The National Women’s Soccer League will begin to play this weekend in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup. The 23-game tournament will see eight of the nine clubs compete in and conclude with the championship game at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
The beginning of the season will also feature multiple NWSL clubs donning new jerseys when they take the pitch. All clubs have released at least one primary, while many introduced secondary kits. Here is a look at the new looks in the NWSL.
Chicago Red Stars
The Chicago Red Stars usually don’t disappoint when it comes to kit designs. This year the club has two great looks that continue that tradition that features the six-pointed star design across the front of the kit.
The club revealed “The Neighborhood Kit” for this season that spells out all 77 neighbourhoods of the city. The names are printed in blue and form two horizontal lines that cut across the front of the shirt that includes the four “six-point” stars in between. The back of the jersey features the same design that forms the Chicago skyline.
The team announced on June 25 that Meijer, a family-owned retailer that operates more than 248 supercenters and grocery stores throughout the Midwest, has entered into a sponsorship agreement with the Chicago Red Stars.
The Houston Dash introduced two jerseys this season. The primary kit is orange with alternating thin-and-thick black stripes down each sleeve. The stripes form a thicker stripe at the end of the sleeve.
The secondary kit pays tribute to the NFL’s Houston Oilers of the late 1970s. The “Luv ya Dash!” kits are white with a Columbia blue stripe running horizontally across the chest trimmed with two smaller orange stripes to complement the look. The Columbia blue continues down each side of the kit and an all-orange version of the team’s shield logo is in the upper left.
The NC Courage released their jerseys that will feature two stars over its crest to signify its two championships. The all navy blue jersey features a rounded collar and thin vertical stripes. A clean, simple look for any soccer club in any part of the world. Continental Tire returns as the front-of-jersey sponsor and Aetna returns as the back-of-jersey sponsor.
Just a few months after rebranding from Seattle Reign FC to OL Reign, the club introduced both home and away sets at a virtual meeting for season ticket members. The white kit will serve as the club’s primary and features a vibrant red stripe running down the side of the shirt. There is also a spot of red just above the shirt’s collar.
The blue kit, the club’s secondary, features the brighter blue the club has adopted as part of the rebrand, while the shorts are a darker shade of blue, perhaps an homage to the original colours of the team.
The Seattle-based e-commerce site Zulily will remain as the club’s primary sponsor on the front of both kits; Boeing returns as the back sponsor, placed below the numbers.
The Orlando Pride unveiled a “white plume away kit” that features swan feathers, honouring swans at iconic Lake Eola and the Black Swans Drinking Club supporters group. The black lettering and a light gray feather pattern that wraps around the shoulders and sleeves.
However, the Pride had to withdraw from the upcoming NWSL Challenge Cup after six players and four staffers tested positive for the coronavirus. The decision came six days before the club was to have played its first game.
Portland Thorns FC
The Thorns primary jersey is referred to as “the Dark Rose” and is the first black jersey in the club’s history. It features stylized dark roses as an homage to Portland’s “Rose City” nickname (as well as the team name). Vertical red stripes are featured on the side panel of the shirt.
The club’s secondary jersey is nicknamed the Untamed Thorn, and according to a press release, “carries thorn graphics that pull the spirit of the home fans through as metaphorical body armour”. The all-white jersey features the same stylized grey roses.
Sky Blue FC
Sky Blue FC has released its primary jersey that is called Lightning Strike. The all-black jersey features a sky blue lighting pattern down the left side of the kit. Hackensack Meridian Health is the club’s jersey sponsor this year.
The Utah Royals unveiled a new look along with new sponsorship for this summer’s Challenge Cup. The kits are dark blue and depict the Wasatch Mountains that dominate the city’s skyline on the lower front of the jersey in yellow. Yellow stripes run down the side of the uniform and are matched with matching yellow shorts. Soleil Energy will be inscribed on the URFC home and away jerseys.
Washington released its new jerseys on June 25. The navy blue jersey features light gray hoops and red stripes down each side that are matched with red shorts. CVS Health is the official team sponsor this summer.
The NWSL’s first match will take place today on Saturday, June 27, when the Washington Spirit and Chicago Red Stars kicking off the tournament, followed by the NC Courage vs. Portland Thorns FC match. The final will be held at Rio Tinto Stadium on July 26.