Short takes

• The NWSL playoff picture is all but set. North Carolina and Portland will host the semifinals of the playoffs; Orlando and Chicago can clinch the other two playoff spots this weekend with wins, or a Seattle loss. North Carolina has led the standings the whole way this year and has a two-point lead over Portland in the regular-season title race with two games to go.

• Sporting Kansas City won its fourth U.S. Open Cup trophy, beating New York 2-1 in the final on Wednesday night. KC now joins Chicago and Seattle as the only MLS teams with four titles. The Red Bulls, meanwhile, still have never won a trophy in the club’s history.


• The NASL makes most of its news in the courtroom, these days, and this week was no different. The league filed an antitrust lawsuit against U.S. Soccer after the national soccer governing body declined to give Division 2 status to the NASL for next season, a potentially league-killing move. This is at least the fourth time in the past few decades that U.S. Soccer has been sued on this basis, with none of the previous lawsuits resulting in much change.