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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Week 20 Power Rankings: Playoff race heats up, Courage and Reign hold on to top spots
NWSL Power Rankings presented by Cutter

See where each team ranks after Week 20:

 

1
NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE
15-1-5, 50 pts
Change:
Last week: 1

No harm done to the Courage after Week 20. The 2018 NWSL Shield winners may not have snatched all three points over the Red Stars, but they still earned a point on the road to improve to 15-1-5 and 50 points. The Courage are 14 points clear of the second-place Seattle Reign FC and 18 points clear of the third-place Portland Thorns FC. The Courage meet the Pride and Reign in their next two matches and will finish the season off at home against the Houston Dash. Courage forward Lynn Williams is second in the Golden Boot race with 10 goals and forward Jess McDonald is tied for first in the league for assists with six.


2
SEATTLE REIGN FC
10-4-6, 36 pts
Change:
Last week: 2

The Reign won their second straight game on Saturday and secured their spot in second place in the league standings. The Reign are four points clear of the third-place Portland Thorns FC, but will have a difficult test on Wednesday when they meet the Red Stars — who beat them the last meeting out on July 14. The Reign have four more games to pull away from the other teams climbing up the standings, but will have a challenging final two matches facing the Courage and then the Thorns.


3
PORTLAND THORNS FC
9-6-5, 32 pts
Change: ▲ 1
Last week: 4

It was a big week for the Thorns as they jumped up to third place in the standings with a dominant 2-0 win over the Pride on Saturday. With the victory, the Thorns leapfrogged the Pride and are now two points ahead of them with a 9-6-5 record and 32 points. Lindsey Horan continues to make her case for being one of the best finishers in the league after she took the lead in the Golden Boot race with 11 goals. The Thorns have four more games left in the regular season — starting with a home game vs. the Red Stars on Saturday night. After that, they have a good chance to pick up six points in their next two outings as they host last place Sky Blue FC on August 22 and then travel to the eighth place Washington Spirit on August 25.


4
CHICAGO RED STARS
7-4-8, 29 pts
Change: ▼ 1
Last week: 3

Things are going well for the Chicago Red Stars. They stole a point from the league-leading Courage and are riding a three-game unbeaten streak, despite nearly a month in between games. Plus, Sam Kerr has scored in her last three games and is now tied for second in the Golden Boot race. The Red Stars sit one point behind the Pride for the fourth and final playoff spot and they have five games remaining to Orlando’s three. But the end of the season won’t be easy as four of those games will be on the road — at Seattle, at Portland, at Orlando and then at Utah in their regular season finale.


5
ORLANDO PRIDE
8-7-6, 30 pts
Change: ▲ 1
Last week: 6

Both the Pride and Utah Royals FC hurt their playoff hopes with Saturday losses — but the Pride take the fifth spot in the rankings because they hold a two point lead over Utah and still hold the fourth playoff spot for the moment. Orlando will likely need to win all three of their remaining games to have a chance to make the postseason. The fifth-place Red Stars have two more games left to play than the Pride, so the meeting between the two teams on August 25 will be crucial for Orlando’s playoff hopes. The Pride also hold the tiebreaker over the Red Stars, if they end up tied on points at the end of the season.


6
HOUSTON DASH
7-8-5, 26 pts
Change: ▲ 1
Last week: 7

The Dash remain close to the playoff race after a 2-1 win over Sky Blue FC on Saturday. The Dash are now four points behind the fourth-place Orlando Pride with a 7-8-5 record and 26 points. Rachel Daly scored twice and is now at nine goals on the year, which puts her at fourth place in the Golden Boot race. The Dash have four games left in the regular season to hoist themselves into a playoff position.


7
UTAH ROYALS FC
7-7-7, 28 pts
Change: ▼ 2
Last week: 5

Utah Royals FC are in sixth place and just two points behind the fourth-place Orlando Pride, but — with just three games remaining — jumping into the final playoff spot will be difficult. They have already lost the season tiebreakers with the Pride, Red Stars and Thorns — all teams ahead of them in the playoff race. Like the Pride, they will likely need to win all three of their remaining games to stay in the playoff hunt.


8
SKY BLUE FC
0-14-4, 4 pts
Change:
Last week: 8

Sky Blue is still in search of their first win of the season after dropping their 14th match of the year on Saturday against the Houston Dash. Sky Blue tied the match in the 64th minute thanks to a goal from Madison Tiernan, but the Dash stole the game back off a penalty kick in the 73rd minute. Sky Blue FC are out of playoff contention, however Kailen Sheridan made nine saves to keep her team close in the game. Sky Blue has the chance to mess up the rest of the league’s playoff hopes with six games remaining in the regular season. Up next, they face the Thorns on the road on Wednesday — a team eager to pull away and secure a top playoff spot.


9
WASHINGTON SPIRIT
2-14-4, 10 pts
Change:
Last week: 9

The Spirit dropped their seventh straight game on Wednesday and now have the longest active losing streak and the longest losing streak in the league this season. The Spirit are in eighth place in the standings with a 2-14-4 record and 10 points. The Spirit are out of the playoffs, yet have four more games left in the season to break their losing streak and shuffle around the rest of the league standings.

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