CHICAGO —- The Chicago Red Stars head to the Pacific Northwest on Sunday, July 28 to take on Reign FC at Cheney Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00 pm C.T. Here’s everything you need to know about our upcoming opponent:
Opponent Form: No team handled the loss of their World Cup players better than Reign FC. The club catapulted into the top four of the NWSL standings during the stretch by winning five games and collecting 18 total points. They went undefeated from May 4 until their most recent game on July 13 when they lost 2-0 against the North Carolina Courage. A large portion of their success can be credited to centerbacks Megan Oyster and Lauren Barnes. Together they lead the league’s second-best defense which secured four shutouts and allowed only eleven goals. On the flipside, Jess Fishlock provided a huge spark on offense, scoring three goals and assisting one on her way to winning the June NWSL Player of the Month award. However, Fishlock had an unfortunate season-ending injury that has Reign FC looking to secure a stronger midfield.
Acquisitions: Returning World Cup champions Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long, along with England international Jodie Taylor will be huge additions to the injury-plagued Reign. Along with Fishlock, five other Reign FC players are ruled out for the year including goalkeeper Lydia Williams and forward Jasmyne Spencer. The club’s front office reconciled this and added three new players to the squad including former Red Stars midfielder Rosie White. White was selected 7th overall by Chicago in the 2018 Dispersal Draft and made 12 appearances in Chicago before leaving in the off-season to focus on preparing for the World Cup with New Zealand. Reign FC also acquired Canadian international Rebecca Quinn, the 2018 NWSL draft 11th overall pick Schuyler DeBree and traded for goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme.
Rubber Match: The final regular-season matchup between Chicago and Reign FC will be the rubber match of the season series. Chicago took home the three points in the first round back in April through goals from Yuki Nagasato, Casey Short and Brooke Elby. Those three goals are still the most the Reign FC defense conceded all year. However, in their return to Chicago, Fishlock and the Reign shut out the Red Stars 1-0 to return the favor. Now both clubs find themselves in a heated race to stay in the top of the standings and a victory on Sunday could go a long way for both team’s postseason hopes.
Fortress: Reign FC are undefeated at home this season, winning twice and drawing five times at Cheney Stadium.