CHICAGO – The Red Stars return home after a four-game road trip to take on the Orlando Pride in NWSL’s Game of the Week. Kickoff is set for July 22, at 2:30 p.m. CT at Toyota Park.
In their longest road series, Chicago finished 1-1-2, with the final game being a 2-2 draw against Sky Blue FC. The Red Stars narrowly got away with the win after two goals in the first 26 minutes of the match.
Forward Sofia Huerta notched the first goal in the fourth minute, thanks to an assist by captain Christen Press. Moments later, Press earned her sixth goal of the season off Vanessa DiBernardo’s second assist. But Chicago couldn’t hold the lead as they conceded two goals to Sky Blue’s Maya Hayes in the first half and Sam Kerr in the final seconds of the game.
But Press till managed to keep her lead on shots (59) and shots on goal (34) in the league. with her goal against Sky Blue, the Chicago captain is now in sole possession of fourth in league history for goals (30). She is still among the ranks of top scorers this season, climbing to fourth place.
This week’s opponents, the Orlando Pride, have been earning points after the inclusion of forward Alex Morgan. The Pride won their match last week against FC Kansas City, 4-1, their largest scoreline win in franchise history. Defender Alanna Kennedy earned her second goal of the season with a header to take the lead last Saturday. Moments later, Morgan scored her first goal of the season off a penalty kick. In the second half, two goals were scored in a matter of five minutes, thanks to Toni Pressley and Kristen Edmonds, as Kansas City got away with one goal.
Coming off their strongest win of the season, Orlando’s goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe has now earned NWSL Save of the Week twice in a row for her tremendous play in goal. Meanwhile, Pressley is coming off being named the winner for NWSL Goal of the Week after her strike against FCKC on Saturday.
The teams have only ever produced a 1-0 scoreline with Chicago coming out on top in all three matches. The last game, on July 1, 2017, Orlando earned more shots than Chicago (20-16), while Chicago’s defense was active in clearing 51 chances to Orlando’s three. After entering the match in the 66th minute, Casey Short took her first touch into the attack and earned a penalty kick for the Red Stars. Press stepped up and buried it past Bledsoe for Chicago to take the win on the road.
With a victory, Chicago will look to jump into first place with 28 points, but Orlando will try to take the edge over Chicago for the first time and climb into playoff contention.
Chicago will take on Orlando at Toyota Park on Saturday, July 22, and has been rescheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT, after initially being a 3:00 p.m. kickoff. The match will the broadcast live as NWSL’s Game of the Week on Lifetime. Tickets are still available here for the match.
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