The Chicago Red Stars will kick off for their home opener at SeatGeek Stadium against Portland Thorns FC (2:30 p.m. CT; NBC Sports Chicago). Here is the Starting XI, presented by Magellan:
- Forward Katie Johnson earns her first start and appearance for Chicago. The Mexican international was acquired this offseason by the Red Stars from Sky Blue where she had the team lead in goals in 2018.
- Casey Short returns to the starting lineup after missing opening weekend due to a knock picked up in U.S. WNT camp. The defender earns her 50th start for the Red Stars after joining the team in 2016.
- NWSL Golden Boot Winner in 2017 and 2018 Sam Kerr started off the same way in 2019 with a goal in the season opener for Chicago versus North Carolina.
- Yuki Nagasato assisted the goal in the season opener for Chicago and will look to continue the international connection with Kerr. Nagasato has eight assists dating back to last season, all with Kerr finishing them.
- Julie Ertz will captain the club once again. The defensive midfielder will earn her 82nd appearance for the club. In last years semifinal match, Ertz surpassed 7,000 minutes total for her NWSL career.
- Starting in goal is Alyssa Naeher who had another standout game in North Carolina. The goalkeeper had five saves and two punches and was awarded the Player of the Match for her play.
- The rookie defender Tierna Davidson earns her first start for Chicago at SeatGeek Stadium. Davidson played all 90 minutes on the backline that kept North Carolina to one goal in the season opener.
- Alyssa Mautz will be earning her 120th regular season appearance for the Red Stars this game. The midfielder has accumulated nearly 7,300 regular season minutes throughout her Chicago career.
- The centreback Katie Naughton led the defensive unit in minutes during the 2018 season and earns her second consecutive start on the backline for 2019. Her last game against North Carolina marked her 65th career appearance for the Red Stars.
- Holding down the outside flank is Arin Wright who is earning her 86th overall start (regular season and playoffs) for the Red Stars since being drafted in 2015.
- Danielle Colaprico enters the match just 43 minutes shy of earning 7,500 minutes for the club. The game marks her 89th appearance for the Red Stars.
- Emily Boyd is available as the backup goalkeeper, while Nikki Stanton, Maria Sanchez, Vanessa DiBernardo, Morgan Brian, Brooke Elby and Michele Vasconcelos are available off the bench.