NWSL Playoff Picture: Who Will Get Second?

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The Playoff participants are set but the order is still up in the air.

The Portland Thorns head into the final week of the season with the knowledge that they will be participating in the playoffs and that they have no chance at earning the top seed. What they do not know is which seed they will have going into the playoffs. All four playoff bound teams have the potential to move up in the seeding but also have the potential to move down.

The only team that controls their own destiny is FC Kansas City. Kansas City is almost guaranteed it will host a semifinal and only need 1 point to guarantee they will have home field throughout the playoffs. The Thorns on the other hand need help in order to move up the standings.

Here is the top four in the standings:

# Team Pts GD GR Max Pts
1 FC Kansas City 38 13 1 41
2 Western New York Flash 35 15 1 38
3 Portland Thorns FC 35 6 1 38
4 Sky Blue FC 35 5 1 38

This weekend each playoff bound team is playing a non-playoff bound team. Here is the schedule:

Saturday
WNY Flash vs. Boston Breakers, 8 p.m. ET - FOX Soccer
Seattle Reign FC vs. Portland Thorns FC, 11 p.m. ET

Sunday
FC Kansas City vs. Chicago Red Stars, 4:10 p.m. ET
Washington Spirit vs. Sky Blue FC, 5 p.m. ET

Here are the current tiebreakers for the Portland Thorns: (For a detailed breakdown of all 4 teams check out Equalizer Soccer)

PTFC vs. FCKC FC Kansas City (2-1-1)
PTFC vs. WNYF Tied (0-0-2) Goal difference: WNYF + 15, PTFC + 6
PTFC vs. SBFC Tied (1-1-1) Goal difference: PTFC + 6, SBFC + 5

Scenarios in which Portland will earn the #2 seed:

... the Thorns win vs. the Reign AND the Thorns overcome the Flash's superior +9 goal difference
AND Sky Blue FC do not overcome the Thorns' superior +1 goal difference
OR
... the Thorns draw vs. the Reign AND the Flash lose vs. the Breakers
AND Sky Blue FC draw or lose vs. the Spirit
OR
... the Thorns draw vs. the Reign AND the Flash draw vs. the Breakers
AND the Thorns overcome the Flash's superior +9 goal difference
AND the Sky Blue FC do not overcome the Thorns' superior +1 goal difference

Long story short, it is not looking good for Portland hosting a playoff game.

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