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Sources: NWSL final moved to Louisville

Written by 
Published in Soccer
Wednesday, 13 October 2021 17:06

The NWSL championship, set for Nov. 20, has been moved at the request of the players from Portland to Louisville and will be played at noon ET .

"We realize the impact this has on the fans who have bought tickets and made travel arrangements. We hope that our fans will understand that this move is made with the support of the NWSL, the Players Association, the Portland Thorns, and Racing Louisville. Portland understood the importance of listening to the players, and Louisville stepped up to host," the league said in a joint statement with the NWSLPA on Wednesday.

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Players voiced objections when the Providence Park venue was announced last month, saying the local start time (9 a.m. PT) was too early and that the game was not on prime time. The players also said they did not want to play the final on a turf field. Lynn Family Stadium, where Racing Louisville FC plays, is a grass field.

Three weeks remaining in NWSL regular season and two teams, Portland Thorns and OL Reign have secured berths in the playoffs, which start on Nov. 6 and include six teams for the first time in the league's history.

Four matches are on Wednesday's slate: North Carolina Courage face the Washington Spirit, Chicago Red Stars play the Orlando Pride, Kansas City take on Houston Dash and Portland Thorns play OL Reign.

The North Carolina Courage fired coach Paul Riley last month amid allegations spanning over a decade of sexual coercion and inappropriate comments about players' weight and sexual orientation. Wednesday's statement also addressed talks between the league and the union.

"The NWSL and the NWSL Players Association have made progress over the past week on issues concerning player safety, transparency, and moving the League forward in a new direction," the statement also said.

The Athletic's Meg Linehan first reported the news.

ESPN's Jeff Carlisle contributed to this report.

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