While Chicago’s 2023 National Women’s Soccer League season ended October 15, four Red Stars weren’t quite done. Midfielders Jill Aguilera and Bianca St-Georges, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and defender Casey Krueger all received the call to represent their countries during the October FIFA international break. Here’s a look at how our Red Stars fared with their national teams.
Joining the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT), Krueger and Naeher traveled first to Sandy, Utah, October 26 then to San Diego, California, October 29 for a pair of friendlies against Colombia. Both Krueger and Naeher appeared in the October 26 match, with Krueger coming on for Portland’s Crystal Dunn in the 67th minute of the scoreless draw, and Naeher getting the start in goal. While revitalizing the USWNT back line to help keep Colombia off the board, Krueger also received a pass from USWNT debutante Jaedyn Shaw in the 89th minute. Krueger attempted a shot, but it was ultimately blocked by the Colombian defense.
The October 26 affair marked Naeher’s 11th start in 2023 as well as her 97th appearance with the national team, and the keeper saved both of Colombia’s only shots on goal during the match. The shutout was Naeher’s ninth of 2023, tying her career best clean sheet record. The keeper previously recorded nine shutouts in 2018 and 2019. Naeher is now one clean sheet shy of her 60th career shutout.
St-Georges and the Canadian Women’s National Team (CANWNT) faced off against Brazil in Montréal, Québec, October 28 and Halifax, Nova Scotia, October 31. St-Georges, playing as a defender on the CANWNT, subbed on for teammate Ashley Lawrence in the 65th minute of the October 28 matchup. Entering second half stoppage time in front of a sold-out crowd of 19,629 strong in Montréal, Brazil and Canada were on track to play to a scoreless draw. However, in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Brazilian midfielder Debinha rocketed off a shot from distance that deflected off goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan to secure a last-minute 0-1 victory for Brazil. St-Georges was available off the bench for Canada when they claimed a 2-0 shutout over Brazil in the rematch in Halifax, but did not ultimately make an appearance.
Jill Aguilera captained the Puerto Rico squad in their pair of outings against Trinidad and Tobago in CONCACAF Road to W Gold Cup group play. Puerto Rico traveled to Trinidad and Tobago October 27 before hosting Trinidad and Tobago October 31. Puerto Rico took an early lead in the October 27 matchup with a goal in the 30th minute. Aguilera took advantage of a loose ball in the 54th minute, burying an unstoppable shot in the top left corner of the net for Puerto Rico’s second goal of the 1-2 victory. Aguilera also had two shots in the first 30 minutes of the October 31 scoreless draw, but both shots were saved by Trinidad and Tobago’s keeper. Puerto Rico now sits second in Group A, where the group winners automatically qualify for the CONCACAF W Gold Cup and the Group A runners-up still have a chance to qualify through the upcoming W Gold Cup preliminary rounds.
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