The Kansas City Current clinched a postseason berth with a 3-0 win in their final regular-season home match against the Washington Spirit Sunday evening at Children’s Mercy Park.
And now, with just one game remaining in their National Women’s Soccer League regular-season schedule — at Racing Louisville on Saturday — they’re among a jumble of teams that are jockeying hard for postseason seeding.
The Current could finish anywhere from first to fifth in the standings, based on results in their own match and others around the NWSL this weekend. The Current kick off their regular-season finale Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in Louisville.
If it comes down to tiebreakers, well, those are not in the Current’s favor. If the Current finish tied in points with any other team, the first tiebreaker is goal differential. The Current have a +1 goal differential heading into the weekend, worst of any team above the playoff line.
Because of the results that would be needed in order for the Current to finished tied in points with San Diego or Houston, there’s no possibility for KC to surpass either of those clubs’ goal-differential in a tiebreaking scenario.
There is, however, the possibility that the Current could finish tied in points with Portland and/or the Reign for first or second place. But they would need to win by 25 to leapfrog Portland, or have the OL Reign lose by 10 to jump the Reign. Very unlikely, right?
In the NWSL playoff scenarios outlined below, we’ve left out such possibilities because those outcomes are next to impossible.
So here are the matchups for the final weekend, and some scenarios for playoff seeding with the NWSL postseason just around the corner:
Friday, North Carolina at San Diego, 9 p.m. Central Time
Saturday, Portland at Gotham, 5 p.m. CT
Saturday, Houston at Washington, 6 p.m. CT
Saturday, Kansas City at Louisville, 6:30 p.m. CT
Saturday, Orlando at OL Reign, 9 p.m. CT
Sunday, Angel City at Chicago, 5 p.m. CT
First place and the NWSL Shield — this scenario is still in play for the Current, although they’ll be depending on some big upsets elsewhere plus a win of their own to leap both OL Reign and the Portland Thorns.
A win for the Current guarantees a top-three finish, and a draw guarantees they can drop no lower than fourth. So a win or a draw: home playoff match. On the flip-side, the lowest they can fall in the standings is fifth.
Based on seeding, here are the perks of various potential finishes for Kansas City:
Seeds 1 or 2: Receive a first-round bye and host a semifinal on Oct. 23
Seeds 3 or 4: Host the quarterfinal on Oct. 16 before advancing to a road semifinal
Seeds 5 or 6: On the road for the entirety of the postseason.
The NWSL championship game will be held at Audi Field in Washington D.C. on Oct. 29.
Here is how it all breaks down based on the Current’s result:
If the Current win …
To finish first: Portland loss and Reign draw or loss
To finish second: Portland loss or a Reign loss or draw
To finish third: As the late Raiders owner Al Davis used to say, “Just win baby.” A simple victory over Louisville guarantees a finish no lower than third.
If the Current draw ...
To finish third: San Diego loss and a Houston loss or draw
To finish fourth: San Diego win or draw
If the Current lose …
To finish third: San Diego loss and a Houston loss
To finish fourth: San Diego win or draw and Houston loss or draw
To finish fifth: San Diego win or draw and Houston win
Based on the timing and dates of games scheduled over the league’s final regular-season weekend, the Current will know their fate and postseason seed by the end of the Reign-vs.-Orlando match on Saturday night.