Christine Sinclair and the Portland Thorns are clicking at just the right time as they gear up for their fourth trip to the playoffs in five years.
For the second year in a row Thorns fans will get to watch their team in the postseason as Sinclair scored her eighth goal of the season to hand Portland a 1-0 road victory against the Boston Breakers to see to it that the Thorns clinched home-field advantage in the semifinals.
The Thorns became the first team to win eight games from nine matches in league history with the away win against the Breakers. With another victory in Week 21, Portland will set a new all-time mark for the most points taken from any 10-game stretch in the NWSL.
See below where each club has landed in the rankings this week.
13-5-4, 43 pts
Christine Sinclair scored her third goal in the last two games to lead the Thorns to a pivotal 1-0 road win over Boston that clinched a home playoff game for Portland. Adrianna Franch made four saves in the win as she became the second goalkeeper in NWSL history with 10 shutouts in a single season.
15-6-0, 45 pts
Kristen Hamilton tallied her third goal of the year to push the Courage to a 1-0 win over Houston as North Carolina secured a home playoff game for their fans. Next up on the agenda for Carolina is the NWSL Shield – which can happen in Week 21.
10-6-6, 36 pts
At this point, Alex Morgan is going to go around on Halloween to all the houses of NWSL defenders and trick-or-treat dressed as herself. She’s been that scary. The U.S. international scored her ninth goal of the year to help the Pride to a 1-1 draw against Seattle as she notched a point for the seventh consecutive match.
10-6-6, 36 pts
Alyssa Naeher picked up her sixth shutout of the season to help the Red Stars inch closer to a third consecutive trip to the playoffs with a scoreless draw against FC Kansas City. Chicago can clinch a postseason berth in Week 21 through a number of scenarios – the simplest of which is a win against Houston.
8-7-7, 31 pts
Jess Fishlock doesn’t get nervous. She gets even. The Wales international scored a 94th-minute equalizer to give the Reign a vital 1-1 road draw against Orlando. Seattle still has to win both of their remaining games and get help in order to make the playoffs.
7-9-6, 27 pts
Nicole Barnhart earned the 37th shutout of her NWSL career in a scoreless draw against Chicago, but the result eliminated the Blues from the playoffs as KC missed out on the postseason for the second consecutive year.
5-13-4, 19 pts
It’s been a tough year for the Spirit, but Washington fans got a fun glimpse of what the future could hold for them as Mallory Pugh scored the first game-winning goal of her NWSL career as the capital club rallied for a 2-1 victory over Sky Blue FC.
9-11-2, 29 pts
Maya Hayes really has had a fantastic year and the forward scored her fifth goal of the season in Week 20, but Sky Blue FC were eliminated from playoff contention with 2-1 loss to Washington. It was the fourth loss for the Jersey club when leading in a match – the most in the league.
7-12-2, 23 pts
The Dash were eliminated from postseason contention as they were shutout for the fourth time in the last five games and lost for the fifth time in the previous six matches with a 1-0 setback against North Carolina. Rookie Jane Campbell made five saves in the defeat as she continues to make her case for Rookie of the Year.
3-12-7, 16 pts
The Breakers lost their fifth straight and extended their winless run to 10 matches with a 1-0 home loss to Portland. The New England club has a cumulative record of 3-21-6 during the second half of the season over the past three years.