Now that the United States national team has finished unceremoniously pounding Paraguay into oblivion twice, the focus is ready to swing back to the National Women’s Soccer League. That has been a dangerous game for much of 2021, but with playoff-clinching opportunities in view, the hope for a final sprint focused on actual soccer springs eternal. Here’s how the 10 clubs stand as we approach the final quarter of the 2021 season.
Portland Thorns FC (12-4-2, 38 pts)
The Thorns floated into the FIFA break on the wings of their first ever win at North Carolina and soon after that were handed three more points via forfeit from the Washington Spirit. That puts them squarely in control of the Shield race. They are even more tucked away for a top-two spot which would put them one home semifinal win from being in the NWSL Championship at Providence Park.