Match Preview: North Carolina Courage vs Chicago Red Stars – NWSL Championship

2019 NWSL Championship

North Carolina Courage vs Chicago Red Stars 

WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, NC

October 27 at 2:30pm CT 

CHICAGO — Chicago’s season will end where it all began. The Red Stars travel to WakeMed Soccer Park to face the North Carolina Courage in the NWSL Championship on Sunday, October 27. The Courage needed extra time to take care of a tough Reign FC squad in their semifinal but ultimately ran away with the match in a 4-1 win. Chicago struck early in their semifinal against Portland and never looked back as they advanced to the franchise’s first championship with a comprehensive 1-0 victory. 


Where to Watch


Stream:  Watch ESPN or the ESPN App

International fans in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and part of Asia can stream the match via ESPN Player


Opponent Form:

Since falling to the Red Stars in late July, the Courage have won 10 of their last 12 matches en route to their third-consecutive NWSL Shield. The club’s only losses during that span were a 2-1 defeat to Portland in August and another loss with the same scoreline to the Washington Spirit. Following the loss to the Thorns, North Carolina went on a six-game win streak which included a 6-0 rout of Portland. The Courage rebounded from the loss to the Spirit with a win over Sky Blue in the final game of the regular season and the semifinal win over the reign, scoring seven goals across the two matches. 



The Best: North Carolina and Chicago boast the NWSL’s top two offenses with a combined 95 goals scored this season. Three of the top five players in the Golden Boot and Assist rankings come from the Red Stars and the Courage and every finalist for this year’s MVP award come from both of these franchises. With all the accolades, statistics and results across the season, it will be the NWSL’s best two squads that battle each other on Sunday for the championship. 

All of the Lights: The Spotlight will shine on WakeMed Soccer Park on Sunday, where a plethora of the sport’s premier players will battle in the NWSL Championship. North Carolina has World Cup Champions Crystal Dunn, Abby Dahlkemper, Jessica McDonald, and Sam Mewis to go along with international superstars like Debhina and Denise O’Sullivan. Chicago has four world champions of their own in Julie Ertz,  Morgan Brian, and Alyssa Naeher plus their own international superstars in NWSL MVP Sam Kerr and Yuki Nagasato. 

Whatever It Takes: It has been a season where Chicago has found different ways to win matches. Against Portland last week it was an eighth-minute strike that sent Chicago to the NWSL Championship. In their final week of the regular season, it was a Yuki Nagasato goal in the 85th minute that gave the Red Stars a 2-1 win that ultimately led to Chicago clinching home-field advantage in the semifinals. Chicago has struck in the first 15 minutes of the game 12 times and in the last 15 minutes of the game 11 times. In their last matchup against North Carolina, Chicago couldn’t score during that span but found a way to get on the board in the 30th and 57th minute to give Chicago a 2-1 victory. 

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