NWSL schedule, standings, scores, top scorers and playoffs chase for 2022 soccer regular season

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The 2022 NWSL season features some of the top stars in women's football
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It's a shocking three wins out of three for expansion side San Diego Wave FC in its expansion season and they have the early lead in the NWSL standings for the 2022 regular season.

After a dramatic win in Houston with a Jodie Taylor goal four minutes from time, Alex Morgan scored four goals for a second win in San Diego's regular season home opener on May 7. The new NWSL side followed that up with yet another dramatic victory in Week 3, as Kaleigh Riehl scored in the 89th minute to give the Wave a 2-1 win over the Chicago Red Stars.

The other expansion team in 2022, Angel City FC, sits right behind in the standings after two wins and a draw in its first three matches. Angel City also recorded a victorious home opener, 2-1 over Challenge Cup champions North Carolina Courage back on April 29, with 22,000 fans on hand at Banc of California Stadium in LA to witness the team's first home match.

The Courage sit bottom of the table, but have only played one match due to the team's participation in the Challenge Cup title game. Surprisingly, their Challenge Cup title opponents OL Reign are struggling to begin the regular season, with just two points through the opening three games.

MORE: Key dates in the 2022 NWSL season

NWSL schedule 2022

Upcoming matches below. Home teams listed first.

Wednesday, May 18

Match Time (ET) TV channel Streaming
NC Courage vs. Orlando Pride 7:00 p.m.  — Paramount+
Racing Louisville vs. San Diego Wave 7:30 p.m.  — Paramount+
Portland Thorns vs. Washington Spirit 10:00 p.m.  — Paramount+

Saturday, May 21

Match Time (ET) TV channel Streaming
Portland Thorns vs. Houston Dash 6:00 p.m.  — Twitch
Angel City FC vs. Kansas City Current 10:30 p.m.  — Twitch

Sunday, May 22

Match Time (ET) TV channel Streaming
NC Courage vs. San Diego Wave 2:00 p.m.  — Paramount+
NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Racing Louisville 5:00 p.m.  — Paramount+
OL Reign vs. Washington Spirit 6:00 p.m.  — Paramount+
Orlando Pride vs. Chicago Red Stars 7:00 p.m.  — Paramount+

MORE: NWSL college draft & expansion draft pick-by-pick results

NWSL standings 2022

With 12 teams in the NWSL, there are no divisions or conferences: a single table is used. If teams are tied on points, the following tiebreakers are used:

  • head-to-head record;
  • overall season goal differential;
  • total goals scored;
  • goal differential on the road;
  • goals scored on the road.
Place Team Points GP W-L-D GD Goals Next Match
1.** San Diego Wave 9 3 3-0-0 +6 7 May 18 @ LOU
3.* Portland Thorns 4 2 1-0-1 +3 3 May 18 vs. WAS
2.** Angel City FC 6 3 2-1-0 +1 3 May 21 vs. KCC
6.* Chicago Red Stars 3 2 1-1-0 0 3 May 22 @ ORL
7. Washington Spirit 3 2 1-1-0 0 2 May 18 @ POR
8. NJ/NY Gotham FC 3 2 1-1-0 -1 3 May 22 vs. LOU
9 Racing Louisville 2 3 0-1-2 -1 4 May 18 vs. SDW
12. NC Courage 0 1 0-1-0 -1 1 May 18 vs. ORL
10. OL Reign 2 3 0-1-2 -1 3 May 22 vs. WAS
4. Houston Dash 4 3 1-1-1 +1 3 May 21 @ POR
11. KC Current 1 3 0-2-1 -5 2 May 21 @ ANG
5.* Orlando Pride 4 3 1-1-1 -2 3 May 18 @ NCC

** = Top two teams earn a first round playoff bye
* = Teams 3rd through 6th qualify for playoff first round

NWSL top scorers 2022

Rank Player Team Goals (Pen) Assists GP Mins
1. Alex Morgan San Diego Wave 5 (3) 0 3 247
2. Tziarra King OL Reign 2 (0) 0 2 69
  Jessica McDonald Racing Louisville 2 (0) 0 3 270

NWSL playoffs 2022

With a 12-team league, the top six finishers advance to the playoffs, with the top two earning a first-round bye to the semifinals.

The postseason is played in a single-game knockout format beginning with the First Round. The two teams that emerge from the First Round travel to face the top two seeds in the semifinals. The last two teams left standing face off in the NWSL final in a neutral venue.

Matches that end in a draw after 90 minutes go to extra time (30 minutes) and, if necessary, penalty kicks.

First Round

Date Match Time (ET)
TBD No. 4 seed vs. No. 5 seed TBD
TBD No. 3 seed vs. No. 6 seed TBD


Date Match Time (ET)
TBD No. 1 seed vs. No. 4 / No. 5 winner TBD
TBD No. 2 seed vs. No. 3 / No. 6 winner TBD


Date Match Time (ET)
Sat, Oct. 29 Semifinal 1 Winner vs. Semifinal 2 Winner TBD

2022 NWSL Challenge Cup results

Prior to the start of the regular season, the Challenge Cup pitted the teams in a spring competition.

The Challenge Cup was formatted across three regional four-team groups, with the winners plus the top runner-up advancing to a four-team mini-bracket to decide the winner.

The North Carolina Courage won the trophy, beating the Washington Spirit 2-1 at Wakemed Soccer Park.

MORE: What is the NWSL Challenge Cup? Full results & highlights

Challenge Cup semifinals

Date Match  
Wed, May 4 OL Reign 0, Washington Spirit 0
(Spirit advance 9-8 on PKs)
Wed, May 4 KC Current 1, NC Courage 2 Highlights

Challenge Cup final

Date Match  
Sat, May 7 NC Courage 2, Washington Spirit 1 Highlights
Kyle Bonn Photo

Kyle Bonn is a soccer content producer for The Sporting News.