The Houston Dash clinched a playoff berth without taking the pitch when the NC Courage and San Diego Wave played to a draw on Friday night. Having made the playoffs, how important is it to win against the Washington Spirit now?
It is important for the Houston Dash to win against the Washington Spirit in their regular season finale.
First, the Dash still have an opportunity to host a playoff match. With three points, the Dash move into a tie statistically with San Diego who has already played. If the Dash can win at Washington they would have 36 points same as the Kansas City Current and the Wave. With a win, they hold the tiebreaker over the Current in goal differential and would claim the fourth spot giving them a home playoff game. Something worth fighting for.
Second every point matters this weekend. The Portland Thorns play Gotham so you can pretty much chalk up three there and give them the Supporters Shield and a by to the next round. The OL Reign need to pick up their three points against the Pride (no easy task). If they do they get the second spot in the NWSL table and the other bye. If they lose or draw and the Current win, KC will get that second spot and the bye. The Wave have their playoff berth and home playoff game. With three teams potentially having 36 points by the conclusion of Sunday, points do matter.
Third, as Dash captain Katie Naughton said following last week's loss to OL Reign, beating Washington would be redemption for losing on the final day in 2022 to the Spirit at Audi Field. This year the Spirit can deny the Dash an opportunity to have a home playoff match as the fourth seed. The Dash need to prove they belong. Houston plays at the same time as the Current. While Houston is winning against Washington, they will be fans of Racing Louisville and hoping they beat KC. If not Houston keep their fifth spot and the either the Courage the Chicago Red Stars claim the final spot.
The NWSL quarterfinal playoff games are October16, 2022 with sites yet to be determined.