When the Thorns won their home game vs. the Houston Dash last week, it locked them into a spot in the NWSL playoffs. The two-time champions have high expectations for this postseason and securing a playoff berth was only the first step.
If Portland had won today, the #2 seed (and home field advantage in the semifinals) would have still been reachable. With the 2-0 loss, the Thorns have put themselves in a tough spot. The Reign now sit just two points behind the Thorns with one game each remaining. If Seattle wins their final game and Portland loses, the Thorns will drop the #4 seed and have to face the North Carolina Courage, who beat them badly just a few weeks ago by a score of 6-0, in the semifinals.
The good news is Portland controls their own destiny. Win and they slot in as the #3 seed and take on #2 Chicago.
A Portland draw opens up more possibilities depending on how Seattle’s final game plays out. Seattle could tie Portland with a win (but Portland loses that tie-breaker on head to head matchups) or Portland could hold on to the #3 seed if Seattle draws or loses.
The NWSL playoff works as follows:
- It is a single elimination tournament.
- Only four of the nine teams qualify.
- The top two teams host their first round (semifinal) games.
- If extra time is needed, two 15-minute extra periods are played followed by shootouts if needed.
The 2019 NWSL Championship Game will be held in North Carolina (who is currently the #1 seeded team) and will be played on October 27th.