2019 NWSL Semifinal Match
Chicago Red Stars vs Portland Thorns
SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, IL
October 20 at 2:30pm CT
CHICAGO — For the fifth consecutive season, the Chicago Red Stars will play in an NWSL semifinal match. Chicago will welcome Portland Thorns FC to SeatGeek Stadium on Sunday, October 20th. The Red Stars finished the regular season on a five-game unbeaten run that helped them finished second in the NWSL standings with 44 points. The Thorns finished directly below Chicago in the standings with a third-place finish.
Where to Watch
TV: ESPN 2
Portland finished the regular season with an 11-7-6 record which placed them third in the final league Standings. The Thorns began the regular season with an impressive four-game unbeaten run and scored 11 goals through that span. Portland was amongst the contenders for the NWSL Shield throughout the season, entering September without suffering consecutive defeats and entered the month controlling their own destiny for a home playoff match.
However, Portland struggled in September. The team began the month with a shock 1-0 defeat to the Utah Royals before suffering their first back-to-back losses of the year when they fell to North Carolina 6-0. Portland was able to bounce back with a win over the Houston Dash the following week that set up a Cascadia Rivalry match with Reign FC with major playoff implications. A 2-0 Reign FC win shattered any hopes of a home playoff match for the Thorns, who would play to a scoreless draw against Washington on the final week of the regular season last Saturday.
Amazing: Chicago’s international connection between Sam Kerr and Yuki Nagasato made history when they became the second pair of teammates in league history to lead the league in goals and assists in a season. Nagasato has enjoyed her best year since joining the Red Stars back in 2017. Her eight assists are an NWSL career-high, as are the eight goals she scored the season to place her within the top 10 of the league’s Golden Boot ranking. At the top of the charts once again is Sam Kerr, who smashed her own record for most goals in a season with 18 in 2019. Kerr won her unprecedented third-consecutive NWSL Golden Boot thanks in large part to the chemistry she and Nagasato have developed. Out of Nagasato’s eight assists this year, seven of them resulted in a Kerr goal.
Sun Come Down: The Red Stars have made a habit of scoring late this season. Chicago’s 11 goals this season in the 76th minute or later are the most the team has scored during any time span. A team-high seven of those late goals have come at home, including one in their last match of the regular season. Yuki Nagasato’s 85th-minute score against Utah two weeks ago helped Chicago clinch a postseason berth and, ultimately, a home playoff match against Portland. Both teams’ sole matchup at SeatGeek Stadium featured late drama as well, as Nagasato once again scored a late goal and earned the Red Stars a key point.
Chi-City: For the second time in franchise history the Red Stars will host an NWSL Semifinal match. SeatGeek Stadium has been in the epicenter of the league earlier this season when the Red Stars defeated the North Carolina Courage in front of a record crowd of 17,388. The spotlight will once again shine on Chicago this Sunday, where the Red Stars have home-field advantage for the first time since 2015 in a stadium where they boast a 7-4-1 record this season and victories in five of their last six matches.