Bracket revealed for 2022 NWSL Playoffs as OL Reign wins 3rd NWSL Shield
NEW YORK – The National Women’s Soccer League announced the bracket as well as times and locations for the 2022 NWSL Playoffs.
In their first ever NWSL Playoffs appearance, the Houston Dash kick off postseason play with the No. 4 seed and will host the No. 5-seeded Kansas City Current at PNC Stadium for the first quarterfinal match set for 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 16. The contest will stream live on Paramount+. San Diego Wave FC earned the No. 3 seed and will take on the No. 6 seed Chicago Red Stars in the second and final quarterfinal contest of the day at Snapdragon Stadium in a 10 p.m. ET match that will air live on CBS Sports Network.
2022 NWSL Shield winner OL Reign and No. 2 seed Portland Thorns FC have each earned quarterfinal byes. The Thorns will host the winner of the San Diego-Chicago match Sunday, October 23 at 5 p.m. ET at Providence Park while top-seeded OL Reign will take on the winner of the Houston-Kansas City match at 7:30 p.m. ET at Lumen Field. Both contests will air live on CBS Sports Network.
For the first time ever, the 2022 NWSL Championship will air live in primetime on The CBS Television Network Saturday, October 29, with kickoff slated for 8 p.m. ET. The match will also be streamed live on Paramount+. Additional coverage details will be announced at a later date.
All playoff matches, including the final, will stream internationally outside the U.S. on the NWSL’s Twitch channel.
Building off a competitive regular season, this year’s playoff matchups will see San Diego, the first expansion team to earn a playoff spot in its inaugural campaign, take on a veteran postseason team in Chicago, who look to claim their first-ever NWSL Championship after falling in last year’s final.
The other side of the bracket will see two teams in their postseason debuts. The Houston Dash punched their ticket to the NWSL Playoffs for the first time in club history, while the Current earned in their first playoff berth since the franchise returned to Kansas City.
Claiming its third NWSL Shield this season, OL Reign has reached the NWSL postseason for the sixth time, but have yet to win the title, while the Thorns are on the hunt for their first Championship trophy since the 2017 season.
With the No. 1 seed, OL Reign earned both a first-round bye and home field advantage for the semifinals and will await the outcome of the quarterfinals to determine their opponent.
More details regarding the 2022 NWSL Playoffs will be available in the coming days.
OL Reign, who lead the league with 11 wins this regular season, were stellar on both sides of the pitch throughout the 2022 campaign. Notably, Bethany Balcer led the team in scoring for a third year with seven goals and one assist in 19 games. In addition, making her 100th regular-season appearance in Reign’s regular-season finale, Megan Rapinoe became the 10th player to score in her 100th regular-season game. Defensively, goalkeeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce tied Portland Thorns FC goaltender Bella Bixby for most shutouts this season with nine clean sheets.
With this weekend’s result, Laura Harvey became just the second head coach in league history to earn three shields.