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NWSL shortens schedule, will take World Cup break in 2015

Season will consist of 20 games and conclude during the final week of September.

Brett Carlsen

In similar fashion to how its predecessors treated Women's World Cup years, the NWSL will shorten its regular season and take a short break during the summer it was announced on Wednesday. After playing 22 games in its inaugural year and 24 games this season, the NWSL will play 20 games in 2015. That schedule will include more weekend games than this year's and will also include a two-week break during the 2015 Women's World Cup.

Training camps are scheduled to open in March without national team players, who are expected to return to their club teams in time for the season openers in early April. Those players will remain with their clubs for the first 3-4 games of the season before rejoining their national teams ahead of the World Cup that runs from June 6-July 5 in Canada. NWSL teams will likely be off during the group stage that ends on June 18. The national teamers will rejoin their clubs after the World Cup and remain with their clubs until the season concludes with the championship game on Sept. 26 or 27, with a two-week break between the semifinals in order to avoid a FIFA date.

With fewer games to fit in spread out over a longer time period, the NWSL schedule will also include a higher percentage of weekend games, with teams only being asked to play four midweek games.