Chicago, Ill. – An exciting and historic year for the Red Stars in 2015, the team ended the year by announcing the move to Toyota Park, making it the official home field for 2016. Now that training camp is fully underway it’s time to get some insight from Head Coach Rory Dames about what the move to Toyota park means to the Red Stars.
What does the move to Toyota Park mean for the Red Stars?
Well it will actually make it a true home field. Benedictine was very good to us and we were very hard to beat there. Playing at Toyota Park gives us arguable the best facility in the league, where teams will be excited to come play us.
The Red Stars were able to claim home field advantage for the 2015 NWSL semifinals and played the match at Toyota Park. Did this benefit the Red Stars on the field?
Having the playoff game at Toyota Park was fantastic and the right thing to do last year, but I would not say it was much of a home field advantage for us. However, the quality of the surface and the dimensions of the field will allow us to be able to exploit more space and maintain possession for longer periods of time coming into the future.
How does preparation for home games change?
Our normal routine will not change, but our tactics and style of play will continue to evolve a bit. Benedictine was a very fast and narrow field. It made sense to play vertically there as much as possible and constantly try to win the ball back higher up the field. While I am not saying our focus on pressing higher up the field will change, I do think we can be more patient in our build up and really stretch teams out on the Toyota Park field.
What can fans expect to see as a difference from Benedictine University turf to Toyota Park grass?
A lot will change in terms of both our own and the visitor’s teams style of play at Toyota Park. Playing on grass has a great impact on the ball being. All things, such as the movement, the game slowing down, the ball staying in play more and the quality of the matches should improve.
Do you have any other thoughts that you want the fans to know?
Toyota Park will be a great place for the league champions to call home!
You have a chance to see the Red Stars live in action, when Chicago takes on Northwestern University on Sunday, April 3 at 5 P.M. in Evanston. Admission is free and open to the public.
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) 2016 season kicks-off in Chicago on April 23, when the Red Stars take on Western New York Flash. Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased here or by calling the ticket office at 773.697.8699.
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