The Portland Thorns have officially clinched a spot in the 2022 NWSL Playoffs. Their 3-0 victory over Racing Louisville on Wednesday night brought them to 35 points, mathematically guaranteeing that they will finish in one of the top six spots in the standings, thus booking them a postseason berth.
Portland is the first team to clinch a playoff spot this year, and this marks the Thorns’ sixth consecutive regular season making an appearance in the postseason, dating back to 2016 (this doesn’t include the pandemic impacted 2020 season, where the Challenge Cup and Fall Series took the place of an NWSL regular season). Additionally, 2022 will mark the eighth appearance Portland has made in the postseason out of nine NWSL seasons which has featured one— the most out of any NWSL team.
They’ve punched their ticket, but there is still much for the Thorns to play for in their final two matches of the season. A top-two finish will give Portland a first-round bye in the playoffs, and guarantee that they will only need to win one match at Providence Park to book a spot in the NWSL Championship, set to played at Washington, D.C.’s Audi Field. If they finish in third or fourth, while missing out on the bye they still will guarantee themselves a home game in the first round.
And of course, Portland is still in pole position in the race for the 2022 NWSL Shield. Portland currently sits in first place, with all NWSL teams even at 20 games played. The Thorns control their own destiny, and if they win their final two games of the season they will hoist their third regular season crown as the top finishers in the table.
You can read about the Thorns punching their postseason ticket, along with the details of Wednesday night’s win, here.