The Challenge Cup Finale

In episode #323 of the Mixxed Zone, Jen “The Keeper” Cooper talks with Equalizer Soccer founder and managing editor Jeff Kassouf about this year’s Challenge Cup, the Cup finale and the recently announced USWNT Summer Series in Texas.

First Jen and Jeff discuss how the 2021 edition of the NWSL Challenge Cup compares to last summer’s tournament, and then talk about the Cup finale between the Portland Thorns and Gotham FC, a fairly unheralded rivalry in the history of the NWSL.

Then they talk about the June USWNT Summer Series that will be played in two stadiums in Texas during the final FIFA window before the Tokyo Olympics.

This week’s “Jensplaining” segment reviews the meaning of “substitution windows” and the post-Covid, temporary amendment to the Rules of the Game that created such a phrase.

Got a question or comment for the Jensplainer? Email your question or general Mixxed Zone comments to


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Founded by Jen Cooper, Keeper Notes has been spreading the love for the beautiful game since 2002 in Houston and beyond. The Mixxed Zone women’s soccer podcast has been covering women’s soccer (primarily NWSL, USWNT and Concacaf) since 2014. Check out more of the Keeper’s great content as well as the valuable “WoSopedia” page at You can also follow Keeper Notes on Twitter.

And be sure to check out the latest edition of the Keeper Notes NWSL Almanac, the 370-plus-page comprehensive guide to the first eight seasons of NWSL (2013-2020). You can’t get this info all in one place anywhere else! The almanac is available in both PDF and print format. Also, check out the Houston Dash almanac and commemorative 2020 Challenge Cup booklet.