NWSL season kick-off: Angel City hosts North Carolina Courage; San Diego Wave visits Houston Dash

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Expansion team Angel City FC will host the North Carolina Courage for its first regular season game as the National Women's Soccer League revealed its 2022 schedule on Wednesday.

Angel City kicks off the NWSL's 10th season on April 29 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, where it will face perennial league favorite North Carolina.

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San Diego Wave FC, the league's other expansion team, begins its season at the Houston Dash, with its first home game on May 7 against NJ/NY Gotham FC at Torero Stadium on the University of San Diego campus.

As the NWSL expands from 10 teams to 12 this year, the schedule will see each team play 22 matches, half at home and half away.

The balanced schedule, which will be the league's first since 2014, will allow every team to play each opponent twice. The schedule will see each team play two fewer games than last year, which the league says is because "a significantly smaller number of contests have been scheduled during FIFA windows," which will cause less conflict for NWSL players who play for their national teams.

Defending champions, the Washington Spirit, will host OL Reign on May 1 at Audi Field in Washington, D.C.

The regular season will overlap with the end of the 2022 Challenge Cup, a preseason tournament that starts this Friday and will conclude on May 7. The regular season then finishes on Oct. 2. Six teams will qualify for the playoffs with the two top seeds receiving a first-round bye.

The NWSL Championship is set for Oct. 29. A playoff bonus pool will be funded through the league's Ally Player Impact Fund.