The 2022 NWSL regular season is nearing its conclusion as clubs enter the final month of the schedule. As the closest close, the playoff picture is beginning to take shape. Some teams have risen to the top of the ladder, while others are preparing for a postseason run. The league table may alter once more as the start begins this week. NWSL games may be viewed on Paramount+.
The top six teams will advance to the NWSL playoffs, with the top two seeds receiving first-round byes to the semifinals as hosts. In a quarterfinal round, the third and fourth seeds will meet the fifth and sixth seeds, with the winners advancing to the semifinals for a position in the 2022 NWSL Championship final.
Let’s take a look at the standings following the most recent weekend of action, potential NWSL Playoff possibilities, and which teams are on the verge of being eliminated:
1. Kansas City Current (32 points) — Playoff standings
2. Portland Thorns FC (31 points) is second in the playoff standings.
3. San Diego Wave FC (31 points) — Playoff position
4. Houston Dash (30 points) — Playoff position
5. OL Reign (28 points) — Playoff position
6. Chicago Red Stars (27 points) – Playoff position
7. Angel City FC (26 points) — Looking in from the outside
8. North Carolina Courage (22 points) Looking in from the outside
9. Orlando Pride (21 points) —
10. Long shot: Washington Spirit (16 points).
11. Racing Louisville FC (14 points) was eliminated.
12. NJ/NY Gotham FC (12 points) — eliminated
Tiebreakers in the NWSL Playoffs:
Tiebreakers are determined first by the better goal difference over the regular season, the total wins, and finally by the most goals scored. There are seven possible tiebreaker scenarios for clubs, which are given in alphabetical More significantly greater goal differential during the course of the regular season (against all teams, not just tied teams).
Most total wins during the regular season (against all teams, not just tied teams).
Most goals scored during the regular season (against all teams, not just tied teams).
Head-to-head results (total points) between the teams who are tied.
Most goals scored between the tied clubs in head-to-head play.
The most disciplinary points accumulated throughout the regular season (against all teams, not just tied teams).
If two teams are tied, a coin flip or a drawing of lots is used (if three or more teams are connected and tied).
How to watch NWSL Playoffs and Schedule:
The regular season will begin with two-midweek games this week, followed by a complete slate of games over the weekend. Check out how to watch the games this week:
Wednesday, September 14
- North Carolina Courage vs. Angel City FC, 7 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
- Chicago Red Stars vs. Kansas City Current, 8 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
Friday, September 16
- Racing Louisville FC vs. Orlando Pride, 7:30 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
Saturday, September 17
- Washington Spirit vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 7 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
- North Carolina Courage vs. OL Reign, 7:30 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
- Chicago Red Stars vs. Houston Dash, 8 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
- San Diego Wave FC vs. Angel City FC, 10 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
Sunday, September 18
- Kansas City Current vs. Portland Thorns FC, 5 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
Potential NWSL Playoff matches:
As the season continues this weekend, here’s a final look at the playoff picture:
1st Kansas City Cugetsnt gets a bye to the semifinals.
2nd Portland Thorns FC vs. semifinal bye
3rd San Diego Wave FC (3rd) vs. Chicago Red Stars (6th)
4th No. 5th OL Reign vs. Houston Dash
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Kansas City is in the first place as the franchise expands.
1. Current Events in Kansas City (32 points: 9-4-5)
Possible first-round matchup: He would get a bye to the semifinals and his quarterfinals winner finals at Children’s Mercy Park.
The Current’s unbeaten record now stands at thirteen games after a 1-0 victory over NJ/NY Gotham FC. Matt Potter, the squad’s head coach, has his side playing loose and smart, rotating players where possible. It was a promising start to the team’s busy week, which includes a game against the Chicago Red Stars on Wednesday and another against the Portland Thorns FC on Sunday.
The Portland Thorns have moved up to the second place.
2. Portland Thorns Football Club (31 points: 8-3-7)
Possible first-round matchup: He would gain a bye to the semifinals and his quarterfinals winner finals at Providence Park.
The Thorns defeated the Orlando Pride 2-0 on the road, but a more considerable, more enormous accomplishment was the return of Crystal Dunn after maternity leave. Despite her early return, head coach Rihan Wilkn stated that the staff intengradually ease Dunn into the foldd gradually is preparing for a possible playoff preview against first-place Kansas City Current on S on Sundayunday.
