Chicago, Il. – Hoping to extend their four-game unbeaten streak, the Chicago Red Stars (6-6-4, 22 pts) are taking to the West coast and ready themselves to take on the seventh-place Seattle Reign FC (4-10-3, 15 pts) in Tukwila, Washington, this Thursday at 9 p.m. CT. It will be the third of four matches between the two teams, and will have an impact in determining whether the Red Stars will make it into NWSL playoffs.
Coming off a 1-0 home win over the Washington Spirit Saturday, the Red Stars recently earned the 5th place slot in league standings, surpassing the Boston Breakers by two points. They stand just five points behind Western New York Flash with a game in hand. The top 4 teams from the NWSL regular season will earn a spot in late August’s playoffs.
The last time the Red Stars played at Starfire Stadium, the contest ended in a 3-1 loss for Chicago, starting with an early second-half PK that would prove to be the game’s turning point. Subsequent goals by Reign midfielders Jessica Fishlock and Megan Rapinoe would put the nail in the coffin for the Red Stars, although a late header off Chicago defender Michelle Wenino would keep Seattle from a shutout.
The Reign’s most recent match on the road against FC Kansas City would end in a 2-0 deficit. Seattle currently sits in 7th place, with 15 points, and are not counted out of a late season playoff run quite yet. Seattle players who will likely make a difference in the coming match include US National Team goalkeeper Hope Solo, who has recorded six wins in nine games for the Reign and USWNT midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who has proved vital to the Seattle offense. Welsh international midfielder Jessica Fishlock has four goals in hand for the Reign and has been the engine of their midfield all season long.
The Red Stars will be playing their second match without offensive-minded defender Taryn Hemmings, who is out for the rest of the season due to a knee injury sustained during Chicago’s dramatic tie with FC Kansas City on July 14. The Red Stars only active USWNT player, Shannon Boxx, is continuing rehab on her knee, as is #1 draft pick Zakiya Bywaters.
Three days after the match-up in Seattle, the Red Stars will head down the coast to take on the Portland Thorns on July 28th, which will be broadcast live on FOX Soccer at 6 p.m. CT.
Chicago Red Stars vs. Seattle Reign FC kicks off Thursday at 9:00 p.m. CT (7:00 p.m. PT) at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash. and will be streamed live online. Fans can also follow the Red Stars Twitter account for live in-game updates: @chicagoredstars.
The Red Stars final two home matches include a visit by Seattle Reign on August 3 and ending the year with Sky Blue FC’s only Chicago trip on August 10. Tickets are available for both matches by visiting chicagoredstars.com.
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