USWNT REWIND: San Diego Moves Into First With Four Match Days Remaining In The Regular Season

With the end of the NWSL regular season fast approaching, the battle for the postseason continues to intensify with yet another change atop the league standings.

Defending champions Portland Thorns FC entered the weekend in first place but dropped to second following a 2-1 loss to Racing Louisville FC on Saturday evening at Lynn Family Stadium. The Thorns took the lead with a goal in the sixth minute, but Louisville battled back after the break and scored in the 60th and 64th minutes to secure the come-from-behind victory. With the win, Louisville is now unbeaten in its last five regular season matches and is just two points out of playoff contention with four games remaining to play. Portland drops to second in the standings with 29 points from 18 games.

With the Thorns’ loss, San Diego Wave FC seized the opportunity and vaulted into first in the standings with a 1-0 win against the Houston Dash on Saturday evening. The Dash played the majority of the game with 10 players after Nigerian international Michelle Alozie was show a red card in the 33rd minute. San Diego was able to capitalize on the numerical advantage, putting 12 shots on goal to none for the Dash. The Wave broke through for the game’s only goal with a strike by U.S. Women’s Youth National Team forward Jaedyn Shaw in the 57th minute. With the win, the Wave moves back into first place with their eyes on making its second consecutive trip to the postseason.

Playoff hopefuls North Carolina Courage and NJ/NY Gotham FC tied 3-3 on Saturday evening in Cary, North Carolina, picking up one point each as both clubs look to return to postseason play. The high-scoring affair saw the Courage take a 2-0 lead in the first half behind goals from Japan’s Narumi Miura and Brazil’s Kerolin. Jenna Nighswonger pulled one back for Gotham in the 64th minute, but the Courage extended their lead to 3-1 in the 68th. Gotham would not be deterred and scored again in the 73rd minute to cut the deficit to one and tied the match in the 82nd minute with a goal from Midge Purce assisted by Lynn Williams.


With the draw, the Courage move to third in the standings with 28 points, one point shy of a first-round playoff bye, while Gotham sits in fifth place with 27 points.

Last season’s NWSL Shield winners OL Reign returned to their winning ways and kept their hopes of back-to-back Shields alive with a 1-0 win over the Orlando Pride on Sunday at Lumen Field. After Orlando’s goalkeeper was sent off in just the third minute with a red card, the Reign dominated the game and held the Pride to just four shots while scoring the game’s only goal in the 49th minute to snap a three-game losing streak. The victory moves the Reign back into fourth in the table with 27 points while the Pride fall to ninth and are four points back from playoff contention.  

The Washington Spirit currently hold the sixth and final playoff spot, though the competition is closing in following a 2-0 defeat at home to the Chicago Red Stars. After a scoreless first half, the Red Stars opened the scoring in the 48th minute with a goal assisted by defender Casey Krueger, her second of the season. Chicago tallied again in the 60th minute and held on for the shutout victory while picking up its third win over the year away from home.

Angel City FC also earned an important result on the road, beating the Kansas City Current 1-0 on Friday evening at Children’s Mercy Park. The victory, which featured a goal by Jasmyne Spencer in the 66th minute, pushed Angel City’s unbeaten streak to seven regular season games and 10 consecutive across all competitions. Angel City, which narrowly missed out on the playoffs last season, now moves into eighth in the league standings with 24 points, two points back of the Spirit in sixth, but behind on goal difference – which is the first tie-breaker -- as compared to all the teams currently ahead of them.

NWSL Regular Season matches will resume on September 15 as the league’s attention turns to the 2023 NWSL Challenge Cup playoffs later this week. Both semifinals will be played on Wednesday, with the Kansas City Current hosting the North Carolina Courage at 8 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network) followed by top-seeded OL Reign taking on Racing Louisville FC at 10 p.m. ET at Lumen Field (CBS Sports Network). The semifinal winners will then square off on Saturday, September 9 in the Championship Match, which will be hosted by the highest remaining seed.

Broadcast information on upcoming matches featuring U.S. Women’s National Team players can be found below. All times listed are ET.

Wednesday, September 6
NWSL Challenge Cup - Semifinal: Kansas City Current vs North Carolina Courage 8:00 p.m. CBS Sports Network
NWSL Challenge Cup - Semifinal: OL Reign vs. Racing Louisville FC 10:00 p.m. CBS Sports Network
Saturday, September 9
NWSL Challenge Cup - Final: TBD vs. TBD TBD CBS
Sunday, September 10
Trophée des Championnes Final – Olympique Lyon vs. Paris Saint-Germain 3:00 p.m.