NWSL Playoffs

The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Playoffs are a single elimination tournament among four teams in the National Women's Soccer League, ultimately deciding the winner of the NWSL Championship.


Since playoff games cannot end in ties, those are broken by two straight 15-minute extra time periods, followed by shootouts of best-of-five rounds plus extra rounds as needed if still drawn.

Format

The top four teams in the final standings at the end of the NWSL season qualify for the playoffs and are seeded in order of their record.[1]

Tiebreakers

The initial determining factor for a team's position in the standings is most points earned, with three points earned for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss. If at least two teams tie in point total, when determining rank and playoff qualification and seeding, the NWSL uses the following tiebreaker rules,[2] going down the list until all teams are ranked. Coin tosses (2 teams) or draw of lots (at least 3 teams) will be used as the last resort if all other tiebreakers fail.

  • 1. Head to Head win/loss record between the teams (or points-per-game if more than two teams).
  • 2. Greater goal difference across the entire season (against all teams, not just tied teams).
  • 3. Greatest total number of goals scored (against all teams).
  • 4. Apply #1–3 to games played on the road.
  • 5. Apply #1–3 to games played at home.

NOTE: If two clubs remain tied after another club with the same number of points advances during any step, the tie breaker reverts to step 1 of the two-club format.

Semi-finals NWSL Championship
      
1  
4  
 
 
3  
2  

Playoff series history

2019 season

Semi-finals Championship
      
1 North Carolina (a.e.t.) 4
4 Tacoma 1
1 North Carolina 4
2 Chicago 0
2 Chicago 1
3 Portland 0

2018 season

Semi-finals Championship
      
1 North Carolina 2
4 Chicago 0
1 North Carolina 3
2 Portland 0
2 Portland 2
3 Seattle 1

2017 season

Semi-finals Championship
      
1 North Carolina 1
4 Chicago 0
1 North Carolina 0
2 Portland 1
2 Portland 4
3 Orlando 1

2016 season

Semi-finals Championship
      
1 Portland 3
4 Buffalo (a.e.t.) 4
4 Buffalo (pen.) 2 (3)
2 Washington 2 (2)
2 Washington (a.e.t.) 2
3 Chicago 1

2015 season

Semi-finals Championship
      
1 Seattle 3
4 Washington 0
1 Seattle 0
3 Kansas City 1
2 Chicago 0
3 Kansas City 3

2014 season

Semi-finals Championship
      
1 Seattle 2
4 Washington 1
1 Seattle 1
2 Kansas City 2
2 Kansas City 2
3 Portland 0

2013 season

Semi-finals Championship
      
1 Buffalo 2
4 New Jersey 0
1 Buffalo 0
3 Portland 2
2 Kansas City 2
3 Portland (a.e.t.) 3

Records and statistics

Correct as of conclusion of 2019 NWSL Playoffs

Playoff results

Club Won Runner-up Years won Years runner-up
Portland Thorns FC212013, 20172018
FC Kansas City202014, 2015
North Carolina Courage (formerly Western New York Flash)322016, 2018, 20192013, 2017
Washington Spirit012016
Chicago Red Stars012019
Seattle Reign FC022014, 2015

Playoff Games and Win-Loss Record

TeamGames PlayedWL%Most recent appearanceMost recent title
North Carolina Courage651.83320192019
FC Kansas City541.80020152015
Western New York Flash431.75020162016
Portland Thorns FC954.55620192017
Seattle Reign FC624.3332019Never
Washington Spirit413.2502016Never
Chicago Red Stars615.1672019Never
Sky Blue FC101.0002013Never
Orlando Pride101.0002017Never

Appearances by team

Team Appearances
Portland Thorns FC 6
Chicago Red Stars 5
Seattle Reign FC 4
FC Kansas City 3
Washington Spirit 3
North Carolina Courage 3
Western New York Flash 2
Orlando Pride 1
Sky Blue FC 1

References

  1. "2014 Competition Rules and Regulations". National Women's Soccer League. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  2. "2016 Competition Rules and Regulations – National Women's Soccer League". Archived from the original on April 22, 2016.
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