CHICAGO – A club record 17,388 supporters poured into Seatgeek Stadium to watch the Chicago Red Stars defeat the defending NWSL champions North Carolina Courage 2-1 on Sunday. The match marked the return of both squad’s United States Women’s National Team players and they themselves did not disappoint. As a full team, however, the Red Stars shined.
Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made multiple crucial game-saving stops, forward Sam Kerr scored an incredible double nutmeg goal, and captain Vanessa DiBernardo bossed the midfield while getting on the score sheet as well. Lynn Williams scored her sixth goal of the season for North Carolina in the 18’ minute but Chicago responded with DiBernardo and Kerr’s goals to help the Red Stars take home the three points. The win launches Chicago into third place in the NWSL standings and back in a playoff spot.
30’ Lynn Williams scores for North Carolina. Debinha loops a ball over the defense and Williams corrals it in the box and slots it home to put the Courage up 1-0.
37’ Arin Wright drops a pin perfect lob to Vanessa DiBernardo who dashes into the box and shoots it past the keeper to tie the game 1-1.
47’ Yuki Nagasato fires a ball across goal and it bounces off Sam Kerr who controls it and scores but the goal is waved off due to a handball.
58’ Katie Johnson slides a pass into Kerr who nutmegs her defender, shoulders off her challenge and smacks it into the back of the net. Chicago takes the lead 2-1
66’ Nagasato plays Kerr in on goal with only the keeper to beat. Kerr’s shot gets past the keeper but it’s slowed enough for a Courage defender to clear it before it crossed the line.
78’ Nagasato almost plays in Katie Johnson with a slick sideways pass but Johnson is ruled offside
82’ Kristen Hamilton finds herself 1v1 with Naeher and her shot goes past Alyssa Naeher’s reach but it doinks off the post.
83’ Naeher sprints off her line to snatch a slow-rolling headed pass before a sprinting Williams can pounce on it.
- Vanessa DiBernardo put in a game-changing shift in the midfield. The Red Stars captain led the team in shots (4), total passes (58), pass accuracy (82.8%), duels won (53%), touches (80) and tackles (4) all while scoring the game-tying goal.
- Yuki Nagasato was a force to be reckoned with on the wing, providing a team-high five crosses and three key passes.
- Sam Kerr’s led the team in shots on goal and her 58’ minute goal was her 10th of the season. Kerr leads the entire NWSL in both categories,
- Katie Naughton was a rock in the back for Chicago, leading the team in clearances (8), interceptions (2), and blocks (1).
- Alyssa Naeher recorded two massive saves and made plenty more important contributions in goal to keep North Carolina’s league-leading attack at bay.
Chicago heads up to Cascadia to take on Reign FC on Sunday, July 28 at Cheney Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00 pm C.T.
Chicago Red Stars vs North Carolina Courage
July 21, 2019
SeatGeek Stadium (Bridgeview, IL)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Chicago Red Stars 1 1 2
North Carolina Courage 1 0 1
NJ: Lynn Williams (Debinha) 18’
CHI: Vanessa DiBernardo (Arin Wright) 37’
CHI: Sam Kerr (Katie Johnson) 57’
CHI: Yellow Card, Katie Naughton (13’)
NC: Yellow Card Jessica McDonald (50’)
NC: GK Labbé, D Mathias, D Dahlkemper, D Erceg ©, D Hinkle, M Mewis, M O’Sullivan, M Zerboni (Pruitt 80’), F Debinha (Dunn 61’), F Williams, F McDonald (Hamilton 64’)
CHI: GK Naeher, D Short, D Naughton, D Gorden, D Davidson (Johnson 45’) (McCaskill 92’), M Ertz, M Brian, M DiBernardo ©, F Wright, F Nagasato (Elby 89’), F Kerr
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.