CHICAGO – The Chicago Red Stars look to jump back into first with a win over the Portland Thorns on Saturday, August 12. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois and will be streamed live on go90.
Last week, the Red Stars rallied back in the second half on the road after trailing at halftime to Orlando. U.S. international Alex Morgan led the Pride with a goal in the 24th minute of the match. With Red Stars leading goal scorer Christen Press not on the roster to rest after the Tournament of Nations, it was Sofia Huerta who stepped up in the 53rd minute. Huerta would find the back of the net off a bending equalizer, earning her third goal and second NWSL Goal of the Week honor.
Chicago has been the most consistent team as of late, being the only team with zero losses in the last five games (2-0-3). The Red Stars also have conceded the fewest number of defeats this season with only three.
After their 2-1 first half victory against the Houston Dash last weekend, Portland landed in third place, just under Chicago and trailing by one point. The Thorns come into Saturday’s match with an 8-4-4 record, tallying the same number of goals as Chicago (21), but has conceded one less goal than the home side with 14.
Defender Emily Sonnett netted the first Thorns goal in the 12th minute, assisted by rookie Tyler Lussi in their last match against the Houston Dash. Nearly 20 minutes later, Houston captain Carli Lloyd grabbed the equalizer off a penalty kick. But Lussi turned the tables and took back the lead just before halftime with her first goal of the season, being the winning goal of the match.
On the score sheet, the Red Stars have only snuck away with one victory against the Thorns in 12 meetings, being outscored 13-19. In their last match up, Portland defeated Chicago at home, 1-0. The lone goal came off a controversial penalty kick in the first half and the Red Stars were unable to find the equalizer.
A consistent topper in shots (62) and shots on goal (36), Chicago’s captain Christen Press will be back on the pitch after her stint with the U.S. Women’s National Team. Press has found success against the Thorns, as she has been able to find the back of the net five times in eight matches.
Portland’s goalkeeper Adrianna Franch has been a force to reckon with in the net, coming up with 61 saves, earning her second Save of the Week honor last weekend. But with the inclusion of WNT defender Casey Short and midfielder Julie Ertz, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher will look for her sixth shutout on Saturday.
This will be the first of a three-game home stretch spanning over eight days for Chicago.
Tickets for the match are available here. The Red Stars will turn around and host Seattle Reign FC on Wednesday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m. CT at Toyota Park. Tickets for Aug. 16 are available here.
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