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• Minnesota United has won just twice in its past 14 matches, a slide that’s made the Loons’ grip on the final NASL playoff spot extremely tenuous. With four games to go, though, it’s worth remembering that the 2011 team endured a similar swoon — just three wins in 14 matches — before recovering in the final weeks, squeaking into the playoffs, then getting hot and taking home the championship.

• NWSL Championship preview, part one: Western New York turned over its entire roster between the beginning of 2014 and the beginning of 2016, and the result is a spot in the title game — mostly thanks to Golden Boot winner and MVP Lynn Williams, who scored twice in extra time to sink Portland in the semifinals.

• NWSL Championship preview, part two: Washington probably should have lost its semifinal with Chicago. Red Stars forward Christen Press had an open goal to aim at in second-half stoppage time but hit the crossbar, and the Spirit won the game in extra time after the referee accidentally deflected the ball in its favor. That said, until the past few weeks of the season, the Spirit was the league’s best team.