The 12th edition of the NWSL’s regular season is set to kick off in March, and if there’s anything we know about this league, it’s that there will be chaos.
Will we see goals? Yep. Will we see crazy saves? You bet. Will we see shocking downturns in form? Mhmm. Will we see late postseason pushes? Absolutely. We’ll get all that stuff – and just about everything else in between. Plus, with two new teams joining the mix this season, the playoff race will be even more interesting than it was in 2023.
Even with the chaos, what are the things we should expect in 2024? Let’s talk about my 10 predictions for the NWSL this new year.
Kansas City Current will average a sell-out in the regular season
The Current are set to play at the brand-new CPKC Stadium in 2024, which is the first women’s professional sports stadium in the world. Let that sink in for a second.
Back in December, the Current announced that they sold out of season tickets for the 2024 regular season, and that just 2,000 seats would be available for single matches, groups, and other ticket packages. Even though CPKC Stadium only has a 11,500 seat capacity, that’s still an awesome accomplishment from Kansas City. Considering the Current averaged 11,353 fans per game last season, and four of their games surpassed the new stadium’s max capacity, I’m feeling pretty darn good about this prediction.
Getting out to a game at this beauty is a new NWSL bucket list item.
Chicago Red Stars will finish 12th or lower
With the league’s expansion to 14 teams, the Red Stars are going to fall in the bottom three this year. Cover your eyes Chicago fans, but that might even be generous.
The Red Stars were downright awful in 2023 without Mallory Swanson for most of the year and found themselves in last place after allowing 50 goals in 22 regular season games. With that context, it’s not surprising that some of the Red Stars’ key players are making moves to other teams. Free agent Kayla Sharples found a new home with expansion side Bay FC, U.S. women’s national team center back Tierna Davidson signed with NJ/NY Gotham, and longtime Red Star Casey Krueger has her sights set on joining the Spirit.
So, who does that leave in Chicago? USWNT veteran goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and a hopefully healthy Swanson will suit up for the Red Stars in 2024. Still, it’s unlikely that these two, even with some offseason additions and a new coach in Lorne Donaldson, will be able to carry this team out of the NWSL’s basement.
Gisele Thompson will win Rookie of the Year
Even before Gisele Thompson – that’s Angel City forward Alyssa Thompson’s younger sister – signed with Angel City, she spent the past year training with the team as a U18 trialist.
“We’ve had a few young players that are training with us…players that we want to develop and players that we think can contribute into the training environment,” former Angel City manager Freya Coombe said last year. “Giselle has been one of those players,” she added later.