Turn in impressive defensive display despite injury troubles

By Gunnar Berndt

Kansas City, Mo. – Despite significant injury concerns, the Chicago Red Stars managed to punch their ticket to the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) playoffs with a scoreless road draw against reigning champions FC Kansas City on Sunday evening. Having entered the match without center back Samantha Johnson, the Red Stars saw left back Arin Gilliland and forward Stephanie McCaffrey limp off the field within the opening 25 minutes and nonetheless managed to turn in a disciplined defensive display en route to a well-earned point. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher bagged the shutout for Chicago.

The visitors had Naeher to thank for preventing an early opposition lead. In the eighth minute of play, FCKC’s Caroline Castor whipped in a cross from the left that was nodded down by Shea Groom, followed by a Brittany Taylor volley from the doorstep that seemed destined for the inside of the left upright if not for a spectacular diving parry by Chicago’s U.S. netminder. The only other noteworthy events of the opening period were the injuries to Gilliland and McCaffrey, who were replaced by Sarah Gorden and Alyssa Mautz, respectively.

The fans at Kansas City’s Swope Soccer Vilage witnessed plenty of intense one-on-one battles but even less in the way of chances after the break, with the Red Stars holding on to a crucial share of the spoils that sends them to their second consecutive NWSL postseason. Head Coach Rory Dames’ squad returns home for its big Fan Appreciation Night and regular season finale against league-leading Washington Spirit on Saturday, September 24. Tickets to all Red Stars home games at Toyota Park in Bridgeview may be purchased by clicking here or by calling 773-697-8699.

NWSL Match Report
Match: Chicago Red Stars at FC Kansas City 0-0
Date: September 11, 2016
Venue: Swope Soccer Village, Kansas City, Missouri
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. CT)
Attendance: 2,303

Scoring Summary:

1 2 T
FCKC 0 0 0
CHI 0 0 0

Lineups:

FCKC: 18-Nicole Barnhart Goalkeeper; 13-Brittany Taylor Right Back, 10-Yael Averbuch Center Back, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn Center Back (capt.), 5-Alex Arlitt Left Back (21-Katie Bowen Substitute 70’); 20-Tiffany McCarty Right Midfielder (11-Frances Silva Substitute 64’), 3-Desiree Scott Midfielder, 9-Heather O’Reilly Midfielder, 7-Mandy Laddish Midfielder, 23-Caroline Kastor Left Midfielder (1-Lo’eau LaBonta Substitute 55’); 2-Shea Groom Forward
Subs not used: 19-Cat Parkhill Goalkeeper, 22-Brianne Reed Substitute, 88-Alexa Newfield Substitute
Head Coach: Vlatko Andonovski

CHI: 1-Alyssa Naeher Goalkeeper; 3-Arin Gilliland Right Back (14-Sarah Gorden Substitute 9’), 8-Julie Johnston Center Back, 5-Katie Naughton Center Back, 6-Casey Short Left Back; 11-Sofia Huerta Right Midfielder, 12-Cara Walls Midfielder (7-Taylor Comeau Substitute 81’), 24-Danielle Colaprico Midfielder, 10-Vanessa DiBernardo Left Midfielder; 23-Christen Press Forward, 9-Stephanie McCaffrey Forward (4-Alyssa Mautz Substitute 25’)
Subs not used: 18-Michele Dalton Goalkeeper, 13-Amanda DaCosta Substitute, 15-Courtney Raetzman Substitute, 34-Mary Luba Substitute
Head Coach: Rory Dames

Stats Summary: FCKC / CHI
Shots: 8 / 3
Shots on Goal: 4 / 2
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 1 / 3
Offside: 9 / 9

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva
Assistant Referee 1: Ben Wooten
Assistant Referee 2: Maggie Short
Fourth Official: Jon Freemon

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