CHICAGO- The Chicago Red Stars head down to the Lone Star State to take on the Houston Dash at BBVA Stadium on July 13 at 7:30 P.M. C.T. The Red Stars won the first matchup of the season 2-1 in a melodramatic fashion. Here are the keys for round two:
Green Light: Sam Kerr cannot stop scoring. She led the National Women’s Soccer League in goals (6) before she left to represent her country in the World Cup. When she returned to Chicago after missing three match days, she was still the league leader in scoring. What does she do in her return match? Just scores a hattrick against Orlando. The Red Stars forward again leads the league in both goals (9) and shots on target (24) with two of those goals coming against the Dash back in May. Once she steps onto the field Saturday night, you already know, green means go and Chicago will need her to be in top form to take three points.
Homemade Dynamite: Naperville’s own Casey Short has been a mainstay in Chicago’s starting lineup, starting 10 of the team’s 11 games so far. She was also named in the NWSL team of the week for the second time this season for her performance against Sky Blue last week and became the only player to feature on every Team of the Month squad when June’s squad was announced on Monday. In her last meeting against the Dash, she led the Red Stars in tackles, touches and won all nine of her duels.
Liability (Reprise): Houston has gone winless in their past six games, a streak that started in their last meeting with Chicago. Although they’ve earned three draws during that time, the Dash will be looking to double that point count when they host the Red Stars this Saturday. In their last outing, Houston’s defense leaked in 5 goals against North Carolina even though they had more possession, more total passes and won more duels. They’ll look to put it all together this weekend in what should be a solid test for the Chicago frontline.