CHICAGO – The last third of the season is here and each team in the NWSL is looking to gain three points to put them in a better position to secure a playoff berth. Chicago currently holds the second-place standing, but with just two points between second and fifth no one is content with where they stand.
Chicago will face off against Orlando in a mid-week match at SeatGeek Stadium. Here are the keys to the match:
After a two-game road trip in Washington D.C. and New Jersey, the Red Stars return to the 773 for a game at SeatGeek Stadium. The Red Stars have won their previous two home games and will look to make it three when they host Orlando. Chicago beat Orlando in their last two matches, with both taking place in Orlando. However, when Chicago has hosted Orlando on their home turf the Red Stars let six points slip to the Pride. The Red Stars will need to show up and defend their home.
Orlando will be without Brazilian star Marta on Wednesday due to a direct red card she received against Houston Dash in the 85th minute following an altercation between herself and several Houston players. The NWSL released that Marta would serve a two-game suspension due to her actions. Since the beginning of the 2016 season, Orlando averages 1.6 goals per game when Marta starts as opposed to a mere 1.0 when she doesn’t.
If Sam Kerr is on the field she immediately becomes a danger to the opposing team. With 13 goals on the season the back-to-back NWSL Golden Boot winner once again leads the league in goals. Kerr has 44% of Chicago’s goals over the last two seasons (29/66). No other player has more than 29% of a team’s total output during that period.