CHICAGO — After a wild 4-4 draw against Portland Thorns FC, the Chicago Red Stars will host fellow Cascadia foes Reign FC at SeatGeek Stadium. Reign FC travels to Chicago after facing off against the Orlando Pride. Here’s what you need to know about our upcoming foe:
With the move to Tacoma and all of the roster moves, it was a busy offseason for Reign FC. The team traded away Japanese international Nahomi Kawasumi to Sky Blue FC in exchange for Shea Groom. Another trade welcomed Darian Jenkins to Tacoma, and they acquired former Red Stars player Morgan Proffitt along with Taylor Smith, Bethany Balcer, and Kiersten Dallstream.
Kawasumi isn’t the only change from last season. Yael Averbuch has had to sadly suspend her playing career due to illness. Welch International Jessica Fishlock has yet to return from Olympique Lyonnais, who retains her rights until the end of the UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign.
The team also lost a key member of their squad in the season opener when Jasmyne Spencer tore her ACL, putting an unfortunate end to her season.
Goalkeeper Michelle Betos has done her part for Reign FC this season. In the season opener against Houston, Betos had seven saves in a 1-1 draw. Against Orlando on Sunday she again only conceded only one goal, making another key save in the 85th minute to keep the game level.
Like the Red Stars, Reign FC have taken two points from two games. In both games, the team has rallied for a draw thanks to a goal from a newly acquired player. In their first game, Darian Jenkins scored the lone goal for the Reign, who was denied a victory thanks to a late penalty kick by Jodie Taylor that was saved by Houston’s Jane Campbell. Against the Pride this past week it was rookie Bethany Balcer who scored in the 21st minute, helping Reign FC take a point from a struggling Orlando side.
In three games between Chicago and Reign FC last season only one goal was scored. Both games at Memorial Stadium ended in a scoreless draw. The meeting in Chicago was scoreless until the 87th minute when Sam Kerr scored a clutch goal that gave the hosts a late victory.
Fun Stat to Know
Dating back to 2015, every game between these two teams has either ended in a draw or decided by a goal.