Chicago – The Chicago Red Stars are finally returning home after a successful four-game road campaign that helped bring their win streak to five games overall, and six games in a row without a loss. They will meet the visiting Washington Spirit Wednesday night at 7 p.m. CT at the Village of Lisle – Benedictine University Sports Complex in Lisle.
The second-place Red Stars (6-2-1, 19pts) have outscored opponents 13-4 in the last five matches and look to continue their winning ways with the addition of three new players that have joined the roster in the last few weeks.
U.S. Women’s National Team allocated player Christen Press arrived to Chicago this week after completing a run to the UEFA Women’s Champions League final with Swedish side Tyresö FF. This will be the 25-year-old forward’s first appearance in the NWSL after returning from Sweden, where she became the first American to lead the Swedish Damallsvenskan in scoring. 20-year-old Australian co-captain and midfielder Emily Van Egmond joined the team last week and may also be available pending international clearance.
New Zealand international defender Abby Erceg is fully cleared and is expected to appear for the first time this season for Chicago after arriving to the team several weeks ago. The 24-year-old captain of the Football Ferns will be looked to by the Red Stars to provide leadership and international experience to the young Chicago backline.
Another Red Stars player that has helped guide that line is veteran goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, who sits with three shutouts on the season and the best goals against average in the league at just 0.625 goals allowed per game.
The Washington Spirit (5-4-1, 16pts) are currently in third place, just three points behind the Red Stars, but with a game in hand. They are led by Canadian international midfielder Diana Matheson, as well as U.S. WNT defender Ali Krieger and goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. The Spirit are unbeaten in their last four matches, with the most recent being a 3-2 victory in Boston on Sunday.
This will be Washington’s second and final trip to Chicago this season, after defeating the Red Stars 1-0 on April 26. That match marks one of Chicago’s two losses thus far on the year. Wednesday night’s matchup will also mark Pride Night for the Red Stars who have partnered with local organization Hope For The Day in continuing to provide a safe and inclusive space for all.
The Red Stars have also announced the club has waived midfielder Niki Read. Read, a 24-year-old Michigan native who graduated from the University of Illinois, was acquired by the Red Stars after the team’s open tryouts. She appeared in one match this season for the Red Stars, coming on as substitute on May 7 when the team traveled to New Jersey, earning a 1-1 draw.
Red Stars vs. Washington Spirit kicks off Friday at 7:00 pm CT at Village of Lisle – Benedictine University Sports Complex, and will be streamed live for free. Fans can also follow the Red Stars official gameday Twitter account for live in-game updates: @redstarslive. The match will be preceded by a WPSL clash between the Chicago Red Stars Reserves and Madison 56ers at 4 p.m. The Red Stars Reserves have started their season off with a 2-0-0 record and look to continue that streak Wednesday night.
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