Greenville Liberty SC secure the South Atlantic Division title | Photo Courtesy of Brittany Hildreth
TAMPA, Fla. - The inaugural W League regular season comes to an end this Sunday, July 10 after roughly 250 matches and dozens of unforgettable moments. Up next? The W League Playoffs are slated to begin on July 13 with an eight-team playoff field, where there are still places up for grabs during the last weekend of regular season play. The playoffs will culminate with the crowning of the USL W League Champions on July 23.
All seven divisions – South Central, Great Lakes, Heartland, Mid Atlantic, Metropolitan, South Atlantic and Southeast – have been allotted one playoff berth for their winner. The final playoff berth will be a wild card awarded to the second-placed team with the best record from either the Great Lakes or Metropolitan Division, the two divisions with the most teams competing.
The complete bracket with all four matchups and host sites will be released on Monday, July 13th.
Mid Atlantic Division Winner: McLean Soccer
South Atlantic Division Winner: Greenville Liberty SC
Heartland Division Winner: Minnesota Aurora FC
Southeast Division Winner: FC Miami City
Great Lakes Division Winner: Indy Eleven
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC needs a victory against SC United FC on Friday, and for Tormenta FC to either draw or lose to South Carolina United on Sunday to clinch the divisional title and claim the playoff berth.
South Carolina United FC must win each of its final two matches against Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (Friday) and South Georgia Tormenta FC (Sunday) to win the South Central Division and advance to the playoffs.
Morris Elite would clinch the division with a a pair of victories, a victory against AC Connecticut and a draw against Queensboro FC, or a draw against AC Connecticut and a win against Queensboro FC, with all three scenarios placing Morris Elite beyond the reach of the Long Island Rough Riders on at least 27 points.
The Long Island Rough Riders can clinch the division title should Morris Elite fail to win each of its final two games, including a draw between Morris Elite against Queensboro FC in their final game of the season. Long Island would then need to win its remaining two games against F.A. Euro (Wednesday) and the Westchester Flames (Sunday) by a cumulative +10 goal differential to pass Queensboro FC on goal difference after the teams split their regular season series with one win apiece.
Great Lakes Scenario:
Midwest United is still alive in the Wild Card race with one match left in the season with a possible total of 26 points should it win its final match on Saturday against AFC Ann Arbor. Midwest would then face a potential tiebreaker scenario with one of Queensboro FC, Morris Elite, or the Long Island Rough Riders, all of which can also reach 26 points in their remaining schedule in the Metropolitan Division to decide the Wild Card berth.
Should Midwest play to a draw against AFC Ann Arbor and end on 24 points, it would be left awaiting the results between the trio of Morris Elite, Cedar Stars and Long Island Rough Riders for a potential tiebreaker, or elimination with a lower point total than the second-placed Metropolitan Division side.
Queensboro FC can clinch at least a Wild Card berth with a draw against Morris Elite in its final game of the season should both Midwest United FC and the Long Island Rough Riders fail to win their remaining games of the season.
Morris Elite will be guaranteed at least a Wild Card berth should it take four points from its final two games, which would place it clear of all three of Cedar Stars, Long Island Rough Riders and Midwest United on 27 points.
Cedar Stars would need to win its final game of the season on Wednesday night to reach 25 points and see Midwest United lose or draw its remaining game, Morris Elite earn only one point from its final two games, and Long Island Rough Riders earn a maximum of four points from its final two games.
The Long Island Rough Riders have an outside chance to earn the Wild Card with a pair of victories should Midwest United fail to win its remaining game, and Morris Elite each of its two remaining games. Should Midwest United win to reach 26 points, Long Island would not only need to win out, but surpass Midwest United and either Queensboro FC or Morris Elite on goal differential, which currently stands at Queensboro FC +22, Midwest United +21, Morris Elite +17, and Long Island Rough Riders +13.
The USL W League playoffs are designed with an emphasis on player welfare, on-field performance and recovery.
Hosting for the playoffs is determined through the submission and acceptance of host bids by qualifying teams.
The quarterfinals will feature geography-based pairings in an effort to reduce the impact of travel where possible across the full bracket.
Minnesota Aurora FC and Greenville Liberty have already been awarded hosting privileges.