Prior to the Chicago Red Stars’ match against Houston Dash, Amanda Kowalski and Head Coach Chris Petrucelli met with members of the media. The Red Stars face off with Houston for the second and final time this season Saturday, September 17, at 7:00 p.m. CT at SeatGeek Stadium. For more on the matchup, check out the match preview here.
On the team feeling after Wednesday’s 4-0 victory over Kansas City (from Hernán Espinoza Jr.)
Amanda Kowalski: We were very ecstatic. We didn’t necessarily play very well, but we think that in situations where we don’t play well and still end up winning four to zero, we’re all really happy with the win, and we’re ready to move on to our game tomorrow.
On injury updates for the upcoming match (from Hernán Espinoza Jr.)
Chris Petrucelli: I think Arin Wright will be available for a few minutes. I think that’s the only difference from the last match.
On Morgan Gautrat’s availability after her appearance in the previous match (from Hernán Espinoza Jr.)
Petrucelli: I think she’s a long way off from 90 minutes, but she’s building. She played maybe 15 the first time, and 20 or so this next game. We’ll build her again, maybe up in the 30-minute range on Saturday, and then increase it again next week. We’ll increase it little by little. We’re trying to not put too much on her too fast, because obviously we don’t want her to get injured again.
On the importance of the match on Saturday because of the limited number of matches left in the regular season (from Hernán Espinoza Jr.)
Petrucelli: We are running out of games, for sure. We’re crossing off the calendar pretty quick. There aren’t that many points left out there, so we’ve got to get as many as we can, and certainly, this is an important game for us to try to get three points, and our goal going into the game is to get all three points. We’re certainly not playing for a tie.
On the strength of the whole team growing throughout the season (from Hernán Espinoza Jr.)
Kowalski: I think we’re growing stronger the more we play together. We’ve faced adversity throughout this season, so I think that the more we play together and the better teams we play against, hitting this last stretch of games, we’ll continue to bond together as a team and grow stronger, and it’ll show on the field, too.
On Mallory Pugh’s recent and potential future success (from Hernán Espinoza Jr.)
Petrucelli: I think Mallory is playing at an extremely high level right now. I think it’d be hard to argue that she’s not the most dangerous player in the league at the moment, which is the same on our national team. She’s certainly one of the most dangerous players when they play, so I think she’s ready. She’s exploded sort of, this year in the NWSL. She’s had her best year and I think you’ll see the same, come the World Cup. I think you’re going to see a player who is very confident, who feels very good about herself, and who’s capable of changing games.
On the environment and the Hispanic Heritage Month theme of the upcoming match (from Hernán Espinoza Jr.)
Kowalski: I think there’s going to be a ton of fans. It’s tough on weekday games, like two nights ago, to get a good group of people out, with just travel and work. I think having a good, solid Saturday game after a long stretch of away games, we’ll get a good turnout for tomorrow.
Petrucelli: And we know that football is important to the Hispanic culture, we know it’s a big part of the culture, and we certainly want to celebrate that and be part of that. I think it’s a great day for people to come out and celebrate what they’re all about, and we’re part of that.