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Happy November and welcome to the NWSL postseason. If you’re just joining us, the quarterfinals are complete with the No. 4 Chicago Red Stars eliminating No. 5 NJ/NY Gotham FC, and the No. 3 Washington Spirit taking out the No. 6 North Carolina Courage.
Next up is the semis, but before we get there, here’s a rundown of all the basics of playoff women’s soccer.
First, how do the playoffs work? The postseason includes five elimination games between Nov. 7 and Nov. 20. This is the first year six teams qualified instead of the usual four suspects.
What channel are the games on? You can catch all the contests on CBS Sports, Paramount+, CBS Sports Network and CBS.
Which teams are left? No. 1 Portland Thorns FC, No. 2 OL Reign, No. 3 Washington Spirit and No. 4 Chicago Red Stars.
The Chicago Red Stars are:
Anchored by center back Sarah Gorden
Led offensively by Mal Pugh (four goals, four assists) and Kealia Watt (five goals, four assists)
Headed to the semifinals for the sixth consecutive postseason
The Washington Spirit are:
Led by a frontline trio of Golden Boot winner Ashley Hatch (10 goals), Rookie of the Year candidate Trinity Rodman (6 goals, 6 assists) and Ashley Sanchez (4 goals)
Tied for third-most goals in the regular season (30)
Held down by x-factor goalkeeper Ashley Bledsoe (8 shutouts)
The Portland Thorns:
Are starred by Lindsey Horan, Crystal Dunn, Christine Sinclair, and Becky Sauerbrunn
Won the Shield for securing the best regular-season record (23-13-5)
Set a league record for single-season shutouts (13)
Are anchored by a star goalkeeper. Bella Bibxy is up for keeper of the year (9 shutouts, 80.7% success rate)
The OL Reign:
Are led by a monster three-headed attack of Rose Lavelle, Dzsenifer Marozsan, and Eugenie Le Sommer
Won four of their last six games, scoring three goals in each of those dubs
Led the NWSL in total goals this season (34) and tied for second-most assists (22)
Game 1: Washington Spirit at OL Reign, 3 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network
The Spirit are on a hot streak, recently defeating OL and not dropping a game since September. That one loss? The Reign.
Odds: Washington (+200), Reign (+140), Draw (+220) Game 2: Chicago Red Stars at Portland Thorns FC, 5:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network
In the teams’ last meeting in late September, the Red Stars convincingly defeated the Thorns, 2-1.
Odds: Chicago (+310), Portland (EVEN), Draw (+220)
Team 1 vs. Team 2, 12 p.m. ET at Louisville’s Lynn Family Stadium aired on CBSChampionship odds:
Portland +120 (bet $100 → win $120)
OL Reign +260 (bet $100 → win $260)
Spirit +600 (bet $100 → win $600)
Red Stars +800 (bet $100 → win $800)