2019 NWSL Regular Season — Week 24

Chicago Red Stars vs Washington Spirit

SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, IL

September 21 at 7pm CT

 

CHICAGO — With two games remaining in the regular season, the Chicago Red Stars return home for a matchup against the Washington Spirit on Saturday, September 21st. Kickoff from SeatGeek Stadium is scheduled for 7pm CT. 

 

Where to Watch

TV: NBC Sports Chicago 

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 welcomed Reign FC last Saturday in a crucial matchup for both team’s postseason hopes. Ashley Hatch opened the scoring for the Spirit in the 30th minute but the lead didn’t last long thanks to a Reign FC goal five minutes later. The score would remain 1-1 until the 90th minute when Hatch set up Chloe Logarzo for what Washington surely thought was the game-winning goal. However, Reign FC would find a way to equalize once again through a goal from Ifeoma Onumonu as both teams settled for a 2-2 draw. 

The late equalizer prevented the sixth-placed Spirit from gaining ground on Reign FC in the standings with four games remaining. Three of those games will be played against Chicago, Houston, and North Carolina across a seven-day span. 

 

Storylines

Don’t Stop Them Now: The international connection is once again golden as the duo of Sam Kerr and Yuki Nagasato continue to top the league scoring charts. Nagasato connected with Kerr for Chicago’s second goal on Sunday. It was Kerr’s 16th goal of the season as she continues to push for her third-consecutive NWSL Golden Boot. For Nagasato, her seventh assist of the year put her back on top of league’s assist rankings. No duo has been more productive than Chicago’s, who have connected for 13 goals since 2018. 

Killer Naeher: Washington’s Audrey Bledsoe may be the favorite to take home the NWSL’s Goalkeeper of the Year award, but no goalie has earned more clean sheets in the latter half of the year than Chicago’s Alyssa Naeher. Since her return from an outstanding World Cup, Naeher has shutout opponents on five occasions and was key in the Red Stars win over Sky Blue last Sunday. Naeher matched her season-high with six saves, including two impressive stops against Carli Lloyd. Since July 21st, Naeher has 24 saves and an impressive 72% save success rate. 

Under Pressure: Washington still has an outside chance of making the playoffs, but will have to win games against some of the league’s best sides. The Spirit face Chicago, North Carolina, and Portland before the regular season is over. One more loss could be the dagger to Washington’s playoff hopes. Chicago’s three wins last week puts them second in the NWSL standings with two games remaining. A win on Saturday would give them more breathing room in a tight playoff race as the Red Stars continue to push for their fifth-consecutive postseason appearance.