CHICAGO–The Chicago Red Stars are coming off a thrilling draw against the Portland Thorns as they enter the second of their two-game homestand at SeatGeek Stadium. As Chicago gears up for another tough test this weekend, here are your keys to the match:
Last weekend, Michele Vasconcelos scored two minutes after coming on to the field, and strong performances by Sarah Gorden and Nikki Stanton against North Carolina in Week 1 indicate continued stability to come. Katie Johnson also played her first minutes for the Red Stars against Portland last weekend, setting up key chances for Sam Kerr and Yuki Nagasato on the wing.
Chicago more than tripled their shots from Week 1 against North Carolina against Portland. Like the old adage reads, if you don’t shoot, you don’t score. With 20 total shots and seven shots on goal, it comes as no surprise that the Red Stars were able to score four goals against the Thorns. It will be up to Chicago to continue capitalizing on chances and building momentum as the match progresses.
The Red Stars and Reign FC met on three occasions during the 2018 NWSL season, resulting in two draws and one Chicago win after Kerr scored the lone goal in the series in Week 16. Matchups between the Red Stars and Reign FC have historically been close and physical as each match over the past three seasons has drawn at least one yellow card, with both teams seeing nine over their three matches last season. Last season also saw a total of 61 tackles split nearly equally between the two teams. These games have worn both teams down over the 90 minutes, expect the trend to continue on Saturday.