The league was forced in an early kick-off to accommodate a lock on national television, which did not go well with several players
Several NWSL stars, including Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris and Jess Fishlock, finalized the league’s decision to host the 2021 NWSL Championship on a grass field with a local kick-off at 09:00.
The league announced over the weekend that Providence Park in Portland will host the game on Nov. 20, kicking off at 12:00 ET to accommodate a national TV slot on CBS.
While the game took place on the west coast, however, the kick-off time led to an early morning start for the biggest game of the season, which was not good with multiple players.
What was said?
Orlando Pride and the defender of the American national team, Krieger, initially struggled not to play the game on grass, says on Twitter: “Add two new franchises next season with beautiful grass stadiums across the country – in a good direction and then choose our grass to play the final of the best league in the world ?!” Wow. “
OL Reign star Fishlock replied, “At 9:00 in the morning. Before 5 o’clock the game sounds soooooo good,” to which Krieger replied, “Right ?! We don’t even practice at 9:00. Jokes.”
The pride and USWNT goalkeeper Harris calls the start time of 09:00 ‘absolutely embarrassing’.
NC Courage and USWNT Forward Jessica McDonald added: “We deserve better than that, NWSL. It is NOT ok !!!!”
Even OL Reign head coach Laura Harvey joined the protests, say: “Kick off 09:00 !!! Please change it. It’s not right for any team! Showcase our incredible league and athletes as they deserve.”
Why is the match at 09:00?
The NWSL decided to hold the title match at Providence Park, which had hosted the event twice before and drew large crowds for both matches.
But the stadium brings the disadvantage that it is the only place in the league without grass. The location on the west coast is also causing a problem for the event this season.
To broadcast the match live on network television, CBS was only able to offer its lunch-time slot, while the later times were occupied by university football.
It is unclear whether the league at this stage would be willing to consider a change in place or time.