NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman addressed the absence of the league’s 2023 calendar, admitting it “took too long” to be released.
The match schedule is set to be released on Wednesday, just 45 days before the start of the season on March 25. Several of the league’s high profile players, including Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, publicly questioned the wait for the announcement but failed to receive an answer.
“Grateful that this day is finally upon us…there are not enough words permitted on Twitter to explain ‘the why’ but it doesn’t much matter — fact is, it took too long,” Berman wrote in a Twitter post. “Thank you for your passion and for holding us accountable. We will do better.”
This isn’t the first time the NWSL delays the release of a schedule.
In 2022, the league provided match updates on March 16, 44 days before the campaign kicked off on April 29. Fans and players demanded efficiency, inspiring Berman to promise the schedule would come “sooner than last year” during the 2023 NWSL Draft in January.
But it didn’t.
Regardless, the NWSL’s 11th season kicks off on March 25 and will run through the championship match on Saturday, November 11. The upcoming campaign will start almost a month earlier than the 2022, due to the Women’s World Cup.
The international tournament in July and August will interrupt the season, forcing an extended NWSL campaign.
The league will also host its Challenge Cup tournament during the regular season for the first time ever, after originally being played as a preseason competition. But the addition of the Cup during the 2023 campaign will not interrupt the format, as the NWSL’s 12 teams will play 22 games in the regular season.