NWSL News of Note: Sauerbrunn Traded to Portland, Commissioner Hired, Schedule Announced

NWSL news items from the past week or so:

  • Becky Sauerbrunn Traded To Portland
  • NWSL Hires Lisa Baird as New Commissioner
  • The Regular Season Schedule Announced
  • List of Allocated USWNT and CANWNT Players Released

On Tuesday, the Becky Sauerbrunn to Portland trade became official.  The Athletic (subscription required) has an interview with Sauerbrunn that provides significant background details.  Portland had been Sauerbrunn’s off-season home as her significant other lives there.

As part of the trade, the Utah Royals received 24 year-old defender Elizabeth Ball (NWSL profile, Penn State profile) and $100,000 in allocation money.  Utah may receive more allocation if triggered by certain conditions.


Last Thursday, the NWSL announced that they have hired Lisa Baird as its new commissioner. (NWSL) This looks to be a solid, if not superb, hiring, as Baird has extensive and broad experience, including with United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (Chief Marketing Officer) and the NFL (Senior Vice President, Marketing and Consumer Products) as well as extensive portfolio of relationships with potential sponsors.

The Bloomberg website has an easy-to-digest timeline of Baird’s career, up to 2016.  (Thumbnail screenshot below.)  Not mentioned is her most recent job as Chief Marketing Officer of New York Public Radio (profile, screenshot if link is bad).

In 2016, Baird was included as #42 of the Top 50 “Most Innovative CMOs” by Business Insider.


Last Tuesday, the NWSL formally announced the full regular season schedule for 2020.

A TV/streaming deal has not yet been announced (but all signs point to CBS).

Once TV/streaming details are confirmed, I plan on sharing an ‘offline’ schedule guide (with a schedule matrix similar to the one in the Women’s Euro Qualifying Guide, though with opponent team names).


Earlier, the NWSL released the list of allocated USWNT and CANWNT players for 2020.

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