2021 Challenge Cup

Discussion in 'NWSL' started by SiberianThunderT, Feb 10, 2021.

  1. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    In semi-non-NWSL news, the season start date for MLS has been pushed back about a week, so it will now start on April 17th. This means that, for the second year in a row, the NWSL Challenge Cup will be the return of DI pro soccer in the country!

    While searching for other preseason info, I came across this tidbit from BlackAndRedUnited:
    https://www.blackandredunited.com/w...llins-kelley-ohara-emily-sonnett-richie-burke

    It sounds to me like NWSL will be divided into two groups of five, so I guess pool play should be 4 games (just like last year) which I guess means a three-game KO tournament after as well. Eight matchdays in a bit over a month was quite the grueling task last year, but I guess if it works, might as well stick with it? They didn't have to do cross-country travel last year, though, so this might be particularly exhausting this go-around.

    Oh yeah, and just to say it: that means the other group is Reign-Thorns-Dash-KC-Red Stars, so it's mostly an east/west split. I hope that means the QF are E1/W4, E2/W3, E3/W2, and E3/W1!
     
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  2. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    From an EQZ article today, the Spirit will play the first five home matches of their schedule (and thus all home games of the Challenge Cup) at Segra Field, due to the fact that Audi is unavailable to them per COVID restrictions. That is, they probably could play at Audi if they really wanted to, but having a game there seems to be contingent on letting fans in (and, I assume, the revenue associated with it).
     
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  3. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Format update: we missed this a few days ago, but WaPo's Goff posted the following:

    Sounds like a bit smaller of a TV deal this time, with the opening match not on the main CBS, plus a *much* reduced KO stage, with only a final instead of QFs-SFs-final.

    At least it reduces schedule congestion?
     
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  4. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Adding to the previous post, there apparently is a decent chance that games in Portland will allow some fans -- with lots of enforced safety protocols. It is not final yet, but that is the direction it is going.
     
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  5. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Nice! Yeah, IIRC NWSL let each team decide whether to have fans in the Fall Series last year, based on local regulations, but I thought no team decided to do so? A similar situation was happening in USL at the time, too (which was quite sad for me to see STLFC have to play as dead team walking for a few months with no fans to properly say goodbye). It would certainly be nice to see 3-5k fans in attendance at some stadiums. (I bet Louisville might be one to let fans in, because LouCity was one team in USL that did have fans at their games last fall.)
     
  6. Klingo3034

    Klingo3034 Member

    Dallas FC
    United States
    Oct 11, 2019
    Should give vaccine to those coming to games eh?
     
  7. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Reign website also basically confirming the groups:
     
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  8. toad455

    toad455 Member+

    Nov 28, 2005
    1368941916243509248 is not a valid tweet id
     
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  9. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    #9 SiberianThunderT, Mar 8, 2021 at 10:20 AM
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021 at 10:27 AM
    Klingo3034 repped this.
  10. toad455

    toad455 Member+

    Nov 28, 2005
    The division split is ONLY for the Challenge Cup. League will remain one table-format for the regular season.
     
  11. Klingo3034

    Klingo3034 Member

    Dallas FC
    United States
    Oct 11, 2019
    Glad we have 10 teams. So 5 each in west and east and final would be like the Super Bowl.
     
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  12. toad455

    toad455 Member+

    Nov 28, 2005
    As the league grows, I wonder 1.) If they'll continue the Challenge Cup & 2.) How they'll split up the teams? 12 teams next year split 6 & 6 is easy but then what happens when the league reaches 14 teams? 16 teams?
     
  13. Klingo3034

    Klingo3034 Member

    Dallas FC
    United States
    Oct 11, 2019
    Just keep on splitting.
     
  14. toad455

    toad455 Member+

    Nov 28, 2005
    14 teams becomes tricky. Three groups(2 with 5 teams and one with 4 teams?). 16 teams can become 4 groups of 4 with the group winners advancing to a round-robin type of format.
     
  15. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    I think if the league grows enough, they'll drop pool play and favor a true "Cup" format. With 14 teams, you give two teams a bye.
     
  16. Klingo3034

    Klingo3034 Member

    Dallas FC
    United States
    Oct 11, 2019
    Good idea. Visualize this for everyone to see. 1 team in each division 1st place in standings get first round bye.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Klingo3034

    Klingo3034 Member

    Dallas FC
    United States
    Oct 11, 2019
    Every team even last place still has a chance to win a championship besides winning the Shield.
     
  18. Klingo3034

    Klingo3034 Member

    Dallas FC
    United States
    Oct 11, 2019
    toad455 repped this.
  19. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    NWSL can't create prize money out of thin air. Same reasoning that they can't arbitrarily raise salary requirements.

    The US - and COCNACAF in general - is honestly quite a cheap region when it comes to the lack of "prize money" for any competition. I don't see that readily changing any time soon.

    Try to stay on topic?
     
  20. Klingo3034

    Klingo3034 Member

    Dallas FC
    United States
    Oct 11, 2019
    This is part of the topic.
     
  21. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Bringing up something for another competition done in another country that has never been discussed for this competition, in general or specifically for this year, is tangential at best.
     
  22. Klingo3034

    Klingo3034 Member

    Dallas FC
    United States
    Oct 11, 2019
    It’s okay to bring it up, no different than trying to bring European style football into MLS like promotions and relegation instead of closed franchise. Trying to think of ideas or just talk about raising up the competition no matter if it’s off topic or useless. That’s for me to decide.
     
  23. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    #23 SiberianThunderT, Mar 8, 2021 at 4:04 PM
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021 at 4:09 PM
    So you think it's okay to bring up pro/rel in just any MLS-related thread? That's almost always going to be entirely off-topic. If the thread is about the league structure or maybe expansion stuff, sure, it's okay to bring up then. But I wouldn't bring it up in a season-specific or team-specific thread, unless there was a specific situation that made it somewhat relevant to the team or that year. (btw, discussing other NWSL competitions like the Shield or the regular playoffs in a Challenge Cup thread is similarly shooting wide unless applicable context is drawn.)
    ...so you admit to just thinking up possible ideas to throw into discussions without consideration for their appropriateness. I mean, that was clear already.

    We have a forum here with an excellent structure that allows for topics to be set up as desired. No need to throw tangential ideas into whatever topic is active that day - you can create new threads. Heck, we have a "general" thread at the top of the forum, too.
     
  24. Klingo3034

    Klingo3034 Member

    Dallas FC
    United States
    Oct 11, 2019
    Yeah and I decided to bring it anyways as I was crystal clear on that.
     

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