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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Playoff Picture: Win and in for Red Stars in Week 20
There's a lot on the line in Week 20
The Red Stars can clinch in Week 20. (Photo credit: Daniel Bartel/isiphotos.com)
The Red Stars can clinch in Week 20. (Photo credit: Daniel Bartel/isiphotos.com)

It’s win and in for Chicago vs. FC Kansas City on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, Lifetime). The Red Stars can become the third team to punch their ticket to the playoffs with a victory in Week 20.

Chicago needed a win or draw from the Pride vs. the Reign on Thursday night, and Orlando tied Seattle 1-1. The Pride could’ve locked up a playoff spot with a win, but will have to wait until September 23 for another chance to clinch.

Meanwhile, both the Courage and Thorns have an opportunity to clinch a home playoff game, awarded to the top two teams in the NWSL standings. In the semifinals, the No. 1 team hosts the No. 4 team while No. 2 hosts No. 3.

Elimination scenarios are listed below for the Dash, FC Kansas City and Sky Blue FC. Of note: a win or draw by the Red Stars would eliminate the Dash and FC Kansas City, who can not finish with more than 35 points. If the Red Stars win or tie and Sky Blue loses or ties this weekend, Sky Blue would then be eliminated because they would be unable to finish with more than 36 points and do not hold the tiebreak over Chicago or Orlando, if two or all three teams finish the season with 36 points. (It’s mathematically impossible for the Reign to finish with 36 points, so they would not be part of that tiebreak scenario.)

This weekend’s playoff scenarios:

 

 

The Red Stars can clinch a spot in the 2017 NWSL Playoffs with:

-a win vs. FC Kansas City

 


 

The Courage can clinch a home semifinal game with:

-win vs. Dash

OR

-draw vs. Dash AND Red Stars loss or draw vs. FC Kansas City

 


 

The Thorns can clinch a home semifinal game with:

-win vs. Breakers AND Red Stars loss or draw vs. FC Kansas City

 


 

Week 20 elimination scenarios:

The Dash will be eliminated from the 2017 NWSL Playoffs with:

-loss or draw vs. Courage

OR

-Red Stars win or draw vs. FC Kansas City

 


FC Kansas City will be eliminated from the 2017 NWSL Playoffs with:

-loss or draw vs. Red Stars

 


Sky Blue FC will be eliminated from the 2017 NWSL Playoffs with:

-loss vs. Spirit AND Courage win or draw vs. Dash

OR

-loss vs. Spirit AND Red Stars win or draw vs. FC Kansas City

OR

-draw vs. Spirit AND Red Stars win or draw vs. FC Kansas City

 


 

 

 

As we head into Week 20’s weekend games, here’s a look at where each team sits in the NWSL standings, their remaining schedule and their magic number to clinch a playoff spot.

 

 

1. NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE

14-6-0, 42 pts

Goal Differential: +12
Games Remaining: 4
Max Points Possible: 54
Clinched a spot in the NWSL Playoffs

Remaining schedule:

  • Sat., Sep. 9: vs. Dash
  • Sun., Sep. 24: at Sky Blue FC
  • Sat., Sep. 30: vs. Pride
  • TBD: Postponed game at Dash

2. PORTLAND THORNS FC

12-5-4, 40 pts

Goal Differential: +14
Games Remaining: 3
Max Points Possible: 49
Clinched a spot in the NWSL Playoffs

Remaining schedule:

  • Sun., Sept. 10: at Breakers
  • Sat., Sept. 23: at Pride
  • Sat., Sept. 30: vs. Red Stars

3. ORLANDO PRIDE

10-6-6, 36 pts

Goal Differential: +13
Games Remaining: 2
Max Points Possible: 42
Magic Number: 2
Elimination Number:

Remaining schedule:

  • Sat., Sept. 23: vs. Thorns FC
  • Sat., Sept. 30: at Courage

4. CHICAGO RED STARS

10-6-5, 35 pts

Goal Differential: +4
Games Remaining: 3
Max Points Possible: 44
Magic Number: 3
Elimination Number:

Remaining schedule:

  • Sat., Sept. 9: at FC Kansas City
  • Sat., Sept. 23: at Dash
  • Sat., Sept. 30: at Thorns FC

5. SEATTLE REIGN FC

8-7-7, 31 pts

Goal Differential: +6
Games Remaining: 2
Max Points Possible: 37
Magic Number:
Elimination Number: 3

Remaining schedule:

  • Sun., Sept. 24: vs. FC Kansas City
  • Sun., Sept. 30: at Spirit

6. SKY BLUE FC

9-10-2, 29 pts

Goal Differential: -9
Games Remaining: 3
Max Points Possible: 38
Magic Number:
Elimination Number: 4

Remaining schedule:

  • Sun., Sept. 10: vs. Spirit
  • Sun., Sept. 24: vs. Courage
  • Sat., Sept. 30: at Breakers

7. FC KANSAS CITY

7-9-5, 26 pts

Goal Differential: -3
Games Remaining: 3
Max Points Possible: 35
Magic Number:
Elimination Number: 1

Remaining schedule:

  • Sat., Sept. 9: vs. Red Stars
  • Sun., Sept. 24: at Reign FC
  • Fri., Sept. 29: vs. Dash

8. HOUSTON DASH

7-11-2, 23 pts

Goal Differential: -10
Games Remaining: 4
Max Points Possible: 35
Magic Number:
Elimination Number: 1

Remaining schedule:

  • Sat., Sept. 9: at Courage
  • Sat., Sept. 23: vs. Red Stars
  • Fri., Sept. 29: at FC Kansas City
  • TBD: Postponed game vs. Courage

9. BOSTON BREAKERS

3-11-7, 16 pts

Goal Differential: -12
Games Remaining: 3
Max Points Possible: 25
Eliminated from playoff contention

Remaining schedule:

  • Sun., Sept. 10: vs. Thorns FC
  • Sat., Sept. 23: at Spirit
  • Sat., Sept. 30: vs. Sky Blue FC

10. WASHINGTON SPIRIT

4-13-4, 16 pts

Goal Differential: -15
Games Remaining: 3
Max Points Possible: 25
Eliminated from playoff contention

Remaining schedule:

  • Sun., Sept. 10: at Sky Blue FC
  • Sat., Sept. 23: vs. Breakers
  • Sat., Sept. 30: vs. Reign FC

 


Magic Number formula*
The Magic Number for a team to clinch a playoff spot is determined by subtracting that team’s current points total from the maximum number of points possible for the fifth-place team, then adding one.

Elimination Number Formula*
The Elimination Number for a team to confirm their exclusion from the playoffs is determined by subtracting that team’s maximum number of possible points from the current number of points of the fourth-place team, then adding one.

* = The Magic Number or Elimination Number for each team does not reflect scenarios that require tiebreakers. Tiebreaker scenarios are required when a team’s Magic Number or Elimination Number is 1.

 

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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