CHICAGO – The Chicago Red Stars are on the road again to face the Portland Thorns at newly-renovated Providence Park this weekend. As the NWSL prepares for its final weekend before the World Cup break, here are the keys to the match:
You and Me Got a Whole Lot of History
The Chicago – Portland matchup has always been entertaining, with the last three meetings between each team resulting in a tie. The Red Stars last hosted the Thorns at SeatGeek Stadium for Chicago’s 2019 home opener that ended in a thrilling 4-4 draw that saw a Yuki Nagasato brace and additional goals by both Sam Kerr and Michele Vasconcelos. The match saw three lead changes as goals were plentiful.
Both the Red Stars and Thorns are looking to build momentum with this final matchup ahead of the league-wide bye weekend. Portland most recently won over Sky Blue FC following a 3-1 loss to the Washington Spirit. Chicago will hope to build momentum with its fourth win of the season, while Portland will be looking for a second consecutive win.
Leading the Goal Scoring Pack
Chicago and Portland are currently tied for first in the league in goals scored. The Red Stars have seen stellar offensive performances across the board this season – Yuki Nagasato leads the league in assists, while Michele Vasconcelos sits tied for second with Portland defender Meghan Klingenberg. Portland’s Dagny Brynjarsdottir has been playing a strong two-way game and building offensive momentum, while Vanessa DiBernardo has generated numerous quality chances for Chicago thanks to her playmaking abilities. The Red Stars will need to capitalize off opportunities to find the back of the net to continue leading the pack.