NWSL Playoffs Begin This Coming Weekend


courtesy nwslnews.com

The 2014 NWSL season wraps up when the Houston Dash travel to New Jersey to take on Sky Blue FC. This will be the final match of the season for these two clubs as they did not make the playoffs. The other three teams that did not make the playoffs are Western New York FlashBoston Breakers and the Chicago Red Stars.

Only two teams that made the playoffs in 2013, made it in 2014. FC Kansas City and the Portland Thorns FC both make a return trip to playoffs. Portland barely made the playoffs this year as they had to beat 2014 NWSL Shield winner, Seattle Reign FC. Portland won the match 1-0 on Alex Morgan‘s goal in the 68th minute. Portland finished the season 10-8-6 (win-loss-tie) on 36 points.

Seattle knew they were heading to the playoffs three weeks ago when they defeated the Dash 4-1 in Houston to secure enough points that nobody else would catch them. Seattle had a remarkable turnaround from last season. They had a record of 5-14-3 last year. Compare that to this year’s record of 16-2-6 and it marks an incredible turnaround. Seattle scored a total of 50 goals this year while only conceding 20. They had the best goal differential in the league with 30. The next best goal differential is FC Kansas City with 7.

Kansas City finished the season in second place with a record of 12-7-5 on 41 points. They will be hosting Portland on Saturday at Verizon Wireless Field at Durwood Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00pm EST. Last year, Portland was able to go into Kansas City and knock them off to advance to the final. This isn’t the same Portland team from last year and I wouldn’t put it past them to go in there and do it again.

The fourth and final playoff spot is going to Washington Spirit. They finished the season with a record of 10-9-5 on 35 points. Washington is the only team entering the playoffs with a negative goal differential with -7. The Spirit head to Seattle as they will face the Reign on Sunday, August 24th. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:00pm EST.

All games for the 2014 NWSL Playoffs will be televised on ESPN2. I for one am extremely excited to watch the playoffs. I would love nothing more than to see a Cascadia Final with Seattle and Portland squaring off for the championship.

Chris Blakely is the Lead Writer/Editor for StoppageTimeSoccer. You can follow him on Twitter @TheRealCBlakely, like him on Facebook or add him to your Google circles.

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