CHICAGO — Chicago heads to the West Coast on short rest to take on the current NWSL leaders in the Portland Thorns. The hosts have an overall record of 5-1-2 at Providence Park and it will take the grit of Chicago to come in and claim points in Portland. Here are the keys to the match:
The 2019 season has required an all-hands-on-deck approach and Sunday night should prove to be no different. In a 22-day span, Chicago will have played five games and will be coming off a game this past Wednesday against Orlando. Meanwhile, Portland enters the game on eight-game rest, with their last match on August 17.
Chicago’s head coach Rory Dames has started 12 different lineups this season, with only Yuki Nagasato starting every game for the Red Stars in 2019. The entire 18-team roster will need to show up in Portland and show the Chicago blue-collar work ethic in the Pacific Northwest.
The Show Goes On
After going on a five-game win streak against top opponents North Carolina Courage, Reign FC and Utah Royals FC, Chicago dropped the last two against Sky Blue FC and Orlando Pride. The show doesn’t get easier, but it goes on as Chicago heads to Portland to take on the current NWSL leaders.
The good news is that Chicago has been stellar on the road in 2019 as they’ve grabbed points in six out of nine away games. The Red Stars have found Portland to be their greatest enemy, both on the road and at home, but need to find a way to pull points out of this match and change the narrative.
Thorns & Horns
In order to grab a win on the road, Chicago will need to contain Christine Sinclair. In the first match against Portland this season, Sinclair scored a hat-trick against the Red Stars and showed her dominance on the field. In the two matches this season against the Thorns, Portland has been able to tally seven goals, with a Thorns player recording a multi-goal and multi-assist game in each of those two matches.