The San Diego Wave has slipped to third place.
3. San Diego Wave Football Club (31 points: 9-6-4)
Possible first-round oppTiebreakerssixth-ranked Chicago Red Stars.
Tiebreakers: San Diego has the satiebreakeroints as Portland, but the first tiebreaker of having a higher goal differential acrosntire the regular season (against all teams, not just tied teams) maintains them in third place.
The Wave are still in contention for the top seed and the 2022 NWSL Shield, but they only have three games left on their schedule to make a push. Forward Alex Morgan has increased her goal total this season with two goals against the Washington Spirit, and she currently leads the golden boot race with 15 goals.
Houston Dash falls to fourth place.
4. The Houston Dash (30 points: 8-5-6)
Possible first-round opponent: No. 5 OL Reign
The Dash dropped in the standings after finishing the month with back-to-back draws, and they are now winless in their last three games. They don’t appear to be in a hurry. Three games left, the squis are in contention for the NWSL shield and a first-place finish. Houston will keep an eye out for game-changing performances from Mexican international Maria Sanchez.
The OL Reign remains in sixth place (24 points: 7-4-7)
Possible first-round opponent: No. 4 The Houston Dash
The OL Reign began the last month of the regular season with a 2-2 tie against the Chicago Red Stars. Head coach Laura Harvey and the team have four games left in the regular season to compete for the NWSL Shield or a first or second-place playoff bye. The squad has recently relied on Rose Lavelle to generate and create, and ifcannotble to construct play on the wing through outside back Sofia Huerta, they will likely continue to drive the attack through her.
The Chicago Red Stars are clinging to the final playoff position (27 points: 7-5-6)
Potential first-round opponent: No. 3 FC San Diego Wave
The Red Stars are still fighting for the sixth and last NWSL playoff berth, having begun their final month of regular season action with a 2-2 tie against the OL Reign. Chiaco also welcomed Morgan Gatruat’s comeback from a calf injury this season, though it remains to be seen what role the midfielder will play down the stretch.
North Carolina’s Angel City FC Courage in the playoffs 7. Angel City FC (26 points: 7-5-5)
From an NWSL playoff standpoint, the Red Stars are one spot away from the last playoff spot and one point away from the sixth tiebreaker, the Red Stars holding the first tiebreaker for goal differential during the regular season.
The squad is undefeated in their past five games, but three draws in those five games have not been enough to propel them into the top half of the playoff picture.
North Carolina Bravery (22 points: 6-7-4)
From an NWSL playoff standpoint, we’re two out of the final NWSL playoff spot and five points short of a probable sixth-place finish. North Carolina presently has the advantage in goal difference over the Chicago Red Stars and Angel City.
They have won three of their previous four games and scored many goals thanks to a trio of attacking players in Diana Ordoez, Debinha, and Kerolin. Angel City has five games left to attempt the impossible and break into the postseason race.
On the verge of extinction 9. Orlando Pride (21 points: 5-7-6)
After a seven-game unbeaten record, Orlando City SC is presently on a two-game losing streak with their most recent 2-0 loss to Portland Thorns FC. The Pride still have four games left on their schedule, but Viviana Villacorta’s season-ending injury won’t help.
10th The Washington Spirit (16 points: 2-6-10)
The squad won its first game since May 1 against San Diego Wave FC, with a thrilling 4-3 scoreline. Ashley Hatch scored the game-winning penalty kick, and the team must win the rest of the way to have a shot at a low-seeded playoff finish.
Racing Louisville FC has been eliminated (14 points: 2-8-8)
They were eliminated after a 5-1 defeat against the North Carolina Courage. Louisville has young pieces in their midfield to be enthused about and a new player in Chinese international Wang Shuang. Racing Louisville has few ideas on the field throughout the season, and the club has four more games to determine if Kim Björkegren is the coach to take the squad to the next level.
12. New Jersey/New York Gotham FC (12 points: 4-12-0)
The club was eliminated after a 1-0 loss to Kansas City, their ninth consecutive and fourteenth loss of the season. The lone goal came in the 78th minute on a penalty, as Gotham appears to be more competitive in the last stretch of the season.