2019 NWSL Regular Season – Week 3
Chicago Red Stars vs Reign FC
SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, Illinois
April 20 – 7:00 PM CT
The Chicago Red Stars return to SeatGeek Stadium when they host Reign FC on Saturday. The game features two semifinalists from last year’s National Women’s Soccer League playoffs and is a historically tight matchup for both teams, with only one goal scored in three games between both teams in 2018.
Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Stream: NBC Sports App, Yahoo Sports
Additionally, authenticated regional subscribers of NBC Sports Chicago can view the live stream of the game at NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive.
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.
What to Watch For
Breaking the Deadlock: As previously mentioned, this is a historically tight matchup. Both games at Memorial Stadium last season ended in a scoreless draw, with Alyssa Naeher and Lydia Williams making some terrific saves to keep their clean sheets. The lone game that Chicago hosted was also even at zero for 87 minutes, until Sam Kerr secured the win by notching the game-winning goal to give the Red Stars the lone win of the 2018 series.
Rotating Pieces: Reign FC is dealing with an injury of Megan Rapinoe and the loss of Jasmyne Spencer for the season due to an ACL tear in the first game. Welch international Jessica Fishlock is also away in France until Olympique Lyonnais finish their Champions League campaign. Despite the rotating pieces, the Reign have been able to take away points from their first two games, showcasing the chemistry across their roster and ability to adapt early on.
International Connection: Yuki Nagasato and Sam Kerr continue to light it up on offense. Kerr has scored a goal in both games this season, while Nagasato provided a vital brace against Portland. The Japanese international buried a penalty kick before scoring the stoppage time equalizer that came off a Sam Kerr blocked shot. Between them, the duo has four goals and added on an assist this season. The duo also connected for the lone goal in the series matchup against Reign FC last year. Chicago’s offense is on a roll, and it’s due in large part thanks to these two players.