL matches between September and May, including, with other games on the NBC Sports app and on NBCSports.com.
Here’s the basics you need to know before diving in on Friday…
Reigning/recent WSL champions
Chelsea, who have put together something of a dynasty of dominance over the last five years, were crowned 2019-20 champions after the season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic this spring. With teams having played anywhere from 13 to 16 games at that time, the title and relegation were settled on a points-per-game basis. Though Chelsea (2.60 PPG) had one fewer point than second-place finishers Manchester City (2.50 PPG), they had also played one fewer game.
2016: Man City
WSL title contenders
If Chelsea are to defend their title, they’ll be the first side to do so since Liverpool back in 2014. City will feel extremely hard done by to have not won the title last season, so you can safely expect them to seek revenge. Arsenal were the only other side to finish within 15 points of the champions last season, so barring an incredible rise through the ranks it looks to be a three-horse race in 2020-21.
Chelsea weren’t shy about bringing in reinforcements this summer, as they clearly expect a serious push from City and Arsenal. Danish forward Pernille Harder arrives in west London after winning four straight domestic doubles with German powerhouse Wolfsburg, and as one of the best players in the world. She bagged 103 goals in 113 games in her four seasons at the club. The defending champions have quite likely added a Player of the Season candidate to a team that was already slight favorites for the title.
USWNT, Canada, NWSL stars coming to WSL
With massive uncertainty regarding the 2020 season hanging over the National Women’s Soccer League in the United States, a handful of the league’s biggest stars have made the jump overseas and will be testing themselves in the WSL this season. For anyone new to the WSL, you’ll undoubtedly recognize a number of big names.
Most notably, City added to their squad in the most visible of ways this summer, bringing in USWNT midfield stars Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis.
Canada’s Jessie Fleming also joins Harder at Chelsea, bringing with her the experience of 77 international caps at the age of 22.
England regular Rachel Daly is on loan to West Ham United after spending the last four seasons with Houston Dash in NWSL. Welsh superstar Jess Fishlock is also on loan to Reading, from OL Reign in the NWSL.
This weekend’s WSL schedule
Aston Villa v Man City — Saturday, 9:30 am ET (WATCH LIVE)
Arsenal v Reading — Sunday, 7:30 am ET (WATCH LIVE)
Brighton & Hove Albion v Birmingham City — Sunday, 8 am ET
Bristol City v Everton — Sunday, 8 am ET
Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United — Sunday, 8 am ET
Man United v Chelsea — Sunday, 9:30 am ET (WATCH LIVE)