Chicago Red Stars, Orlando Pride Will Look to Join Playoff Party in Week 21


The Chicago Red Stars and Orlando Pride will each come into Week 21 hopeful they can join the North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns FC in the 2017 NWSL Playoffs.

Both the Red Stars and Pride control their own postseason fate - and each can seal a place in the semifinals with a victory in their respective games on Saturday, Sept. 23. Orlando will meet the Portland Thorns in the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime at 3:30 p.m. ET, while Chicago is scheduled to face off against the Houston Dash at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The Red Stars could also wrap up the No. 3 seed in the playoffs if the Pride lose to Portland and Chicago wins against Houston later that night thanks to the Red Stars owning the head-to-head tiebreaker against Orlando.

Seattle Reign FC will be watching both Chicago and Orlando's games on Saturday with the hope that they will be still be alive in the race for the playoffs when they take the field Sunday against FC Kansas City in a match that is set to kick off at 9 p.m. ET.

At the top of the table, the North Carolina Courage will come into Week 21 with the possibility of clinching the NWSL Shield for the best record during the regular season. The Courage can claim the first silverware of the season if Portland lose or draw against the Pride and Carolina beat Sky Blue.

Tickets are on sale now for the 2017 NWSL Championship, which will kickoff at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Orlando City Stadium, starting as low as $20. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase seats throughout the 25,500 capacity venue, including in the North end of Orlando City Stadium - North America's first safe-standing supporter's section. Tickets are available online at and by phone at 1-855-ORL-CITY.

See below for the playoff scenarios in Week 21.


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Glossary - Pts: Points, GD: Goal Difference, GR: Games Remaining, Max: Maximum points possible

Magic Number formula*

The Magic Number for a team to clinch a playoff spot is determined by subtracting that team's current points total from the maximum number of points possible for the fifth-place team, then adding one.

Elimination Number Formula*

The Elimination Number for a team to confirm their exclusion from the playoffs is determined by subtracting that team's maximum number of possible points from the current number of points of the fourth-place team, then adding one.

* = The Magic Number or Elimination Number for each team does not reflect scenarios that require tiebreakers. Tiebreaker scenarios are required when a team's Magic Number or Elimination Number is 1.

Week 21 clinching scenarios

Chicago Red Stars will clinch a spot in 2017 NWSL Playoffs if...

... Red Stars win vs. Dash


... Reign lose or draw vs. FC Kansas City

Orlando Pride will clinch a spot in 2017 NWSL Playoffs if...

... Pride win vs. Thorns


... Reign lose or draw vs. FC Kansas City

Week 21 elimination scenarios

Seattle Reign FC will be eliminated from the 2017 NWSL Playoffs if...

... Reign lose or draw vs. FC Kansas City


... Red Stars win vs. Dash AND Pride win vs. Thorns

Week 21 NWSL Shield scenarios

North Carolina Courage will clinch the 2017 NWSL Shield if...

... Courage win vs. Sky Blue               AND        Thorns lose or draw vs. Pride


Tiebreaker Procedures

To Break a Tie in the Standings
If two or more teams are tied on points at the end of the regular season, the tie will be broken through the following steps:

Two teams

1. Head-to-head record

2. Overall goal difference

3. Overall goals scored

4. Head-to-head road record

5. Goal difference in all road games

6. Goals scored in all road games

7. Head-to-head home record

8. Goal difference in all home games

9. Goals scored in all home games

10. Coin toss

Three teams

1.Points per game against other two teams

2.Overall goal difference

3. See tiebreaker procedure for two-team scenarios

NOTE: If two teams are still tied after the third team has advanced via the tiebreaker, the tie will be broken using the two-team tiebreaker rules.