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OCT 27
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Playoff Picture: Reign close to clinching a playoff spot
The Reign can become the second team to clinch a playoff spot
Seattle Reign FC will host the Chicago Red Stars in a critical Week 21 game. (Photo credit: Daniel Bartel/isiphotos.com)
Seattle Reign FC will host the Chicago Red Stars in a critical Week 21 game. (Photo credit: Daniel Bartel/isiphotos.com)

Correction: An earlier version of this story said the Reign needed a win AND a Pride loss or draw. The Reign need only a win vs. the Red Stars to clinch as they will have 39 points. If The Reign get to 39 points, only two other teams can get to at least 39 points: the Thorns and either the Red Stars or Pride (the Red Stars and Pride meet on August 25, which prevents them both from getting to at least 39 points). Additionally, this was updated on August 17th to adjust the scenarios in which the Reign can clinch a playoff spot at 37 points, following their draw vs. Red Stars.

With just 18 games left in the regular season, only one playoff spot is booked and the remaining three are still to be determined. But that can change this week as Seattle Reign FC have a chance to clinch a spot in the playoffs.

 

The Reign have the ability to clinch a spot in the playoffs by the end of Week 21 with:

Reign win vs. Red Stars

OR

Reign draw vs. Red Stars AND Dash draw or loss vs. Spirit AND Pride loss vs. Courage AND Utah loss or draw to Sky Blue FC

There are a number of multi-team tiebreak situations still possible unless the Dash, Pride and Utah Royals FC all drop to under 37 max points.

No other team can clinch a spot in Week 21, nor can a team can be eliminated this week.

 

Meanwhile, the North Carolina Courage’s pursuit of several regular records continues. (Read More: Courage quest for history) They are currently 15-1-5 with 50 points. With three games remaining, they need:

— 5 points to break the record for points in a season (54 points, set by Seattle Reign FC in 2014)

— 2 wins to break the record for wins in a season (16, set by the 2014 Seattle Reign FC/2017 North Carolina Courage in NWSL, as well as the 2010 FC Gold Pride of WPS)

— 7 goals to break the record for goals scored in one season (50, set by the 2014 Reign)

— 7 points to hold the highest points per game average (2.33 set by the 2011 Western New York Flash of WPS; The NWSL record is 2.25, set by the 2014 Reign)

As we head into Week 21, here’s a look at where each team sits in the NWSL standings and their remaining schedule:

 

1. NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE

15-1-5, 50 pts

Goal Differential: +28

Games Remaining: 3

Max Points Possible: 59

Clinched the NWSL Shield

 

Remaining schedule:

  • Sat., Aug. 18: vs. Orlando Pride
  • Sat., Aug. 25: at Seattle Reign FC
  • Sat., Sept. 8: vs. Houston Dash

 


2. SEATTLE REIGN FC

10-4-6, 36 pts

Goal Differential: +8

Games Remaining: 4

Max Points Possible: 48

 

Remaining schedule:

  • Wed., Aug. 15: vs. Chicago Red Stars
  • Tue., Aug. 21: vs. Houston Dash
  • Sat., Aug. 25: vs. North Carolina Courage
  • Fri., Sept. 7: at Portland Thorns FC

 


3. PORTLAND THORNS FC

9-6-5, 32 pts

Goal Differential: +8

Games Remaining: 4

Max Points Possible: 44

 

Remaining schedule:

  • Sat., Aug. 18: vs. Chicago Red Stars
  • Wed., Aug. 22: vs. Sky Blue FC
  • Sat., Aug. 25: at Washington Spirit
  • Fri., Sept. 7: vs. Seattle Reign FC

 


4. ORLANDO PRIDE

8-7-6, 30 pts

Goal Differential: -1

Games Remaining: 3

Max Points Possible: 39

 

Remaining schedule:

  • Sat., Aug. 18: at North Carolina Courage
  • Sat., Aug. 25: vs. Chicago Red Stars
  • Sat., Sept. 8: at Sky Blue FC

 


5. CHICAGO RED STARS

7-4-8, 29 pts

Goal Differential: +4

Games Remaining: 5

Max Points Possible: 44

 

Remaining schedule:

  • Wed., Aug. 15: at Seattle Reign FC
  • Sat., Aug. 18: at Portland Thorns FC
  • Sat., Aug. 25: at Orlando Pride
  • Tue., Sept. 4: vs. Sky Blue FC
  • Sat., Sept. 8: at Utah Royals FC

 


6. UTAH ROYALS FC

7-7-7, 28 pts

Goal Differential: -3

Games Remaining: 3

Max Points Possible: 37

 

Remaining schedule:

  • Sat., Aug. 18: at Sky Blue FC
  • Wed., Aug. 22: at Washington Spirit
  • Sat., Sept. 8: vs. Chicago Red Stars

 


7. HOUSTON DASH

7-8-5, 26 pts

Goal Differential: -6

Games Remaining: 4

Max Points Possible: 38

 

Remaining schedule:

  • Fri., Aug. 17: vs. Washington Spirit
  • Tue., Aug. 21: at Seattle Reign FC
  • Sat., Aug. 25: vs. Sky Blue FC
  • Sat., Sept. 8: at North Carolina Courage

 


8. WASHINGTON SPIRIT

2-14-4, 10 pts

Goal Differential: -17

Games Remaining: 4

Max Points Possible: 22

Eliminated from playoff contention

 

Remaining schedule:

  • Fri., Aug. 17: at Houston Dash
  • Wed., Aug. 22: vs. Utah Royals FC
  • Sat., Aug. 25: vs. Portland Thorns FC
  • Sat., Sept. 1: vs. Sky Blue FC

 


9. SKY BLUE FC

0-14-4, 4 pts

Goal Differential: -21

Games Remaining: 6

Max Points Possible: 22

Eliminated from playoff contention

 

Remaining schedule:

  • Sat., Aug. 18: vs. Utah Royals FC
  • Wed., Aug. 22: at Portland Thorns FC
  • Sat., Aug. 25: at Houston Dash
  • Sat., Sept. 1: at Washington Spirit
  • Tue. Sept. 4: at Chicago Red Stars
  • Sat., Sept. 8: vs. Orlando Pride

 


Tiebreaker Procedures To Break a Tie in the Standings

If two or more teams are tied on points at the end of the regular season, the tie will be broken through the following steps:

Two teams

1.Head-to-head record
2.Overall goal difference
3.Overall goals scored
4.Head-to-head road record
5.Goal difference in all road games
6.Goals scored in all road games
7.Head-to-head home record
8.Goal difference in all home games
9.Goals scored in all home games
10.Coin toss

Three teams

1.Points per game against other two teams

2.Overall goal difference

3. See tiebreaker procedure for two-team scenarios

NOTE: If two teams are still tied after the third team has advanced via the tiebreaker, the tie will be broken using the two-team tiebreaker rules.

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