CHICAGO — Chicago returns to action on the road at Explora Stadium to take on the Orlando Pride for the first time in 2019. Orlando has switched their momentum, grabbing their first win of the season, while Chicago is looking to flip theirs. Here are our keys to the match:
Win the Battles: In order to claim their first win since May 19, the Red Stars will need to win defensive battles against the Orlando side. Chicago leads the league with a tackle success rate of 73.5%, almost 10% higher than the rest of the teams. Some of this success can be attributed to Danielle Colaprico, who recently became one of only 10 players this year to contest seven or more duels and win at least 85% of them in a single game. Of those 10 players, five play for Chicago, proving the Red Stars are a strong team all around.
She’s All-Wright: Arin Wright makes the Red Stars backline hard to beat. This season she has only let one player get past her, making her a key presence on the field against Orlando. Wright is now one of only four defenders in the league with at least 10 tackles, more than 40 duels won and has been beaten on the dribble by no more than five players. Her dominant defensive presence gives the Red Stars momentum across the field.
Let’s Get Physical: Both Orlando and the Red Stars are known to play a physical game, as both teams earned several yellow cards this season. Orlando, with 16 yellow cards on the season leads the league, but the Red Stars are just a few behind in third place for most yellow cards received. While this match will be a test of both strength and composure as the two teams battle for a win, it is a great opportunity for the Red Stars to earn set pieces around the field.
Let it Go (In): So far this season, Orlando has conceded at least one goal a game. Their average goal consumption is two goals per game totaling 21 thus far. This gives the Red Stars a great opportunity to end their goal-scoring drought and pick up a big win on the road. With the addition of Savannah McCaskill in the attack and the strength going forward from the Red Stars, they will look to gain momentum at Explora Stadium.