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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Week 22 Power Rankings: Playoff picture coming into focus
NWSL Power Rankings presented by Cutter
The Courage and Thorns played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon. (Photo credit: Stephen Brashear/isiphotos.com)
The Courage and Thorns played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon. (Photo credit: Stephen Brashear/isiphotos.com)

The Week 22 edition of the NWSL Power Rankings:

 

 

1
NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE
16-1-6, 54 pts
Change:
Last week: 1

Lynn Williams scored in the 95th minute on Saturday night to earn the Courage one point on the road vs. Seattle. The Courage are now 16-1-6 on the season and their 54 points tie the league record set by Seattle in 2014. The 1-1 draw against Seattle was the Courage’s final road game of the regular season and they finish unbeaten away at 8-0-4. The Courage have one more game left this season to set a new NWSL record with a 17th win. They host the Houston Dash after the FIFA break on September 8.


2
SEATTLE REIGN FC
11-4-8, 41 pts
Change:
Last week: 2

The Reign played twice in Week 22 – earning four points and securing their playoff spot. On Tuesday, the Reign defeated the Dash 2-0 led by a brace from Jodie Taylor. This win for the Reign meant they would appear in the postseason for the first time since 2015. On Saturday, the Reign played the Courage to a 1-1 draw – this tie kept the Reign from clinching a home playoff game and now they must wait until their final match vs. the Portland Thorns to vie for the No. 2 seed in the postseason.


3
PORTLAND THORNS FC
11-6-6, 39 pts
Change:
Last week: 3

Christine Sinclair and Tobin Heath scored to lead the Thorns past Sky Blue 2-1 and clinch a postseason spot on Wednesday. The Thorns then picked up their second win on the week thanks to another Heath goal – this time vs. the Spirit for a 1-0 result. The Thorns remain in hunt for the No. 2 seed in the playoffs and if they beat the Reign on September 7, it’s theirs.


4
CHICAGO RED STARS
8-4-10, 34 pts
Change:
Last week: 4

Sam Kerr took the lead in the Golden Boot race with her two-goal performance on Saturday night to earn the Red Stars a 3-1 victory over the Orlando Pride. Kerr now has 14 goals on the season. The Red Stars took the fourth spot in the regular season standings, but are still in the hunt for the final playoff spot. The Red Stars and Utah both have their sights on the fourth spot – but the Red Stars have one more game than Utah to snag it. The Red Stars can clinch the playoffs with a win or draw when they face Sky Blue on Tuesday, September 4 — and then will close out the season against Utah on September 8.


5
UTAH ROYALS FC
8-7-8, 32 pts
Change: ▲ 1
Last week: 6

Utah’s win against the Spirit on Wednesday moved them to fourth place temporarily, but Chicago’s victory over the Pride on Saturday then moved them down to fifth place. Utah and the Red Stars are separated by two points in the league standings and are both battling it out for the final playoff spot. Utah has one more game to earn their first-ever playoff berth, while Chicago has two more games and can clinch before Utah Royals FC are in action again. But — if Chicago loses to Sky Blue FC on Tuesday, Utah Royals FC will host the Red Stars on the final day of the regular season with the final playoff spot on the line.


6
HOUSTON DASH
9-9-5, 32 pts
Change: ▼ 1
Last week: 5

Six different players scored for the Dash on Saturday in their 6-1 win over Sky Blue, but the result wasn’t enough as the Dash were eliminated from playoff contention when the Red Stars beat the Pride that night. The Dash dropped their first game of the week – falling 2-0 to Seattle on Tuesday. Despite the end to their playoff hunt, the Dash head into their final game of the season at 9-9-5 overall with 32 points – all franchise bests.


7
ORLANDO PRIDE
8-9-6, 30 pts
Change:
Last week: 7

The Pride were eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday night after they fell to the Red Stars 3-1 at home. The Pride have one more game left this season and head into their final match at 8-9-6 with 30 points. The Pride are winless in their last five games, so will look to end the season strong against Sky Blue on September 8.


8
WASHINGTON SPIRIT
2-17-4, 10 pts
Change: ▲ 1
Last week: 9

Despite the historic night at Audi Field on Saturday, marking the first women’s professional soccer match at the new stadium, the Spirit suffered their 10th straight loss. The Spirit fell 1-0 to the Thorns on Saturday and fell earlier in the week to Utah Royals FC. The Spirit are winless in 14-straight games and have one more game left this season to snap their losing streak. The Spirit will host Sky Blue on September 1 to close out their 2018 campaign.


9
SKY BLUE FC
0-16-5, 5 pts
Change: ▼ 1
Last week: 8

Sky Blue still remain in search of their first win of the season, dropping both of their games in Week 22. Sky Blue first fell to the Thorns 2-1 on Wednesday night and then collapsed against the Dash on Saturday in a 6-1 loss. Sky Blue, despite being out of playoff contention, have three more games left this season. If Sky Blue picks up a win against the Red Stars on September 4, they could make the hunt for the final playoff spot particularly interesting – forcing Utah Royals FC and Chicago to battle it out on September 8 – whoever wins, gets the fourth seed.

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