June 23, 2017

Chicago Hosts Sky Blue FC Ahead Four-Game Road Trip


CHICAGO – The Red Stars will look to extend their undefeated streak to seven as they take on third-place Sky Blue FC this Sunday, June 25. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. CT at Toyota Park.

Still coveting second place in league standings since Week 7, Chicago drew Washington Spirit 1-1 in last week’s play. Captain Christen Press scored her fourth goal of the season; second from the penalty spot. Press still holds the lead in shots (33) and shots on goal (20) in the NWSL.

The duo of Press and Sofia Huerta up top has proved unstoppable, combining for five goals and five assists; most of which have been to each other. Although the Red Stars haven’t aimed for high-scoring matches, netting the fourth lowest goals (12), they hold the longest undefeated streak in the league at the moment.

But it’s the defense that has also stepped up to save promising opportunities. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher has allowed the fewest goals (8) past her. The Red Stars backline has earned a tackle success rate of 84%, along with 280 interceptions on the season.

Coming into the match, Sky Blue has seen its best 10-game start of the season since there 7-2-1 run in 2013.

Sky Blue’s success has been attributed to their strong attacking force. Midfielder Sarah Killion tops the league with five goals after six shots on frame, as reigning NWSL Player of the Week Samantha Kerr follows with four goals and three assists. Midfielder Raquel Rodriguez also owns the record for fastest NWSL goal, hitting the back of the net in 24.76 seconds.

“As a team going against a strong offensive team like Sky Blue, we don’t want to allow them to get behind our backline,” said Sofia Huerta. “We are going to focus on ourselves and aim for a shutout.”

Despite scoring the third-most goals in the league (15), the Sky Blue defense has allowed just as many with 14 goals getting past goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan and their veteran backline of captain Christie Pearce and Kelley O’Hara.

Separated by one point, both teams will look to use the attacking threats to extend their streaks and break into a coveted position, especially before the Red Stars start traveling on a four-game away streak.

“Getting a result is super important before we head on our four-game away trip,” said Huerta. “It’ll give us that confidence and will continue our undefeated streak. Winning on Sunday will allow us to go into these away games knowing we have the qualities and potential in the team when we’re not at Toyota Park.”

Catch Chicago take on Sky Blue on Sunday, June 25 at 5 p.m. CT. Tickets are available here.


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