There are many sports fans in San Diego who are new to NWSL playoffs. And lets be honest, playoffs in general. Here is a guide to follow our hometown pride, the San Diego Wave FC in their 2023 postseason playoff run.

NWSL Playoff Format

The top six teams in the NWSL regular season qualify for the playoffs. This year, those teams are:
  1. San Diego Wave
  2. Portland Thorns
  3. North Carolina Courage
  4. OL Reign
  5. Angel City FC
  6. Gotham FC

These teams did not qualify for the 2023 postseason: Orlando Pride, Washington Spirit, Racing Louisville, Houston Dash, Kansas City Current and Chicago Red Stars.

Quarterfinals – The NWSL postseason is a single-elimination tournament. The top two seeds receive a bye while the rest compete in the quarterfinals with the 3 seed hosting a match against the 6 seed and the 4 seed hosting the 5 seed.

Semifinals The next round and the semi-finals are hosted at the higher-seed’s stadium.

NWSL Championship Site – Like the Super Bowl, the NWSL Championship is played at a predetermined neutral site. In 2023, that site is… Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego. (Ticket Info)

Tie-breakers – Ties are the best or the worst part about soccer, depending on who you ask. In NWSL postseason, if a playoff game is tied after regulation, the teams will play two 15-minute overtime periods. If still tied, penalty kick shootout will decide the winner.

NWSL Playoff Schedule

Quarterfinals: October 20-22

Friday, Oct. 20
OL Reign vs. Angel City, 10 p.m. (Paramount+)

Sunday, Oct. 22 North Carolina Courage vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 7 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)


Semifinal matches will take place on November 5 on CBS Sports Network ahead of the Championship match on November 11.
  • Portland Thorns vs winner of North Carolina Courage / Gotham FC
  • San Diego Wave vs winner of OL Reign / Angel City FC

San Diego Wave in the Postseason

In the 2022 Postseason, San Diego Wave entered the playoffs as a 3 seed and beat the Chicago Red Stars (6 seed) 2-1, advancing to the semi-finals. In that game, they were eliminated by the Portland Thorns FC (2-1). The Thorns went on to win the Championship.

The Wave will play their semi-final match at home on 11/5

Wave Playoff Tickets

To get your hands on San Diego Wave playoff tickets for the 2023 Semifinals, your best shot is to be a season ticket holder.

Find San Diego Wave Playoff Tickets

Site Search

Make the most of your time at San Diego's Snapdragon Stadium. This independently operated and reader-supported guide is not affiliated with Snapdragon, SDSU or any organizations. Affiliate partners help us keep the site running, at no additional cost to you, when you make a purchase through some of the links on our site. Please contact us with website questions.

You may also enjoy:

Snapdragon Stadium is located at:
2101 Stadium Way, San Diego, CA 92108

Copyright ©2024 Contact us / Disclaimer / Follow Us