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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Playoff Picture: Win and in for Red Stars, Pride
All four playoff teams could be set this weekend
The Red Stars and Pride can clinch playoff spots this weekend. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/isiphotos.com)
The Red Stars and Pride can clinch playoff spots this weekend. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/isiphotos.com)

Two teams in the playoffs. Two teams left to go. Only eleven NWSL regular season games remain. And by the end of this weekend’s games, we could know all four playoff teams. The Red Stars and Pride are win and in on Saturday — and they’d join the Courage and Thorns in the NWSL Playoffs.

If Chicago and Orlando don’t win, they have another chance to make the playoffs. The Reign will be eliminated without a win on Sunday, and the Red Stars and Pride would clinch their spots.

The Courage can also clinch the NWSL Shield this weekend, which would lock down the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the playoffs. The No. 3 and No. 4 seeds would still need another weekend to sort out.

Though both teams are tied on points, Chicago holds the third spot over Orlando because the first tiebreak in the NWSL is head-to-head and the Red Stars are 2-0-1 vs. the Pride this season.

This weekend’s playoff scenarios:

 

Red Stars will clinch a spot in 2017 NWSL Playoffs with:

-win vs. Dash

OR

-Reign loss or draw vs. FC Kansas City

 


 

Pride will clinch a spot in 2017 NWSL Playoffs with:

-win vs. Thorns

OR

-Reign loss or draw vs. FC Kansas City

 


 

Week 21 elimination scenarios:

 

Reign will be eliminated from the 2017 NWSL Playoffs with:

-loss or draw vs. FC Kansas City

OR

-Red Stars win vs. Dash AND Pride win vs. Thorns

 


 

Week 21 NWSL Shield scenarios:

 

Courage will clinch the 2017 NWSL Shield with:

– win vs. Sky Blue AND Thorns loss or draw vs. Pride

 


 

As we head into Week 21’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

15-6-0, 45 pts

Goal Differential: +13
Games Remaining: 3
Max Points Possible: 54
Clinched a spot in the NWSL Playoffs

Remaining schedule:

  • Sun., Sept. 24: at Sky Blue FC
  • Wed., Sept. 27: at Dash
  • Sat., Sept. 30: vs. Pride

2. PORTLAND THORNS FC

13-5-4, 43 pts

Goal Differential: +15
Games Remaining: 2
Max Points Possible: 49
Clinched a spot in the NWSL Playoffs

Remaining schedule:

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

3. CHICAGO RED STARS

10-6-6, 36 pts

Goal Differential: +4
Games Remaining: 2
Max Points Possible: 42
Magic Number: 2
Elimination Number:

Remaining schedule:

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

4. 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

5. SEATTLE REIGN FC

8-7-7, 31 pts

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

Remaining schedule:

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

6. SKY BLUE FC

9-11-2, 29 pts

Goal Differential: -10
Games Remaining: 2
Max Points Possible: 35
Eliminated from playoff contention

Remaining schedule:

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

7. FC KANSAS CITY

7-9-6, 27 pts

Goal Differential: -3
Games Remaining: 2
Max Points Possible: 33
Eliminated from playoff contention

Remaining schedule:

  • Sun., Sept. 24: at Reign FC
  • Sun., Oct. 1: vs. Dash

8. HOUSTON DASH

7-12-2, 23 pts

Goal Differential: -11
Games Remaining: 3
Max Points Possible: 32
Eliminated from playoff contention

Remaining schedule:

  • Sat., Sept. 23: vs. Red Stars
  • Wed., Sept. 27: vs. Courage
  • Sun., Oct. 1: at FC Kansas City

9. WASHINGTON SPIRIT

5-13-4, 19 pts

Goal Differential: -14
Games Remaining: 2
Max Points Possible: 25
Eliminated from playoff contention

Remaining schedule:

  • Sat., Sept. 23: vs. Breakers
  • Sat., Sept. 30: vs. Reign FC

10. BOSTON BREAKERS

3-12-7, 16 pts

Goal Differential: -13
Games Remaining: 2
Max Points Possible: 22
Eliminated from playoff contention

Remaining schedule:

  • Sat., Sept. 23: at Spirit
  • Sat., Sept. 30: vs. Sky Blue 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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