A Few Visuals to Summarize the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League Schedule
Alternate Title: I got bored and decided to have fun.
In case you missed it, the 2017 NWSL Schedule FINALLY dropped and it was conveniently in a format that I could copy, paste, and import into Tableau so I could make random graphics rather than dealing with their website or going to each team’s website.
We can visualize the schedule by months and weeks. The darker blue shade indicates 2 games in that week but this most likely means 6 days in between games and not a full week.
The actual schedule is rather obscure with 12 home games and 12 away games. However, with 10 teams, this leads to uneven home vs away games. The rows are home teams and columns are visiting teams. Thus, as an example, Seattle Reign FC will face Kansas City, Portland Thorns, and Sky Blue twice at home and will face Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash, and North Carolina Courage twice, away.
The bigger question: when do home teams have home stretches? Note: April 15th is the start date so April has fewer games. There are also FIFA dates June 5–13, July 16 -August 6 [EUROS], and September 11–19, which means teams that have more home games in those times may not have international level players.
I also wanted to know when and where each team’s away games are because this can be pretty brutal for teams, especially those traveling from the Pacific Northwest. Here are the away game stretches for teams. Seattle has the most away games in their last two months.
In particular, Seattle will face have to travel to Chicago, North Carolina (x2), New Jersey, Houston, and Maryland in August and September. Note: that one dark blue spot means Houston plays at Portland twice in August. It is the only time an away team must face a home team more than once in a month.
This year, the 5th season will have games featured on Lifetime at 4 PM EST on Saturdays so I filtered the schedule to figure out which two possible games would be on air. Why two games? Because it was stated previously, one game would be on air and one would be a backup. I believe we were already informed Orlando Pride vs. Portland Thorns would be the first game on Lifetime.
While I am at it, what are the start times (in Eastern Standard Time) for all home teams and how many games do they have at these times? Keep in mind time differences here!
Finally, while most games are on the weekend, there are some games on the weekday. The question is, is this uneven?
Here is your final home team schedule and bring on the 5th season!