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2019 NWSL Regular Season – Week 16

Washington Spirit vs Chicago Red Stars

Maryland SoccerPlex. Boyds, MD

August 10 at 6:00 PM CT

 

 CHICAGO — The Chicago Red Stars and Washington Spirit will face off for the second time this season on Saturday, August 10. Kickoff from Maryland SoccerPlex is scheduled for 6 pm C.T.

 

Where to Watch

TV: NBCSH+

Stream: Yahoo Sports

Additionally, authenticated regional subscribers of NBC Sports Chicago can watch the live stream of the game at NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive.

 

Opponent Form

Washington’s road trip to WakeMed Soccer Park proved unsuccessful after the Courage handed them a 1-0 defeat. It was an uphill battle for the Spirit after defender Paige Nielsen was sent off for a tackle on Debinha in the 24th minute that resulted in a straight red card, the first in the 2019 NWSL season. It would be North Carolina’s Brazilian superstar who would grab the winning goal in the 64th minute and hand the Spirit their fourth loss in their last five games. 

 

Storylines

The Two of Us: Sunday’s matchup will feature this season’s most prolific goalscorer against its best shot-stopper. Chicago’s Sam Kerr continues to top the NWSL scoring charts and leads the Golden Boot race with 12 goals in as many games this season. The goalkeeper tasked with stopping her this weekend is Audrey Bledsoe. She is one of two goalies in the league to play in every game in 2019 and has been impossible to stop at times. Bledsoe leads the league with 55 saves and six clean sheets with a save success rate of 79.9%. Their run of form resulted in Bledsoe taking home the most recent NWSL Save of the Week honor and Kerr just became the second player to win her fifth Player of the Week honor in one season. 

It’s Gonna Be Three: Only 12 players were nominated for FIFA’s Best Women’s Player of 2019 and three of those players will be available for selection on Sunday. Kerr’s offensive production is well-documented as she has shattered records in the NWSL, W-League and FIFA World Cup. Red Stars captain Julie Ertz also earned the nomination after providing a key role in the U.S. Women’s National Team’s run to their second consecutive FIFA World Cup. Ertz and Kerr will lead Chicago against Washington and fellow nominee Rose Lavelle, who won the Bronze Ball at this summer’s World Cup on her way to a breakout performance in the tournament. 

Up Against the Wall: Despite Washington’s poor run of form in the post-World Cup stretch, The Spirit are only two points behind the coveted playoff spot in the NWSL Standings while taking results from three of the current top four teams in the league. Washington is unbeaten against Reign FC while handing Portland and Chicago defeats in consecutive weeks earlier this season. Back in May, Ashley Hatch scored her second goal in as many weeks to defeat the Red Stars 2-0.