SANTA MONICA – As the NWSL playoffs grow closer and closer, several teams are duking it out to be one of the top four. This weekend, North Carolina Courage beat Houston Dash 1-0 to keep their number one ranking with 45 points and ensure home field advantage for their first match of the playoffs. The Portland Thorns defeated the Boston Breakers 1-0 and are in second place with 43 points. Sky Blue FC, currently in 6th place, was defeated by 9th place Washington Spirit and any hope they had of making it into the playoffs was destroyed. Lastly, the Chicago Red Stars, currently in 3rd place with 36 points, tied 7th place FC Kansas 0-0, knocking out any hope FC Kansas had of making the playoffs.
That leaves five teams duking it out for four spots. The final four will likely be North Carolina Courage, Portland Thorns FC, the Chicago Red Stars, and Orland Pride. However, if everything goes Seattle Reign’s way (they win the next two games with three points and either Orlando Pride or the Chicago Red Stars lose their next two games) it is possible that they can sneak their way into the playoffs. They are currently in fifth place, and have five points less than both Chicago and Orlando with just 2 games to go, so their chances are not great.
The NWSL will be taking a two week break. Games will resume on Saturday, September 23rd when Orlando Pride plays Portland Thorns FC at 12:30, Washington Spirit faces the Boston Breakers at 4:00, and Houston Dash goes up against the Chicago Red Stars at 5:30.
Photos by ISI.