Chicago, Il. – As the National Women’s Soccer League’s inaugural season approaches playoffs, the Chicago Red Stars (6-7-5, 23 pts.) continue their fight for the fourth-place spot that will earn them a chance to compete in the end-of-the-season playoffs. To stay alive, they must defeat the seventh-place Seattle Reign FC at home on Saturday.
The Red Stars are coming off an exciting back-and-forth match in Portland that was featured on FOX Soccer, in which the Red Stars were able to tie the second-place favorites 3-3 late in the match. Substitute Alyssa Mautz put in two and Julianne Sitch scored one late in the game to come from behind at JELD-WEN last Thursday.
But it was just over a week ago when the Red Stars suffered a disappointing road loss at Seattle (5-10-3, 18pts.), with the home team putting four goals on the board in a heavy 4-1 loss for Chicago. Reign FC would secure a 2-0 lead early in the first half off of a direct free kick and a penalty kick, scored by Megan Rapinoe and Kaylyn Kyle, respectively. Rapinoe continued to pose a serious threat to the Red Stars, scoring Seattle’s third goal and assisting its fourth during the second half. On a positive note for the Red Stars, NWSL rookie Jen Hoy scored her first professional goal, putting one in the net off an assist from captain Lori Chalupny. Reign FC goalkeeper Hope Solo also came up big in the match, stopping a PK by the Red Stars during the second half.
The Red Stars’ record against Seattle stands at 0-2-1, with the tie coming in the two teams’ season opener back in April.
Defender Taryn Hemmings remains on the Chicago’s injured list after sustaining a knee injury that would put out for the rest of the season. USWNT player Shannon Boxx has also been out since having knee surgery on April 30 and Red Stars and overall #1 college draft pick Zakiya Bywaters has also been out due to a knee injury. Team captain Lori Chalupny, who suffered a vicious tackle in the Red Stars 3-3 draw at Portland, is still undergoing evaluations on her right ankle and will not suit up for this match.
Saturday’s game will be the Red Stars second to last home game, with the season home finale to take place next Saturday, August 10, against Sky Blue FC, in their only Chicago visit this year. Tickets are available online at chicagoredstars.com and can be purchased on gameday at the box office.
Chicago Red Stars v Seattle Reign FC kicks off tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. and will be streamed live online in both English and Spanish. Fans can also follow the Red Stars Twitter account for live in-game updates: @chicagoredstars.
Stay tuned to www.chicagoredstars.com for further details or follow the team on twitter @chicagoredstars and on facebook.com/chicagoredstars.